We’ve sure come a long way.
Not so far back — and for a very extended time — pride was considered a shortcoming.
Seven Deadly Sins:
Regarding all the above, I believe we’ve reversed course.
But specifically concerning self-love, the formerly fatal practice has not only upped its societal Q, it’s now being embraced in church.
Such is the case — at least in terms of the term — at an Atlanta house of worship.
Emory University’s LGBTQUIA+ group, Emory Pride, recently held its annual extravaganza.
A bit about the bunch from The Emory Wheel:
The Office of LGBT Life, founded in the fall of 1991, has used Emory Pride — an undergraduate LGBTQ and Ally organization — as the vessel through which the Office of LGBT Life connects to the student body. According to its mission statement, the club aims to foster a sense of community in which education and inclusiveness thrive. In a recent review from eCollegeFinder, Emory was named the “most LGBT-friendly school” in Georgia.
Emory Pride’s largest yearly event is a real humdinger.
“Where else are you going to find a student-run Drag Show?” the 2015 article asked.
Vice President of External Affairs Anthony Chau enthused at the time, “[The show] is always packed. That’s the kind of audience turnout we want with all our events.”
And the spectacular spectacle is still drawing crowds.
This month — just as six years ago — the pageant took place at nearby Glenn Memorial Chapel.
The school-affiliated Methodist church welcomed a panoply of dress-donning dragsters, including host and college senior Tommy Greenler — “Pam” if you’re a stage’s-edge acolyte.
“Thank you @emorypride for booking me to host this amazing show for the third year in a row! It has been an absolute highlight of my time here in school. From my drag debut four years ago to now, I’ve really grown into myself as a queen, host, performer, and person. Proud of me, and forever grateful for the memories.”
Speaking to Campus Reform, the performer posed, “[T]here is something very subversive about hosting a drag show at a church, especially a Methodist church like Glenn Memorial.”
Pam’s into punk:
“The [United Methodist Church] has officially adopted some anti-LGBT stances in recent years, but I think it says a lot about Glenn Memorial as an individual church that it has continued to welcome the drag show in their space. … I personally think it’s kind of punk, to be a queer person hosting an unapologetically queer event in a church like this — I feel like this kind of breaking barriers is what drag is all about.”
The contestant’s not wrong.
And barriers’ days seem numbered.
As I covered in 2019, Durham, North Carolina’s Calvary United Methodist Church hosted “Drag Me to Church.”
According to Pastor Chris Agoranos, the shindigging protest of a UMC gay marriage vote was all about good vibes:
“It brings such good and positive energy, which is really what we wanted this to be about.”
At Hope United Methodist Church in Illinois this spring, a drag queen was promoted as a candidate for ordination.
Minister Isaac Simmons sometimes incorporates his alter ego:
Back to Georgia, some say Glenn Memorial Chapel is serving as a shelter.
In an interview with The Emory Wheel, Emory Pride President Layla Aberman praised getting dolled up in a dangerous world:
“Drag has provided a space for queer expression when homophobia, transphobia and racism make the world unsafe. Drag is about family.”
Show participant Emily Ogden seconded safety:
“As a woman with visibly queer friends on a college campus, going out comes with the fear of being harassed for wearing what feels comfortable. This was one of the few times that that thought didn’t even cross my mind.”
For those of you wondering who won the churchy competition, “Hunk Dory Natasha” mopped the floor with the rest.
Proceeds went to The Trevor Project, which — per its website — is “the world’s largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning) young people.”
Originally an organization for L’s, G’s and B’s, the site now offers A Guide to Being an Ally to Transgender and Nonbinary Youth.
Back to the seven deadly sins, as I indicated, we appear to have had a change of heart.
“Pride,” of course, is just a word. And as such, its meaning can evolve.
But as for the old-school ideas, a Twitter user recently offered some contemporary connections:
- Pride = LinkedIn
- Greed = Amazon
- Gluttony = UberEats
- Lust = Tinder
- Wrath = Facebook
- Envy = Instagram
- Sloth = Netflix
Personally, I’d link pride to all of social media.
As I wrote last year:
We live in the age of the selfie stick. Across a global electronic miracle, we post photos of ourselves on pages created by ourselves to showcase…ourselves.
A quick social media perusal reveals a growing wealth of astonishingly polished profiles. We’ve become our own publicists. Celebrity is dead, because we’re each the star of our own show.
But so goes progress. And so goes “pride.”
And so goes Christian college Emory University.
Christian University's Residence Hall Gets 'We're Here! We're Queer!' LGBT Mural https://t.co/wYnPdZ9FAy
— RedState (@RedState) September 7, 2021
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