Image: the Progress Pride Flag: The white, pink, and light blue chevron design on the Progress Pride Flag reflects the colours of the Transgender Flag, while the brown and black stripes represent marginalised people of colour. The black also stripe honours those lost to HIV/AIDS.
We are pleased to share part of the Epistle from Emerging Gender and Sexual Identities Summer Gathering weekend for Friends in our Luton and Leighton Area Meeting. Approximately 25 Friends gathered at Watford Meeting House from 10-12 June.
We have agreed to share our learning, challenge our local meetings to rethink gendered toilets and engage with local churches. Can we find a way to create an accompaniment process for anyone needing spiritual or pastoral support as they journey towards their new selves? Can we be more visible in pride events, for example on notice boards, banners and our websites? We need to find ways to share our stories more often. Visible role models may be another important step. We ask AM clerks and trustees to take up and support these concerns.
We thank Ryan Kemp, Sarah Hagger-Holt, Leslie Tate, John Presland and others who
helped make the arrangements for the Summer Gathering and Watford Friends for giving
hospitality. Also special thanks to Chris Pettit who filmed some of the event and produced a
YouTube film. The film of the Summer Gathering is available to view on YouTube at:
As a local meeting, we have been asked to consider these questions:
i) to consider how we might create gender neutral spaces which would be
acceptable to the LGBTQ+ community (We already offer a gender neutral toilet at Hemel Meeting House)
ii) to consider how they might raise gender identity issues with their local churches, interfaith
iii) to encourage Friends to consider if spiritual or pastoral support might be offered to
accompany those in our meetings who are journeying towards their new selves.
iv) to consider being more visibly supportive of pride events which might be done via our
notice boards or websites.
We would like to make our meetings a safe space for everyone and we celebrate the diversity of Quakers everywhere.