QUAKERS AND THE PRIDE PARADE
All young people, regardless of sexual orientation or identity, deserve a safe and supportive environment in which to achieve their full potential.” ― Harvey Milk
In Downtown St. Petersburg and in cities around the world, Saturday June 23rd the LGBT Pride Parade, and Sunday June 24th is the Gay Pride Festival. The Quaker contingent will be there as always holding our signs, “Quakers Embrace Everyone”.
Quaker association with the Pride Parade goes back to its roots, the Stonewall Riots that took place on June 28, 1969 in Greenwich Village. Reportedly, fleeing demonstrators were given refuge in the nearby Quaker Meeting as they hid from the riot police.
The St. Petersburg Meeting was a forerunner among American Communities of Worship and even among Quaker Meetings. In St. Petersburg Quakers have marched and witnessed at every single Pride Parade, as well as helped organize the women-led Take Back the night Parades of the 1970’s. The St Petersburg Meeting over the decades has taken strong stands in defense of gender rights in housing, employment, etc., opposing homophobia with minutes raising the issue among all yearly meetings and offering same sex marriage in the early 1970’s.
The St Petersburg Meeting is a strong supporter of the Friends for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Concerns, (FLGBTQC), a Quaker faith community within the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)
“The FLGBTQC mission statement: FLGBTQC deeply honors, affirms, and upholds that of God in all people. We seek to know that of God within ourselves and others. We seek to express God's truth in the Quaker and in the Lesbian/gay/bisexual/transsexual/transgender communities, as it is made known to us.
It is our hope to offer an oasis to those who have been spurned by the world at large. We are learning that radical inclusion and radical love bring further light to Quaker testimony and life. Our experience with oppression in our own lives leads us to seek ways to bring our witness to bear in the struggles of other oppressed peoples.” (Adapted from a minute approved, 2/15/1999)
The FLGBTQC gathers twice a year, at Mid-Winter Gathering and in the summer at the Friends General Conference Annual Gathering of Friends. At these times we worship together, discern our corporate witness through Meeting for Worship with attention to business, share our individual journeys, celebrate our lives, heal old wounds, and draw sustenance from the Spirit for our work and life in the world. After almost thirty years, we are still learning to spread love in the face of rejection and hostility and to embrace new friends. We have found faith and voice to speak truth to power and the courage to be open to new revelation
Visit the FLGBTQC website, http://flgbtqc.quaker.org/. You are invited to come to the St. Petersburg Meeting and attend FLGBTQC Gatherings!
Visit the FLGBTQC yearly gatherings national and regional gatherings announced on this website You can contact any of the people on our contact page with questions. Please also take a look at our Outreach and Resources for information about our newsletter. Website, http://flgbtqc.quaker.org/. You are invited to come to the St. Petersburg Meeting and attend FLGBTQC Gatherings!