I am happy to announce that we have appointed a new interim Vice President to fill my previous role before being elected as President. After deep consideration, the Kinship Board is excited that Catherine Taylor has agreed to serve out the current term of Vice President. Catherine is certainly no stranger to SDA Kinship and has been connected with the organization since 1981 and has served in numerous capacities through the years. She has a passion for people and their stories. Among many other contributions, she was the Connection editor for more than 12 years and led the Building Safe Places project for several years. I believe that Catherine will be a very positive addition to the Kinship Leadership Team. Please stay tuned for additional projects and important changes we will be making to the organization to make it even more appealing and relevant to those who need its message today. We will feature Catherine and other Board members in upcoming media.
As Carolyn and I connect with many LGBTQIA+ families and close friends, we are often asked about SOCE. Yes, we have connected with a few folks who claim “success” when they experienced SOCE and we’ve also connected with other folks who failed their SOCE experience.
As Pride month ended, I watched our SDA Kinship 2021 Virtual Pride Parade, and I felt a genuine sense of pride in being a member of our organization. From the very first moment I found Kinship, I knew I had found a community that embraced me and loved me just the way I am.
Here in the United States, we have a month for everything: Black History Month (February), Hispanic Heritage Month (September), Women's History Month (March), LGBTQ+ Pride Month (June). But what about the rest of the year? As much as we're reminded at Christmas time to carry the Christmas spirit with us throughout the year, we have to admit that by the end of December we're ready to move on.
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!
I’ve been thinking recently about just what Kinship means to its members. What does Kinship do, and who benefits from Kinship’s existence? In fact, it made me think about what it would be like to do a Kinship version of It’s A Wonderful Life (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0038650/).
The struggle for equality, whether based on sexual orientation, gender, race, religion, or economics, has been part of the human experience for thousands of years. Those of us who have supported the rights of LGBTQ individuals have seen remarkable progress over the last several years. Gay, lesbian, and transgender lawmakers serve at nearly every level of state, local, and federal government. LGBTQ individuals are featured in films, in concert halls, and at athletic venues. We can celebrate this progress.