The many closet doors will be closed tightly at Dallas Pride. Behind the smiles and drunken debauchery, there will be terror about what it would mean to leave the new normal that many have developed. Most of the participants will have told their parents and friends about their sexuality or gender, but few will have come out of the closet of homonormativity that has developed in a race for a false equality. We live in a world that bestows privileges on those who fit and shuns those who don’t. If your skin is not the right color, your bank account lacks the right amount of funds, your performance is considered to be too much or you have shifted from what is considered normal in any number of other variables you will not be welcome. There on the margins will be the true queers amongst us. Those who have had the courage to come out of the closet and be exactly the person that God created them to be.
For those who seek to follow the way of Jesus, we must ask particular questions about Dallas Pride: What benefit will it be to the hungry? Will the truly thirsty be given living water? Will queer strangers be shunned? Will the naked be welcomed? How will we invite the sick to participate? Will those in prison benefit? Jesus stands with the truly queer amongst us and questions the homonormative on their behalf: Will you welcome me?
There will be many who think that the questions of Matthew 25 are too much to ask of Dallas Pride. I don’t think so. From the beginning, the wider queer movement has championed the uplift and inclusion of all people. Queers stood with those on the margins and not against them. Because of the beautiful history of the queer movement, my family and I went to Dallas Pride when we first moved to the Metroplex a few years ago. We just knew that it would be inspiring for all of us. It wasn’t. From the credit card vendors signing drunk people up for cards with exorbitant interest rates to the blatant celebration of companies that oppress people all over the world to the utter disregard for diversity to the insults of breeder that kept coming our way, I realized that this was a place for those who could fit into a new homonormativity and not for those who desired to stand with Jesus on the margins.
On behalf of our social justice ministry Hope for Peace & Justice, I presently work as Minister of Social Justice at the Cathedral of Hope United Church of Christ. For a long time, our church existed on the margins of society. Now, we find our space inhabiting a new normativity of influence. We have to ask our self in this moment if we will choose to be queer or not? I think the question for the Cathedral of Hope is not all that different from the question for Dallas Pride: Will we have the courage to leave the closet and be queer? After a long discussion, our family has decided to march in Dallas Pride tomorrow with our church. We will be marching to break down all the closet doors that will be so tightly closed all around us and for the inclusion of all those who continue to be left out. I think Jesus will be too.