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Some young people find themselves embraced fully by their faith communities when they come out as a sexual minority. Others struggle with a seemingly irreconcilable discord between the teachings of their community of worship and the reality of their attractions or identity. Many churches, synagogues and non-profit groups are available to support them lovingly as they journey to sort out the discord. Faith-based organizations serving gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people and their families -- Catholic, Evangelical Christian, Jewish, Muslim and countless others -- can be found through the resources that follow. We did not list organizations that serve specific denominations, simply for lack of space.
Music and videos are just below, or jump to Resources.
It Gets Better: Bishop Mark Hanson, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA)
It Gets Better: GOD LOVES YOU - St. Thomas' Episcopal Parish
It Gets Better: Elder Rev. Kevin E. Taylor (Black, Gay, Christian and Proud!)
It Gets Better: a Black gay Jew
It Gets Better: a Muslim gay teen
It Gets Better: For Christian Youth In Ex-Gay Ministries or Therapy
(from a seminary student who's been there)
It Gets Better: Jewish Rabbi David Bauer
It Gets Better: Lawrence Grecco in NYC
(a man who went to Catholic schools and is now Buddhist)
Belief, Faith and Mythology page: Earth is filled with numerous beliefs and religions. Many churches, synagogues, and other belief organizations have solidly supported the gay community for decades. It is a common myth that the religious community and the gay community are polar opposites. Quite to the contrary, the gay community exists in every faith and belief system. http://www.gaylibrary.com/area/GLbelief.htm
"The Blue Book: What We Wish We Had Known: Breaking the Silence, Moving Toward Understanding, A Resource for Individuals and Families" This 90-page booklet from Presbyterian Church of Mount Kisco (NY), in a question and answer format. There's a whole section on theological issues. Available in hard copy for $3 - click on the blue book image on the left here: http://www.pcmk.org and online: The Blue Book: http://www.pcmk.org/blue_book.pdf
(pdf format)- Also available in Spanish - El Libro Azul: http://www.pcmk.org/bluebookSpanish.pdf
Faith in Our Families: Parents, Families & Friends Talk About Religion & Homosexuality: an affirming brochure for families about the diversity of religious perspectives on homosexuality. Available in print ($1.90) or online. Phone: 202-467-8180; Web site: http://www.pflag.org/fileadmin/user_upload/Publications/Faith_Families.pdf
Fish Out of Water: What Does the Bible Really Say About Being Gay? A documentary that explores the impassioned relationship between homosexuality and the Bible. Using animation and academic interviews, director Ky Dickens examines different Christian interpretations of scripture. It is beautifully put together, allowing pastors and theologians as well as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals to speak for themselves, across the spectrum of beliefs and interpretations and keeping the message palatable through the strategic use of animation. It is feature length (60 min) and appropriate for use in churches and church youth groups, especially Christian ones, and parochial high schools and church-affiliated young adult service groups. Information about how to book a screening, contact Elizabeth Kurasz, Community Outreach & Screenings Coordinator: firstname.lastname@example.org; Website: http://www.fishoutofwaterfilm.com
Fortunate Families: "Catholic parents who love and affirm their lesbian daughters and gay sons are Fortunate Families. This website will help Catholic parents of gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender children find support and resources and a place to share their story with other Fortunate Families. Grounded in Catholic tradition, Fortunate Families ministers primarily with Catholic parents of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender daughters and sons - ¯but welcomes families of all faiths." Go to: http://www.fortunatefamilies.com/
God Loves Each One Ministry publications: "Made in God's Image: A Resource for Dialogue about the Church and Gender Differences" - this wonderful booklet by Ann Thompson Cook. introduces the stories of transgender and intersex people and addresses their place in their spiritual communities. Also by Ann Thompson Cook: "And God Loves Each One" and Spanish transllation: "Dios nos ama por igual." And "All God's Children" by Melany Burrill. Order on the web - $7.00 each; 10+ copies @ $5.00. https://ssl27.pair.com/bgroup/madeinimage/order-form.html
HeartStrong: a non-sectarian, national organization which provides information and support to gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender people and their allies who attend - -or have attended -- or are employed by religious schools, kindergarten through college. 1011 Boren Avenue #199, Seattle, WA 98104; Phone: 206-621-9129; Email: email@example.com; Web site: http://www.heartstrong.org
Watch the video of "I Will Choose to Love"
by Ray Boltz, on True (2010) - http://www.rayboltz.com/
This is also posted on our Music on the Safe Schools Coalition Website resource page.
The Interfaith Working Group: organization devoted to explaining religious diversity on social issues: equal rights for sexual minorities, reproductive freedom, and separation of church and state. Phone: 215-235-3050; Web site: http://www.iwgonline.org
Multifaith Works: building a community of compassion by mobilizing volunteers from many spiritual and cultural backgrounds to provide practical and emotional support, and housing, for people living with AIDS or other life-threatening illnesses. Through all its programs, Multifaith Works promotes understanding and acceptance of human diversity.
115 16th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122;Phone: 206-324-1520 x 224; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://www.multifaith.org
Online Christian Gay Youth Alliance: A new youth organization/group is in the preliminary stages in the central valley of California called the Christian Gay Youth Alliance or the CGYA; its based out of the central valley and currently is online only. We intend to turn it in to a face to face group as time goes on. Please take a look at the websites: http://www.myspace.com/gaychristianyouth and http://groups.yahoo.com/group/christianyouthalliance/
Our Spirit: Love – that's the whole story. Our Spirit helps LGBTQ youth know that they're okay, despite what they might hear from the religious right. Our Spirit believes that the true basis of life and religion is love and that all people deserve to be loved, including – especially! – youth who don't fit the straight and narrow vision of sexuality. Our Spirit uses the broad reach of the internet and the intimacy of narrative film to help youth develop tools for self-acceptance.On the Our Spirit website are films including: an introduction from Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson, "I Like," a very cool one-minute film of youth speaking about who they like, being LGBTQ-whatever, family, school, friends and love; and "The Romeo Files," a gay-positive high school soap opera. Also on the website: affirming information about the most common same-sex confusion in the Bible; information about how to find someone safe to talk to, advice on what to do if someone doesn't understand you, and extensive lists of LGBTQ-friendly resources. http://www.ourspiritnow.org
TEACH Ministries (To Educate About the Consequences of Homophobia): Mary Lou and Bob Wallner lost their lesbian Christian daughter Anna to suicide in February of 1997. They now work to see the church accept and welcome GLBT people. http://www.teach-ministries.org
Reconciling Ministries Network: This web site lists Methodist, United Church of Christ, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Baptist, Disciples, United Church of Canada, Unitarian Universalist, and Brethren/Mennonite groups that welcome Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender individuals and their families: http://www.rmnetwork.org
Religion and Faith: This page from the Human Rights Campaign offers speeches about communities of worship welcoming their gay, lesbian, bi and trans congregants as well as links to some interesting blog sites. http://www.hrc.org/issues/religion.asp
Religion and Spirituality page: These sections of the Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual area and the Transgender area of the DMOZ web site offer essays and links for a variety of world religions and their support -- or lack of support -- for GLBT folks. http://www.dmoz.org/Society/Gay,_Lesbian,_and_Bisexual/Religion_and_Spirituality/ and http://www.dmoz.org/Society/Transgendered/Religion_and_Spirituality/
Religious Tolerance: a web site that lists the policies of Christian and non-Christian faiths, world-wide, regarding gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people: http://www.religioustolerance.org/hom_chur.htm
Suicide awareness - Darkness Calls: This comic book, inspired, written and illustrated by Steve Sanderson, a professional Aboriginal (native Canadian) youth cartoonist, is a great resource on suicide prevention for youth, visual learners and hard to reach populations. It's the story of a teenager that feels socially isolated and has difficulty at school. Even though Kyle has tremendous artistic talent and the support of a good friend he finds one day just too overwhelming and considers taking his own life. It's the story of the struggle between good and evil over the spirits of youth. The story was previewed with health professionals and youth focus groups for authentic characters and language. From the Healthy Aboriginal Network, 328 E 32nd Ave, Vancouver, BC, Canada, V5V 2Y4; 604-876-0243; http://www.thehealthyaboriginal.net
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