Last weekend I attended the annual Dennis R. Neil Equality Center Gala in a collar. I will say I missed puttin' on the ritz. I clean up pretty well and would have loved to been able to get all dolled up. The gala is one of my favorite events of the year.
There is something so encouraging to see 1,000-plus people turn out to support LGBT community. Among the 1,000 in attendance were many gay men and women I have never seen before. How is this possible? It could be because I am in bed by 8:30 and up at 5:00 am. But still I wonder ... where do all of the lesbians hide? I never knew there were so many in our city!
Also among those present were many candidates running for office. My wife was able to stand up and be celebrated, as was the incumbent judge she is running against. I think that is a blessing. In a state where we are still fighting for non-discrimination and our legislators still believe that they do not represent an LGBT contingency, we can't have too much attention. I am much more easily recognizable in my collar as clergy, and I was grateful to represent.
What inspired me most were the many tables filled with youth. There were two full tables of youth from our church. I can't imagine what my world would have been like to have attended such an event with my Youth Director and my ministers at that age. It was one of those strobe light moments, where a new reality flashed in front of my eyes in fits and starts. I don't know how we arrived at this place, but I am so blessed to have been alive to see the progress.
Jared Tyler and I were invited to sing my new song at the event. It was an honor to be asked to do so. So there I was ...singing in a collar. Again.
I feel like the Universe is taking special effort to show me that all of parts of me can inhabit one body. My joy is in my music and my ministry. I love that I am fortunate enough to do both.