Ralph Blair’s opening remarks at Philadelphia’s Pridefest, 1998.
Emmylou Harris and Robert Duvall sing a duet on the CD of “The Apostle.” It’s a mid-nineteenth century hymn written by an English woman. Here’s some of what she wrote: “I love to tell the story of Jesus and His love … because I know ‘tis true [and] some have never heard the old, old story/Of Jesus and His love.” Jesus and His love. They’re very simple words. And yet it was Jesus and His love that gave her life its most profound meaning. It was in being thus loved that she worked with other Christians for the abolition of slavery.
I remember this hymn from my childhood. Its theme formed my own self-identity, my understanding of my deepest self, long before I ever identified as gay or understood what that could mean.
“Jesus and His love” means I am loved. It also means that I’m to love, too. One way that I try to express that love is to work on behalf of other gay men and lesbians. I’ve been doing that Read more →