National Coming Out Day being observed today, dates back to the late 1980s as a day for 2SLGBTQ+ to celebrate the conviction of those who have chosen to come out and live their authentic selves.
Over the last few years, the congregation at Grace United Church in Lloydminster has been doing research and study dealing with affirmation. Lana Lane, family youth worker says the congregation has decided to become a more affirming ministry.
“That has now become one our pieces of congregational study here. We learn more about what affirming is and what it means to be an affirming congregation and we welcome all.”
Jenson Brown who is the affirming worker will facilitate the session which will allow a safe space to engage in stories, activities and sharing around what is National Coming Out Day, adds Lane.
“We were seeing the need for families to have a space and a place where they could talk about many things when they think of affirming. And so Jenson is going to be inviting and welcoming all to an event tonight at Grace United Church.”
The activity starts at 7 p.m. and Lane adds “they will be providing that safe and welcoming space.”
“Their authentic self is asking those questions and learning a little bit more about what those individual characteristics, feelings and emotions are within each one of us.”
Lane shares what this means for the community going forward.
“I think the goal is to have questions and have wonder, but also now to know that in Lloydminster, there’s a place that people can go to, to ask the question and to have conversation and education pieces around all of the things they are wondering about.”
Lane sees it as an important step for an affirming congregation like Grace United and the support of Jenson Brown as a “sounding board” for families and individuals who are questioning.