Every June, the LGBTQ+ community and allies celebrate Pride Month, an opportunity to center and celebrate LGBTQ+ people in their fullness, to look back on strides toward equity, and to imagine a world where celebration and full inclusion is the norm, not an exception. For many Christians, however, Pride Month is looked upon with judgment and reproach, and is seen as an opportunity to preach vitriol against LGBTQ people.
Pride is an opportunity, not just for the LBGTQ community to celebrate, but for non-LGBTQ people to repent and to enter into a more holistically Christ-like way of being.
In many ways, Pride Month became necessary because of homophobic Christians. As a collective (though there are denominations such as the UCC and Episcopal traditions that have long worked toward greater inclusion), Christians, particularly conservative evangelicals, have created much of the context for the historic exclusion, abuse, victimizing and othering of LGBTQ people.
From instituting the inherently homophobic pseudoscience of reparative “therapy,” to disowning and rejecting LGBTQ family members, friends and congregants when they come out, Christians have historically punished and ostracized the very people whom God told us to love unconditionally. By normalizing homophobic language from the pulpit and justifying mistreatment in the name of theological “purity,” the church has contributed to the political, relational and spiritual dehumanizing of LGBTQ people.