Updated: Dec 31, 2022
Marilyn said something to me the other day that has got me thinking. She said that I should think of my poetry as a ministry. Yes, I want to sell books; and yes, I crave recognition; and yes, I want to take my writing to another level (I consider myself to be a D-List poet at best); but I also very much want to make a difference, especially in expanding acceptance of LGBTQ+ individuals and removing the stigma surrounding depression and anxiety. Expanding my poetry into a ministry is something that I would very much like to explore.
The last weekend in August was most certainly a highlight for me and something that I will never forget for the rest of my life. It started with the Akron Pride Festival. I again marched in the Equity Parade with the Harmony Springs Christian Church, and while it did not quite have the same emotional experience as last year, I still teared up a few times during the parade. Marilyn and I also helped to staff Harmony Spring’s booth.
I was also extremely honored and humbled to have my poem “Rainbow on the Bathroom Rug: Akron Pride” included in the Akron Pride Guide.
And, it was also exciting to be featured in the next morning’s Akron Beacon Journal article about the Pride Festival along with other members of Harmony Springs.
However, the event that had the most emotional impact was Sunday morning’s Big Gay Blessing held at the Harmony Springs Christian Church. This special service included special music, a very moving message from Pastor Joel Engman, a special liturgy, and two of my poems, “Transgender Christian” and ““Rainbow on the Bathroom Rug: Akron Pride.” This very special service may not be viewed in its entirety on the Harmony Springs Christian Church YouTube page:
Thinking of my poetry as a ministry has a lot of possibilities. I just don’t know exactly what they are right now. But, God knows.
Barbara Marie Minney is a happily married transgender woman, poet, writer, speaker, and quiet activist. She is a retired attorney and originally from West Virginia. Now based in Tallmadge, Ohio, her first collection of poetry entitled “If There’s No Heaven” was the winner of the 2020 Poetry Is Life Book Award and the Akron Beacon Journal Best Northeast Ohio Books 2020. It is available at www.poetryislifepublishing.com. Follow her at www.barbaramarieminneypoetry.com.