Last month, at the Sunday Adult Forum on June 19, we talked about the UUFP’s participation in Norfolk’s PrideFest. We also discussed ways for the UUFP to continue supporting the LGBTQIA2S+ community. The term “LGBTQIA2S+” refers to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, intersex, asexual and two-spirit communities. Here is a link to a section of the Toronto chapter of PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) website, which does a good job of explaining these and other associated terms.
At the Forum, we enjoyed some wonderful pictures and videos of PrideFest (thank you, Mason and Patricia!). Then we did some brainstorming on ways to improve the experience for next year. We realized that we needed to work on ride-sharing, for those who may not want to drive to and find parking in downtown Norfolk. We also realized that we needed to pay more attention to the accessibility of the site assigned to us. This year’s site was cooler because it was close to the river, but not close enough to parking and food trucks for anyone with mobility issues. Becoming involved with the planning for Norfolk’s PrideFest might be a good option to address the issue of accessibility. We discussed providing children’s activities at our tent, which we usually share with Coastal Virginia UU and the Williamsburg UU. Rachel’s “glitter blessings” were a lovely example of how meaningful gestures of outreach can be.
We might want to purchase a Progress Pride flag or banner to display in front of the office building on Warwick Boulevard. Many of these flags were on display at PrideFest. The Kansas City Star has an article about the Progress Pride flag.
Flags and banners for outdoor public display at the UUFP are subject to approval by the Policy Board, so submitting this proposal to them would be a good first step.
Having fun is an important part of this effort. We need to keep our spirits up and build community with those who are seeking justice. The Williamsburg UUs occasionally hold “Rainbow Potlucks,” gatherings of LGBTQIA2S+ folks, family members, friends, and other straight allies who get together to share good food and supportive friendship. Maybe we should do the same. We should definitely share the news about these activities on Instagram as well as on other social media platforms. Instagram users tend to skew younger than Facebook users.
It was suggested that, as members and friends of the UUFP, we might want to share any ideas we have on how to be more inclusive with the Planning Committee. This would make it possible for those ideas to be included in the Fellowship’s updated five-year plan. Finally, we should plan to talk about our efforts to be more welcoming to LGBTQIA2S+ folks with our neighbors, the other UU congregations of the Tidewater Cluster.
Please join us at one of the monthly meetings of the UUFP’s Social & Environmental Justice Committee to discuss these and other ideas and projects. The meetings are held on Zoom on the fourth Thursday of the month at 5:30 p.m.
Meeting ID: 993 0984 4213
We look forward to seeing you there!