June is Pride Month. It is a month where we honor the resilience of the LGBTQIA+ community and celebrate their unique reflection of God’s image in the world. It is a month where we tell the truth about the horrors and oppression this community has faced and continues to face. It is a month where we all lean in to listen and organize to do better.

One of the ways that we are moving to do better work as allies here at Covenant United Methodist Church is by offering pronoun stickers for our name-tags. These stickers will be available at the welcome desk in the narthex/living room moving forward.

You might be asking, “But Pastor, if I’m cisgender (identify by the gender assigned at birth), then why would I need to announce my pronouns?” I’m so glad you asked! First, it is not always safe for members of the LGBTQIA+ community to announce themselves or be “out,” but everyone sharing their pronouns publicly normalizes such an act. Trans and non-binary people aren’t singled out by sharing pronouns. Furthermore, when everyone is sharing their pronouns, no one can be reduced to their gender identity or pronoun use. Perhaps most importantly, by asking and honoring people’s pronouns, we honor their personhood and the image of God that they bear. It is an act of love. Imagine if someone continued to call you by a name or nickname that hurt you, even after you asked them to call you something else. That would be deeply unloving. In short, we honor the dignity inherent in all persons by calling folks what they ask us to call them.

This year during Pride, let’s lean in and listen, and then let’s love.