On October 8, Dignity San Antonio will mark the 22nd annual Solidarity Sunday, the organization’s faith-based anti-violence initiative.
Solidarity Sunday is observed annually across the country on the Sunday before National Coming Out Day which is on October 11. Dignity SA’s service will be held at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church.
DignityUSA started Solidarity Sunday in 1995 as a way of shedding light on anti-LGBT violence and to remember those who have lost their lives because of who they are or who they are perceived to be. The observance recalls all forms of violence including physical, verbal, discrimination and exclusion. All people, including non-Catholics are invited to observe the day.
“Those who have died by violence deserve to be commemorated,” Dignity USA says on its website. “May their deaths not have been in vain. Let us work together to end verbal and physical violence against anyone, including gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.”
Dignity’s focus on LGBT violence is borne out by hate crime statistics.
According to a report in the Advocate: “The New York Times reported last year following the Orlando Pulse massacre, ‘LGBT people are twice as likely to be targeted as African-Americans, and the rate of hate crimes against them has surpassed that of crimes against Jews.’ Another report, ‘Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and HIV-Affected Hate Violence in 2016,’ by the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs, found that the majority of those killed in such hate-fuel crimes were trans women of color.”
Dignity is urging everyone in the community to observe Solidarity Sunday by:
- Wearing a rainbow ribbon as a sign of support for LGBT people
- Incorporating the Solidarity Prayer in public worship
- Educating your children, your faith community, your colleagues, your friends about the need to stop violence against all people, especially gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people
- Making a promise to work for an end to discrimination and violence against LGBT people
Last year, Dignity San Antonio observed its 40th anniversary of providing a safe space for local LGBT Catholics to reconcile, heal and integrate their sexuality with their spirituality. They worship weekly at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church.
Dignity San Antonio invites the community to Solidarity Sunday on October 8, 2017 from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 1018 E Grayson St.