Friday, June 24, 2016

"I Will Dance"

Since 2009 I've shared every year during the month of June a series of "Queer Appreciation" posts. Each series is comprised of a number of informed and insightful writings to mark Gay Pride Month . . . or, as I prefer to call it (since 2011), Queer Appreciation Month. I always made a point of including in each series a diverse range of writers and topics, and in general the writings I shared were positive, proactive and celebratory.

This June I find myself shocked and saddened by the terrible mass shooting in Orlando, Florida which left 49 patrons of the Pulse gay dance club dead and over 50 injured. Over the past two weeks I've shared my own and others' thoughts on various aspects of this tragedy. (See, for instance, here, here, here, and here.) I must admit I've often found it difficult to feel positive or celebratory.

And yet, I want to remain hopeful . . .

Accordingly, instead of a Gay Pride/Queer Appreciation series this year, I've decided to share just one image – and that's the one below. This image showed up in my Facebook news feed a few days ago and moved me on a deep level. It shows a young man holding a placard containing a beautiful and powerful message by Paul Winkelaar, written just hours after the Orlando massacre. For me, and perhaps for you too, this message conveys profound truths about what it means to be a human embodiment of the Divine Presence in a world of violence, strife and fear.

I hope all who view this image will find solace, inspiration and hope in its message.

See also the related Wild Reed posts:
And As We Dance . . .
The Soul of a Dancer
Discerning and Embodying Sacred Presence in Times of Violence and Strife
Alan Cumming on "This Thing About Pleasure and Admitting to Desire"
Called to the Field of Compassion
The Gifts of Homosexuality


The Wild Reed's 2015 Queer Appreciation series:
Vittorio Lingiardi on the Limits of the Hetero/Homo Dichotomy
Reclaiming and Re-Queering Pride
Standing with Jennicet Gutiérrez, "the Mother of Our Newest Stonewall Movement"
Questions for Archbishop Kurtz re. the U.S. Bishops' Response to the Supreme Court's Marriage Equality Ruling
Clyde Hall: "All Gay People, in One Form or Another, Have Something to Give to This World, Something Rich and Very Wonderful"
The (Same-Love) Dance Goes On

The Wild Reed's 2014 Queer Appreciation series:
Michael Bayly's "The Kiss" Wins the People's Choice Award at This Year's Twin Cities Pride Art Exhibition
Same-Sex Desires: "Immanent and Essential Traits Transcending Time and Culture"
Lisa Leff on Five Things to Know About Transgender People
Steven W. Thrasher on the Bland and Misleading "Gay Inc" Treatment of the Struggle to Overturn Prop 8
Chris Mason Johnson's Test: A Film that "Illuminates Why Queer Cinema Still Matters"
Sister Teresa Forcades on Queer Theology
Omar Akersim: Muslim and Gay
Catholics Make Their Voices Heard on LGBTQ Issues

The Wild Reed's 2013 Queer Appreciation series:
Doing Papa Proud
Jesse Bering: "It’s Time to Throw 'Sexual Preference' into the Vernacular Trash"
Dan Savage on How Leather Guys, Dykes on Bikes, Go-Go Boys, and Drag Queens Have Helped the LGBT Movement
On Brokeback Mountain: Remembering Queer Lives and Loves Never Fully Realized
Manly Love
A Catholic Presence at Gay Pride – 2013
Worldwide Gay Pride – 2013

The Wild Reed's 2012 Queer Appreciation series:
The Theology of Gay Pride
Bi God, Somebody Listen
North America: Perhaps Once the "Queerest Continent on the Planet"
Gay Men and Modern Dance
A Spirit of Defiance
A Catholic Presence at Gay Pride – 2012
Worldwide Gay Pride – 2012

The Wild Reed's 2011 Gay Pride/Queer Appreciation series:
Gay Pride: A Celebration of True Humility
Dusty Springfield: Queer Icon
Gay Pioneer Malcolm Boyd on Survival – and Victory – with Grace
Senator Scott Dibble's Message of Hope and Optimism
Parvez Sharma on Islam and Homosexuality
A Catholic Presence at Gay Pride – 2011
Worldwide Gay Pride – 2011

The Wild Reed’s 2010 Gay Pride series:
Standing Strong
Growing Strong
Jesus and Homosexuality
It Is Not Good To Be Alone
The Bisexual: “Living Consciously and Consistently in the Place Where the Twain Meet”
Spirituality and the Gay Experience
Recovering the Queer Artistic Heritage
A Catholic Presence at Gay Pride – 2010
Worldwide Gay Pride – 2010

The Wild Reed's 2009 Gay Pride series:
A Mother’s Request to President Obama: Full Equality for My Gay Son
Marriage Equality in Massachusetts: Five Years On
It Shouldn’t Matter. Except It Does
Gay Pride as a Christian Event
Not Just Another Political Special Interest Group
Can You Hear Me, Yet, My Friend?
A Catholic Presence at Gay Pride – 2009
Worldwide Gay Pride – 2009

No comments: