GLIDE Pride – Affirming Life and Love

by Pastor Karen Oliveto


Pride 2012 was a wonderful celebration as GLIDE took to the streets with great joy and enthusiasm.  Marching participants included small children to some of our older members, people of all sexual orientations, gender identities, races, classes, and abilities. As a result, GLIDE was a beautiful tapestry of the diversity found in the human family.

GLIDE Staff Member, Rachel Carroll (right), with her partner (left) and daughter (middle) marching with the GLIDE contingent. I am COMPASSIONATE, I am AWESOME, I am FABULOUS.

The LGBTQ community has come a long way since being forced to hide for fear of attack or arrest.  Ever since the Stonewall riots of 1969, LGBTQ persons have been emerging from closets, living open and honest lives.  Last Sunday that freedom and liberation was felt not only in San Francisco but around the world.

The parade glitter was hardly swept from our city streets when news broke about a teen lesbian couple who had been shot in a park in Texas. Mollie Olgin, 19, died from a gunshot to the neck while her girlfriend, Mary Chapa, 18, remains in a hospital from a gunshot to the head.

Mary Chapa (left), Mollie Olgin (right)

The world is still a dangerous place for LGBTQ people. Whether being bullied in schools, facing discrimination in employment, or violent attack, the lives and loves of LGBTQ people are still under attack.
It is why a place like GLIDE is so important. Here, we preach a message that love is stronger than hate, freedom is stronger than oppression, and justice will always prevail. It is why, each Sunday, people of diverse backgrounds gather to affirm life and love together: no one is unworthy, no life should be lived on the margins.

May we live lives that continue to seek justice and liberation for everyone, so that couples like Millie and Mary will be able to have their love grow in an environment of affirmation and safety.