Bridge of Light is a new cultural tradition for celebrating both the beautiful uniqueness of the GLBT community and our fullest humanity. The festival is not a religious holiday in the traditional sense, but a cultural tradition intended to address the social and spiritual needs of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community ... and of all people.
We, the holiday’s endorsers, encourage celebration of the festival not only within the GLBT community, but by all who want to join us in honoring the deepest humanity and full spiritual equality of all people. Endorsers include members of the GLBT community, plus our allies and friends from all sexual and gender identities.
The holiday’s name describes the secret, higher Unity hidden behind the spectrum of colors in the rainbow, the symbol most closely identified with the international GLBT movement. The metaphor of the bridge simultaneously describes the rainbow, the transition to the New Year, and the interconnectedness of all things. The celebrations will include candle-lighting ceremonies on December 31 of each year.
Among ancient peoples from cultures throughout the world, the beginning of the year has been recognized as an opportunity to affirm the goodness of life and strengthen the bonds of fellowship. We are giving ancient traditions a contemporary expression.
The central ritual of the holiday shall be the lighting of six candles, one for each day. The candles shall not be arranged flatly, as with the Rainbow Flag, but elevated in the shape of a bridge. The lighting of the candles shall be done in the order of the following six core principles:
1. Creativity (light a purple candle)
2. Freedom (light a red candle)
3. Integrity (light a blue candle)
4. Self-Reliance (light an orange candle)
5. Harmony (light a green candle)
6. Love (light a yellow candle)
The particular elements for Bridge of Light derive from traditional GLBT cultural symbols in the USA. Persons from religious and secular traditions of every culture in the world are warmly encouraged to bring their own unique contributions and insights to their festivities. For example, non-English speakers are welcome to translate the name of the holiday into their own languages.
There is no one official way to hold Bridge of Light celebrations, no orthodox interpretation of the six principles, and no proprietary ownership of any of the traditions. During the celebration, all people are invited to come together in their families and communities to share and discuss what the six core principles mean to them.
We hope that everyone in the GLBT community will join us in embracing Bridge of Light and in bringing this exciting new cultural tradition to your own families, neighborhoods, and community. And we invite our friends and allies from throughout the world to join with us in endorsing and celebrating the Bridge of Light.
Note: This vision statement is authored by Joe Perez. It is the "final" version of an idea that involved the contributions of many people through an evolving process beginning at the Gay Spirit Culture Summit in April/May 2004.