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South Bay Pride MusicFest! - By Mar Cárdenas

On August 21st, Rev. Kathleen and the Social Justice Ministry Team participated in this wonderful event organized by the South Bay Alliance.

We had manygreat conversations with people who visited our booth, we created a paper mural, and shared information about Unitarian Universalism as a welcoming faith. After tearing down our booth, my husband and I went back to the site to help the rest of the organizers finish the cleanup. We went to the 'after-party party' where I had the opportunity to listen to the stories of several of the volunteers, most of them young gay Latinos. They were heartbreaking!

I did my best to tell them what they don't often hear, especially from straight people, that there is nothing wrong with them and that they are worthy of love and acceptance. I tried to convince them not to hold grudges against their parents and other relatives who have rejected them.

It was hard to leave; I was there for quite a while, thinking how important our work in the South Bay is. We have so many cultural barriers to overcome, so many hearts to touch, so many minds to change, so many religion-based intolerance to eradicate!

As I was leaving, several of them gave me a hug and asked, 'Can we call you Mom?' My eyes welled up and I replied, 'Yes, of course, you can!'