Oakland church

Five Years of Acceptance

Original LGBT Pride Flag on display at the Queer California exhibit. Photo by David G

by David G.
August 10th was my five-year anniversary of attending Skyline Community Church. What drew me to Skyline were the words “open and affirming congregation”, something I didn’t understand coming from a fundamentalist denomination.

I quickly learned what it meant.

From the moment I stepped up to the door, I was welcomed and accepted for who I was. People didn’t flinch when I told them my name. No one sneered at my suit and tie. I was treated with love and respect. I felt like I mattered.

This acceptance was reinforced with the announcement that Skyline was participating in Oakland Pride and having a Pride Service. Really, I thought. This church celebrates Pride? This would never happen at my old church!

Well, every year since then I’ve celebrated with Skyline. I’ve marched (and danced) in the Oakland Pride Parade wearing massive rainbow wings. Spoken about my experiences at Pride services. Risen at first light on Easter to sing the Sunrise Service with the Oakland Gay Men’s Chorus.

And last weekend, I attended a field trip organized by Nancy Taylor. A small group of us met at the Oakland Museum to see the Queer California exhibit, as a way to become more educated about LGBT history and the LGBT experience.

This, folks, is what acceptance is all about. When some places and people are downright unfriendly or mean, I know I have a community that is safe and understanding. This means so much to me.

On Sept. 8th, a small group from Skyline will be marching in Oakland Pride and handing out rainbow bracelets as an outreach, sharing the gift of acceptance and love that drew me in. You’re invited to join us!

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