The year 2020 was a very complicated year for the entire world: wildfires in the United States and Australia, contested elections in the United States and in other places, and worldwide protests against racism, all while navigating daily life amidst a global pandemic. Many of us have made it thus far, and 2021 will have its challenges as well. As I look forward to 2021, I am hopeful for vaccines and I am grateful for the increase in technology that has helped us remain connected even when in different locations.
“So, you’re religious…how does that work?” The“So, you’re religious…how does that work?” The question, posed by nearly every guy who bothers to read my dating profile, used to make my eyes light up with excitement, a chance to share the good news of God’s all-embracing love. Now after years on the market, it often reads like a death sentence to an otherwise fun conversation. The complicated relationship gays have with religion is no secret —without it, you wouldn’t be reading this issue of the connection today — but a cold response to my faith has never stopped Jesus from riding shotgun in my search for a mate. He and I are a package deal. To our friends and family, we find it easy to be open about what we value, the objects of our affection, and the truths we believe in.
Leo: When did you first realize your daughter was LGBTQIA+, and when did she begin telling others? What was her early coming out experience like? Interview with a mother of an LGBTQ child in Brasil
Here in the United States, June is Pride month. For more years than I can remember, but probably close to 20, Kinship Region 2 has participated in the D.C. Pride Parade—until last year when it was postponed because of the pandemic. Each year before that, my region has rented a large pickup truck, decorated it together, and given out candy and flyers along the parade route. Not one year has ever passed without someone with an Adventist background coming up to us, amazed that an Adventist LGBTIQ organization like Seventh-day Adventist Kinship International exists!
Many people deal with depression that can be amplified at this time of year because of the holidays. Some people find this is their least favorite time of the year because of loneliness, anxiety, grief, medical issues, big family or social events, and other kinds of stress.
A Week at Quest Learning Center
BY JERRY MCKAY
By the end of the first week of September 1982, I had decided to relocate to Pennsylvania for counseling. The first thing I had to do was to call Perry in Japan, because my decision would require his finding a teacher to replace me on short notice. At $3.00 per minute, our call was brief. Perry said that any inconvenience my decision might cause did not concern him. Rather, he was concerned for me. After sharing a few details about my visit with Colin, I thought I had put Perry’s reservations to rest. That was not the case. Two days later, Perry called back.
A Wedding and a Vacation
BY JERRY MCKAY
On August 10, 1982, barely a week after my first weekend visit with Colin Cook, my sister and I loaded up a rented Capri station wagon and set out for Alberta where I would be a member of the wedding of a college friend. The difference between this trip and others Marilyn and I had taken together before was that she now knew about my orientation. I told her the night I returned from my first visit with Colin. Her knowing about my orientation was significant, but it didn’t mean much. Without access to my experience, how could she know what I was going through? Often during this trip, I was lost in self-reflection about my past, present, and future, all through the lens of reparative therapy.
Life is unfolding like a dream for graduate student, Marc LaChance. In his final year at university, student housing pairs him with Howard Hildebrandt. Howard is built like a linebacker, Marc’s dream of what a real man should look like. He discovers that Howard shares his minority affectional orientation, and the two men become lovers.
Looking forward to graduation, they plan to escape Winnipeg’s cold, prairie winters by moving to Vancouver, British Columbia. They imagine their life on the Pacific coast: a house with an ocean view, winter weekends skiing Grouse Mountain, and summers sailing the Salish Sea.
LONG BEACH PRIDE IS ONE OF THE LARGEST PRIDE EVENTS IN THE COUNTRY.
We know that there are many people with a Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) connection who are part of the LGBT+ community, are LGBT+ affirming, and support equality on all facets of life.
This Year, We’d Like to Do This
East-Central Africa Division (Kenya and Uganda, specifically) are open to receiving education on HIV/AIDS and learning about what it means to be an LGBTQ Adventist. Funds are needed to organize these meetings with the local pastors and Seventh-day Adventist conference officials to provide these resources.
An easily accessible online self-study program designed for pastors, teachers, and church leaders to help them understand what it means to be LGBTQ and to create a safe environment for those who identify as such. This program would contain several modules, including stories, videos, presentations, etc. to cover the various aspects of being an LGBTQIA Adventist.
But, Not Without Your Help
So, we’re calling on you to step up, dig deep, and pitch in whatever you can to help us share our journeys and reach out to those who need to be educated on what it truly means to be LGBTIQ and Adventist, and those who need to know they are not alone.
First Visit with Colin
BY JERRY MCKAY
Once I named my experience—acknowledged my homosexual orientation—a predictable side effect emerged. I found myself wanting to meet others with a similar experience. The only way I knew of doing that was through an ad on the back page of The Japan Times.
When I think about what you might want to hear about each month, I think about the events Kinship leaders have organized, the updated website, the projects that are important for our mission and the amazing things happening in Africa and elsewhere around the world where Kinship members are making a difference for our community. I also want to share things that offer support and encouragement.