I’d like to paint a picture for you of my most recent, and one of my favorite, DHPC fellowship experiences. It was one of those cloudy mornings that turned into a blue-sky day, with the sun shining over the city and the trees rustling. Music was playing, there was happiness and laughter everywhere you turned, and Pastor Shelli was changing clothes in the street. If that last part caught you off guard, let me explain. It was Pride Sunday, and in typical Atlanta fashion it was HOT out there in the middle of October. A (smart) decision was made by Pastor Shelli that the Druid Hills t-shirt was a much better option than the long sleeve clergy collar she was sweltering in. And thus, in an impromptu changing room pieced together by a DHPC banner and rainbow flag, she made the swift (and discreet) change, surrounded by a crowd of allies, and the sounds of Beyonce, someone banging a drum, and cries of “Happy Pride Y’all!”
We spent a few hours waiting for the parade to start, but once it did, we marched on. And let me tell you, it was nothing but love. It is hard to put into words, but seeing the excited marchers stretch for miles and miles was an unprecedented experience for me. So many people were happy to see us, and to put it simply, all we were doing was showing that we love and accept all of God’s children. It made me think – shouldn’t that be something that everyone sees every day? Why does it take one big weekend, one parade, one day a year, for the LGBT community to be shown the type of support I have received every day of my 29 years on this earth? It shouldn’t, and maybe one day we as a church won’t have to advertise that all are welcome, but for now that is why we march. That’s why I plan to do it again next year. And that’s why seeing DHPC and other Atlanta churches in the Pride parade is so significant.
Big plans were discussed for the Pride parade next year. DHPC will make a splash (although it will be hard to top Anna’s sign, see photo above). At the end of the day, our group was hungry (granted we were hungry the whole day, but that’s another story), our feet were sore, and I was certain my leather leggings had melted to my legs…but our spirits were high. Love is love, and God is love, and this past weekend was a show of love that I will never forget.