I am a United Methodist and I am a straight ally for the LGBTQ community working for full inclusion of LGBTQ persons within the life of the church. I did not actively seek this role. It fell on my heart over two years ago when I attended a documentary showing entitled, "A Ring of Fire," about gay boxer Emile Griffith who beat his boxing opponent to death after he called Emile a faggot. At this showing, we were given a handout with the heading, "LGBT Religious Organizations." Of the 23 religious affiliations on the handout, I saw Reconciling Ministries Network listed. This organization is working for full participation of people of all sexual orientations and gender identities in the life of the UMC. This handout bothered me, haunted me and ultimately led me to advocate for the LGBTQ community. I do not believe that being LGBTQ is a choice and I do not believe that God makes mistakes. God makes persons in all forms, and so, loves them equally. I hope and pray for doctrinal change to come out of the 2016 General Conference so that all truly means all.
— Trish Gunby