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Pastries at the Rally: A Walk to Emmaus

Updated: Aug 14, 2023

Early in the morning, I got off the train in downtown Austin, and began my walk to the Texas Capitol. I could feel my heart getting caught in my chest thinking about how the morning might unfold as I gathered with community activists, faith leaders, and organizations supporting our trans youth, as they face a bill that would make gender affirming health care for them inaccessible. And truthfully, I felt a sting of grief and anxiety, and a bit of anger that this was even happening. But that was about to change.

After I entered the capitol, I had a lovely, unexpected encounter with an old friend from college, who was wearing the most fantastic denim vest, by the way. After some brief conversation about the expected events of the day, my friend offered me an apple kolache, which was great because I was starving after my walk. Then something hit me when the sticky, sweet bread was broken.

Now on that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus… and talking with each other about all these things that had happened…

Just as it is written in the Gospel of Luke, two people traveling the same road, pondering the same griefs, would witness the breaking of bread together, and the resurrection of hope.

The morning began with folks speaking words of love, gratitude, and solidarity between songs led by Pastor Dan and Rev. Erin Walter.

This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine…

Throughout the morning, space was made for grief and lament, as is part of our sacred tradition. But there was also a constant reminder to return to joy, to come back to community, and to stay present in our hope. As another speaker reminded us, our faith is one built on communal care, accessibility, and love. And that care was present once again in the form of pastries. Not long afterward folks showed up with several dozen Round Rock donuts (an exceptional pastry if you have not tried one). People were offered a donut and asked to pass the box around the rotunda, while we listened to the voices of our queer and trans neighbors. Throughout the morning, people were fed.

He took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened…

Adri Pèrez, a queer, trans, first generation community organizer and activist who was present today recently said that “every moment of joy that LGBTQ people and trans people can find in the state of Texas is a moment of resistance.”

That sounds like Easter to me.


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