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Nate Roark C’23, T’26

Pride has become both a symbol of hope and a target of harm. Pride Month is important to me because it is a month where allies and community members rally around their queer loved ones and affirm all persons to express themselves in ways that many are not privileged to. Pride is a celebration and tribute to the generations of queer elders who fought and lost their lives striving for liberation and equality. Now, more than ever, Pride is also a resistance and a movement to end the harmful weapons of religion, politics, and neo-colonialism. To exist as queer is a resistance everyday but when we find our space to speak, we will shout from the ends of the rainbows that we demand LOVE and EQUALITY. 

In my life pride has not always been something that I embraced, I spent so much time living in the triangular prison of fear, shame, and blame. Now that I have gotten to experience the radical love of Drew’s community and our brilliant professors (both undergraduate and Theo), I know that I was created in the inner wombs of my mother to be born with gifts that are both challenging and rewarding. A life-changing moment in my queer journey was working with LGBTQIA+ youth in Tennessee to form a safe community for them to grow and thrive. 

As we continue to grow and experience the lives of one another, I pray and manifest that we can all step back and be still long enough to hear the small still voice of God saying, “you are enough.”

May I close with a Franciscan Prayer:

“A Franciscan Benediction
May God bless us with discomfort
At easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships
So that we may live from deep within our hearts.
May God bless us with anger
At injustice, oppression, and exploitation of God’s creations
So that we may work for justice, freedom, and peace.
May God bless us with tears
To shed for those who suffer pain, rejection, hunger, and war,
So that we may reach out our hands to comfort them and
To turn their pain into joy.
And may God bless us with just enough foolishness
To believe that we can make a difference in the world,
So that we can do what others claim cannot be done:
To bring justice and kindness to all our children and all our neighbors who are poor.”

DREW VOICES: PRIDE MONTH

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