This week I talked with Rev. Marian Edmonds-Allen, Executive Director of Parity about the Glitter+Fire event encouraging Christians to use glitter to express joy in a diverse LGBTQ affirming way as a symbolic recreation of the tongues of fire on Pentecost Sunday on June 4th 2017. Parity and Queer Virtue the movement founded by Rev. Elizabeth M. Edman are co-sponsoring the event. Pentecost is widely considered the day when Christianity as a movement was born. As told in the Book of Acts the story relates what happened to the disciples of Jesus who were gathered in the upper room following his execution, resurrection and ascension. The Holy Spirit appeared as tongues of fire empowering the disciples to proclaim the gospel in the native languages of people from every nation under heaven. Participants in Glitter+Fire will use glitter in the colors of fire: red, gold, and orange to re-enact the tongues of fire landing on the disciples, drawing participants together in a community of joy, energy and common purpose. Glitter+Fire follows on the success of when Christians in churches across the country mixed ashes with glitter to “come out” as queer-positive Christians in solidarity with the LGBTQ community. I talked to Rev. Marian about what she hopes to accomplish with “Glitter+Fire” and her spin on our LGBTQ issues.
When asked how she sees our LGBTQ community moving forward in a Trump administration Rev. Edmonds-Allen stated:
I think that this is the perfect time for the queer community to come together. I know from my work with LGBT centers and other LGBT advocacy work that too often we don’t work well together but now we really need to work well together across all our different identities and intersections and we also need to partner with our allies and make other people allies of us as well. What I’m hearing in the world is people saying ‘Wow I really care about transgender people. I don’t want them to be hurt or excluded or killed. What can I do about it?’ Now is the time we can invite those allies and those folks who are realizing that there are real issues in the world to help add us to the pool of donors, volunteers and to listen to their ideas. If we can pull together and work together there’s nothing we can’t do.
Rev. Marian Edmonds-Allen has worked with youth and families in various denominations and settings throughout the country for more than 20 years focusing on affirming beliefs and faith practices for LGBTQ persons. Marian is the co-founder of the LGBTQ Youth Continuum of Care and is an expert in the intersection of faith and LGBTQ identities and practice, interfaith relationships, youth suicide and homelessness. Marian also served as the National Program Director of the Family Acceptance Project and Executive Director of the Utah Pride Center. Marian attended Western Theological Seminary and Eden Theological Seminary and has served in many pastoral capacities including church planting, parish ministry and chaplaincy. Parity is a faith-based LGBTQ focused organization based in NYC that creates open and nurturing spaces both physically and spiritually to support emerging LGBTQ pastors and empowers LGBTQ and allied young people to integrate their spiritual, gender and sexual identities through a range of programs.