Discussions about where to celebrate Pride this weekend led me to the web page of a restaurant called Ruby Fruit. They sell a few items with the restaurant's logo, and one of them is a bumper sticker that says, “Keep honking, I’m listening to the Indigo Girls.”

As a queer woman myself who unabashedly adores the Indigo Girls’ music, I knew I had found some of my tribe.

And for me that is what Pride and queer spaces have been about: finding a public sense of community and identity.

Private forms of queer community and identity have been around, I suppose, for as long as there have been queer folks. Secrecy has been necessary wherever it has been illegal or unacceptable for queer folks to be open about who they are. There has been physical danger, of course, but also psychological danger. Especially because it has been considered a sin by all three Abrahamic faiths, being queer has come with a lot of shame. Simply being born queer into a religious tradition can expose an individual to trauma.

This history of secrecy and shame casts a long shadow in the United States, especially within religious communities, but those who do not walk in this shadow might not see it. They might only see the wins of the gay rights movement, marriage equality and greater visibility among them. And through this lens, they might misunderstand the meaning of Pride, the uncapitalized version of which has long been considered a sin in religious circles.

So this year might be a good time to remember why it’s called Gay Pride. For the queer community, Pride is not the opposite of humility or modesty. And it has nothing to do with a “better than/less than” way of thinking and being. (The best of queer thought, in fact, arises from breaking down binary and vertical categories.)

For the queer community, Pride is the opposite of shame. Pride is the opposite of hiding. Pride is the opposite of hell. And Pride is the opposite of suicide.

Those are all really good reasons to celebrate, ignore the honking, and listen to the Indigo Girls!

In this “Naming the Days” feature on Pride Month, we compiled a collection of quotations, prayers, and book suggestions for the queer community and allies. We invite you to use them to celebrate the universal right to authenticity, and to reflect on the impact that LGBTQ+ people have had on history around the world.

As you reflect and celebrate, set an intention to never take one step back from progress. There is still much work left to be done. On the state and national levels, this election year provides many opportunities to defend everyone’s right to be who they are without discrimination.

If you are a queer person who also identifies as religious or spiritual, please join our new affinity group, Queer Space. We read together and tell life stories. We celebrate one another’s wins, mourn one another’s losses, and talk a lot about the body, shame, gender, and love.

We love this section from Hannah Gadsby’s Nanette and offer it here in solidarity with those “quiet gays” whose temperaments are at odds with the traditional parades, parties, and “busyness” of many Pride events. Hannah sees you, and we do too!

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