A Showcase of Faith – A Reflection by Reverend Nobuaki

by Nobuaki Hanaoka | December 13, 2013

I would like, first of all, to express my profound gratitude to those who made the evening’s program possible. I felt the entire evening was as enjoyable as intense and powerful.

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My wife and I attended the event primarily because we wanted to show our support to our daughter who was part of the project and was going to make a video presentation on her family’s response to her coming out.

I appreciate the fact that the program allowed each presenter to choose the medium she/he felt most comfortable with. The written words, videos, photo images and spoken words were all very eloquent and powerful. Just as the media were diverse, so were the stories of their individual journeys. Some of the stories were funny and heart-warming, and others sad, but all were very touching because they were all true stories courageously and compassionately told. Many of the presenters have experienced rejections and alienations from their loved ones because of their sexuality, but, in spite of their hurtful experiences, their basic faith in God and humanity has never diminished and they are still trying to reach out to their own families for reconciliation. It was very moving.

I believe a project like this is important because it adds real human faces and voices to the issues that are often discussed only at the social and political levels. I am certain that a program like this will actually help many families struggling to accept their LGBTQ children and siblings. I felt many of the presenters of the evening spoke for many others who are still struggling in silence, trying to be honest to themselves and seeking acceptance and respect of their loved ones for what they really are.

Unfortunately, it has often been faith communities that have perpetuated the stereotypes and prejudices against the LGBTQ people. An event like this will hopefully force the issue to churches and temples, as their own prejudices and insensitivities have actually hurt and alienated some of their own people.

I hope more people will join the project and present their own stories through more diverse media, such as dancing, singing, poetry reading, painting, sculptures, etc. I see in the showcase a realistic potential of becoming a nationwide movement, and I hope the showcase could be presented in many churches and temples throughout the country and it will eventually change the perception of the world.

~Nobuaki Hanaoka