This weekend we celebrate two significant themes, both of which relate to the story of Moses and the burning bush. We know the story by heart: God hears the cries of the oppressed, & raises up Moses to lead them into freedom. Today, in honor of the long journey from oppression into the freedom of marriage equality, we celebrate Coming Out Sunday.
But, the story continues. Moses leads the people out of captivity to the promised land. Sounds great, but the land happens to be occupied by the Canaanites. Doesn’t God also care about the Canaanites? Fast forward to Columbus leading the way to the Americas – doesn’t God also care about the Native Americans? How can we re-interpret this story beyond Manifest Destiny to one of living together in harmony? Today we remember the Native Americans, the people who lived on this continent long before Columbus “discovered” it. Today we celebrate Indigenous People’s Day.
Indigenous Peoples’ Day, Monday Oct. 12, began as a counter-celebration to Columbus Day. The purpose of the day is to promote Native American culture and commemorate the history of Native American peoples. The celebration began in Berkeley, California in 1992 to protest the historical conquest of North America by Europeans, and to call attention to the demise of Native American people and culture through disease, warfare, massacre, and forced assimilation.
National Coming Out Day, Sunday, Oct. 11, began 27 years ago on the anniversary of the National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights. We first observed this day as a reminder that one of our most basic tools is the power of coming out. One out of every 2 Americans has someone close to them who is gay or lesbian. For transgender people, that number is only 1 in 10.
Coming out – whether it is as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or allied – STILL MATTERS. When people know someone who is LGBTQ, they are far more likely to support equality under the law. Beyond that, our stories and our support are powerful to each other.
Come join us this Sunday at 10 AM for coming out stories and support, and to re-interpret the story of Moses, Columbus and the native peoples.