Rainbow of views

Below is the transcript to my fourth Reflections that you can hear on the BBC Cambs Sunday Faith Show with Pam Mungroo BBC Cambs Faith Show.

It was a freezing cold February night, I was wrapped up against the elements and as I stepped out of the taxi and looked up at Shire Hall, I felt my heart leap, (now given that it was only two weeks since I laid on a slab, with my chest open having heart surgery), that sensation was a little alarming.  

Emblazoned in all the colours of the rainbow, to celebrate LGBT History Month, the building looked resplendent.  What a journey we had both been on to get to this moment. From persuading the Council to fly the rainbow flag, to creating a human rainbow and repeating the event with 3 times the number of people from all communities, police forces and even four-legged friends.

When I was vetted as a Councillor, I had been asked about my experience of diversity and I spoke of my own struggle of coming to terms with my sexuality.  I had absolutely no idea at that stage how prominent that experience and values would be in driving change as a Councillor.  

Whilst I knew I was gay at the age of 8, it took me some 20 years to reconcile that with my faith and I could never have imagined at that point, changing attitudes and indeed whole buildings.  

Like many young people at University I continued to wrestle with personal issues from my teenage years. This was profoundly disturbing for me and was heightened by the fact that I was reading theology. So, I was constantly being confronted with a supposed dilemma between faith and self. Whilst I experienced great joy and enlightenment as a student I also went through my own wilderness and Gethsemane.  

Struggling with sexuality, an ultimate recognition and an Easter revelation of it being part of my God-given nature, has enabled me to challenge the prejudice surrounding sexuality and LGBT issues and champion the equality and diversity work of the Council. I have a conviction to do this with a living out of my Christian faith. As a Councillor and beyond I have taken the opportunity to tackle the prejudice of others around the most vulnerable and marginalised of society.  

That rainbow flag has touched so many lives. One person remarked that they felt that it was flying for them and it made them feel safer and that they now belonged.  

So, as I stood with my friends, in that bitterly cold February night air, I was warmed by the beauty of that rainbow and wondered how much more is possible with God’s love.  


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