"From my perspective as a pastor, there are two meanings of the word pride — one of them I celebrate, one of them I don’t.

The first meaning of pride is the feeling of courage and grounded-ness you have in knowing truth. The reason the pride parade is so powerful is because it’s a celebration of people who have discovered truth about themselves. The Bible says “you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free”. We should feel proud when we live into who God made us to be.

The second meaning of pride is one that I’m not thrilled about — which is pride that serves as ego. Pride makes people think of themselves as superior to others. This tears apart our communities.

So if we’re talking about the first meaning of pride, then I have a lot to be proud of. I am proud of my intense spiritual experiences that make me realize that I’m a small part of a big thing. I am proud that I feel a deep presence of God’s Spirit, which is not despite the fact that I’m queer, but because I’m queer. I’m thankful that I am a part of a community that has had to wrestle with deep questions of identity and meaning and belonging from a young age. I am proud to begin to do the work that Jesus came here to do, to center the voices of the marginalized and know that everything I do is deeply dependent on others and God — which I find really amazing and humbling."