The first time Mitch Hunter stepped foot in Seattle Unity, he wasn’t there for Seattle Unity at all. In its former location, it shared the space with other groups, one of which was Hunter’s chorus.
A singer in the Seattle Lesbian and Gay Chorus, Hunter was already apprehensive about rehearsing in a religious space as he had avoided organized spirituality after getting kicked out of his former church for ties to the LGBTQIA+ community 15 years prior. At one rehearsal, someone from Seattle Unity asked the chorus to perform at an upcoming service.
The chorus group performed, and Hunter stuck around for the remainder of the service. As he sang a song with the rest of the congregation, he noticed it was that same melody he used to sing at his church in Texas more than a decade ago.
“I sang, and as I did, I had tears streaming down my face,” Hunter said. “It was a coming home moment.”
That was in 2007. Since that first service, Hunter has become a prominent member of the Seattle Unity community.
“I had let go of that part of my life for so long, that when the song came in,” Hunter said, “it just busted everything wide and gave me the chance to breathe and to invite in the possibility.”
Joining Seattle Unity was the first time Hunter thought about putting together his own spirituality. He noticed that although everyone’s experiences were different, many stories had common threads. One such trend was a sense of not fitting in—everywhere except for Seattle Unity.
“What we have to offer is this place where you can come and explore, where you can ask questions,” Hunter said. “No question is too farfetched, and if you trust that you can ask the question once you’re comfortable enough, you’ll be surprised that there are answers.”
To Hunter, Seattle Unity’s community may span generations and backgrounds, but when it comes down to it, there aren’t a lot of differences. He feels accepted and immersed along with everyone else.
“There’s always a way to connect,” Hunter said, “and that’s what allowed me to bring all of myself into the space, because there was a place that I finally belonged. I could feel the belonging.”