Dear Future UUCW,

Thank you for being my very own personal Rainbow Connection.  When I was a little kid there was a man named Jim Henson who made puppets, he called them Muppets.  Jim Henson’s Muppets became world famous.  They came in all shapes, sizes, and colors.  They represented humans, animals, monsters, and even aliens!

They allowed us to see ourselves, and they managed to ultimately connect in harmony, despite their hilarious mishaps, misunderstandings, and disagreements.  They held each other with acceptance and love.

There was a frog named Kermit, and he once sang a song about rainbows.  This was right around the time rainbows were first adopted by the gay community as a symbol of the beauty of diversity in love.  Rainbows went on to become a symbol of acceptance in many communities after that.  And, I can’t help but think of the lyrics of that song as I reflect on what rainbows have come to represent to me personally:

Rainbows are visions
But only illusions
And rainbows have nothing to hide
So we’ve been told and some choose to believe it
I know they’re wrong wait and see
Someday we’ll find it, the rainbow connection
The lovers, the dreamers, and me

It was right around this time that rainbows, and the term “spectrum,” became common words within my own family, along with the word “ally.”  My children and I started learning about what it means to be on a spectrum, in more ways than one.

My family is a testament to diversity.  We are a racially mixed, neurodiverse, gender non-conforming, consensually non-monogamous bunch.  30 years ago, we knew very well what it was like to be excluded, ignored, and often bullied.  This often left us anxious, depressed, and not well grounded in love.  Regular respite was needed, deep in our souls.

Diversity & inclusion became a passion of mine. I knew deep down that it wasn’t we who needed to change to fit in, it was the world that needed to change its heart.  To simply let us belong.  I realized then that I must search for my tribe. There had to be people like me who could see in color.  And, there were!  We found our respite at UUCW.

Back in those days, a suburb in Wisconsin was unlikely to be a place where you’d come across many racial and ethnic minorities, or other people who were openly divergent in their thinking and the way they lived.  Back then there weren’t a lot of spaces that were emotionally safe and welcoming to people who were different.

At UUCW, together, we created this safe space to belong!  For me, it started with an affinity group. The Rainbow Connection. And, for the past 30 years, I’ve enjoyed connecting with so many people with diverse backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives.  In this safe space, I belonged, everyone did!  You, who held me with love, in all of my strangeness, helped bring out my authentic shine!

It’s hard to believe now looking back how a simple thing like love and acceptance could make such a big difference.  I forget how hard it was to believe that dreams of peace were possible.  That someday we’d find it, that Rainbow Connection, the lovers, the dreamers, and me.

Please join me in the first Rainbow Connection event on Friday, March 1st, and help me celebrate diversity and inclusion at UUCW!

Metta Sutta & Namaste

Marjorie

Rainbow Connection – UUCW’s New Affinity Group
UUCW’s new affinity group dedicated to diversity & inclusion, aims to create a safe space to belong. We will be hosting our first event on Friday night, March 1st. This will be a casual social event, starting with an optional moving meditation, followed by unstructured social time with snacks, music, conversation, and games. Open to anyone who knows what it feels like to be marginalized, for any reason, or is an ally to those who do. Learn more HERE.