1. Because there are still protesters showing up to say you can’t be LGBT+ and Christian. My presence says the opposite.
2. To learn how to love better, because there is no community that loves more deeply and broadly than the LGBT+ community, including the church.
3. For fashion inspiration: the costumes and shoes are simply amazing.
4. To celebrate how far we’ve come as a society and a church: it’s a joy to see all those legally married couples and gay church members marching proudly even in southern Minnesota.
5. To remind myself that there is work yet to be done: in the last 3 years, 3 talented lesbian pastors have been assigned to the Southeastern Minnesota Synod of the ELCA and none of them was able to find a call in a congregation here.
6. To have conversations like this with my son: (after the protesting fellow left me alone) “Mom, was that guy serious? I want to bop him with my windsock.” My answer was about freedom of speech, loving those with whom we disagree, and never solving our problems with violence.
7. To stand with members of my congregation in proclaiming that Bethlehem is a safe and inclusive community.
8. To practice what I preach, quite literally.
9. To see old friends and to make new ones: you never quite know who you’ll see there.
10. Because it’s a damn good time!