OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Several churches in Omaha gathered for a celebration at Stinson Park on Sunday to hear stories from people of all sexual orientations and gender identities since Oct. 11 marks National Coming Out Day.
"National Coming Out Day was inspired by a single march. 500,000 people participated in the March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay rights on October 11, 1987," speaker Sangeetha Kumar said.
34 years after that National March on Washington, Kumar gives voice to those still coming to terms with who they are.
"Heartache, longing, waiting, betrayal, grief, sadness, tears, disbelief, joy, and ultimately glory are all the emotions of coming out, of coming forth, Lazarus went from death to life, that is the process of coming out," Kumar said.
Kumar wants to stress that accepting and loving yourself is key to a fulfilling life.
"Coming out for the LGBTQ+ community is about freedom, it's about liberation, it is about coming out of hiding, coming out of despair, coming out of lying and coming into something that is genuine," Kumar said.
In a space of fellow believers, she speaks to people who feel they have to choose between faith and their sexuality.
"I say no, the speakers before me say no, the Churches supporting this say no," Kumar said. "God knew this long before you did, God loves you and chooses you to be part of the kingdom."
By embracing the full depth of humanity, Kumar paints a picture of a more loving and compassionate world.
"If we are all created in the image of God, every single person on this planet, that is a big picture of God," Kumar said. "The more we understand who our fellow humans are, the more we can understand the depth of God."
It's a sentiment shared by church leaders like Rev. Chris Jorgensen.
"Whatever your sexual orientation and sexual identity, you have a job, that is to go share God's love with the whole world, go in love, and go in justice, and go in peace," Jorgensen said.
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