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 Hi Michael,
 I enjoyed your article. It expressed many of my own thoughts regarding wearing the Rainbow Sash. It got me thinking about my own experiences.

 I came out of the closet for me. I sought out a spiritual community for me. I wanted to reconnect to my God for me. My healing and cleansing of my spiritual wounds was for me. I still walk this path.

 However, with healing came realization of the selfishness of my pain. I now saw my experiences as part of the common struggle gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender Catholics. I am able to see beyond my own limited view. I can feel and understand the agony my sisters and brothers have gone through. I am one with them.

  I can't be silent in the face of oppression, even when I love the oppressor. I know today there are gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender Catholic babies being born. Will they be able to choose a welcoming parish? Will they hear the message of love in their CCD classes? No, chances are they will hear what we all have heard and seen. How can I not do something! My calling is not one of quiet work in a welcoming parish. Other sisters and brothers are called to do that.

  Wearing the Rainbow Sash is one of the most emotional and Spirit led things I have ever done. I do not make a political statement as many have said. Who God made me to be is not political. I take part in the Holy Eucharist. I claim my place at the table Jesus set for ALL.

  I am visible to my brothers and sisters in the pews. They can't avoid my presence. The institution can't ignore I exist. I am family. I join in our common meal. As a loving child of God, not an intrinsically evil and objectively disordered tortured soul.

  I stand with dignity and strength not for me. I stand for those to come after me. I stand so those born today and those yet to be will not have to experience the pain I have lived with.

  Christ came to heal. If I am to be like Christ I must also be a healer. How can I help heal a Church if it won't recognize the gaping wound it has. Wearing the Rainbow Sash begins the process of healing. It opens the eyes and hears of those who will see and hear.

  Charlie Mudge