Jamestown, N.Y. – “A brief, queer look at knowing and being known” is how Jamestown Pride board member Timothy Starr describes what he will share when he presents “The Stories of Our Lives” at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Jamestown (UUCJ) on the last Sunday of LGBT History Month.
Starr is speaking at UUCJ’s 10:30 a.m. hybrid service on Sunday, October 29, 2023.
Starr was raised in Chautauqua County, with the maternal side of his family residing there since the War of 1812. He grew up in a conservative evangelical family that was deeply involved in the Ellery Baptist Church. He first realized he was gay just prior to Anita Bryant and Jerry Falwell beginning their notorious campaigns against the LGBTQ community.
Receiving his BA from Wheaton College (Illinois) in 1986, Starr began the coming out process in Chicago in the mid-80s, as the AIDS crisis was starting to tighten its grip on the gay community. Over the years he journeyed physically across the country, from Chautauqua Lake to Chicago, from Denver to San Francisco, then to San Diego, returning to Chautauqua County in 2016 (he still hates the snow). He has journeyed spiritually from his conservative evangelical roots to being a devout Episcopalian for over 40 years, finally landing in a place where he likes to refer to himself as a “Gay, Atheist, Episcopalian.” He’s been a senior engineer for the last 22 years with Peraton, an offshoot company of EDS and HP. Over the years he’s worked with various AIDS and LGBTQ groups and is currently on the Board of Jamestown Pride as treasurer.
The service most closely relates to the first and second of the seven Principles that Unitarian Universalist congregations affirm and promote: The inherent worth and dignity of every person, and justice, equity and compassion in human relations.
The story for all ages is a Pop’n’Olly video, Pride Explained for Kids.
Chuck Brininger is the service leader. A social time follows the service.
Participation can be in person at 1255 Prendergast Avenue in Jamestown or online. To join virtually, use the link at UUJamestown.org/calendar.
The Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Jamestown is a progressive, liberal religious community serving the southern tier of Western New York and Warren County, Pa. The UUCJ’s mission is to support and celebrate each other, encourage spiritual and individual growth, and serve the wider community.