Last Saturday supporters of Changing Attitude (including the Director and one trustee) marched with a float celebrating LGBT Christians in the Manchester Gay Pride parade. There were 30 of us altogether, Anglicans, RC members of Quest and members of the Evangelical Fellowship for Lesbian and Gay Christians.
A thousand-plus LGBT people took part in the parade on floats and on foot. Tens of thousands lined the streets to watch, cheer, applaud and whistle enthusiastically, large numbers of them lesbian and gay.
Gay Pride provides an opportunity for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people to let their hair down (or bank it up) and be outrageous for a day, entertain the masses, be totally extrovert and provoke conservative Christians into ‘disgusted of Tunbridge Wells’ mode.
A conservative Christian group occupied their usual place holding banners with quotations from Romans 1, kept at a safe distance by the ploice. I don’t know what those poor Romans ever did to be pilloried this way at a Gay Pride Parade in 2009 Manchester.
Increasingly, Christians are participating in Gay Pride around the UK, outnumbering those objecting to our presence and getting an enthusiastic welcome from the crowds. We reflect the mood of the majority of Christians: some of us are gay – get over it!
Gay Pride parades provide overwhelming evidence against those conservative Christians who think that LGBT people are an insignificant minority of the population. Where is the ex-gay contingent? Nowhere – because there is no point to being ex-gay apart from the need to conform to a conservative evangelical understanding of the Bible and a reactionary stance to the varieties of human sexualities and expressions created by God.
Statistics and scientific research are used by various sides in this debate in evidence of particular polarised positions. We are here to change attitudes, using academic research, theological study, and last Saturday, bu gathering, enjoying ourselves en mass and entertaining the crowd.