Remarks by Rev. Colin Bossen

Unitarian Universalist Society of Cleveland

The great poet Audre Lorde said, "Your silence will not protect you." We are here today because silence does not protect anyone. We suffer alone in silence. When we speak out we can find others like us, we can get help and we can work to right injustice.

I represent a religious tradition, Unitarian Universalism, that has been speaking out for BGLT rights for more than forty years.

To use theistic language, we believe that God loves everyone, no exceptions. God loves you if you are gay or straight, if you are male or female or trans. God loves you if you are rich or poor, black or white, Asian, Latino, Indian... God loves everyone.

To use humanistic language, we believe that everyone is part of the same human family. Together we are stronger when we love united in love than when we separate in fear and hate.

I am here tonight because I want you to know that there is a religious community that you can come to whenever you feel alone. In my community—no matter who you are—you will experience love and acceptance rather than fear and hate.

And I am here tonight because I want to challenge you all to love each other fiercely. Those young people who killed themselves because of cyber-bullying might not have done so if someone, just one person, had reach out and let them know that they were loved and accepted. Love has great healing power. Love can break the silence. Love can help us build a world where no one is ashamed or afraid because of who they are. Love saves people's lives.

I invite you to join me in the spirit of prayer.

If you can, grasp the hand of someone standing near you.

Feel the power of love flowing in you, flowing between you.

That power can do anything:
it can transform someone's life;
it can transform the world.

Let us collectively resolve to use the power of love to break the silence and reach out to those who are isolated, to those who are afraid, to those who are alone.

In doing so we might just save someone's life and teach a truth greater than any fear—you are never alone.

May it be so and Amen.