Dear St. James friends and family,
You are invited to join our LGBTQ community and celebrate Pride month this June like never before! The Pride Team has assembled a wonderful array of activities, information, education, gifts and goodies to thank you for your support as allies in the quest for equality. Please join me in the transformation from the unfortunate past at St. James many years ago to a complete rebirth with love and inclusion for all as we celebrate diversity, unity, and “love is love” this month!
Pride is unity in diversity!
St. James is a haven for inclusion and we are richly blessed for this.
During Pride month, we recognize the struggles
and celebrate the contributions of the LGBTQ community.
Our LGBTQ brothers and sisters give thanks
to every ally at St. James, for your
love, grace, support, and fellowship.
LOVE IS LOVE!
United in Christ,
your LGBTQ family and friends at St. James
Joshua Vecchione will be our guest on June 13th to speak about his transition from female to male 44 years ago in an “Altarside Chat” with Rev. Cindy.
Joshua Vecchione transitioned from female to male in 1977—a major decision on its own, but occurring at a time when gender reassignment was rarely talked about. Even if it was, society’s unaccepting, hateful side reared its head. Part of Josh’s story was covered through the news media and became a catalyst to changing minds, though it has been a gradual process. Though his life’s motto is “Be humble and kind,” life was not always kind to him—yet he rose above it and persevered. That included winning a landmark case that challenged the rights of a transgender person to parent as well as to marry.
Josh’s journey the past 44 years has helped many wanting gender reassignment, while also showing both his community and the wider society that we are united in our humanity. His passions, community activism, and business ventures have all been founded on helping others and providing forums to enable people to shine for who they are, and to showcase their unique talents.
In addition to his ongoing support of transgender rights and social justice, he’s been unstoppable with a diverse lineup of activities and entrepreneurial endeavors. He has run successful toy and jewelry businesses; directed live theatre for the Deaf community in which all shows were performed in American Sign Language; owned and directed (alongside his wife Irene) a community theatre company, providing aspiring young singers, dancers, and actors with a myriad of performance opportunities; served as a community service leader for seniors, and has volunteered his time for a number of charity events, fundraisers and benefits to support schools and other programs.
After the loss of his father several years ago he transformed his grief into helping others by working as a part-time service director for Fairhaven Memorial Services in Mission Viejo, often assisting and providing comfort to families he knows.
Most recently he was appointed as a Community Service Commissioner for the city of Mission Viejo, helpings the city council and staff with the development and maintenance of parks and recreational facilities as well as programming for adult and youth recreation services, senior citizen and human services, and cultural and fine arts services.
Born in New York City, N.Y., to an Italian Catholic family, he brought his Big Apple moxie and love of European cuisine to California. His kitchen skills, which have always been a part of his effervescent personality, show off his cooking prowess—every Friday he makes pizza, and every Sunday it’s pasta, for his wife, three children and mother, and anyone who stops by—because with Josh, everyone has a seat at his table!
COMMUNITY BOOK READ
‘The Prophets’: Love in the time of slavery
We tend to think about the gay community and its progress in the last 60 years, but how do we think about it in terms of centuries ago? Or what it must have been like to be an LGBTQ person as an African slave in the newly formed United States? Of course there were gay slaves. The Prophets is a beautifully written piece of literature. It is an eye-opening, captivating, challenging novel that is worth the read. Playing off biblical names, The Prophets is sure to encourage discussion, thoughtful reflection and deep prayer about our past, present and future. We have copies available at the ushers’ table, or you can get it at your local bookstore, or on Amazon in hardcover, large-print paperback, or Kindle formats.
MOVIE TO WATCH
‘Uncle Frank’: Family dynamics, unexpected company team up in this road movie
Set in the 1970s, “Uncle Frank” is a road movie about a gay man who confronts his past. It finds writer-director Alan Ball still untangling the modern American family dynamic, aided by standout work from Paul Bettany and Sophia Lillis. The story begins in 1973, when Frank Bledsoe and his 18-year-old niece Beth take a road trip from Manhattan to Creekville, South Carolina, for the family patriarch’s funeral, they’re unexpectedly joined by Frank’s lover, Walid.
STREAMING: On Amazon Prime
WATCH THE TRAILER here.
What’s the right word?
This glossary can help
Many Americans refrain from talking about sexual orientation and gender identity or expression because it feels taboo, or because they’re afraid of saying the wrong thing. This glossary, found at the Human Rights Campaign website, was written to help give people the words and meanings to help make conversations easier and more comfortable.