UCC members bring acceptance and joy to rally for transgender homecoming queen
UCC supporters, including General Minister and President the Rev. John Dorhauer, joined students and community members in a rally in Kansas City, Mo., to show love and support for Oak Park High School’s transgender homecoming queen, Landon Patterson, effectively countering a hateful protest by Westboro Baptist Church.
Patterson, named the school’s first transgender homecoming queen on Sept. 12 by her courageous classmates, was shown a lot of love by the young people on Thursday, Oct. 1, who confronted Westboro’s hate speech.
About a dozen high school students walked across the intersection outside the school where the Westboro crowd gathered, outnumbered them, and drove them away. They were joined in an impromptu rally by Dorhauer, other members of the faith community, as well as representatives of the Kansas City Stop Violence Coalition.
Dorhauer said that initially, his presence was greeted with suspicion, and the first people gathered were hesitant to speak to him and his wife, Mimi. But their attitude quickly changed. “When we told them we were with the United Church of Christ and there to support Landon and the high school, they got very excited. Their whole demeanor changed to one of acceptance and joy. They were the very last people we saw walking away, and they smiled at us and thanked us for coming.”
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