Thursday, June 29, 2023

The Bigger Box of Crayons We All Deserve

The Wild Reed’s 2023 Queer Appreciation series continues with the sharing of the TEDx talk that Dr. Angela Kade Goepferd gave in Minneapolis in September 2020.

You may recall that the previous (and first) installment of this series spotlighted the work of Dr. Goepferd, a pediatrician and the medical director of the Children’s Minnesota Gender Health program.

Entitled “The Revolutionary Truth About Kids and Gender Identity,” Dr. Goepferd’s TEDx talk is described by one YouTube viewer as “getting to the heart of the [gender-affirming care] conversation” by advocating for “letting people be themselves and then supporting them, not trying to ‘correct’ them. Such a simple idea, but very difficult for people to accept.”

The 16-minute video of Dr. Goepferd’s talk is followed by the transcript of that part of it which particularly resonates with me.

It is my foundational belief that we all know who we are from a very young age, including the truest expression of our gender identity. And we actually spend most of our lives searching for the words and the tools and the safety and the agency to share ourselves with the world.

Queer author and activist Leslie Feinberg said, “Gender is the poetry we write with the language we are taught.”

If we give kids the language, if we open the [full] box of crayons [for them], they will tell us who they are.

So, no, this is not a “trend” or a “fad.” I think this is the revealing of a truth, a truth that has always existed. And kids can’t draw the truth of themselves with just one crayon [a pink or a blue one]. . . . Kids today are seeing more and more LGBTQ folks; we are giving them a bigger box of crayons, and they are actually drawing for us more imaginative pictures of what it means to be a boy or a girl or something in between than many of us can ever remember.

And so what is our job as parents, as pediatricians, as aunts, uncles, grandparents, friends, neighbors, teachers?

Our job is to listen; our job is to ask interesting questions and then listen for the answer.

Who are you? What do you like? What makes you feel like you?

And when kids begin to show themselves to us, we support them without steering; we reveal our own gender identities. We ask and share names and pronouns.

What I’ve learnt in my role as a pediatrician in the last fifteen years, and as a pediatrician that specializes in the care of transgender and gender-diverse kids, is that these kids don’t need me to figure them out. They need me to listen, to really listen, and to help them amplify the voice that’s inside them. They need me to help them be heard.

And when these kids begin to show themselves to us, when they start down that brave journey of self-discovery, we remind them that they are beautiful and strong and resilient. And most importantly, we love them, we fully and fiercely and wholeheartedly love them.

If we do this, our kids will draw for us the most beautiful pictures of who they are. They will write for us the beautiful poetry of their identities. And in doing this, they will expand the world of gender – and not just for them but for all of us. Because how many of us were given just two crayons to choose from but longed for a bigger box? How many of us weren’t given the right tools of language to describe our own identities?

You see, in loving and supporting transgender and gender-diverse kids, we’re not only helping them be more free and true versions of themselves, we’re helping all of us have the language we need to discover ourselves.

Leslie Feinberg also said, “My right to be me is tied with a thousand threads to your right to be you.”

Because, after all, we all deserve a bigger box of crayons.

Dr. Angela Kade Goepferd

NEXT: Transgender in America Today

Related Off-site Links:
Dr. Angela Kade Goepferd Pioneers Gender-Affirming Care for Kids – Nicole Ki (MPR News, June 1, 2023).
The Good Doctor: Angela Kade Goepferd, MD – Susan Swavely (Lavender, January 12, 2023).
The GOP’s War on Trans Kids Relies on Myths about a “Progressive” Europe – Alex Koren (The Stranger, April 6, 2023).
Young Children Do Not Receive Medical Gender Transition Treatment – Kate Yandell (, May 22, 2023).
The Big Myth About the Supposed “Anti-Trans” Backlash – Sarah Posner (, June 23, 2023).
Court Ruling Gets Right What Corporate News Often Gets Wrong About Gender-Affirming Care – Alex Koren (Common Dreams, June 24, 2023).
How Pro-Trans Rights Lawmakers Can Fight the Right Wing’s Weaponization of Courts – Jessie Ulibarri and Leigh Finke (Common Dreams, June 26, 2023).
The Gender Spectrum – Carrie Kilman (, Summer 2013).

UPDATE: Gender-Affirming Surgeries for Trans People Have Tripled in Three Years. Experts Explain “Significant” Increase – David Artavia (Yahoo! News, August 23, 2023).

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Angela Kade Goepferd on the “Manufactured Controversy” Targeting Gender-Affirming Care
Trans 101
Lisa Leff on Five Things to Know About Transgender People
Judith Butler on the Reactionary Movement and Fascist Trend Opposed to Diverse Ideas About Gender
Gabbi Pierce on the “Evolution of Gender”
“This Is Indeed Part of My Queer Agenda . . .”
Maebe A. Girl: A “Decidedly Progressive Candidate” for Congress
Catholics Recognize and Celebrate the Truth of Transgender People: “Their Quest for Authenticity Is a Quest for Holiness”
Francis DeBernardo: Quote of the Day – September 21, 2016
Terry Weldon: Quote of the Day – August 20, 2015

Tuesday, June 27, 2023

Quote of the Day

The White House says Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit is part of an effort to counter China. That is exactly the wrong mentality – similar to our attitude toward Russia that helped provoke the war in Ukraine.

We need to begin a new era. The world is too dangerous a place for major powers to always be thinking in terms of “countering” each other. We share this planet.

Our goal should not be how to counter each other but rather how to collaborate with each other. From nuclear bombs to climate crisis to AI, the most critical issues must be faced together.

Stand firm for what we believe in, yes – and not be anybody’s fool – but we must free ourselves from the default perspective of us-versus-them, the reactive and oppositional mentality that inevitably leads to conflict.

The only way the world will be safe for our children’s children is if we learn to wage peace.

Marianne Williamson
via Facebook
June 27, 2023

Marianne 2024 Official Site | About | Issues | News | Events | Blog | Donate

Related Off-site Links:
How Marianne Williamson and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Compare to Biden on 6 Key Issues – Andrew Stanton (Newsweek, May 15, 2023).
Debate Us, Mr. President – Marianne Williamson (Newsweek, May 31, 2023).
Marianne Williamson: United States Needs a Fundamental “Economic U-turn”Sky News (June 17, 2023).
Joe Biden Is “Selfish” to Be Running at His Age – Marianne Williamson – Aleks Phillips (Newsweek, June 17, 2023).
Marianne Williamson Is Wowing Gen Z on TikTok. But Could She Beat Biden in the Polls? – Brendan Rascius (McClatchy DC, June 13, 2023).
Marianne Williamson Blasts DNC for Doing Everything to “Make It Easier” for Biden – Ryan King (Washington Examiner, May 29, 2023).
For Marianne Williamson, the Bernie Sanders Lane Looks Wide Open – Mini Racker (TIME, May 25, 2023).
Marianne Williamson Wants to Introduce a New Politics to DC – Maximillian Alvarez (The Real News Network, May 18, 2023).
Marianne Williamson: From Third Way to Third Eye – Chris Lehmann (The Nation, May 15, 2023).
Marianne Williamson: Democrats Need a “Genuine Economic Alternative” to Beat the GOP in 2024 – David Sirota (Jacobin, May 5, 2023).
Marianne Williamson on Her 2024 Presidential Bid – C-SPAN (May 4, 2023).
Why Biden May Have to Forfeit the First Contest in His Re-election Bid to Marianne Williamson or RFK Jr. – Alex Seitz-Wald (NBC News, April 27, 2023).
Marianne Williamson Is Serious About Running a Progressive Campaign for President – Liza Featherstone (Jacobin, April 27, 2023).
DNC Shields Biden, Refuses to Hold Primary Debates, Silences RFK Jr and Marianne WilliamsonRising (April 24, 2023).
Marianne Williamson Made a Campaign Stop in Detroit Where She Railed Against the 1%. The Media Didn’t Cover It – Michael Betzold (Metro Times, April 25, 2023).
Marianne Williamson Warns Younger Voters Will “Stay Home in Droves” If Biden Becomes Nominee – Ryan King (Washington Examiner, April 25, 2023).
Presidential Candidate Marianne Williamson Speaks to Youth Issues at MSU Campaign Stop – Lily Guiney (The State News, April 25, 2023).
The Case for Marianne Williamson – Zach Courtney (The Minnesota Daily, April 20, 2023).
Democratic Presidential Longshot Marianne Williamson on Challenging Biden: “We Should Have as Many People Running in an Election as Feel Moved” – Victor Reklaitis (Market Watch, April 15, 2023).
Marianne Williamson, Fusing Bernie Sanders and (Early) Jordan Peterson, Is Taking Over TikTok – Ryan Grim (The Intercept, April 14, 2023).
Meet Eris, the Goddess Behind the Force That Is Marianne Williamson – Rayner Jae Liu (Medium, April 8, 2023).
Marianne Williamson Making Gains Against Joe Biden, New Poll Suggests – Jason Lemon (Newsweek, April 1, 2023).
Marianne Williamson Says Democrats Need to Fix “Unjust” Economy to Win – Andrew Stanton (Newsweek, March 12, 2023).

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Marianne 2024
Marianne Williamson Launches 2024 Presidential Campaign
Progressive Perspectives on Marianne Williamson’s Presidential Run
More Progressive Perspectives on Marianne Williamson’s Presidential Run
Ben Burgis: Quote of the Day – March 10, 2020
Despite the Undemocratic Antics of the DNC, Marianne Williamson Plans on “Winning the Nomination”
The Biblical Roots of “From Each According to Ability; To Each According to Need”Marianne Williamson on The Next Revolution with Steve Hilton – 05/30/23
Marianne Williamson’s Economic Bill of Rights
Marianne Williamson: “We Must Challenge the Entire System”
Progressive Perspectives on the U.S. Midterm Election Results
Marianne Williamson on the Current Condition of the U.S.
An Essential Read Ahead of the Midterms
Marianne Williamson’s Politics of Love: The Rich Roll Interview
Celebrating Tuesday’s Progressive Wins in the Midst of the Ongoing “War for the Future of the Democratic Party”
Now Here’s a Voice I’d Like to Hear Regularly on the Sunday Morning Talk Shows
A Deeper Perspective on What’s Really Attacking American Democracy

Sunday, June 25, 2023

Angela Kade Goepferd on the “Manufactured Controversy” Targeting Gender-Affirming Care

Since 2009 I’ve shared at this time of year a series of “Queer Appreciation” posts.

Each series is comprised of a number of informed and insightful writings to mark Gay Pride . . . or, as I’ve preferred to call it since 2011, Queer Appreciation.

I always try to include in each series a diverse range of writers and topics; and, in general, the writings I share are positive, proactive and celebratory.

I start this year’s Queer Appreciation series with the sharing of an article first published a few days ago by the Star Tribune. Written by Reid Forgrave, this article addresses the current controversies in our society around transgender individuals and gender-affirming care. Forgrave does this by focusing on Dr. Angela Kade Goepferd and her work as medical director of the Children’s Minnesota Gender Health program.


In the very first car of [today’s] Twin Cities Pride Parade will sit one of the state’s biggest supporters of transgender teens and children.

Instead of shrinking from the politics of a moment when trans people feel under attack, parade organizers wanted to put their full symbolic support behind them. That’s why they chose Dr. Angela Kade Goepferd, medical director of the Children’s Minnesota Gender Health program, as grand marshal of one of America’s largest Pride parades. Goepferd has been working to help transgender youth for more than a decade.

“Dr. Goepferd never wavers, and puts their patients and the protection of those patients above themselves,” said Andi Otto, executive director of Twin Cities Pride. “It was a no-brainer to me because of everything they are trying to accomplish in a world that’s trying to push back twice as hard.”

Goepferd, who identifies as queer and nonbinary and uses they/them pronouns, believes next weekend’s Pride Festival will have a more urgent tone than in years past.

“The trans community has been particularly targeted this year – and unfortunately, within that, it’s really been focused on trans kids,” Goepferd said. “It will be really visually powerful and affirming to see someone who cares for trans kids at the front of the parade. This year more than ever, that’s really, really important.”

The symbolism will be amplified by dozens of their colleagues from Children’s Minnesota departments walking behind them.

Goepferd, 45, has testified several times at the State Capitol about gender-affirming medical care. The University of Minnesota Medical School graduate has been skewered in conservative media for the medical care they provide to trans and gender-diverse kids. At the same time, Goepferd has been lionized in progressive media for giving voice to a vulnerable population.

Twin Cities Pride is always a big, vibrant event; this year, 120 groups will join the parade. Since the first parade here in 1972, a few years after New York City’s Stonewall [uprising] sparked the ongoing fight for LGBTQ rights, it’s grown into one of the 10 largest in the nation.

But as the event continues its growth – 620 vendors in and around Loring Park, up from 450 last year – a cloud will hang over this year’s celebration.

The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest LGBTQ civil rights organization, declared a “state of emergency” this month for LGBTQ Americans after more than 75 “anti-LGBTQ+ bills” were signed into law this year, more than double the year before. This year, 19 states passed laws restricting gender-related health care for children and teens, following three others that had such laws earlier.

Political debates have run the gamut, from regulating drag shows to arguing what’s appropriate for school libraries to determining whether transgender girls and women – people assigned male at birth who identify as female – ought to be allowed to compete on girls’ and women’s sports teams.

Even basic language can invite conflict; what one side calls a “transgender man,” the other side calls a “biological female.” When doctors like Goepferd speak about science behind “gender-affirming care,” opponents signal skepticism or opposition by dismissing it as “gender ideology.”

Otto wanted this year’s Pride to focus on trans youth, especially as the mental health crisis among American youth is amplified among the trans population.

“We’re trying to be loud and proud when so many people are telling you to be quiet and hide,” Otto said.

Northfield City Council Member Davin Sokup, one of nearly 100 trans or nonbinary elected officials nationwide, said this parade will be especially powerful after Minnesota passed laws making the state a trans refuge.

His favorite part is always when members of PFLAG – parents, family and allies of LGBTQ people – walk by. A quiet descends. The audience claps.

“A lot of people don't have family members willing to do that, or have lost family members due to coming out,” Sokup said.

On a recent afternoon, Goepferd sat inside their office at Children’s Minnesota, wearing their signature bow tie and a “PROTECT TRANS KIDS” button. A parent to three elementary-age children, Goepferd considers the political focus on transgender people and gender-affirming care a manufactured controversy.

Goepferd has been a pediatrician at Children’s Minnesota since 2007. Over time, they became known for specializing in LGBTQ care. Goepferd helped start the Minnesota Transgender Health Coalition, then, with an endocrinologist and psychologist, launched the gender health program in 2019.

For years, Goepferd’s job hardly attracted notice. Their contemporaries seemed to be gaining momentum on research and access to care. Suddenly, over the past year or two, this medical subspecialty became the center of the cultural storm, and entire states shut it down.

“You got this patient population that’s extremely vulnerable but was finally seeing a little bit of light through the doorway,” Goepferd said. “And now the door has just been slammed shut.”

Feeling cast as a villain has been disorienting, Goepferd said.

“Ninety percent of what I do is sit in rooms with families and have very long conversations,” Goepferd said. “This is about helping affirm who a child is and get them the support and resources they need. Some of the time, that will involve medications. Not all the time — not even most of the time. And because we are a pediatric and adolescent care center, surgery is not a part of care for kids. . . . It’s not even something most transgender adults access.”

Pressed on gender-affirming surgery among minors, Goepferd offered some context. Bottom surgeries – genital surgeries on transgender people – are exceedingly rare among adolescents, they said. They referenced a New York Times story about how top surgeries – removing or augmenting breast tissue to create a more masculine or feminine appearance – have been on the rise among transgender teens.

But it irked Goepferd that while gender-affirming surgeries have become the tip of the spear in the culture wars, there’s virtually no controversy on top surgeries among cisgender teens. A 2020 study by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons showed about 8,000 cosmetic breast augmentation or reduction surgeries on cisgender people ages 13 to 19.

“Gender-affirming surgery is just not a part of the care we’re routinely providing,” Goepferd said. “It’s been blown way out of context relative to what we really do with families, which is help them navigate questions, help them navigate schools, help them figure out how they have difficult conversations with their neighbors, their family members, their teachers. That’s what we’re doing.”

“I’m in the room with parents who come to me with very different perspectives,” Goepferd continued. “A lot of parents think this is a social contagion, or they don’t believe their child, or they’re unsure. What I say to parents is, ‘Let’s figure this out together.’ If the belief is simply that transgender people don’t exist and don’t have a right to exist, then I’m not going to get very far. But if the fear is harm is being done to kids, or there’s some agenda at play, I can talk through that pretty easily.”

NEXT: The Bigger Box of Crayons We All Deserve

Related Off-site Links and Updates
Dr. Angela Kade Goepferd Pioneers Gender-Affirming Care for Kids – Nicole Ki (MPR News, June 1, 2023).
The Good Doctor: Angela Kade Goepferd, MD – Susan Swavely (Lavender, January 12, 2023).
The GOP’s War on Trans Kids Relies on Myths about a “Progressive” Europe – Alex Koren (The Stranger, April 6, 2023).
Young Children Do Not Receive Medical Gender Transition Treatment – Kate Yandell (, May 22, 2023).
The Big Myth About the Supposed “Anti-Trans” Backlash – Sarah Posner (, June 23, 2023).
It’s Not Just Corporate Pride Boycotts – Right-Wingers Are Escalating Their Anti-LGBTQ Campaign – Kali Holloway (The Nation, June 23, 2023).
Court Ruling Gets Right What Corporate News Often Gets Wrong About Gender-Affirming Care – Alex Koren (Common Dreams, June 24, 2023).
How Pro-Trans Rights Lawmakers Can Fight the Right Wing’s Weaponization of Courts – Jessie Ulibarri and Leigh Finke (Common Dreams, June 26, 2023).
Gender-Affirming Surgeries for Trans People Have Tripled in Three Years. Experts Explain “Significant” Increase – David Artavia (Yahoo! News, August 23, 2023). Transphobia Is Hazardous to Your Health – Sheila Mulrooney Eldred (Minneapolis/St. Paul Magazine, August 27, 2019).
The Gender Spectrum – Carrie Kilman (, Summer 2013).


The Wild Reed’s 2022 Queer Appreciation series:
Cassandra Snow on Reclaiming the Word “Queer”
Tian Richards’ Message to Queer Youth: “Every Part of Your Identity Is a Superpower”
Gabbi Pierce on the “Evolution of Gender”
Afdhere Jama’s “Love Song to the Queer Somali”
“Creative Outsider, Determined Innovator”: Remembering Berto Pasuka
“Queer Love Is My Divine Companion”
Dyllón Burnside: “For Me, the Term Queer Just Opens Up Space”
Tarot: A Compass For Journeying Toward the Truth of Who We Are and Who We Can Be

The Wild Reed’s 2021 Queer Appreciation series:
“A Book About Revolutionary People That Feels Revolutionary Itself”
Remembering Dusty Springfield’s “Daring” 1979 Gay-Affirming Song
Zaylore Stout on the Meaning of Emancipation in 2021
Maebe A. Girl: A “Decidedly Progressive Candidate” for Congress
The Art of Tania Rivilis
Lil Nas X, the Latest Face of Pop’s Gay Sexual Revolution
Kuan Yin: “A Mirror of the Queer Experience”

The Wild Reed’s 2020 Queer Appreciation series:
Zaylore Stout on Pride 2020: “What Do We Have to Be Proud Of?”
Francis DeBernardo on the U.S. Supreme Court Ruling on Title VII: “A Reason for All Catholics to Celebrate”
Mia Birdsong on the “Queering of Friendship”
The Distinguished Rhone Fraser: Cultural Critic, Bibliophile, and Dramatist
“To Walk the World Without Masks”
What We Are Hoping and Fighting For

The Wild Reed’s 2019 Queer Appreciation series:
Quote of the Day – May 31, 2019
James Baldwin’s Potent Interweavings of Race, Homoeroticism, and the Spiritual
John Gehring on Why Catholics Should Participate in LGBTQ Pride Parades
A Dance of Queer Love
The Queer Liberation March: Bringing Back the Spirit of Stonewall
Barbara Smith on Why She Left the Mainstream LGBTQI Movement
Remembering the Stonewall Uprising on Its 50th Anniversary
In a Historic First, Country Music’s Latest Star Is a Queer Black Man
Historian Martin Duberman on the Rightward Shift of the Gay Movement
Queer Black Panther

The Wild Reed’s 2018 Queer Appreciation series:
Michelangelo Signorile on the Rebellious Purpose of Queer Pride
Liberating Paris: Exploring the Meaning of Liberation in Paris Is Burning
Stephanie Beatriz on the Truth of Being Bi
Queer Native Americans, Colonialism, and the Fourth of July

The Wild Reed’s 2017 Queer Appreciation series:
Our Lives as LGBTQI People: “Garments Grown in Love”
On the First Anniversary of the Pulse Gay Nightclub Massacre, Orlando Martyrs Commemorated in Artist Tony O'Connell’s “Triptych for the 49”
Tony Enos on Understanding the Two Spirit Community
Making the Connections

The Wild Reed’s 2016 Queer Appreciation post of solace, inspiration and hope:
“I Will Dance”

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
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

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

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

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 in the Place Where the Twain Meet”
Spirituality and the Gay Experience
Recovering the Queer Artistic Heritage

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?

See also:
Trans 101
Lisa Leff on Five Things to Know About Transgender People
Judith Butler on the Reactionary Movement and Fascist Trend Opposed to Diverse Ideas About Gender
Gabbi Pierce on the “Evolution of Gender”
“This Is Indeed Part of My Queer Agenda . . .”
Maebe A. Girl: A “Decidedly Progressive Candidate” for Congress
Catholics Recognize and Celebrate the Truth of Transgender People: “Their Quest for Authenticity Is a Quest for Holiness”
Francis DeBernardo: Quote of the Day – September 21, 2016
Terry Weldon: Quote of the Day – August 20, 2015
Worldwide Gay Pride – 2017 | 2016 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007
A Catholic Presence at Gay Pride – 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007
Gay Pride: A Catholic Perspective
Police, Pride, and Philando Castile

Image: Dr. Angela Kade Goepferd, the medical director of Children’s Minnesota Gender Health program, will be the grand marshal of this year’s Twin Cities Pride Parade in Minneapolis. (Photo: Melissa Hesse / Minneapolis/St. Paul Magazine)

Saturday, June 24, 2023

The Dance of a Summer Day

From the depths of holy silence, I give thanks for the joy and energy of life. May all beings enjoy the vitality of their existence.

I remember all who suffer great pain and long-term illness. May the Healer of Hurts breathe balm and restoration into all wounded lives.

May all negative, angry and harmful attitudes that I harbor within me be transformed into new and available life.

The dance of a Summer day calls my steps: may I respond to the rhythm and melody of its music.

– Caitlin Matthews
Excerpted from The Little Book of Celtic Blessings
Element Books, 1994

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
A Summer Sunset Psalm
O Breath of Summer
In Summer Light
Summer Blooms
Summer Boy
The Dancer and the Dance
To Dance . . .
The Soul of a Dancer
The Art of Dancing as the Supreme Symbol of the Spiritual Life
Not Whether We Dance, But How
Awakening the Wild Soul
Our Bodies Are Part of the Cosmos
Our Dance

Image: Pran Saikia (photographer unknown).

Friday, June 23, 2023

Something to Think About . . .

Five souls go missing in the deep Atlantic, and the world rallies, confirming our view that the value of life is beyond limits. Technology, aircraft and shipping resources were put to use in a concerted effort to find and rescue these explorers. Media coverage has been constant and intensive throughout the effort. That’s inspiring.

Meanwhile, hundreds of people are at similar risk on the Mediterranean, fleeing oppression and danger in flimsy, overcrowded boats. Many die without aid, and the losses continue, largely ignored by the same interests that came together so valiantly to address the [Titanic exploration submersible] event. Children starve in great numbers across Africa and the Middle East, with little public or media response.

Apparently what we really value is drama and excitement, not human life. Put yourself at risk in an expensive, dangerous and completely unnecessary adventure, and society will spare no expense to correct your mistake. They will pray earnestly for your survival. Suffer due to being born in the wrong place, and you are on your own. Good luck.

– Tom Dewey
Letter to the Editor
Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
June 25, 2023

Related Off-site Links:
A Titanic Disparity in How the World Responds to Maritime Disasters – Amy Goodman and Denis Moynihan (Democracy Now, June 22, 2023).
When the Rich Get a Global Rescue Mission and the Drowning Poor Get . . . Nothing – Dan La Botz (Common Dreams, June 23, 2023).
As Media Spotlights Titanic Sub, Hundreds of Migrants Who Died in Greek Shipwreck Get Scant CoverageDemocracy Now! (June 23, 2023).

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
A Prayer for Refugees
Fasting, Praying, and Walking for Immigration Reform
Reflections on Babel and the “Borders Within”
Rallying in Solidarity with the Refugees of Syria and the World
Demanding Justice and Embodying Compassion for Separated Families
Letting Them Sit By Me
Vanessa Redgrave: “Just Being Alive, Staying Human, I Think That’s Infinitely Precious”
Something to Think About – July 10, 2018
Thoughts on the Titanic Centenary

Wednesday, June 21, 2023

A Summer Sunset Psalm

O Beloved One,
this day’s light is seeping away,
and dark night crouches
beneath the amber horizons.
I am tired from the heat of the day
but not so weary that I can forget
this day’s rich harvest of gifts.

I lift up my heart to you,
singing a sunset song of gratitude.
I praise you for the blessings that fill my life,
for the gifts I can recall
and for treasures I take for granted.

Gently refresh me now
with your evergreen pardon
for my failure to drink deeply of your love,
hidden cleverly in each gift
that has come my way today.

Forgive my rushing past
the countless visions of you, unique to this day,
held so tenderly in the beauty of your love.

Blessed are you, my Beloved One,
who will soon wrap me in sleep
and hold me in the depths of your peace.

– Edward Hays
Adapted from Prayers for a Planetary Pilgrim
Forest of Peace Books, 2005
p. 116

Related Off-site Links:
Summer Solstice 2023 Marks Longest Day in the Northern Hemisphere as Earth’s Seasons Change – Daisy Dobrijevic (Space, June 21, 2023).
“Excessive” Weather Events Mark Summer Solstice in the U.S. – Madison Roberts (NPR News, June 21, 2023).
Nine Ways People Celebrate the Summer Solstice Around the World – Kristen Pope (Smithsonian Magazine, June 20, 2023).
Ten Temples, Tombs and Monuments That Align With the Summer Solstice – Jamie Carter (Live Science, June 20, 2023).
Thousands Gather at Stonehenge for Annual Ritual Marking the Summer Solstice – Pan Pylas (AP News, June 20, 2023).
A Summer BlessingThe Leveret (June 21, 2023).

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
A Summer Solstice Reflection
Celebrating the Summer Solstice
On This Summer Solstice, A Proclamation of the Power of Fire
O Breath of Summer
In Summer Light
Say Yes to the Light
Summer Blooms
Summer Boy
The Light Within
The Source Is Within You
Aligning With the Living Light
I Need Do Nothing . . . I Am Open to the Living Light
The Soul’s Beloved
You Are My Goal, Beloved One
Be In My Mind, Beloved One
Your Peace Is With Me, Beloved One
Beloved and Antlered
Finding Balance in the Presence of the Beloved
Meeting (and Embodying) the Lover God

Image: At Pelican Lake, Glenwood, MN – June 17, 2023.

Monday, June 19, 2023

Rep. Ilhan Omar: “These Findings Are Shocking, But Sadly, Not Surprising”

Last Friday (6/16/23) the findings of the U.S. Justice Department two-year investigation of the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) were released. They show that for years the MPD routinely engaged in a pattern of racist and abusive behavior.

I appreciate the words of my congressional representative Ilhan Omar (right) on the DOJ’s findings.

This is a dark day for our city. These findings are shocking, but sadly, not surprising. What’s worse, the report finds that many of the violations – such as the widespread failure to report race and gender in stops – increased after George Floyd’s murder in 2020. As a Black woman living in Minneapolis, I have experienced some of these violations firsthand.

We must demand a public safety system built on data and trust, not fear and racism. We must recognize that we cannot prosecute and incarcerate our way to sustainable public safety, that building that trust requires that we address the system that allows racial discrimination – from the disproportionate arrest and incarceration rates Black and Brown people face, to the marijuana laws that criminalize Black and Brown people.

We need to act at the federal level, including by passing my Amir Locke End Deadly No Knock Warrants Act, my package of bills making police violence against protesters a federal crime (among other provisions), and the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. And most of all, we must build a police force that is well-trained, held accountable by its leadership, and follows the highest standards of ethics and conduct.

– Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN)
Excerpted from Brett Wilkins’ article,
Calls for Systemic Transformation of U.S. Policing Follow
Damning DOJ Report on Minneapolis Police Department

Common Dreams
June 17, 2023

Related Off-site Links:
Feds Slam Minneapolis Police Department Over Years of Racism and Excessive Force – Jon Collins (MPR News, June 16, 2023).
Investigation Shows Minneapolis Police Show Pattern of Violating Rights, Attorney General Merrick Garland Says – Steve Karnowski and Jim Salter (PBS NewsHour, June 16, 2023).
Department of Justice Finds Minneapolis Police Had a Pattern of “Unconstitutional Policing” – Martin Kaste and Don Gonyea (NPR News, June 17, 2023).
8 Takeaways From the Justice Department Probe of Minneapolis PoliceMPR News (June 17, 2023).

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:

Rallying in Solidarity with Eric Garner and Other Victims of Police Brutality
In Minneapolis, Rallying in Solidarity with Black Lives in Baltimore
“Say Her Name” Solidarity Action for Sandra Bland
“We Are All One” – #Justice4Jamar and the 4th Precinct Occupation
Nancy A. Heitzeg: Quote of the Day – March 31, 2016
“This Doesn’t Happen to White People”
Remembering Philando Castile and Demanding Abolition of the System That Targets and Kills People of Color
Ken Darling: Quote of the Day – July 17, 2017
“I Can’t Breathe”: The Murder of George Floyd
He Called Mama. He Has Called Up Great Power
Honoring George Floyd
Out and About – Spring 2020
A Very Intentional First Day of the Year
Bearing Witness
“And Still and All, It Continues”
Remembering George Floyd on the First Anniversary of His Murder
“This Has Got to Stop”
Under Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Fry, “More Negligence and Suffering”
Love, Justice, and Amir Locke
“We’re Standing in the Place Where a Black Man Was Lynched in Public”
Remembering Tekle Sundberg: “He Deserved to Live; He Deserved a Chance to Heal”
Rashad Robinson: Quote of the Day – January 27, 2023

What It Will Take to Abolish the Police
“An Abolitionist Demand”: Progressive Perspectives on Transforming Policing in the U.S.
The Problem Is Ultimately Bigger Than Individuals. It’s Systemic
Minnesota Governor Tim Walz: “We Need to Make Systemic Changes”
“Let This Be a Turning Point”

Ilhan Omar: “The Coup Attempt on January 6th Was a Warning for What’s to Come If We Don’t Act”
Ilhan Omar: Quote of the Day – October 28, 2021
Hadas Thier: Quote of the Day – June 11, 2021
Ilhan Omar: Quote of the Day – May 29, 2021
Ilhan Omar: Quote of the Day – January 13, 2021
Progressive Perspectives on the 2020 U.S. Election Results
Rep. Ilhan Omar Responds to President Trump’s Authoritarian Threats
Quote of the Day: Ilhan Omar – August 11, 2020
Ricardo Levins Morales on the “Deepest Political Fault Line” Separating Democrats Ilhan Omar and Antone Melton-Meaux
To Whom the Future of America Belongs
Ilhan Omar: Stepping Into Her Power
Ilhan Omar: Quote of the Day – April 13, 2019
Progressive Perspectives on the Ilhan Omar “Controversy”
Ilhan Omar on The Daily Show
Juan Cole: Quote of the Day – February 11, 2019

Image: Photographer unknown.