Blessing of Gratitude for Queer Ancestors & Community

While preparing for my wedding to my beloved partner Will, I realized that I had a deep desire to acknowledge and thank my queer elders, including several aunts and uncles, as well as my queer friends, cousins, and other family members who have all supported me in understanding my own bi identity, and set examples for me of how to live an authentic life. Like many other bi folks, I also wanted a way of acknowledging and bringing my own queerness into the wedding ceremony in a way that would feel meaningful and combat bi-invisibility. Will was extremely supportive of these goals, and encouraged me to reach out to queer friends and loved ones who could help me process the seed of this idea. I consulted with my cousin Sarah, and close friend Reed (two of my queer role models), and they helped me realize and shape the form of this piece into a blessing of gratitude for queer elders and community. I asked Sarah to read it during our ceremony, and both Will and I felt that it turned out to be one of the most meaningful and memorable parts of our wedding. I’m so glad we did it.
— Katie Kelly-Hankin

This is a blessing of gratitude to our queer ancestors, all those who came before us, swirling back in time through the generations. They faced challenges with love and fierceness, living their truths as best they could in a world that didn’t make space for them. Each step they walked cleared the path for us.

This is a blessing of gratitude for our queer elders, who taught us how to love openly and unapologetically. They have celebrated and supported us in our growth, and shown us by their lived examples that there is more than one way to be a family.

This is a blessing of gratitude for our queer friends, siblings, and cousins who tell us every day, “we see you, you are visible, you are worthy.” They remind us that we must continue to walk hand in hand, heart to heart, toward greater liberation.

This is a blessing of gratitude for the queer young folks coming up after us. We stand, with full hearts, in awe of them as they continue to remake the world into a kinder place: one where everyone is included, everyone is valued, and everyone is free to be themselves.

With acknowledgment and thanks to “Transgender Rite of Ancestor Elevation,” which provided inspiration for the structure of the piece and for some of the wording in the first stanza. 

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on email

Ritualwell content is available for free thanks to the generous support of readers like you! Please help us continue to offer meaningful content with a donation today. 

One Response

  1. This is so sweet and inspiring. My mother was to the first somewhat openly gay woman in my family and you’ve inspired to acknowledge and search for the others in my family history.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Rituals

Shop Ritualwell - Discover unique Judaica products

The Reconstructionist Network

Serving as central organization of the Reconstructionist movement

Training the next generation of groundbreaking rabbis

Modeling respectful conversations on pressing Jewish issues

Curating original, Jewish rituals, and convening Jewish creatives

Count On Telling Your Story: A Ritualwell In-Person Immersion

Join us for Count On Telling Your Story: A Ritualwell In-Person Immersion on Sunday, June 9th. Mix and mingle with old and new friends, enjoy delicious kosher-vegetarian food and engage in a variety of creative, thought-provoking sessions exploring rituals, writing, and art.

Get the latest from Ritualwell

Subscribe for the latest rituals, online learning opportunities, and unique Judaica finds from our store.

The Reconstructionist Network