Greetings Beloved!

June 28, 2019 was the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, which is known by many as the beginning of Pride. On June 28, 1969, at the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village NYC, Marsha "Pay It No Mind" Johnson threw the first shot glass as an act of resistance against routine police raids in the gay community.

Over the course of five decades, the LGBTQ civil rights movement has gone mainstream as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, genderqueer, intersex, asexual, non-binary, and polyamorous folx have come out and fought for our right to be ourselves in the privacy of our homes and in the public square. In the wake of the AIDS crisis, we fought to stay alive when most of the rest of society left us for dead. Together we've co-created communities of resistance and re-imagined faith and family in a world hostile to queer existence.

For Unitarian Universalists, Pride was not just a new way of being but a renewed commitment to our first Unitarian Universalist principle, honoring the inherent worth and dignity of every person. Unitarian Universalist Pride has been about being "called in" to recommit to our sixth Unitarian Universalist principle of peace, liberty, and justice for ALL.

For many, this has been a calling of joy as lesbian and gay ministers have found a faith that fully embraces our gifts, callings, and freedoms of conscience. For others, this calling in has been an arduous journey as transgender UUs have been forced to fight for full acceptance and inclusion in a faith that all too often falls shorts of being faithful. Likewise, non-binary, bisexual, asexual, and intersex UUs strive to be fully embraced in a Beloved Community eager to claim them as their own.

In this special Stonewall50 edition of UPLIFT, I wish to call out the affirmation and inclusion the queer and trans community has experienced in and beyond Unitarian well as call us all into a more deeper, richer commitment to continue building a vast and spacious Unitarian Universalism, welcoming to the most marginalized, queer and trans women of color. For we know that no one is free until we all are free!

Be well,


Rev. Michael J. Crumpler
LGBTQ and Intercultural Programs Manager
Multicultural Growth and Witness

"If you don’t believe that your enemy can be redeemed you will become what you hate.” - Rev. Dr. William Barber, II
The Whitewashing of Stonewall
"Queers Don't Deny It! Stonewall Was a Riot" is the chant I learned on Friday, June 28 while attending The Audre Lorde Project's 15th Annual Trans Day of Action in New York City's Washington Square Park. The press release for the event called for communities of Trans and Gender Non-Conforming (TGNC) People of Color (POC) and their allies to come together and join TransJustice.

More than any event that I attended throughout the final weekend of June Pride Month, this event incapsulated what 50 years of Stonewall means and what every Pride should be. Rather than just another celebration of commercialized rainbow assimilation, Stonewall was a riot led by trans women color, Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, who birthed the queer liberation movement.

While we celebrate our progress we must not forget that black trans women are being killed for being BLACK and TRANS and WOMAN. This year 11 black trans women have been killed, and two others were found dead while in custody. As we celebrate Pride and Stonewall 50, let us remember that it is their courage, their survival, and their anger that got us where we are today. When they die, our movement dies with them!

Pride @ General Assembly in Spokane, WA
Every year, many LGBTQ faithful have had to contend with the reality that General Assembly falls in the middle Pride month, which is like hosting our faith's largest gathering on Christmas Eve. As UUs gather together for our annual big tent revival, queer UUs are called away from our local Pride festivals, marches, and parades to join the great Unitarian Universalist pilgrimage to Anywhere, USA. As such, it's only fitting that we co-create our own GA Pride while we are all gathered in one location.

For the past two years, UUA General Assembly has designated a queer space for LGBTQ UU's to be. As in years past, this year's LGBTQ+ Gathering Space was very well received as members of our community dropped by regularly to relax, connect, or perhaps escape from the commotion of the conference. The UUA's Multicultural Ministries Office kicked off the week with an LGBTQ+ Gathering Space Open House to welcome our folx to General Assembly and share all the many opportunities to create queer community while in Spokane. It was a privilege to also host a Stonewall movie talkback session, featuring the film Pay It No Mind - The Life and Times of Marsha P. Johnson, Five Practices of Welcome Renewal orientation sessions, our first ever pansexual/bisexual meet up event, and a night out with queer people of color.

In addition, Side with Love hosted social hour celebrating Stonewall and trans siblings, past and present, bringing together local queer and trans organizers at nYne Bar & Bistro. Transgender Religious Professional Unitarian Universalist's Together (TRUUsT) and Transforming Hearts Collective (THC) reserved time to gather and share their work. It was an honor to collaborate, co-create, connect, and share alongside these beloved queer co-conspirators.

Thanks to all who passed through the LGBTQ+ Gathering Space to say hello, partake of all that was offered, and to share your spirits with us. May you enjoy a peaceful summer, and may your blessings abound!
Prideful Celebrations and Concerns!!!
Unitarian Universalist
United Nations Office
Celebrates Marriage Equality
in Taiwan
In June, Bruce Knotts, Director of the United Nations Office, went to Taiwan to celebrate the passage of marriage equality by the national legislature, making Taiwan the first country in Asia to approve marriage equality. His long time friend, Hsu Yu-jen who serves as Chinese Nationalist Party non-constituency member of the Legislative Yuan, debated in support of marriage equality leading up to the history vote. During the debate Hsu quoted Bruce’s speech from his 2018 visit to Taiwan.    

Bruce’s speech condemned subjecting minority human rights to a popular referendum, arguing that in most cases the majority will vote against rights for the minority population. The Presbyterian opposition won the referendum, but the legislature sided with  the Supreme Court ruling leading to a marriage equality victory for Taiwan.

Thank you, Bruce, for your contribution to this epic victory for Taiwan and your tireless work to dismantle harmful sexual orientation and gender identity laws worldwide.

The Rev. Haffner declares, "Even If It Means Putting Up A New Flag Each Month!"

“We are a welcoming faith community and we want everyone who drives by our church in Reston to know that all people – gay, straight, pansexual, bisexual, transgender – are welcome here. Our faith celebrates that sexual and gender diversity is a blessing, and our flag is a symbol of that commitment.”  Rev. Debra Haffner

The Unitarian Universalist Church in Reston (UUCR) has the only freestanding rainbow flag in Reston that is up all year-round.

The 11-foot flag was removed on June 11, one week after the church co-sponsored the Reston Pride Festival. Roughly 5,000 people came out to celebrate the second annual event at Lake Anne Plaza.

In the last several months, the flag was taken three times. It was installed in 2017 without incident until this spring.

On July 10th, Rev. Haffner and the UUCR congregation re-installed and blessed a new rainbow flag. Read the press release HERE

We are grateful for the ministry of Rev. Haffner and UUCR for their commitment to live into the practice of extravagant welcome and beloved community.
Welcoming Congregations: The Five Practices of Welcome Renewal
REGISTER HERE to attend an August or September Zoom Orientation session.
CONGRATULATIONS New Welcoming and Renewed Congregations!

New Welcoming

First Parish Church in Taunton, Taunton, MA
First Parish Universalist Church, Stoughton, MA

Renewed Welcoming

First UU Church Berks County, Reading, PA
UU Church of Sarasota, Sarasota, FL

Rev. Theresa I. Soto
Rev. Amy Petrie Shaw
Rev. Chris Rothbauer
Rev. Andrée Mol
Rev. Christe Lunsford

Join us in congratulating five trans ministers called to settled ministry in 2109 for relentlessly shattering binaries and believing in Unitarian Universalism enough to trust this faith with their truths, gifts, and callings. May each of them continue to find space in Unitarian Universalism to be true to themselves and true to their callings.

I charge the UU community at-large to uplift these ministers with blessings, prayers, praise, and gifts as they journey to new cities to make new homes.
Learn more about these fabulous ministers HERE.

Queer Summer Reading ???
Upcoming Events
USCA 2019 Faith Pre-Conference
Wednesday, September 4, 2019  
8:30 AM to 5:00 PM (EDT)

People of faith, faith leaders, and people working in the HIV and AIDS response are invited to gather for a one-day multi-faith pre-conference to discuss and develop strategies to access and strengthen the capacity of houses of worship and faith-based organizations who are engaged, or wish to engage, in efforts to end the HIV epidemic. The focus of this conference will be on the role of faith in attaining and fast-tracking the goals of getting to zero discrimination and zero disparities.

UURMaPA Fall Rainbow Conference
LGBTQIA and Intersecting Issues
October 7-10, 2019 - Wisdom House, Litchfield, CT

The next Unitarian Universalist Retired Ministers and Partners Association (UURMaPA) conference continues our year-long recognition of 50 years of Rainbow history since the 1969 Stonewall Uprising. The October meeting at Wisdom House in Litchfield, CT will include many successful elements of the conference held last February in Texas, broadened by explorations of diverse issues that intersect with LGBTQIA.

Registration is now open!  Registration Form — Fall 2019
#StonewallOutLoud: Help Record the Stories of a Generation of LGBTQ People

Help us preserve the stories of LGBTQ elders before they are lost to history.

To honor the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, in June 2019, StoryCorps will ask people across the country to pick up their mobile devices and use the StoryCorps App to record the stories of people within the LGBTQ community who were born before the Stonewall Riots. Each of these interviews will become a permanent part of American history at the American Folklife Center in the Library of Congress.

Who can participate? Everyone! Make plans to interview an elder and/or another member of the LGBTQ community. PLEDGE TO RECORD TODAY!!!!

Support LGBTQ Endeavors


The #BlackTransPrayerBook is an interfaith, multi-dimensional, artistic and theological work that collects the stories, poems, prayers, meditation, spells, and incantations of Black TGNC contributors.

Please join in funding this incredible work and the divine process that centers Black Trans People and celebrates their history and contributions to communities of faith

Support TRUUsT

Transgenders Religious Professional Unitarian Universalists Together (TRUUsT) envisions a spiritual awakening that transforms Unitarian Universalism through worship, pastoral care, theology, education, and community to the end that trans religious professionals and their ministries are thriving, and a new culture of solidarity and common purpose among Unitarian Universalists committed to countering intersecting oppressions is flourishing.

To learn more about TRUUsT and to make a donation, visit
Help Lift Up and Preserve
Our UU
Rainbow History

To honor five decades since the Stonewall Uprising, our UU Rainbow History Project will collect and preserve the stirring stories of LGBTQIA leaders who persevered to advance the remarkable transformation of the UUA into a welcoming and affirming faith for people of all relationship choices and gender expressions.

To learn more about the Rainbow History Project visit:
Support UUA LGBTQ+ Ministries

Each of us has worth and dignity, and that worth includes our gender and our sexuality.

As Unitarian Universalists we not only open our doors to people of all sexual orientations and gender identities, we value diversity of sexuality and gender and see it as a spiritual gift.

Your support helps keep our LGBTQ Justice and Public Witness work active and vibrant, as well as deepening our Welcoming Congregations program.
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