I list here the resources I have referenced in my essay. If you find a broken web link or typos, please let me know. If you can tell me it’s new web address, assuming you can find it, I would be grateful. If you have other suggested websites let me know and I will consider how well they fit the ethos of the site.
- For me the videos that had the biggest effect on confirming my changing theological understandings were videos of presentations made by Kathy Baldock (See further references in Books below) at various seminars. I strongly recommend you view the videos called “Unclobbering the Tangled Mess” Pt 1 & Pt 2 and Untangling the Mess – The Reformation Project in Los Angeles. The final video is called An Evening With Rev. David: The Story Behind a Historic Letter About Biblical Translation, which is the story behind the translation error which occurred when the translators of the Revised Standard Version translated arsenokoitai and malakoi as homosexual rather than some sort of exploitative sexual abuser/pervert. If you want to understand the culture and history surrounding ‘recent’ Bible translations, this is a brilliant seminar, and I commend it. Remember that most Bible translations in the English language in the last 70 years have been commissioned and produced in America, and then, somewhat later, we might get an Anglicised version, so understanding the culture prevailing at the times of each translation is very helpful.
Each of the videos is long, mostly in excess of an hour, but they are thorough and keep you fascinated and engaged throughout. I can’t praise them enough.
- “The Gay Debate: The Bible and Homosexuality” – Matthew Vines. This is his superb video, filmed while he was still a student 10 years ago in 2012, and can be watched here. Again, for those new to the issue, it is a “must watch”
- Rev’d Dr Jonathan Tallon, who describes himself as a New Testament lecturer and early Church researcher. He has created a brilliant set of videos, that are very helpful and I recommend that you watch them – you won’t regret it: https://www.bibleandhomosexuality.org/ and the Trans one is: https://www.bibleandhomosexuality.org/what-does-the-bible-say-about-transgender-people/
He also has transcripts and notes linked to each of his videos – very, very good. This is another of those sites I wish I had stumbled on earlier, and why I have included a reference to it in both the Video section, and Website sections.
- John Corvino – What’s Morally Wrong with Homosexuality – (recorded here in 2007). John Corvino uses logic and humour to dismantle many common arguments against same-sex relationships. I have only just come across this video, thanks to someone’s personal commendation, and I found it a devastating take-down of many of the things people use to argue against those who identify as gay . As with most valuable videos, it is around an hour, but, what a great way to spend that hour!
Black and Gay, Back in the Day – As the description says: “Black and Gay, Back in the Day brings to life a photo archive of Black LGBTQIA+ life in Britain, from the 1970s through to the early 2000s. Each episode is an intergenerational journey focusing on a key photograph from the archive – joining stories of the past, with those of today.” Most of the photographs seem to be part of collections held at the Bishopsgate Institute in London, also mentioned in the next podcast I commend. I haven’t heard them all as I’m late to the party, having just found them, but the stories are compelling and I’m looking forward to working my way through them. The podcasts are available from all good podcast providers, but if you can’t find one you can listen to it directly from their Acast website, here.
The Log Books – As their description says, “The Log Books is an award-winning history of LGBTQ+ life in Britain as noted by volunteers at the helpline Switchboard. Each episode of this stirring podcast centres around log book entries made by the volunteers who staffed the phones from the charity’s very first day.
As a helpline for anyone who wants to talk about gender identity and sexuality, Switchboard has been hearing about, and helping, queer life since 1974.
Now held in the archive at the Bishopsgate Institute, the volunteers’ log books offer a unique insight into the range of issues facing LGBTQ+ people in Britain in the 70s, 80s and 90s.” Speaking personally, I loved this series, because it really helped me understand and make sense of off-hand comments I heard, as I left school, and went to work in the ’70’s and through the ’80’s. This series was superb, and a must listen!
Once again available on all good podcast providers, or if you can’t find it there, direct from their website.
All are in print, as of January 2021, and some are available on Kindle:
- ‘Stranger at the Gate: To be Gay and Christian in America’ – Rev Dr Mel White, first published in 1994, but still very relevant. Also see https://www.melwhite.org/stranger-gate-audio/ where you can download the free audio-book.
- ‘More Perfect Union? Understanding Same-sex Marriage’ by Bishop Alan Wilson Longman & Todd Ltd. This is an excellent study about marriage from the Bishop of Buckingham and includes a potted history of marriage through the ages. Buy it!
- ‘God and the Gay Christian’ by Matthew Vines (Convergent Books). Also make sure you view his video I mentioned in several times in the essay at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ezQjNJUSraY.
- ‘Undivided: Coming Out, Becoming Whole, and Living Free From Shame’ by Vicky Beeching. Harper Collins. I have written elsewhere what a superb book this is. At times this book is heart-wrenching, so keep your box of tissues handy! At other times it causes the blood to boil because of injustice. Primarily it is the story of growing up and working through what being gay means in real life, in a real Christian family, in a real Christian church, and the pains largely inflicted by people who don’t really understand what is going on. I think I would describe the book as being an updated version of “Stranger at the Gate: To be Gay and Christian in America” mentioned above, but written for Christians in the 2020’s.
- https://canyonwalkerconnections.com/ The mission of Canyonwalker Connections, founded in 2011 by Executive Director Kathy Baldock, is to repair the division existing between social and Christian conservatives and the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community through education, training, encouragement, and dialogue in both secular and religious environments. Once again it is great to read a site with a lot of well-written articles including a thorough historical background. Kathy Baldock has written a book, “Walking the Bridgeless Canyon: Repairing the Breach Between the Church and the LGBT Community”. I strongly recommend reading this book as a background to the whole issue about why, since the 1960’s being gay has been a problem for Christians, when prior to that time it wasn’t. She has a further book and film planned for Autumn 2023, called “Forging a Sacred Weapon: How the Bible Became Anti-Gay.” which looks at how the Bible has been weaponized in recent years.
- AFFIRMATIVE – Why you can say Yes to the Bible and Yes to people who are LGBTQI+ by Jonathan Tallon. (Richardson Jones Press). Part of the book summary on Amazon reads:
You can affirm both the Bible and people who are LGBTQI+.
Many Christians are conflicted between including and accepting LGBTQI+ Christians and upholding scripture. They are dissatisfied with the limited welcome given in churches, and feel torn when told that being lesbian, gay, trans, or bisexual is wrong.
But the two don’t have to clash. This book shows how biblical verses sometimes understood as condemning LGBTQI+ people have been misinterpreted by being taken out of their context. It also shows how the Bible can support positively the full inclusion of LGBTQI+ people in church.
Straightforward and easy to follow, yet based on the best scholarship, this book helps resolve the tensions around the Bible, sexuality and gender without compromising love or scriptural faithfulness.
This has only recently been published in 2023, and is a superb resource dealing with the same issues I have addressed in my essay. I enjoyed reading it because it largely confirmed many of the stances I take, though I might quibble about a couple of statements. He lists all his sources and he has clearly read very widely and very deeply. Probably a book you must read! On Kindle it is slightly less than £1, but if you buy the paperback, you can save yourself a few pence off the £9.99 Amazon price and get it from the Eden online bookstore
- “Our Witness: The Unheard Stories Of LGBT+ Christians” by Brandan Robertson (Darton, Longman & Todd Ltd.)
- “Gay Marriage – Why the debate? How should the church respond?” is a very good short booklet written by Neil Brighton for Poynton Baptist Church https://freshstreams.net/wp-content/uploads/Gay-Marriage-why-the-debate.pdf
- Other books I have found helpful (although not directly LGBTQ+ related – they do have indirect applications):
– “What’s So Amazing About Grace” by Philip Yancey,
– “How the Bible Actually Works” by Peter Enns. (You can also add his other books, including, “The Bible Tells Me So”, “The Sin of Certainty” and “Inspiration and Incarnation”)
– “Inspired (Slaying Giants, Walking on Water, and Loving the Bible Again)” by the late Rachel Held Evans. And again, her other books are well worth reading.
I also have a lot on my Kindle still to read, so expect this list to grow!
- Is Gay Prejudice Taught in the Bible? by Richard Wayne Garganta – http://gayprejudice.com/GayPrejudice.pdf. Richard has his own website at https://richardwaynegarganta.com/. He has been ordained but dislikes titles as they get in the way. This essay is very helpful and covers some of the material I have used, but I only came across it in 2020, long after I had finished writing my own work, other than minor edits. I notice we come to essentially the same conclusions but sometimes taking a slightly different route, which I found interesting. Richard’s excellent document is 32 pages long, and well worth reading.
- “Letter to Louise”. In my view this is a vitally important essay by the Rev Bruce W Lowe. It is long (short in comparison to my document!) but detailed, and once again I came across it late in 2015 after completing one of the earlier versions of my essay. I would regard it as a companion piece, although I would see things a little differently in places. Definitely a must-read if you are serious about the issue. Currently it is available here: http://godmademegay.blogspot.co.uk/p/letter-to-louise.html
Any comments about particular websites below, whether positive or negative, simply represent my views on the day I visited the pages. In the time since my last visit, the editorial style may have changed for the better or worse, so please don’t get upset if I say a website is great and when you visit you feel there is too much ‘shouty’ stuff going on – or vice versa! Some sites sadly seem to have gone into hibernation, with nothing new added for months or even years, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the content, currently available, has no value. I have removed references to articles originally freely available, but now behind a paid subscription login, since not everyone can afford that. If articles are behind free subscriptions, I have included them. I have tried to make sure that all the sites are valid at the time I write this, but they appear in no particular order. Please let me know if you spot a broken link (and thank you to those who have sent me reports already):
- This short 2-minute (or so) read, covering some of the basic Biblical issues can be (surprisingly for a news site), found on the Pink News website under the headline: “What does the Bible say about homosexuality? For starters, Jesus wasn’t a homophobe” It’ll make you curious to explore the other Biblical passages as I do on this site, and especially in the essay. Very good as a starting point to explore the issues
- One of the most helpful sites I found, and sadly not at the beginning, of my search was this one: www.religioustolerance.org. Extremely useful.
- The Reformation Project is a Bible-based, Christian organization that works to promote inclusion of LGBTQ people by reforming church teaching on sexual orientation and gender identity. The site was founded by Matthew Vines and provides some very good arguments from scripture in support of same-sex relationships https://reformationproject.org/biblical-case/
- Rev’d Dr Jonathan Tallon, who describes himself as a New Testament lecturer and early Church researcher. Check out his whole website, he has created a brilliant set of videos, that are very helpful and I recommend that you watch them – you won’t regret it: https://www.bibleandhomosexuality.org/ He also has transcripts and notes linked to each of his videos – very, very good. This is another of those sites I wish I had stumbled on earlier, and why I have included a reference to it in both the Video section, and Website sections.
- The LGBT+ support group Courage was closed in 2012 because of their difficulty with continuing the Ex-Gay ministry. Jeremy Marks, who headed that ministry, realised it was quite wrong, and found no evidence through many years of ministry, that LGBTQ+ people can change their orientation or sexuality as a result of Christian prayer, or counselling. More recently he has set up a new organisation and web-site, called Post Courage, to fully support the community. Their home page is here: https://postcourage.net There is a guest column written by Martin Hallett you can find here. It’s very helpful and balanced.
- https://geekyjustin.com/ Justin Lee is an LGBTQ activist who set up Gay Christian Network in 2001. After he left in 2017, GCN became QChristian Fellowship, and he set up a new ministry called Nuance Ministries, which operates this website. He also runs a Podcast called “GeekyJustin Live: The Podcast”, which is well worth a listen.
- QChristian Fellowship – https://www.qchristian.org/ They say, “We are a diverse community with varied backgrounds, cultures, theologies and denominations, drawn together through our love of Christ and our belief that every person is a beloved child of God.”. They have some interesting and helpful theological resources at: https://www.qchristian.org/resources/theology. The quality and quantity of these resources has been growing steadily over the last year or two. The site has hugely improved over this time, and now “cultivates radical belonging among LGBTQ+ people and allies through a commitment to growth, community, and relational justice.”
- Additionally, QCF has partnered with The Trevor Project to launch The Good Fruit Project, a comprehensive educational resource that presents a faith and researched-based case against LGBTQ+ change efforts. There are additional links further down this page where I list specific USA links.
- I have quoted Tony Campolo several times in this document. His website is: https://tonycampolo.org/ I have been aware of Tony’s ministry since my teen-aged years in the seventies, so he has been hugely important to me.
- Evangelicals Concerned Inc. is a US based site started by Dr Ralph Blair, referred to in his book by Mel White – Stranger At The Gate. The pages are very measured and without rancour and contain a lot of scholarly information written in an accessible manner. The HomePage is: https://ecinc.org/ and there section on the clobber passages can be found here: http://ecinc.org/clobber-passages/. Their comment on the Leviticus passages is six lines long, is clear and does the job. How long did I take? Ouch!
- https://whosoever.org/ Founded in 1996 and respected by many major figures within the LGBTQ+ community. There is a wealth of good materials on the site which was relaunched around Christmas 2019. Please go and explore their material, which I highly commend, because it is produced in a professional and educated manner. There are regular Blogs, not just on LGBTQ+ ideas but on all sorts of themes anyone might read, but often with an LGBTQ+ slant.
- For any LGBTQ+ Baptists, there is a site for you. It isn’t very developed, but hopefully in the fulness of time, it will: https://www.affirm.org.uk/.
- A better site for Baptists is https://baptistssm.weebly.com/resources which has published some well-written letters in response to the stated position of the Baptist Union of GB to allow each church to determine its own thinking on the issue but asking that no church conducts a SSM out of respect for others – a somewhat untenable position to hold for long. That will have to change because the tension will cause a fracture at some point.
- For our Roman Catholic friends, take a look at https://outreach.faith/resources. They say: “Outreach is an LGBTQ Catholic resource. We offer news, essays, resources and community for LGBTQ Catholics, their families and friends, and those who minister to them in the Catholic church worldwide. Outreach also highlights welcoming parishes, schools and other Catholic organizations.
Our website, outreach.faith, features original articles from theologians, scholars, church leaders, family members, and many others, both lay and clergy. “
I haven’t had a chance to look at more than a handful of articles, but the site looks very good, and I’ll be interested in what you think.
- More Light Presbyterians – http://www.mlp.org/ who state: “We are individual members and congregations of the Presbyterian Church (USA) who are faithful to God’s call and believe that God continues to open new understandings of scripture and the Word in the life of Christ. As a Christian community, we believe that the church must seek to live out those understandings in our life together.” The focus is on all LGBTQ Christians.
- If you are looking for an inclusive church, denominations like the URC, the Methodist church, Scottish Episcopal Church, Church of Scotland and a few individual churches are inclusive. If you want to find an inclusive church, have a look at: https://www.inclusive-church.org/ and look for “Looking for an inclusive worship community?” Then enter your town name or postcode. Be aware that this is not a comprehensive list of all churches that regard themselves as ‘inclusive’. Although I have mentioned a couple of Scottish based denominations, from personal experience there aren’t many inclusive ‘evangelical’ (type, not denomination) churches in Scotland.
- Metropolitan Community Church worldwide. A church who truly welcomes those within the community. They were the first Christian denomination to provide help for those with AIDS. https://www.mccchurch.org/. If you are interested in finding a church near you, check: https://visitmccchurch.com/our-churches/?utm_source=MCC&utm_medium=website&utm_campaign=mcc-nav-find-church. There are about eight in England (two in London) and one in Scotland (Glasgow).
- In the essay I quoted from a newspaper article about the Metropolitan Community Church in Glasgow, and you can find them here – https://www.mccinglasgow.co.uk.
- In London and several regional centres, Oasis provide a wonderful ministry to those within the community. See http://www.oasiswaterloo.org/church.
The Open Church Network (https://openchurch.network), part of Oasis, is an online safe space for people – regardless of their sexuality or gender identity to gather, share and discuss. But however much the world we live in is becoming increasingly digital, nothing can replace meeting face to face with members of a safe and secure local community.
- Open House – based out of Oasis Church Waterloo – is an opportunity for LGBTI+ people to do just that. It is a safe place where one can share their story without any hint of judgement, where one can reconcile their Christian faith to their sexuality and gender identity, where one can just listen to other stories and ask questions, a place where the doors are flung open to show the inclusivity of God. Open House happens on the third Tuesday of every month. For more information visit the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pg/asafespaceforlgbti/posts/?ref=page_internal.
- If you are in the Essex area of the UK why not check out https://churchfromscratch.org which looks like it meets in meets in peoples homes in the Southend-on-sea area.
- https://jewishchristiangay.wordpress.com/ This blog is written by Alex Haiken (who holds a Master’s degree from Westminster Theological Seminary and is among other things a lecturer, teacher, blogger and conference speaker). At the time of writing, the site has been reasonably quiet since 2012, but there is a lot of good material to help the sincere questioner explore the issues. I wish there were more written at the depth of these articles, whilst written with the restraint Alex demonstrates.
- Created Gay is a site that includes a major section on theology, which at a cursory glance deserves more attention, which I haven’t yet given it! Evangelicals may be uneasy with it, because of its use of Scriptures outside the normal canon. They also have a list of over 300 Christian Gay websites of every shade and colour: https://createdgay.com/links.html – well worth a look.
- Christian Gays – https://christiangays.com This is a community for LGBTIQ people of faith. This seems to be a good and reasonably balanced site with a kind heart. There is a huge resource of useful information (video and text) for both the straight and the LGBTQ+ orientated person. An additional useful page on the site is: https://resources.christiangays.com/
- “UNCHANGED is a movement of LGBTQ+ Christians committed to proclaiming God’s love and affirmation of our experiences, our identities, and our expressions of selves.” Quoted from its Home page. It started in 2019 as a ministry of Q Christian fellowship and includes personal stories and resources. https://www.unchangedmovement.com/
- As from February 14th 2017 the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement joined with Changing Attitude England to become OneBodyOneFaith and their website is https://www.onebodyonefaith.org.uk. The new OneBodyOneFaith website looks very positive, and I commend it.
- Queer Theology. Probably a bit more strident than some, so if you’re easily offended, leave this one and move on to the next. Nevertheless, there is a lot of media resources which are worth investigating if you are keen to dig deeper. https://www.queertheology.com
- Why ‘God and the Gay Christian’ Is Wrong About the Bible and Same-Sex Relationships. This is a critique, written by Christopher Yuan, of the book: ‘God and the Gay Christian: The Biblical Case in Support of Same-Sex Relationships’ by Matthew Vine listed below. https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2014/june-web-only/why-matthew-vines-is-wrong-about-bible-same-sex-relationshi.html It would counter much of what I have written, so from the perspective of balance it is worth a read – even if I don’t agree!
- The story of the devout Mormon Josh Weed and his wife Lolly: https://www.patheos.com/blogs/frenchrevolution/2016/02/18/club-unicorn-gay-mormon-married/ and here: https://joshweed.com and here: https://joshweed.com/turning-unicorn-bat-post-announce-end-marriage/. These pages are fascinating and illustrate from the inside the tensions involved in a mixed orientation marriage.
- Following Vicky Beeching’s comments in 2014, where she admitted she was a lesbian to the Independent newspaper, many outlets worldwide wrote about the issue. Here they are collated on her own website along with many other press reports: https://vickybeeching.com/lgbt/
- In 2006, in response to well-documented patterns of abuse, a distinguished group of international human rights experts met in Yogyakarta, Indonesia to outline a set of international principles relating to sexual orientation and gender identity. The result was the Yogyakarta Principles: a universal guide to human rights which affirm binding international legal standards with which all States must comply. They promise a different future where all people born free and equal in dignity and rights can fulfil that precious birth-right. The principles may be viewed here, including the additional 10 principles that were added in 2017: https://yogyakartaprinciples.org/principles-en/
- The 2017 additional 10 principles can be downloaded separately here: https://yogyakartaprinciples.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/A5_yogyakartaWEB-2.pdf
- https://www.glaad.org/ Working to support and help LGBT+ people be accepted in all areas of life, including the media.
- https://www.two23.net To quote from their webpage: “Two:23 is a network of Christians, connected by LGBT (Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) issues, who have discovered that God loves us just as we are. This realisation frees us to unashamedly include and encourage all to discover the love of God for themselves, pursue the call of Christ and live in a way that cherishes others just as God cherishes us.”
Two23 is a reference to the Old Testament prophet Hosea, who, in chapter 2 verse 23, wrote: I will say to those called ‘Not my people’, ‘You are my people’; and they will say ‘You are my God’.
Education (School, College and University):
- lgbteducation.scot is a new platform, intended to support teachers across Scotland to tackle prejudice through education. The platform is managed by Time For Inclusive Education on behalf of the Scottish Government, and is endorsed by a variety of stakeholders, including those in the education sector.
This platform hosts the Stage 1 E-Learning module from the Scottish Government’s “Delivering LGBT Inclusive Education” professional learning for teachers (Stage 2 can be booked upon completion) and quality approved Curriculum for Excellence linked resources to support staff in developing and delivering LGBT inclusive education in their own schools.
“lgbteducation.scot is a critical platform for teachers delivering LGBT inclusive education in Scotland. It is intended as an evolving ‘one stop shop’ for professional learning opportunities, quality approved resources linked to Curriculum for Excellence, national policy, and signposting.”
- https://www.tie.scot/team. We are Scotland’s LGBT Inclusive Education charity. We take an educational approach to tackling homophobic, biphobic, and transphobic bullying and prejudice in schools. Fundamentally, we believe that LGBT history, role models, and equalities education should be taught within all schools. Education is the most powerful tool we have to tackle prejudice.
- If you are an LGBTQ+ student contemplating which University to apply to, take a look at this guide. It has been compiled focussing on the scene in the United States, but the principles listed, apply equally to the UK:
https://www.intelligent.com/lgbtq-online-college-student-guide/. The guide seems to have been compiled with a great deal of thought and work, and provides a huge amount of helpful information to assist you as you seek an LGBTQ-friendly college. It was also refreshing to read that “Intelligent does not accept advertising. We are not sponsored by any corporate entities. We rely on private funding to pay for all of our resources including staff and office expenses.”
The focus of the site is towards helping students find their way to the best Colleges and Universities that suit them and their homepage is: https://www.intelligent.com.
If you know of reputable helplines, specifically LGBTQ+ affirming, please let me know.
- Switchboard (UK). Perhaps one of the oldest LGBTQ+ Switchboard helplines available for those needing help and advice – starting in London, but now UK wide – https://switchboard.lgbt/. “We have provided support and information to millions of people since our phone started ringing in 1974. Throughout our history, we have been at the forefront of supporting our communities in facing the issues of the day.”
- Another Switchboard organisation, this time based around Brighton and Hove: https://www.switchboard.org.uk/. “Switchboard is a charity that has been listening to, supporting and connecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer communities since 1975. Originally a helpline, we have grown to deliver lots of additional services by and for LGBTQ people in Sussex.”
- LGBT Helpline Scotland. https://www.lgbthealth.org.uk/ Open Tuesday & Wednesday between 12 – 9pm, Thursday & Sunday 1-6pm. LGBT Helpline Scotland 0300 123 2523 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- LGBT Foundation, based in Manchester, but the reach seems to be national – https://lgbt.foundation. Advice Support & Information 0345 3 30 30 30
- If you have a general mental health issue and are looking for some help, contact The Shaw Mind Foundation, The Foundation Centre, Navigation House, 48 Millgate, Newark, Nottinghamshire, NG24 4TS, United Kingdom. Read more about them at: https://shawmind.org/our-mental-health-guides/
- https://www.mindandsoulfoundation.org. This is a specifically Christian organisation whose stance on LGBTQ+ issues is once again, unclear, so I cannot recommend them, but other Christians hold them in high regard. They seem to be focussing on general mental health issues, and not conversion therapy, from what I can make out on their website. Their vision statement says:
We believe in a God who loves us AND cares about our emotional and mental health. Our faith and emotions are often kept separate. Mental health is rarely discussed in churches and Christian spirituality is seen as having little to offer the world of psychology. We want to bridge that gap.
– To Educate: Sharing the best of Christian theology and scientific advances. Read More…
– To Equip: Helping people meet with God and recover from emotional distress. Read More…
– To Encourage: Engaging with the local church and mental health services. Read More…
Our core leadership team of a psychologist, a priest and a psychiatrist have developed high-quality, integrated resources and bring a powerful message that BOTH* are important.
* Presumably Christian spirituality and psychology – PJ
- If you are in the United States
- If you are looking for mental health help, Advocacy, or support, please visit https://www.thetrevorproject.org/. In the effort to protect LGBTQ youth from conversion therapy in every state of the nation and countries around the world, Trevor Project has launched 50 Bills, 50 States.
- They also run a manned crisis intervention and suicide prevention phone service available 24/7/365. There are chat, phone and text services. If you or someone you love is seeking help please call 1-866-488-7386 or text “START” to 678678. Not available outside the USA.
There are some very uncomfortable statistics available on the site, which are eye-opening: https://www.thetrevorproject.org/survey-2020/?section=Introduction.
In July 2021 Netflix released the film, “Pray Away” and with it they created a website with many resources (https://www.prayawayfilm.com/resources). I will reproduce the list here under their respective headings, but only those sites not already quoted above. These are principally based in the USA, but some are international:
Born Perfect (https://bornperfect.org/): The Campaign to End Conversion Therapy is a campaign of the National Center for Lesbian Rights focused on passing laws across the country to protect LGBT children and young people from the harm of sexual orientation and gender identity change efforts. Born Perfect drafts, introduces and passes legislation, spreads awareness through public education, media, and advocacy, and empowers conversion therapy survivors and their families. If you’d like to get involved or share your story you can sign up here.
PFLAG (https://pflag.org/) is the first and largest organization for LGBTQ+ people, their parents and families, and allies. You can find PFLAG’s webinars and their free training toolkit to assist people looking to take action in the effort to protect LGBTQ people from conversion therapy in all its forms here.
MAP’s (https://www.lgbtmap.org/equality-maps/conversion_therapy) mission is to provide independent and rigorous research, insight and communications that help speed equality and opportunity for all. Their website includes up-to-date Equality Maps which include a state-by-state assessment on the current status of conversion therapy bans across the U.S.
LGBTQ Faith Organizations
The National LGBTQ Task Force’s Institute for Welcoming resources (http://www.welcomingresources.org/) is an ecumenical group that aims to provide resources to facilitate a paradigm shift in multiple denominations whereby churches become welcoming and affirming of all congregants regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity. Be aware that the protocol used to view the site is http, not the more secure https, so I assume this site isn’t as active as it used to be.
Transmission Ministry Collective (https://www.transmissionministry.com/) is an online community dedicated to the spiritual care, faith formation, and leadership potential of transgender, nonbinary, genderqueer, and gender-expansive Christians. If you are looking for support or are in need of virtual community you will be able to find that through TMC’s text-based chat servers, video-based support groups, as well as their online Bible studies.
Support for Conversion Therapy Survivors
Beyond Ex-Gay (https://beyondexgay.com/) is an affirming online community and resource for those who have survived ex-gay experiences.
The Naming Project (https://www.thenamingproject.org/) is a Christian ministry serving youth of all sexual and gender identities. They provide a safe place for youth who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning or allied to learn, grow, and share their experiences. The Naming Project is a space in which youth can comfortably discuss faith and who they understand themselves to be and how they relate to God and the rest of the world.
Greenbelt Festival – a Christian Arts festival held each year at Boughton House, in Northampton. They are wholly inclusive and have a long tradition of welcoming those identifying as LGBTQ+. They say: “Greenbelt hosted its 46th festival of arts, faith and activism in 2019. No, we couldn’t quite believe it either. And then the world changed. The Covid-19 Pandemic meant cancelling our festival as we knew. But, in a world on fire, we’re still somewhere to believe in, so we switched our focus to sharing our brand of hopeful revolution online. After all the uncertainty and anxiety of the last two years, we’re hopeful to get back out there and continue the momentum of a festival that’s inclusive, open-minded, participatory and generous in spirit.” – https://www.greenbelt.org.uk
In the past I have learned a huge amount from their seminars, and they have most of them from 1994 available online which is a rich resource. Check it out. If you want a taster can I suggest you listen to John Bell (Iona Community, Hymnwriter and speaker) talking in 2017 on the subject of Rampant Heterosexuality. Near the end he comes out for the first time in a public setting. https://www.greenbelt.org.uk/talks/rampant-heterosexualism/. (Thanks to the recent Greenbelt Twitter prompt!)
Tucked away at the bottom – something lighter
And to end, after all the serious stuff, here’s a bit of fun. It has nothing to do with being LGBTQ+, but everything to do with how well you know your Bibles. Check out this Bible Trivia quiz.
There are a myriad of other sites, ones that I have quoted from, and ones I haven’t. There is simply no way I can list everything that is useful. Go out and explore and engage your God-given critical faculties to discern what is helpful to you or those you are seeking to help. May you hear God’s voice telling you how much He loves you, and values you, despite where you may currently find yourself, or think you are. Don’t turn away from seeking help. There are many people who have walked the path ahead of you and have found where to go, ask them. However, as a straight cisgendered male, of pensionable age, I am in no position to give real advice, but will, and have, stood alongside those who are struggling when they need it.