Celebrating Pride “Out in the Park”
Last month, Norfolk, Virginia held its annual “Out in the Park” Pride festival with an estimated 17,000 attendees. The Unitarian Church of Norfolk (UCN), the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of the Peninsula (UUFP) in Newport News, and the Williamsburg Unitarian Universalists (WUU) joined together to spread the news about Unitarian Universalism and UU LGBT history.
In 2011, our table at Pride was bare, staffed only by members of UCN, and had a homemade cardstock display with only a few brochures. We had very few visitors.
This year, we had tablecloths, professionally prepared banners and signs with UU chalices, and a professionally done LGBT timeline depicting UU LGBT history. And beads; lots of beads. After a while, the UU booth became a magnet for Pride attendees. Visitors not only received our ‘special’ rainbow beads, but many also talked with UCN Minister Cyndi Simpson or other volunteer representatives from the UU congregations in Newport News and Williamsburg. One young adult visitor kept exclaiming to her friend, “I found it! This is MY church! This is MY church! I’m a Unitarian”! A very good time was had by all.
Much appreciation and world of thanks to our Rev. Cyndi Simpson and all the volunteers from UUFP, WUU, and UCN who gave their time and energy to showing love, care, and concern for the LGBTQ community of Hampton Roads. Thank you all!
This post was contributed by J Kila Chong, Office Administrator at the Unitarian Church of Norfolk (UU).