Glitter Ash Wednesday is a new initiative to promote inclusion among Christians and show support for the LGBT community this coming Wednesday, March 1st.
Glitter Ash Wednesday was created by Parity, a faith-based organization that works to empower LGBTQ and allied people in their spiritual life, Rev. Elizabeth Edman (author of Queer Virtue), and Metropolitan Community Churches.
The idea behind the inclusive act for this coming Ash Wednesday is that the religious holiday is the only day of the year when many Christians have a visible marker of their faith on their body.
Often times, the visible sign of faith can be misconstrued a s symbol that co-exists with anti-gay or close-minded rhetoric.
Ashes are an in-your-face statement that death and suffering are real.,’ says a statement on the Queer Virtue website which highlight how difficult glitter is to eradicate.
The glitter will be a sign of our hope, which does not despair.
The glitter will signal our promise to repent, to show up, to witness, to work.
Glitter never gives up – and neither do we.
Over 30 churches in 11 states have openly joined the initiative to support Glitter Ash Wednesday.
Rev. Marian Edmonds-Allen, the Executive Director of Parity, says the initiative will show LGBTI people that they are welcome at Church.
She said she had met many LGBTI people who felt deeply rejected by the church – which is why she believes passionately about this initiative, despite Parity receiving criticism and accusations of ‘blasphemy’.
‘We disagree,’ she said in an op-ed for Pantheos in which she addressed criticism. ‘In fact, the whole point of Glitter Ash Wednesday is to reflect the deep, somber, serious faith in Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection that millions of queer Christians have. And yes, there are millions of us queer and queer positive Christians.
‘Surprised? No wonder, because the lie gets told over and over again that “God hates fags” and that homosexuality is sinful. Precious few queer Christians survive the hate and make it through to become visible members of the church.’
Reverend Liz Edman, of Queer Virtue, explains the concept of #GlitterAshWednesday below:
Edman has been delighted by the results of the glitter fueled faith movement.
The reaction has been amazing! People are taking Glitter Ash Wednesday and making it their own, designing worship services and community based events to minister to LGBTQ+ people and allies.
It has also been an opportunity for LGBTQ+ people to talk about their faith, and to share their joy at being “seen” as queer, and Christian. There are millions of us, and I fully expect that every year Glitter Ash Wednesday will be a time of visibility for LGBTQ+ people of faith and their allies.
We’ve been simply amazed by the reaction. We have sent Glitter+Ash to 139 sites in three countries (US, UK and Canada) – enough for 15,000 people! We launched our public campaign on February 10, and it caught fire.