You're standing in front of your Family and Friends prepared to make your dreams of a lifetime come true. It's at that moment that you are grateful that you have a professional guiding your ceremony. The Supreme Court has finally ruled upon this issue. Now is the time to plan your perfect LGBT Wedding. I have been performing Commitment Ceremonies since the beginning, and I am so pleased this has opened up for everyone to marry the one they Love. Contact Reverend Jacqui Weiks, Your LGBT Wedding Officiant
We are an open and affirming, multi-racial and multi-cultural, assessable to all, peace and justice oriented body of faith. We go into the community and God's disciples. Grounded by the teachings of Jesus the Christ, we uplift Christ's goodness, create spiritual community, and care for God's people and God's world. Dynamic hope, incredible compassion, extravagant hospitality, and radical love are our core values.
Daniel Pillai’s He/She Project Growing up in a traditional south Asian community in Canada, Daniel Pillai didn’t quite fit in. “There was an inherent non-acceptance to who I was and how I acted,” he says. “I stuck out like a sore thumb.” Pillai spent his childhood in what he calls a “conservative atmosphere,” surrounded by […]
Addiction Treatment and the Recovery Process By Matt Gonzales, writer and researcher for DrugRehab.com Drug addiction is a chronic disease that affects your physical and mental health, job status and relationships. Once you’re hooked on a drug, your whole life revolves around it. Substance use disorders are common in the United States. Heroin use in […]
Who pays after the devastating Orlando shooting? After a tragedy, who pays the bill? There has been a lot of talk lately about medical costs and medical debt, even as the Affordable Care Act helps more Americans get the treatment they need without taking on crippling debt. Even with more people covered, medical treatment is […]
Making a Legal Case for Bisexuality Bisexuality is widely misunderstood. Bisexuals are often dismissed or used as a punchline by the straight community and sidelined in conversations about LGBT rights and equality, often while experiencing many of the same struggles and setbacks as the rest of the queer community. And for some–like Ray Fuller, a […]
Olympic Coverage Criticized as Homophobic? One of the most memorable moments of the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio didn’t occur during an event. Instead, just after the women’s rugby event on Monday night, Brazil’s Isadora Cerullo’s partner, Marjorie Enya, surprised her with a proposal. As reported by CNN, Enya said in her emotional speech “I […]
Why We Need Gay Bars in the World
by Mindi Rhoades, PhD, Assistant Professor at Ohio State University
I came out at 18. Club Rendezvous / Cloud 9 in Athens, Georgia, was my first gay bar. It was hidden out of town and away from campus, for privacy and safety. I was hesitant to sign in on their clipboard, as if attending a gay club was a public admission of homosexuality. Since I had friends who loved dancing at gay bars, it felt like a risk worth taking.
I wasn’t quite sure of myself yet. Like many people, I grew up in a church that preached against homosexuality and was near-desperate to pray the gay away. It didn’t work.
Gay Bars Offer Acceptance
If you have ever been to a good gay club, you understand something about how it feels to be there. Walking into the club, the exuberance was palpable. The sense of joy and relief and acceptance felt heavenly. Being there removed so much tension, so much pain, so many burdens.
LGBTQ folks have always celebrated our worthiness despite condemnation. #OrlandoUnited Click To Tweet
After that, I frequented gay bars, practically growing up at dance clubs and lesbian pubs in Athens and Atlanta. Bouncers sympathetically played along with my fake ID’s. I felt more love and acceptance and joy and connection and life at gay bars than I ever felt in any church.
Gay Bars Celebrate Life
There were times I didn’t want to leave. Backstreet being open 24 hours made it possible to stay through sunrises and watch people going to church Sunday mornings. We celebrated there – birthdays, holidays, friendship, life, deaths, and love.
This is one reason, among too many, that the Orlando LGBTQ massacre at Pulse is so devastating, so shattering, so terrorizing.
The #Orlando massacre devastated a local–and global–LGBTQ community. Click To Tweet
We are rightfully afraid. But LGBTQ people, especially those of color, have always lived with this hate and fear. Still, we have always danced in the face of derision, celebrated our worthiness despite condemnation.
Gay Bars Provide Community
We will continue to find each other, to find fellowship, to be family. We will continue to love as if our lives depended on it. Sometimes they do. We know that. We will go out, and be out and proud, and love anyway.
Mindi Rhoades, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in the College of Education at The Ohio State University. Her work explores the intersections of art, media, and identity with teaching, research, and activism.