For LGBTQ people, we live in an age of Joy and Pain.
The tides of public opinion change in favor of acceptance in many parts of the United States, Western Europe, Latin America, Australia and other parts of the world. Legal recognition of same-sex marriage has spread. Some prominent religious leaders have backed away from strident opposition and persecution of LGBTQ people, and the ‘Ex-Gay” movement has mercifully been shrinking in this country. The issues facing transgender and gender queer people are starting to gain recognition among young people and in University settings, which will hopefully lead to greater acceptance in society in general.
At the same time, the news has been full of painful stories from around the world where persecution is not only commonplace, but endorsed by governments. Russia has enacted strict censorship on anyone portraying LGBTQ people in a positive light and turns a blind eye to beatings and abuse of openly gay and lesbian people. Just this week, the infamous Zimbabwean leader Robert Mugabe continued his campaign of hatred and threatened to behead all gay men and women. My heart breaks for the people in these places, and other places such as Jamaica, Saudi Arabia, Belarus, and Uganda (and the list goes on, sadly) who live in terror and face abuse and even death just by admitting who they are.
At this time of Joy and Pain
Hail to Amor, Sacred Lover! Inspire all hearts with love and respect. Help us to recognize the beauty in each other and to celebrate what is unique and precious within each person.
Hail to Juno, Protector of Homes and Families! Look with favor on marriages and families of all genders and combinations. Let the bonds of love and support define a family and not narrow cultural frameworks.
Hail to Hermaphroditos, Divine Androgyne! Show us that we are only complete when we accept all parts of ourselves, not just the parts that fit into society’s gender definitions. Inspire acceptance for all those who embrace other paths and identities.
Hail to Apollo, Bringer of Truth and Clear Thinking! Shine your revealing light on the prejudices and bigotry in our world. Show us the dangers of turning away from harsh reality.
Hail to Mars, Supreme Warrior! Focus the minds of the strong on protecting and not abusing.
Hail to Clementia, Goddess of Compassion! Fill our hearts with compassion and mercy for all who suffer, struggle and strive.
Hail to Minerva, Protector of Justice! Inspire our leaders to protect the abused and restrain the abusers. Show those who make and enforce laws your shining sword so they can bring fairness and tolerance to their countries, cities and homes.
Hail, Gods and Goddesses! Be with us at this time of joy and pain! Let our will be your will. Fill us with divine wisdom and sacred power! Inspire us and those around us to transform the world!