As a faithful Catholic who generally likes to hang around other faithful Catholics, I have heard a lot about Pride Month this year.
Am I allowed to go to a parade?
The logo at my kid’s daycare went rainbow for the month!
My child is getting rainbow gear at school.
My family member is being very obnoxious with their gay pride.
I have three ideas for what Catholics should do during this month.
1. Take a chill pill
Seriously, it has become a fad. Chill out! Like all fads, it’ll come and go.
As many LGBT+ people know, all the rainbows everywhere isn’t some sign if universal acceptance, it is just a way for brands to sell stuff. There’s even a word for it, “Rainbow Economics.” Don’t worry about boycotting everyone who turns their logo into a rainbow this month. They will be changing it back come July 1st.
2. Remember: Queer people are people, too.
When you express so much displeasure this month, it sends the message that you don’t respect LGBT+ people. All the whining quickly decends into hate-speech and that is never acceptable. People of the LGBT+ community are beloved by God and are made in God’s image. They are as important and loved as the cute little old straight cis lady who veils in daily Mass.
We are called to love everyone, not just those who act, look and think like we do.
3. Use this month to start a conversation instead.
If you haven’t read Fr. James Martin’s book, Building a Bridge, please do so. Don’t be turned off by the terrible reviews from conservative Catholics. I read it last week (and I will be reviewing it myself soon) and it is not nearly as bad as they paint it. You can’t walk away from the book without a new empathy for what LGBT+ Catholics go through. It gives a good idea of how to start the dialogue and how to make your parish more welcoming. All people are in need of God’s love and the sacraments.
So, please, don’t freak out about Pride Month or use it as an opportunity to bash people. It’s only one month out of the year and it calls us to give special attention and love to a community that has often been hurt by our own churches. I will be praying for you. Please pray for me.