I recently gave a Pride Gala speech on Rainbow Radiance. It's something that's been on my heart and soul for a while, so I want to add a few points in this opening blog on the topic with the goal of expanding upon each one at another time.
First - here is an excerpt from my speech:
Our power - our love - can be described in two words – two words that I want to shine upon you tonight: Rainbow Radiance.
Rainbow radiance is how we, when are at our best, radiate to the world around us a moral love that is both human and divine. Rainbow radiance is what the activists and advocates of our LGBTQ community shone brightly when there was more darkness than light, and more closets that were closed than open. Rainbow radiance is what we use to change laws, religious tenets, and the perceptions of our neighbors. Rainbow Radiance is the inherent quality of our unique love as a diverse and unified people. Because of this, WE can be the moral light of hope and unity for a nation splintering into stark divisions in nearly every way imaginable.
How is our Rainbow Radiant love different from any other group of people?
I believe that answer is found in our spirituality.
I have a very deep spiritual life that has roots in the Christian faith and branches that reach out to touch every person whose heart believes that love is our greatest human quality. I have been in and driven past many churches with signs that say “All are welcome here.” My initial reaction is this: “No they aren’t.” Sure, you’ll get a warm greeting and be ushered to a pew and offered coffee and cookies after the service. It’s nice enough … but it’s not rainbow radiant.
When my friend bounds into the room of tea dance and announces: “I’m Damini!” Everyone smiles and laughs, whether they know her or not. That’s Rainbow Radiance.
When I walk down Commercial Street in Provincetown Massachusetts, and a young gay guy says “Hello, gorgeous!” Shallow perhaps, but it still Rainbow Radiance.
More deeply - I was at a restaurant named The Mews for Open Mic night. An older woman named Dottie sat at the bar next to me with her younger partner. Many people came over to give Dottie hugs and blessings. It was her first night out in months because she was recovering from chemotherapy. Being loved and encouraged by a community of friends and strangers – That’s Rainbow Radiance!
Our radiant love was once locked within societies closets of sexuality and gender, but it is now free and beaming through our faces, words, and actions. Those beams of love are powerful not because being open and authentic is easy, but because it cost us tears to get here. We have shed tears for lost friends, having been shunned by families, kicked out of churches, discriminated by society, and watching peers commit suicide, be beaten, wrongly incarcerated, or shot to death en mass at a Florida nightclub.
However, just as a rainbow cannot be formed by raindrops alone, neither is our radiance formed only by our tears. A divine light shines from our hearts and through our tears to make us radiant, to bring color to our eyes, our cheeks, our words, and to the world around us.
If there is a divine energy, a holy force that holds our universe together and binds our eternal spirits to it – it is love. There is no greater energy that when fully unleashed, builds, heals, redeems, and inspires.
Now listen: This is why we are so unique!
The very reason we have been discriminated against throughout history is because of our love – who we love, how we love ourselves, and how we express our love to others.
You cannot sort us out because of our skin color, our spiritual views, our nationality, our age, our gender, or anything. We are known by our love.
With that as my presentation, here are a few of my thoughts on the foundations of Rainbow Radiance:
That which is Divine and Eternal is both energy and love. It expresses itself as Light.
That which is material is nothing more than cooled energy. Because it has material form, it creates shadows. These shadows obscure our ability to see the Divine Light clearly. The result is that we purse that which we see more clearly - the material aspects of our universe. This leads to desires of power and possession which only creates more distance between us and the Divine Light. Tears are created because of these sorrows.
Rainbow Radiance is the shining of the Divine Light through our tears to create a rainbow of hope.
Every human being has the capacity for experiencing and expressing Rainbow Radiance. Anytime we allow the Divine Light to shine through our sorrows and weaknesses, we allow that Light to disperse toward others in sparkling and amazing colors. They see hope because the Divine Light shines so beautifully in our weakness.
The LGBTQ community is unique because so many of our tears are created because of our love - our love of ourselves, our love of others, and how we express our love. Those who live more in shadow than light discriminate and harm us because of our love. When the Divine Light - Divine Love shines through tears tied to love the result is powerful.
Rainbow Radiance seeks to allow more light to shine in places where shadows are prevalent. This includes relationships, our self image and self definition, social situations, institutional structures, and nature/environment.