With openness, honesty, and a sense of peace, Sue Lucas met with us following meeting for worship on June 5 to share her deeply moving and inspirational story, a story that is still unfolding. From her time of sharing with her family that she could and would no longer keep who she was closeted away, to her journey in becoming a mother, a wife, and now a member of the Wilmington College faculty, where she teaches marketing, she spoke with us about her experience with Friends, being gay and teaching at a Quaker College. She considers herself a multicultural marketer, with a focus on social justice and human rights that are so deeply akin to our Quaker faith.
She continues to watch the faith of her childhood, The United Methodist Church, as it continues to struggle with acceptance of LGBTQ members, to the point of disaffiliation in ways that are similar to what has been and continues to unfold within our own Quaker communities. Listening to her speak was to really hear about love, pain, and growth, of how much change has occurred but how that change needs to continue. Hers is a story of intolerance slowly giving way to a level of tolerance, to the point of progressive welcoming as demonstrated by our values and actions at Cincinnati Friends Meeting. It is the story of prejudice, hate, and exclusion giving way in places like our Meeting and Wilmington College. There is still hate and fear, that terrible divisive prejudice, from institutions like churches, to those individuals who would do no harm, to those who choose not to accept.
How do we continue to progress, to put into action what it means to accept and affirm members of the LGBTQ community in our families, churches, work places and communities? Sue did not give us the answer to that question.
She empowered us instead to stay true to our faith and to continue to follow the Light that leads us from intolerance to tolerance, from hate to love, from injustice to justice, to speak truth to power, to continue as progressive Quakers.