Today I was fortunate to attend a breakfast with Bishop Robinson. For regular TSM followers, you know we just recently celebrated Bishop Robinson for LGBTQ History Month. This particular breakfast was sponsored by the Equity Foundation, an organization of true do-gooders. While I am not a religious person and do not subscribe to any organized religion, Bishop Robinson was nothing less than amazing and inspiring!
His gentle and compassionate soul can completely change the energy in a room when he enters. For such a famous man, he is exceedingly humble and gracious. He approached me shook my hand and introduced himself, “Hi, I’m Gene.” Really? As though I might not know who he was–it kind of made me giggle with delight. When it was time for him to speak to our group, he came out to the middle of our gathering, so as to create an intimate setting; it was as if he was speaking to each of us individually.
What really captured me was how he spoke about the future of LGBT rights, equality, and marriage equality. Bishop Robinson first talked about “the importance of being out” and the “strong political statement” it makes if we are visible. He also talked about the role of the “Church” and how the “church needs to take responsibility.” He talked about a learning curve for the church:
People used to use the bible to justify racism, and sexism but people learned and realized they got it wrong. Now the church needs to look at something else we got wrong…some people believe in the word of God and I believe in the words of God.
While he talks about this learning curve, he speaks with great compassion and optimism. He really does see the good in people. Robinson also addressed how Catholics could do a better job leading the fight to end discrimination by creating equality for women and look into ordination of women. Now TSM followers, you know when anyone can talk about misogyny they have won me over!
What really won my heart was how beautifully he spoke to civil rights in general, for he spoke to the very core of TSM blog: Social Justice. Robinson talked at length about:
…if we are going to talk about marriage equality and LGBT rights, we must also talk about racism and sexism… There is a great deal we can learn from transgender people.
Robinson’s ability to address the interconnectedness between gender, power, race, sexual orientation, and gender identity was incredibly powerful. For me, this is what a true leader looks like, Gene Robinson. I look forward to buying his new book when it hits the stands. Gene, if you read this please give us the title of your new book.