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  • Writer's pictureJessica Jaymes Purdy

Fierce Love in the Face of Hate: Taking Action to Support the LGBTQ+ Community

A red heart with a yellow sunburst on a purple background. A faded barely legible hate is partially covered by the heart.  the text reads Love so fiercely hate begins to starve. A butterfly logo that reads Jessica Jaymes Purdy is in the lower left corner.

Over the last couple weeks, we've heard elected officials, religious leaders, friends, neighbors, co-workers, and even family members spreading hate and misinformation against the LGBTQ+ community in response to a drag queen story hour at our public library.

They told you we were to be feared, that we were a threat. They've demonized us, falsely claiming that we are dangerous pedophiles who threaten children and society.

This hate grew louder and more threatening until Saturday morning, the day of the event, when bomb threats and suspicious packages were used to shut it down. The library, the Lancaster newspaper, and likely the YWCA Lancaster were all targeted for hosting, supporting, promoting, and providing positive coverage of the event.

So, I ask you: What are you going to do?

Here are some actions we can all take to ensure that hate, prejudice, discrimination and violence are given no space to thrive in our community:

  • Refuse to vote for candidates who threaten LGBTQ+ rights. Carefully research candidates' positions and vote accordingly.

  • Find places of worship that truly preach and practice Christ's message of love for all people. If your church promotes hate, find a new church.

  • Speak out when people you know express hate, prejudice, or spread misinformation about LGBTQ+ people. Have those difficult conversations.

  • Donate your time and money to organizations working to protect LGBTQ+ rights, such as the ACLU, Human Rights Campaign, and local LGBTQ+ community centers.

  • Attend pro-LGBTQ+ events, protests, and pride celebrations. Be visible in your allyship and support.

  • Educate yourself about LGBTQ+ issues and how to be a good ally. Share what you learn with others.

Ultimately, each of us has a responsibility to love so fiercely that we starve hate out of our community. Fierce love demands that we actively engage in efforts to combat hate. It means being vocal and visible in defending LGBTQ+ rights and calling out prejudice and violence wherever we see it.

Fierce love requires that we name bigotry and hate for exactly what they are, without using euphemisms or minimizing language. What happened at the library was an act of anti-LGBTQ+ terrorism, full stop. We must be clear and direct in our condemnation.

Only by standing together in fierce love and support for our LGBTQ+ neighbors can we hope to build a community where all people are valued and safe. The forces of hate want us to cower in fear, but we will respond with courage, solidarity, and unrelenting love. I hope you'll join me.

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