St. PAUL'S PRIDE FLAG
In May 2020, we flew our first LGBTQIA+ pride flag outside St. Paul's. It was the founding year of the Southington PRIDE organization, and we participated in several events over the course of the month.
At the end of that summer, we had a listening session and discussed whether the flag would remain up, or if we wanted to fly it only during Pride Month going forward.
The vestry decided unanimously to keep the flag up year-round to show that God loves LGBTQIA+ people. We're proud to be listed as an affirming church at GayChurch.org, an online directory to help people find safe places to worship.
In one way, the flag is an expression of who we already are. The Episcopal Church affirms people of all genders and offers marriages to any two people who want to enter into that life-long commitment.
In another way, the flag is a symbol of our promise. We have learning and growing to do so we can become more and more welcoming to all LGBTQIA+ people who walk through our doors.
God used the rainbow to promise protection and love to God's people, and we are doing the same.
You may have noticed that, as we introduce people on this website, we include third-person pronouns with their name.
Why would we do that?
Simply put: we're moving toward being more inclusive of our transgender, nonbinary, and intersex siblings. One way to do that is, when you introduce yourself, to give your name and also your pronouns.
In our culture, we're all learning to see gender with more nuance and understanding. We know that not all women love to cook and not all men love to hunt. Now we're learning that there are more than two genders—and all different ways of inhabiting those genders!
Here's a "Transgender FAQ" from Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD).
In case you want to read more, here is great essay on what it means to share our pronouns:
A note from Rev. Helena: "I'm happy to talk with you more about this. I'm not an expert by any means, but I'm always learning and would love to answer your questions. I'm cisgender, so your honest questions won't hurt or offend me. Let's learn together!"
Next time you meet someone new at St. Paul's, try offering your pronouns and asking for theirs.
"Hi, I'm Rev. Helena. I use she/her pronouns. Nice to meet you, Max! What are your pronouns?"
Church is a space where we learn to be better neighbors, and this is one way we're doing this at St. Paul's.