An Inspirational Evening with Bishop Gene Robinson
Bishop Gene Robinson, the openly gay Episcopal Bishop of the Diocese of New Hampshire and a pioneer in the LGBT rights movement, spoke at Dignity/Washington on March 22 after the 6:00 Eucharist. Gene Robinson was elected Bishop of his Diocese in 2003 and served until 2013 when he retired and moved to Washington, DC where he now lives in Logan Circle. He is currently serving as a fellow at the Center for American Progress, based in Washington, where he works with the LGBT team.
Bishop Robinson’s current interest lies in promoting an omnibus civil rights bill for LGBT Americans who still face discrimination in many sectors of our society. He is committed to helping the development of a theology of gender identity which he sees as gravely needed. In addressing the question of the intersection of sexuality and spirituality, he stated that he was convinced that, by virtue of their life journeys, many LGBT persons were spiritual but that many would not join a faith community because of their past experiences that made these communities appear dangerous to them.
“Homophobia is but one room in the larger hotel of misogyny” — Rt. Rev. Gene Robinson
Bishop Robinson maintained that it was beneficial for everyone to examine their sexuality, whether gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or straight, since there was an infinite number of sexualities, depending on the individual, and it was not helpful to rigidly identify oneself in one or the other group and fail to see our common humanity. He challenged us to ponder the question: “once the oppression against LGBT persons is over, will we still be a tribe?” He answered his own question by venturing to say yes, only if we identify the oppression of other groups, join in their struggle for justice and make it our own.
“Courage is fear that has said its prayers” –Rt. Rev. Gene Robinson
Bishop Robinson shared stories about his own consecration, the reaction of other Churches in the Anglican Communion, and how he adjusted to living in the spotlight. It was an inspirational evening that Dignity/Washington will remember fondly. Check www.dignitywashington.org for announcements for more programs coming soon in the Dignity/Washington Lecture Series.
Rt. Rev Gene Robinson at Dignity Washington