In 2012, the Love Your Neighbor Coalition was known for its Tabernacle and its advocacy for the LGBTQI community. Now, in 2016, we still have a Tabernacle (it’s down at the Jupiter Hotel on 8th and Burnside and you’re invited), but now our mission has expanded. In these pages, you’ll read about inclusion, accessibility, environmentalism, racial justice, and more.
Why have we broadened our scope? Because we realize that many people are part of more than one marginalized group. This idea is called intersectionality. When LGBTQ organizations and racial justice organizations are in competition with each other, queer people of color are forced to choose which part of their identity they’re going to prioritize. This is a form of oppression.
The other reason we’ve diversified is that we want to stop the Oppression Olympics before they even start. Here’s what I mean by that:
My little brother is severely autistic, and my mom writes about him a lot. One time she wrote something about how people with disabilities are excluded more than any other group of people in America today. I'm her go-to editor, and even though disability rights are very close to my heart, I challenged her on that point. I asked her if she thought autistic people had it worse than, for example, transgender people who are at risk of hate crimes at an astonishingly high rate. Or indigenous people who’ve had their homelands stolen and their cultures demeaned. She couldn't answer me.
And I think that's because the question is unanswerable. Which wound runs deeper? It's not something we can quantify and triage. The truth is, every grief is different because every person is different. And every person is a child of God.
We’re done competing for your support. Instead, we are all standing together and inviting you to join us. We’re doing this because we believe that kindness, love, and understanding are not finite resources. We know that there is enough to go around, because God is bigger than our categories and campaigns. God’s love is big enough for all of us.
This article was published on the front page of the May 10th 2016 issue of the Love Your Neighbor News. Download the full issue in PDF form here.