Christmas Eve conjures for many a combination of the religious, spiritual, and familial. But for LBGTQ+ people, this can also mean being separated from either the tradition they and their family have followed or the queer aspect of themselves.As the senior minister of Boston’s Arlington Street Church, Kim Crawford Harvie, told The Boston Globe, “I think a lot of queer people go to church because that’s kind of what you do in the holidays — you have this strange homing instinct to go to a candlelight service or a Christmas Eve service.”She continued, “But if you’re queer, you don’t bring all of yourself to most of those places.”Crawford told the paper that some holiday services can force people back into the closet or make them avoid "practicing" their sexuality — "whatever that means.""But I think saying: ‘no, we want all of you here, we want you to bring your whole self’ is so important," she explained.
Arlington Street Church is Unitarian Universalist, a denomination known to be accepting of LGBTQ+ people. The church even has a celebratory service before Boston Pride and the city's AIDS Walk — and has been ringing its bells as Pride passes for years, according to senior minister Crawford Harvie.
Harvie, a long-time activist, performed the first same-sex wedding in a church back in 2004 after Massachusetts legalized marriage equality.
She jokes that "lesbian is my middle name," having married her wife, Kem Morehead, the same year.“To me, it really, really matters that everybody, including queer people, feels like they have a home for the holidays.