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A “Standing on the Side of Love” Sermon by the Purple-Haired Priestess

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Nov 03, 2010
Rev. Ann Marie AldermanRev. Ann Marie Alderman

Rev. Ann Marie Alderman, who serves the UU Congregation of Greenville, North Carolina, delivered a personal and very moving sermon – entitled “Standing on the Side of Love” – to the Raleigh UU Fellowship. The sermon addresses her quest for spiritual wholeness as a lesbian in our homophobic culture.

In her talk, Rev. Alderman discusses what it felt like to address a group of interfaith colleagues on the topic of gay spirituality. She says:

Even though I have been “out” for nearly 40 years, the closer the time came to do my presentation the more afraid I became.

Even though, I have been welcomed into Unitarian Universalist congregations for a dozen years, I am afraid this morning as well.

I am afraid of your judgment, of retribution, of violence, of being thought of as only gay… It isn’t a given for a gay person to feel OK, safe, whole… acceptable… Fear and dread is always a factor in the spiritual journey of gay folk.

– –

Every gay person in one way or another is faced with integrating both the curse and the blessing of gayness and of using the lens of one’s gayness to understand and/or to be in relationship with the divine.

Gay people are faced with this dilemma; “Is the “truth” held by religious communities wrong?”…or am I a mistake? Moving towards a sense of ultimate worth, takes a lot more than marching in a pride parade, or changing the law! There is a deeply spiritual dimension to being gay.

There are many more gems in this compelling sermon. Click here to read Rev. Alderman’s “Standing on the Side of Love” sermon in its entirety.

One Response to “A “Standing on the Side of Love” Sermon by the Purple-Haired Priestess”

  1. Iain Brown says:

    Anne Marie, I was sent to one of the UK’s all male schools and I had a few childhood ‘crushes’ there but, as soon as I escaped from that artificial environment, I realised my overwhelming heterosexuality had never left me and, although I can well appreciate an attractive human being of either sex I have never had any interest outide of several heterosexual relationships. However, I am no lover of LGBT, as we call them in the UK. I must confess that I find the more macho gay men too competitive and they bring out the worst competitive streak in me. I find more femme gay men just irritating and very few L women that I know are not aggressively man hating. Perhaps the less angry and hurt women would help the image by making themselves known. But then, I apprciate that that might be too fearsome for them.

    Nevertheless, Anne Marie, I found your sermon very moving indeed and a wonderful ambassador for yourself and some other people like you may there be more. As a human experience of alienation, self-doubt, discrimination, struggle and victory it is one of the best. It reminds me of how very very fortunate I am to be born the way I am – although perhaps a little too masculine in my way of life to fit entirely comfortably either.

    I struggle to imagine what a specifically ‘gay spirituality’ might mean. I understand the spirituality of hurt and anger at being discriminated against very well and I understand the spiritua;iy of self doubt and even of self hate and I feel I am a part of a broad variety of human spititualities. But ‘gay spirituality’?

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