Many LGBT Christians struggle with finding a church that fully accepts them, but a new twist on an old religious tradition is hoping to bridge the gap between the two communities.
The faith-based LGBT advocacy group Parity is calling for Christians who support LGBT rights to wear “glitter ash” on their foreheads for Ash Wednesday on March 1, instead of the usual gray ash that is used to symbolize repentance each year.
“This is a way for queer Christians and queer-positive persons of faith to say, ’We are here,’” Parity’s Executive Director Marian Edmonds-Allen told USA Today. “It is also a way for other people to be a witness to that and be in solidarity with them.”
Ash Wednesday, the first day of the six-week period of Lent leading up to Easter, finds clergy members smearing plain gray ashes on people’s foreheads, but Parity will be mixing purple glitter in with the traditional ashes and sending them to any congregation that requests them for no charge.
Edmonds-Allen acknowledged that some denominations are specifically told to not draw attention to the religious act, but she says glitter ashes are still appropriate.
“It is a recognition of the reality of queer Christians in the world and the beauty LGBTQ Christians bring to faith,” she said.
Head here for more information on requesting glitter ashes for your church’s upcoming Ash Wednesday service.