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Be The Change: Volunteer Newsletter JUNE

The Tenderloin’s Queer Past & Present

Photo of GLIDE Pride Team showing out in 2023.

Uplifting our LGBTQ+ Community over the decades-- and this Sunday!

As Pride Month draws to a joyous end, we would like to give a special shout out to the work our church community members have done over the past six decades to empower everyone within the Tenderloin and beyond.

Make sure to read to the end for a snippet of our interview with Camryn Crump, Executive Assistant for Glide Memorial Church, as he details the importance of showing up for the LGBTQ+ community.

And to learn more about volunteering with us, please visit glide.org/volunteer/

The Tenderloin’s Queer History

Photo from the film Screaming Queens which focuses on the Compton’s Cafeteria Riot.

Compton’s Cafeteria Riot and MORE

By Tessa Stapp, Volunteer Coordinator  

Did you know that one of the earliest LGBTQ+ groups was formed in the Tenderloin, and their meetings were held right here at GLIDE? In 1965, Vanguard, a queer youth group, was formed and their first meeting was held in our basement.

Comprised of homeless, low income, and sex-working young people in the Tenderloin, Vanguard came together to picket homophobic businesses that discriminated against LGBTQ+ patrons. This led to the Compton’s Cafeteria Riot, where Rev. Cecil Williams was among protesters surrounded by riot police.

While many in the LGBTQ+ community can recount stories of Stonewall, we mustn’t forget the queer history in our local community. It is important to never forget the gay and trans youth in 1966 who stood up against bigotry in San Francisco, and started a movement for gay rights that is still ongoing today.

These brave youth were excellent examples of GLIDE’s core values, and YOU as a volunteer are continuing that legacy of radical inclusivity and unconditional love.

Additional Resources:

Program Spotlight: The Church Office

Church EA Camryn (l) and Minister Marvin White(r)

Camryn was one of the first staff members I met at GLIDE. His passion is inspiring, and I have always appreciated his commitment to uplifting the Glide Memorial Church agenda. Which is why I reached out to him for our June Pride month discussion.

Tessa: What brought you to GLIDE?
Camryn: Unconventional faith, community and I landed here at GLIDE and it just was so perfect because I knew the history of GLIDE. I knew who Reverend Cecil was. I knew he’s one of those individuals that I’ve looked up to when it comes to bridging the gap between faith and justice and church and history and being there for individuals and community, a beacon of light.

Left to Right: Camryn, Glide Board Member Reggie Johnson, Minister Marvin White, and GLIDE President & CEO Dr. Gina Fromer, at 2024 MLK Day March.

Tessa: What is GLIDE doing specifically to honor queer and trans joy? How is the church office supporting the LGBTQ+ community?
Camryn: First of all, Glide Church has a minister of celebration who is black and gay, so minority and gay. Then you have the church office executive assistant – me, who is also black and gay. We think it is very important, to start off by honoring our ancestors and our elders that are part of the LGBTQ+ community. We think it is so important to honor our history!

​​​Tessa: What are we doing for Pride month?
Camryn: We will, of course, have our contingency with the double decker bus and Pride flags. This year, we will have the GLIDE Ensemble and Minister Marvin speaking. Then we’ll get on the bus and just have a good time celebrating and dancing!

As the Executive Assistant, Camryn plays a vital role in the church’s operations. He emphasizes that through empowering queer and trans community members to share their lived truths, through writing, or via groups such as Pride Congregational Life Group, and events such as Spring-licious (a Spring themed drag brunch) are some of the many ways the church builds a path of acceptance into the future.

Right before concluding our interview Camryn also spoke about uplifting our queer BIPOC elders, like James Baldwin, and everyone else that came before us. He ended with a powerful message for anyone looking for a place to share their lived truths.

“I love being here. I love working in a space that does not just tolerate me but celebrates me. I love being a part of a foundation and a church that pushes me to be more of who I am.”

IF you are interested in joining GLIDE at Pride this weekend:

This Sunday June 30 our 9:00 a.m. Sunday Celebration will be LIVE from the parade site. ​We will be broadcasting the Celebration directly from the parade … it’ll be short but mighty, ending around 9:30 am.

Minister Marvin and GLIDE President & CEO Dr. Gina Fromer will be leading the Glide contingent.

OR you can tune in:

Thank You Again!

Thank you for reading this month’s newsletter! It’s engaged volunteers like YOU who make all the difference at GLIDE.  

If you would like to donate books to our GLibrary initiative, we appreciate books in new or gently used condition across all genres. If you have any questions or would like to coordinate dropping off books, please contact our GLibrarian, Waverlee Craig, at: Wcraig@glide.org

You may contact me at Tstapp@glide.org; if you have a story suggestion, please put Volunteer Newsletter Story in the subject line and I will get back to you as soon as possible. 

CALL FOR YOUTH VOLUNTEERS: If you would like to schedule to bring a class or youth to GLIDE, send us an email at VOLTEAM@GLIDE.ORG and we can coordinate all the logistics to provide them with a 🌟transformative experience🌟.

Volunteering introduces students to issues prevalent in our community, and at the same time reminds them of their own power to create change, empowers youth by giving them important tasks to manage, and reminds our youth to build the world they want to live in.

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