Rev. John Cullinan
Unitarian Church of Los Alamos
Twenty-five years ago, to be out as a LGBTQ+ person in Los Alamos carried risks beyond what most people might experience across the rest of the country. In addition to derision, discrimination, and outright violence, in Los Alamos being out meant risking your security clearance – and your livelihood.
It was not until 1995, when President Clinton signed Executive Order 12968, that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation was barred in making decisions regarding who has access to classified information. But worries about coming out in this community lingered long past this order, and a decade of pastoral conversations have revealed to me the dual anxieties that can come with the fear of being out in Los Alamos coupled with the pain that comes with remaining in the closet. The fear of being able to be who you are in the fullness of your humanity is a traumatizing one.
Because of this, I rejoice that Los Alamos County is finally able to celebrate Pride Week, and that LGBTQ+ citizens of Los Alamos can say, “We are here among you and worthy of being part of this community.” I applaud PRISM and the Teen Center in spearheading the work that brought us to this week, and the Unitarian Church is happy to partner with you as we carry out Unitarian Universalism’s commitment to LGBTQ+ equality and safety.
In our faith tradition, we begin from the principle that all people share inherent worth and dignity, regardless of their diverse identities, and we strive to build a community where all are welcome. We acknowledge that who you love matters less than how you love, that families come in all forms and sizes, and that the diversity of gender expression is part of the beauty of humanity. We begin each Sunday with a reminder that “whoever you are, wherever you are on your life’s journey, you are welcome,” and we strive to make good on that promise in our hearts, our congregation, and in the wider community. And so, as we celebrate the first Pride Week in Los Alamos, I want the LGBTQ+ community to know we see you in your wholeness, we love you for who you are, and we are glad you are a part of our lives.
I invite Los Alamos to join us for Pride Week Movie Night starting at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, June 16. We’ll be showing the recent groundbreaking rom-com, Love, Simon. Admission is free, and so is the popcorn. Please come celebrate with us and help Los Alamos declare that, as the movie’s tagline says, “Everyone deserves a great love story.”