If, in the back of my head, I have an image of us in rainbow face paint, kind of like an LGBTQ-friendly version of Mel Gibson in Braveheart, defiantly holding up rainbow flags … well, really, can you blame me?

Our sixth rainbow flag is now up, #5 being ripped down a couple of weeks ago. I suppose it should be disheartening, that this keeps happening, but there has been such an outpouring of love and support from people all over the United States, how could we not instead feel emboldened? We’ve received checks, cards, letters – even a couple of new flagpoles from our friends at First UU Church of Austin. I joked about putting a flag up and shouting, “Come and Take It!” (Really, I would prefer the perpetrators instead come inside, have a cup of tea with me. Let’s talk.)

This Sunday is National “Coming Out” Day. This is a tradition, going back to the October 11, 1987 March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights. We will be celebrating the day with gusto at Live Oak. Our worship celebration will be led by myself and member Stephanie Martinez. We’ll start with a primer of all the different terms concerning gender identity, sexuality, and affectional preference, and talk about the meaning behind “coming out,” whether it’s coming out with your identity as a member of the queer* community or as an ally. (*We’ll also talk about different feelings around the word “queer” itself.)

Want to help us decorate for the celebration? You get two chances! On Saturday, at 9 am, we’ll be hanging rainbow pennants around the building, and on Sunday, at 9:30 am, we’ll be peppering the yard around our sign with hundreds of small flags. Come join the fun – and be sure to bring your kids, we need their help, too!