The National Cathedral and Gene Robinson are going on an LGBT pilgrimage and you're invited

This summer, the landmark Washington National Cathedral's LGBT ministry group is going on a faith based, LGBT focused pilgrimage to El Salvador. It was recently announced that Bishop Gene Robinson, an advocate and the first openly gay bishop in history, will be going on the trip, which is open to the public.

Foundation Cristosal, a faith-based community development NGO in El Salvador, is responsible for planning and facilitating the pilgrimage.

"Participants will have the opportunity to learn about the historic human rights movement of El Salvador while also examining the unique role of the Anglican-Episcopal Church within the local LGBT community," according to the National Cathedral. Cristosal is an organization rooted in Anglicanism. The trip will take place July 7 -14.

Here's the itinerary, as laid out on the Cathedral's website:

  • Meetings and social activities with members of the Anglican-Episcopal Church of El Salvador’s Sexual Diversity Ministry
  • Visiting sacred and historic sites in San Salvador, including the tomb of Archbishop Óscar Romero in the Metropolitan Cathedral
  • Meeting with local LGBT community activist and human rights organizations
  • Meeting with governmental representatives about the struggles of the country’s LGBT citizens
  • Studying the theology behind the Church’s acceptance of LGBT individuals
  • Daily reflection, as well as opportunities for worship and prayer
  • A concluding day of relaxation and reflection at the beach

Cristosal's week long delegation provides a space to explore grassroots perspectives and experiences, faith, community, history, and the LGBT community's advances and adversities. One achievement came earlier this year, transgender people were allowed to vote in an election for the first time in El Salvador's history. Still, the LGBT community must constantly confront issues of sexism, violence, disparities, and more.

In 2012, GLAAD interviewed Salvadoran lesbian advocates (you can read parts 1, 2, and 3). One advocate, Veronica said then, "It surprises us when other people are interested in hearing our stories and hearing our history. But this is a country that is rich in stories and history, and we certainly hope this information is helpful and can generate new relationships and solidarity and actions."

Tickets are $785 and the registration deadline is coming up—Friday, May 31. For ticketing details, e-mail rweinberg@cathedral.org.

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