This month I would like to reflect upon some of the events that happened in June.
June saw some truly awful and momentous events happen; the killings in a gay night club in Orlando, the killing of a UK politician, and then the UK’s decision to leave the European Union.
I would ask you to send some healing to all of those affected by these events.
During the month, my wife and I attended the gay pride event in our home town. My wife, who is a scout leader, had, with the troop that she leads, helped make a sign to promote scout pride, which supports LBGTQ+ members of scouting. She also helped out on the stall that they were running at the pride event.
It was great to see this event getting bigger and better than the previous year; to see people being able to be open about who they are, and to feel safe about it. It was also fantastic to meet up with some old friends from the LBGTQ+ community who we hadn’t seen for while.
Whilst at the event, we were talking to a fellow scout leader who is Muslim (he was there with his daughter and her friend).
We were unsure as to what he would make of a gay pride event, as our previous experience with Islam and LBGTQ+ issues was that it viewed homo-sexuality as wrong. So I asked my friend about this, and how he felt being at a pride event.
The answer that he gave me, gave a hope for humanity and peoples interaction with one another.
He told me that he had looked at what Islam had to say about homosexuality, and that Islam taught that it was wrong. But he also thought about it himself and decided it wasn’t for him, but accepted that there are people in the world for whom it is the right thing; that he doesn’t have to participate in it, so why not just accept people for who and how they are, as it is not hurting either him or them.
I thought that this was such a refreshing attitude to hear that it genuinely did give me a sense of hope.
If only the person who went into the Orlando night club with a gun had thought about life in the same way, or the person who decided to attack the UK politician. There would have been a lot of people out there who would not have lost someone that they loved.
It also struck me how accepting of me and my wife the LGBTQ+ community were. We were walking around the event as a heterosexual couple, and no one queried it, or was offended by it, or made us feel uncomfortable in any way. Could the same be said to be true if a gay couple were to walk around hand in hand or kiss one another at a non-pride event?
It was wonderful to see members of the LGBTQ+ community being open about who they are and feeling safe enough to hold hands, hug, and kiss in a public place.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if everyone took the same attitude as my Muslim friend and just accepted that people are how they are, that it doesn’t have to be for you, and that we can all just get on with life and accept people for who and how they are.
Wishing you all love, light, hugs, and happiness