Reflections on IDAHOBIT: A Day of Gratitude, Solidarity, and Action


As I sit down to write this piece, the afternoon sun gently filters through the window, casting a warm glow over my desk. With a cup of tea in hand, I find myself reflecting on the events of the day, each moment filled with its own significance and emotion.


Earlier today, as I stepped into a bookstore, my eyes were drawn to a section adorned with Rainbow Flags. It served as a touching reminder of the progress we've made, thanks to the courage and resilience of those who have paved the way for LGBTIQ+ rights. Yet, amidst this progress, there lingers a heaviness—a weight born from the knowledge of ongoing discrimination and the struggles faced by many in our community.


Throughout the day, I encountered words that resonated deeply with me. A lament by Alistair Laurie echoed the weariness felt by so many, while my colleague Anthony Venn Brown OAM emphasized the importance of IDAHOBIT in fostering solidarity and empowering individuals to combat hate and intolerance. His words served as a rallying cry, reminding us that collective action yields encouraging results.


Later, in a visit with my father, I was reminded of the wisdom passed down through generations. My grandfather's advice—to never be afraid to speak up for oneself—echoed in my mind as my father penned a letter to his local MP, advocating for change in Australian pension policies. It was a testament to the power of advocacy and the importance of standing up for what is right.


In my family, advocating for oneself is ingrained within our core values. The emotion stirred by reminiscing about my parents as allies, joyously hoisting the LGBT+ flag alongside our affirming congregation at St. Margaret's Chapel on the Gold Coast last year, profoundly echoes the principles we cherish. It reinforces the understanding that each person plays a vital role in advancing our shared Christian mission of creating a better world. Thus, this blog is not only a testament to gratitude—for my partner, my family, and all those unwavering in their efforts—but also extends appreciation to our ancestors, our peers, and future generations yet to emerge.


Throughout the day, I found hope in the actions of others. Jenny Jordan's initiative to create a Gay & Pray Guide as reported on page four in the May 24 edition of The Melbourne Anglican (TMA), aimed at promoting inclusivity within the Anglican church, exemplifies the power of allyship and advocacy. Likewise, the display of the straight ally flag on St. John's Cathedral's Facebook page serves as a symbol of solidarity and support for the LGBTIQ+ community.

As the day draws to a close, I'm filled with a profound sense of gratitude—a reassurance that, despite the challenges we face, God remains steadfast in His love and compassion. The prayer offered below by the Baptist Union of Victoria captures this sentiment beautifully, invoking the spirit of inclusivity and reconciliation. It is also important to note that the United Nations' support for IDAHOBIT underscores the global commitment to promoting human rights and equality for all, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or expression.


As we reflect, let's recall that IDAHOBIT serves not only as a day of acknowledgment but as a catalyst for action—a collective reminder of our duty to combat discrimination and strive for a fairer, more inclusive society. United by love and empathy, we have the power to shape a tomorrow where everyone is embraced, affirmed, and celebrated for their authentic selves.


May the words of Psalm 34:18 resonate within us: "The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit." Let this verse inspire us as we contemplate the significance of today, prompting us to recommit to fostering empathy and understanding. With each gesture of solidarity, we move closer to a world where every individual is cherished and respected.


Let us Pray - Infinitely Diverse God,

Through your Son Jesus, you showed love and regard for marginalized people. As we gather on this International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersexism, and Transphobia, gather into your loving arms all those who feel excluded or rejected by the church because of their sexuality or gender identity. Grant them solace and acceptance, and guide us all towards a more inclusive and compassionate community. In the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord, we pray.

Amen.

Reflections on IDAHOBIT: A Day of Gratitude, Solidarity, and Action Reflections on IDAHOBIT: A Day of Gratitude, Solidarity, and Action Reviewed by Shane St Reynolds on May 17, 2024 Rating: 5

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