OUR RESOURCES

Most of the anguish imposed upon God’s children who grow up gay or lesbian has its roots in a misunderstanding of what the Bible says.

Many of us grew up hearing our parents and teachers tell us how unique and different Adventists are. But growing up, did you have the feeling that you may be different in a way that the church did not accept? Did you grow up feeling or gradually realizing that you might be attracted sexually to others of the same sex, or that your gender didn’t match your assigned sex? The good news is that you are not alone!

Whether you are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, or queer (LGBTIQ), or you are not sure if you are, Seventh-day Adventist Kinship (“Kinship”) exists to help. We are here to share solutions others have found, to ease the pain, to save lives. It is not necessary for anyone to struggle alone.

We have always been taught that Christianity and anything other than traditional heterosexuality cannot co-exist. That dilemma can be devastating to anyone going through the torment of reconciling their sexual orientation or gender identity with their religious identity.

The message of Kinship is different from traditional church views. Together with a growing number of Adventist pastors, scholars, teachers, and church members, we believe LGBTIQ individuals are wholly loved and accepted as they are by our Creator. This is not a message of mere convenience; it is a message well-studied and consistent with scripture. (See “What Does the Bible say?” below.)

We are primarily a community of current and former Seventh-day Adventist lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex people. Many of us were asked to leave the church or left because we felt condemned and unwelcome. Our membership also includes heterosexual Adventists, parents of LGBTIQ people, and others who are sympathetic to our struggles. No one who supports the mission of Kinship is excluded. We are naturally a diverse group with a wide range of spiritual experiences and stages of self-acceptance, reconciliation, and expression.

«« Frequently Asked Questions »»
• HOW CAN SDA KINSHIP HELP YOU?

If you are feeling lonely, depressed, or suicidal, or if you need a professional counselor who is supportive of LGBTIQ concerns, chances are we know someone in your area who can help. Be assured that we are sensitive to your need for confidentiality. If you wish, our recommended counselors can also refer you to trusted Seventh-day Adventist pastors, teachers, or other professionals we know to be sensitive and understanding of LGBTIQ concerns.

Above all, please know we care that you may need to think through what your sexuality means, what to do about it, what all this may mean to your loved ones, whether to try to change, and whether it is possible to be LGBTIQ and at the same time a Seventh-day Adventist. We will not try to determine your conclusions if you reach out to us. We will endeavor to be understanding and helpful while you make those all-important decisions about who you are and what God’s plan is for your life.

If you call or write, you may want to suggest the kind of person you would like to be put in touch with. For instance, tell us whether you could talk more easily to a woman or a man, or if you want the view of someone who has been, or perhaps still is, married. We are people of diverse ages and backgrounds.

If you are a pastor, teacher, or counselor, please know we welcome all inquiries and we will respect any need for confidentiality you may have. In addition to our publications, we provide speakers and offer our AIDS memorial quilt for display in churches to raise awareness.

• HOW TO CONTACT SDA KINSHIP

You may email us here.
You may also contact us by postal mail at:

Seventh-day Adventist Kinship International, Inc.
PO Box 244
Orinda, CA 94563
U.S.A.

If you receive postal mail from Kinship, all mailings are sent in plain envelopes which reflect only our post office box address. Your confidentiality is very important to us and we will never share your information with anyone else.

• WHAT DOES CHURCH FOUNDER ELLEN WHITE SAY?

Most people are unaware that Jesus never said anything about homosexuality, but many Adventists erroneously assume that Ellen White did. Using the Comprehensive Index to the Writings of Ellen G. White, we have carefully studied every published reference she makes to each of the biblical texts that people often use to condemn homosexuality. Nowhere does she relate any text to homosexuality.

The most obvious place for Mrs. White to have condemned homosexuality would have been in her chapter, “The Destruction of Sodom,” in Patriarchs and Prophets. Still, she is silent on the subject. While it remains popular today to claim that God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah because of homosexuality, there is no biblical basis for it, and Ellen White’s writings do not support it. Her mention of the vile passions of the infamous crowd in the story does not receive superlative emphasis over the numerous other sins she specifically names.

• WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY?

Most of the anguish imposed upon God’s children who grow up LGBTIQ is rooted in a misunderstanding of what the Bible says. Since Adventists claim they are traditionally well-studied in the Bible, shouldn’t they be among the first to clarify this issue for the world?

Many Seventh-day Adventist Christians, from laypeople to seminary professors, have studied the biblical texts related to homosexual acts and have concluded that what the Bible doesn't say is as important as what it does say. The Bible clearly speaks against lust in any form. But above all it does not condemn, or even mention, homosexuality as a sexual orientation, nor does it address transgender identity.

For most heterosexuals, the teaching that homosexuality is a sin presents no problem, so they often see little reason to give the subject much thought. Many of them, due to widespread ignorance on the subject, believe that homosexuality is merely a difficult habit or temptation to be overcome. They fail to comprehend the extreme consequences and implications such a teaching has for the lives of Christians who discover they are LGBTIQ.

For the LGBTIQ person, there is a compelling reason to give the subject a great deal of study. Eternal damnation is too serious a consequence to merely rely on “what we’ve always been taught.” One could hold the view that being homosexual is not a sin so long as “homosexual acts” are not performed. But the result—a life of celibacy—is also too serious simply to rely on what we have always heard.

Below are a few resources that you will find helpful.

Books:
Christianity and Homosexuality: Some Seventh-day Adventist Perspectives edited by David Ferguson, Fritz Guy, and David Larson
The Children are Free by Rev. Jeff Miner and John Tyler Connoley

Essays:
Eden’s Gifts” by Catherine Taylor
What the Bible Says about Homosexuality” by Eloise May
Homosexuality and the Bible” by Walter Wink
What the Bible Says—And Doesn't Say—About Homosexuality” by Mel White
The Bible, Christianity, and Homosexuality” by Justin Cannon

Films:
Fish out of Water directed by Ky Dickens
For the Bible Tells Me So produced by Daniel Karslake
Seventh-Gay Adventists produced and directed by Daneen Akers and Stephen Eyer
Enough Room at the Table produced and directed by Daneen Akers and Stephen Eyer

«« More Resources »»
ANTI-BULLYING RESOURCES
ASEXUAL RESOURCES
The Asexual Visibility and Education Network (AVEN) was founded in 2001 with two distinct goals: creating public acceptance and discussion of asexuality and facilitating the growth of an asexual community. They have grown to host the world’s largest asexual community, serving as an informational resource for people who are asexual and questioning, their friends and families, academic researchers and the press.
BIBLICAL ARTICLES AND PAPERS 

Another Adventist Point of View by L Ben Kemena, MD

Biblical Texts and Homosexual Practices by Ivan T. Blazen

Gay-bashing in Adventist Schools by Carrol Grady

Living Edens Gifts by Catherine Taylor

Homosexuality: Can we talk about it? 
To view the PDF version, open the e-magazine and click on the download icon.
BISEXUAL RESOURCES

The Bisexual Resource Center is the oldest national bi organization in the U.S. that advocates for bisexual visibility and raises awareness about bisexuality throughout the LGBT and straight communities.

BOOKS AND BOOK REVIEWS

Christianity and Homosexuality: Some Seventh-day Adventist Perspectives
Edited by David Ferguson, Fritz Guy and David Larson

BOOK REVIEW - Christianity and Homosexuality: Some Seventh-day Adventist Perspectives

Christianity and Homosexuality: Some Seventh-day Adventist Perspectives 
David Ferguson, Fritz Guy and David Larson, editors, Adventist Forums, Roseville, CA (USA): 2008--370 pages; price $ 19.95

Review by Reinder Bruinsma, Netherlands

Homosexuality is one of the most difficult problems the SDA church struggles with today. It's a subject that has many aspects. First the theological aspect: what does the bible say about it? How can one explain the parts in the bible that deal with homosexuality. But besides these questions there are many other aspects. How does the church deal with its members who are homosexual. Can the church offer them employment/keep them in employment. Public opinion also plays a constant role. What does the outside world think of a church who apparently has great difficulties with homosexuals among it's membership. It is a fact that there are many homosexual Seventh-day Adventists and it is also a fact that they face much misunderstanding and even hostility, also (even) within the church.

The official point of view of the church is to be found in four declarations that have been published in the last couple of years. In short they say that it is clear that the church welcomes all those who have a different orientation from the majority, but at the same time it declares that they are not allowed to practice that other orientation. Sexuality, so it states, should be within a formalized, monogamous, permanent relationship of one man and one woman, and those who do not live in a matrimonial relationship can only live in celibacy.

Recently the independent Adventist organisation Adventist Forum (who also publishes Spectrum magazine) released a number of essays about many important aspects of homosexuality within the Adventist Church. Several people who are Adventist and homosexual or are related to them, have contributed. Next to a biographical section there is a section that deals with a number of bio-medical perspectives. In the next part of the book the contribution of Professor Ronald Lawson, an American lecturer of sociology, who is homosexual and Adventist, is of special importance. He offers ab outstanding documented summary about how the Adventist Church has dealt with homosexuality through the years.

Of course many readers will be especially interested in studying the fourth part of the book. In this part four adventist theologians speak. Their vision on what the bible says about homosexuality vary very much from each other. On the one hand two of them put forward that the bible itself doesn't know of the existence of variation in sexual orientation, but just speaks about homosexual behavior of straight people. One of the other theologians is very clear in his judgement that the bible doesn't give any space for homosexual conduct. The decision seems to be how one interprets the bible texts that deal with homosexuality. In the fifth and last part of the book some social and practical aspects come up.

This book can serve those greatly who want to come to a clearer understanding about what homosexuality is all about and how a Christian should deal with it. In this aspect another book that recently was published may also be of help: Richard M. Davidson's "Flame of Yahweh: Sexuality in the Old Testament" (Peabody MS (USA: Hendrickson Publishers, 2007), 844 pages; price $ 29.95. This book can be ordered on http://www.amazon.com/. More information about Adventists and homosexuality is to be obtained from the website of the Kinship organisation, an international organisation of Adventist homosexuals that has more than 1000 members. See http://www.sdakinship.org/. The official documents of the Adventist Church are to be found on the website of the General Conference http://www.adventist.org/ (click on Adventist Beliefs).

Translation: Ruud Kieboom
Reinder Bruinsma was president of the Dutch SDA-Union Conference. He retired in 2007.

David Ferguson, Fritz Guy and David Larson, editors, Christianity and Homosexuality: Some Seventh-day Adventist Perspectives. Roseville, CA (USA): Adventist Forums, 2008--370 pages; price $ 19.95

Review by David Potter, Australia

Are same-sex relationships natural? Do homosexuals and heterosexuals deserve equal treatment in the church? Is sexual preference chosen, or is it biologically determined? Are the Leviticus 18 and 20 edicts timeless moral laws that apply equally to Christians as to Israel? Do Paul’s comments on “unnatural” relations (Romans 1) cover all same-sex relations, or only the perverse practices of the godless Gentiles? These questions and many more are addressed in this book.

Most of the 18 papers in the book were presented at a 2006 conference organised by Seventh-day Adventist Kinship International, an organisation set up in the 1970s to nurture gay and lesbian Adventists. Eight were written by current church academics. Most question aspects of the traditional church position on same-sex relations. The reader faces two challenges: firstly, to properly assess the growing body of literature that suggests homosexuality is a predisposition, not a choice; and secondly, to re-examine what Paul is really saying in Romans 1.

Part one is biographical, presenting the stories of Sherri Babcock, the great-great-granddaughter of one of the founders of Atlantic Union College; Leif Lind, former SDA pastor and missionary; and Paul Grady, son of a church pastor, missionary and administrator. All three are gay. According to Lind, coming out of the closet was “the hardest thing I have ever done.” Lind lost his marriage, his career, and his respect and acceptance in the church – a terrible price. But he had to be honest about who he was. “Who would choose to pit themselves against all odds and make life as difficult as possible if it were really a matter of choice or sexual ‘preference’? Not too many people I know,” writes Lind.

Part two examines biomedical perspectives. Research continues to suggest that homosexuality has a genetic predisposition and is biologically determined, a conclusion that was widely resisted. One of the last impediments was removed in 1973 when the American Psychiatric Association unexpectedly declared that homosexuality was not an illness. As Fulton asks, if homosexuality is neither a choice nor an illness, how is the church going to deal with its anti-gay bias?

Part three presents insights from behavioural science. Change ministries have failed repeatedly. The church that has called itself “the caring church” and a “welcoming church” has not given evidence of these claims in its treatment of gay members and workers, most of whom have been forced to live deeply closeted, lonely lives. To come out risks ostracism and dismissal. To express sympathy is to be treated with hostility.

The church attempted to distance itself from Seventh-day Adventist Kinship International when in 1987 the General Conference filed suit for “breach of trademark.” The church lost. Later, in 1994, the GC administration committee voted that GC personnel were not to speak to gatherings of homosexuals. As Lawson notes, the official church position was becoming more polarising at a time when law courts were recognising the equality of homosexual and heterosexual persons.

Part four examines scriptural and theological perspectives. Jones writes, “Romans 1:24-27 contains the Bible’s only substantive consideration of homosexual conduct.” But it is not a complete discussion. It is a preliminary comment that serves to introduce Paul’s thesis that Jews and Gentiles are equally lost in sin and in need of salvation. Those that read Leviticus 18 and 20 literally, bring a preformed perspective that distorts Paul’s message. Homosexuality is not the central issue in Romans 1. Furthermore, in discussing homosexuality, it is not clear that Paul’s conceptual horizon and ours coincide. Indeed, there has been a serious confusion of categories.

For Guy, “It is Scripture as a whole that is properly the ‘rule of faith and practice.’” Applying this principle leads him to conclude that “Scripture does not condemn all same-sex love.” Gane’s literal interpretation of Leviticus does not let him entertain pro-gay views. Nevertheless, he concludes that the church has some work to do to restore itself as “the trusted friend rather than the enemy of sinners.” Rice notes with approval that in recent years the church has “become more open to the complexity of human sexuality and willing to consider more helpful responses.”

Part five contains four papers on Christian social perspectives, in which the writers press the church towards greater fairness and compassion, towards becoming the “just, open, caring” community it should be. “God puts a tremendous value on human freedom.” We must do no less.

We all have our responses. Perhaps these are well-informed; on the other hand, they could be tainted by prejudice or by misuse of Scripture. Whatever your current view, this book will inform and challenge your understanding.

Christianity and Homosexuality: Some Seventh-day Adventist Perspectives is a collection of essays dealing with the increasingly significant issues related to people who have a homosexual orientation and the way Christian churches relate to them.

The book is edited by David Ferguson, Fritz Guy, and David Larson and is the product of a collaboration between SDA Kinship, International (a support organisation for gay Adventists) and the Kinship Advisory Board [Kinship Advisory Council] (a group straight Adventist leaders formed to advise and lead SDA Kinship).

The subtitle of the book is important. The writers all come from a Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) perspective. That does not mean they write from any official SDA position. In fact, much of the book may make the officials of SDAism somewhat uncomfortable. It is published by Adventist Forum -- an independent SDA organisation which fosters open communication and thinking amongst its members. 

Review by Steve Parker, South Australia

Christianity and Homosexuality has an interesting structure (see the diagram).I’d like to make a couple of comments about this structure because I think it is highly significant. Notice the location of the scriptural and theological perspectives. Most conservative Christians would want to place the Bible and theology at the beginning of the book and filter all other perspectives through its lense. However, the editors of this book perhaps recognise that placing the Bible at the beginning of the discussion would destroy any chance of an open inquiry into the subject of homosexuality.

I don’t think there is any doubt that the majority of Christians would make the assumption that the Bible condemns homosexuality outright. Beginning from this premise, a great deal of what this book discusses would be dismissed from the outset. However, by taking the approach they have, the editors lead us to the text after considering a whole range of extra-biblical material that makes us realise that the text needs, perhaps, to be read afresh and our traditional understandings rigorously critiqued. Let me lay out the journey the editors take us on -- at least as I read it.

1. Autobiographical perspective. At the very beginning of the book, we are introduced to real people who have had direct experience living with a homosexual orientation or who are related to someone who has. This first section of the book brings home the degree of pain and suffering experienced by an individual with a homosexual orientation. Whatever one may think about homosexuality, the reality is that the issue is not some abstract theological one that doesn’t affect real  people. The person living with a homosexual orientation either has to keep their experience to themselves, struggling to come to terms with what the church generally labels as sin while suffering intense guilt for being different or not being able to "overcome" their "sin".l

2. Alternatively the person with a homosexual orientation may "come out" and share their struggle with others. Often this results in isolation, exclusion, emotional (and often physical) abuse, or unsuccessful "reprogramming" by those who claim it can be cured. The person’s friends and family are also affected in various painful ways as they struggle to come to terms with what they often see as an abnormality, perversion, or sinful behaviour. 

3. By situating the entire discussion within the context of personal experience, the reader is forced to personalise the issue. Theological debate is, in this case, about real people. Whatever we may believe about homosexuality, it is impossible to ignore the fact that Jesus commands us to love our neighbour as ourselves. 

4. We are then led on to the biomedical perspective. For those who are well informed, there are no surprises here. There is mounting evidence that there is a biological predisposition toward a homosexual orientation that has nothing to do with choice. Many Christians want to avoid this fact but it cannot be avoided.

5. Many people make a lot of the fact that homosexuality was removed from the DSM (the psychiatric diagnostic manual) in response to political action. What they don’t realise is that homosexuality was originally included in the DSM without any scientific basis in the first place. There is a chapter in this section that tells this story and is a very interesting read. 

6. Part Three of the book surveys behavioural science perspectives. The chapters that make up this section discuss the psychological and social experiences of gay and lesbian Seventh-day Adventists as well as asking whether the SDA denomination lives up to the ideals it holds as a caring, welcoming church. The assessment is not good, to say the least.

7. Only after dealing with the realities of experience and science does the book turn to scripture and theology. By now it is difficult not to be convinced that much of what we thought we knew about the homosexual experience has to go. But what does the Bible have to say on the subject and how should it be read? This section, in my view, is the most controversial of the book and is likely to provoke the most scrutiny. 

8. The most significant alternative understanding of the Bible’s teaching on homosexuality offered in this section is that the biblical writers knew nothing of what we know, in our time, about sexual orientation. Every reference to homosexual behaviour in Scripture occurs in a context where immoral actions are performed and the relationships are distorted. (One author rather unconvincingly suggests that there are actually positive examples of homosexual relationships in the Bible. This author himself admits that his view is highly conjectural.)

9. The argument is that homosexual acts in mutually beneficial, monogamous, long-term committed relationships are just not addressed in the Bible. Instead, we need to follow similar trajectories of interpretation as has occurred with slavery and the treatment of women. We need to accept that for a percentage of the population, homosexual orientation is normal. Rather than trying to "cure" them of that orientation, we need to accept it and focus on developing the moral foundations and parameters on which healthy partnerships can be formed between same-sex partners.

10. Of all the responses at the end of each section, Richard Rice’s response in this section is probably the most critical. It is as if the other sections of the book present ideas that are basically indisputable - it is hard to argue with personal experience or science. But it is obvious that, when it comes to Scripture an enormous amount of work needs to be done to develop better, deeper, and broader understandings of the text than we have so far. 

11. The final section of the book turns to Christian social perspectives. Coming from the SDA perspective that underlies the whole book, this section asks how SDAs should relate to the development of public policy in relation to homosexuality. What does it mean to pastor a gay person in the church? How do we evaluate public policy? What does a biblical sexuality look like? How does the biblical teaching on love imply what=2 0a same-sex marriage might look like? These are just a few of the tough questions dealt with in this part of the book.

Reading through Christianity and Homosexuality is an enlightening, provocative journey. I learned a great deal by reading this book. And the responses at the end of each chapter provided sensitive counterpoints to the material in the previous chapters.

This book probably raises more questions than it answers. But it is urgent that the questions be asked and discussed. So many Christian gay men and women are hurting deeply as a result of misunderstanding, prejudice, and demoralising treatment.

Although Christianity and Homosexuality is clearly written from an SDA perspective there is much of enormous value for any Christian considering this important issue. The best books bring greater understanding by challenging our thinking, pushing us beyond our present limited perspectives, generate discussion, and remind us that the freedom and grace of the gospel are the central tenets of our faith that should inform all that we do. If these are the criteria for a good book then Christianity and Homosexuality is a good book. But it is not just a good book - it is an urgent call to leave the pages and look out to our brothers and sisters who struggle to work out how to live out their faith while experiencing a sexual orientation they did not choose but defines much of who they are. It is up to all of us to love our gay brothers and sisters as Christ has l oved us.

Steve Parker, Morphett Vale Church, Adelaide, South Australia
Check out -Thinking Christian Blog-

BOOK REVIEW - Youth in Crisis: What Everyone Should Know About Growing Up Gay

Youth in Crisis: What Everyone Should Know About Growing Up Gay, edited by Mitchell Gold with Mindy Drucker Gold. New York, Magnus Books, paperback edition, 2008. 369 pages. Reviewed by Dave Ferguson.

I found it fascinating to learn the background stories of friends, acquaintances, well-known personalities, and others I had never heard about. I wanted to find a favorite story to highlight, but it was impossible; they were all so special in their own way. I have known for years that it is stories that change hearts and minds; so it was not surprising to find myself moved sometimes to laughter, sometimes to tears, and often to be deeply moved by the lives of the forty individuals who were willing to share their personal lives and struggles based on their sexual orientation. The personal introduction of each story by Mitchell Gold shows his intense involvement not only with the struggle faced by those growing up gay in our society, but also the depth of his involvement in the project of writing the book by actually spending time with each author and their story. It is difficult for me to imagine anyone being able to read all of these stories and still be able to say these people all “chose” to experience this pain, but some religious folks still cling to the belief that sexual orientation is a choice despite the evidence from so many sources that says it is not.

The book is a must read for every teenager in America whether they are coming to terms with their own sexual orientation or that of a family member, friend, classmate, or fellow congregant. I’m encouraging those in gay-straight alliances to include it in discussions. After reading it themselves, teens should share with their parents, so they can understand both the struggles of teens and learn from the stories of other parents how to first deal with having a gay child (I’m including gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender) and then what it means to love and support them. The book’s sections can be read sequentially or in any order that meets a teen’s current circumstances. The various sections reflect the areas of greatest challenge: Religious Discrimination; Family and Community Rejection; School and Social Discrimination; In the Workplace; What I Know Now: On Losing A Child; The Sin Question; and an Exposé on the Silent Epidemic of Depression, Isolation, and Fear. Of all of these categories, it is still hardest to grasp that people who claim a religious faith and experience can, at the same time, inflict so much pain on the lives of others through their words, their actions, and their inaction.

The book is a gold mine of resources. It moves from understanding texts in the Bible to sources for school statistics, to organizations that can provide support to those to be avoided, and the myth of reparative therapy. The Expose’ provides rich resources and ideas for teachers, principals, school administrators, parents, politicians, the media, pastors, rabbis, priests, and imams.

This book makes a wonderful gift to youth in crisis. It provides the answers for moving from crisis to a life that is filled with joy and fulfillment. Hopefully, as a society, we will make the constitutional guarantees of equality for all a reality for these teens who are currently bullied in school and denied housing, workplace security, and a partner because of their orientation.

COMING OUT RESOURCES
FAITH COMMUNITY RESOURCES

It Gets Better (for Adventists, too) from Stephen Eyer on Vimeo.
A message of hope for LGBT Adventist youth. It really does get better.

Renewed Heart Ministries is a not-for-profit, teaching ministry, passionate about putting on display the enemy-embracing, radically-forgiving, self-giving, others-focused, co-suffering, nonviolent love of God as seen in Jesus of Nazareth, as the way to renew and heal this world, till the only world that remains is a world where love reigns.

Out In Scripture is a collection of over 175 conversations about the Bible. With the skilled help of 100 diverse scholars and pastors, from over 11 different denominations, you will discover a fresh approach to Scripture. Here you can be honest, question and go deeper.

The Marin Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit that works to build bridges between the LGBTQ community and the Church through scientific research, biblical and social education, and diverse community gatherings.

Believe Out Loud is an online network that empowers Christians to work for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) equality. Reaching nearly one million individuals a week, we elevate the people and places where Christianity and LGBT justice intersect. 

The National LGBTQ Task Force organizes, convenes and staffs the National Religious Leadership Roundtable (NRLR), a network of leaders from pro-LGBT faith, spiritual and religious organizations, and runs the Institute for Welcoming Resources (IWR), which works with the welcoming church movement in eight mainline Protestant denominations.

The Human Rights Campaign Religion and Faith Program’smission is to change the conversation about gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people and faith.

Gender Identity and Our Faith Communities:  A Congregational Guide for Transgender Advocacy

GLAAD's Religion, Faith & Values program works to amplify the voices of LGBT-affirming communities of faith and LGBT people of faith.

The Gay Christian Network (GCN) helps create safe spaces both online and offline for Christians of all sorts to make friends, ask questions, get support, and offer support to others.

FILMS & VIDEOS

Our hope and prayer making Seventh-Gay Adventists: A Film About Faith on the Margins has always been to spark authentic dialogue with (and not just “at” or “about”) LGBTI members of the Adventist church (and beyond). The listening spaces that have opened up at screenings and home viewings have been profound. People have realized that it’s not about a theological debate; it’s about listening, really listening, to the stories and perspectives of those most marginalized and least allowed to share their experiences in our pulpits and publications. Because of the importance of these conversations, we are offering the film for free to any Adventist pastor or teacher who requests a copy. The digital copy is entirely free, and the DVD version will only cost the shipping fees while supplies last. If you’d like to watch this film for yourself or share it with a Sabbath school class, home discussion group or class, please contact Daneen Akers at daneen@daneenakers.com.

The digital and DVD versions include English closed captioning and subtitles in English, French, and Portuguese, as well a great deal of special features (such as an intro and Q&A and over 30 minutes of additional footage). www.sgamovie.com

Here are a few of the endorsements the film has garnered:

“The movie, which simply tells stories rather than taking an advocacy stance, is powerful. It can, I believe, do much to make Adventists more compassionate.” —Dr. William Johnsson, retired editor, The Adventist Review

“Whatever one’s position regarding homosexuals and the church may be, this film is worth seeing because it candidly probes issues with real human faces and stories.” —Dr. Roy Gane, author and Andrews seminary professor

“No matter one’s views going into the film, one comes out better understanding the human responsibility, let alone the church’s responsibility, in dealing with its LGBT children and members. I defy anyone to see this film dry-eyed. It will change you. You’ll leave with Christ’s words ringing in your ears, ‘I tell you the truth, whatsoever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did it for me.’” —Dr. Lawrence T. Geraty, president emeritus, La Sierra University

“This film is—hands down—the best bridge-building film in this genre that I’ve seen.” —Andrew Marin, author of Love Is an Orientation

“A must-see documentary film about the crossroads between faith and sexual identity. Thank you for being gracious and generous and for putting a spotlight on grace.” —Pastor Ray Dabrowski, communication director for the General Conference from 1994 to 2010

“The film is superb, a poignant and profound experience beyond any I've seen on the subject.” —Chris Blake, author and professor of English at Union College

“If you are processing how a ‘follower of Jesus’ should respond to someone whom society has labelled as LGBT, you owe it to yourself to add this documentary to the list of resources you are considering. I was unexpectedly blown away…. I cannot recommend this film highly enough.” —Herb Montgomery, author of Finding the Father and director of Renewed Heart Ministries


Enough Room At The Table: A Conversation about Faith, Sexuality, and Gender
ENOUGH ROOM AT THE TABLE is a dialogue film set at the intersection of faith, gender, and sexuality. It’s meant to model the sacred space that opens up when we gather to genuinely listen to each other and participate in each other’s lives. Our differences in beliefs, theological paradigms, and practice don’t disappear; but we stop seeing each other as position statements or labels and instead see each other as fellow beloved children of God. We start looking like the sort of people who are known by their love.  http://www.enoughroomfilm.com/ 


For the Bible Tells Me So
Through the experiences of five very normal, very Christian, very American families -- including those of former House Majority Leader Richard Gephardt and Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson -- we discover how insightful people of faith handle the realization of having a gay child. Informed by such respected voices as Bishop Desmond Tutu, Harvard's Peter Gomes, Orthodox Rabbi Steve Greenberg and Reverend Jimmy Creech, FOR THE BIBLE TELLS ME SO offers healing, clarity and understanding to anyone caught in the crosshairs of scripture and sexual identity. Find it online here...


Trembling Before G-d — http://www.tremblingbeforeg-d.com
A cinematic portrait of various gay Orthodox Jews who struggle to reconcile their faith and their sexual orientation. Built around intimately-told personal stories of Hasidic and Orthodox Jews who are gay or lesbian, the film portrays a group of people who face a profound dilemma - how to reconcile their passionate love of Judaism and the Divine with the drastic Biblical prohibitions that forbids homosexuality.


Before God: We are All Family 
Our new short film, Before God: We Are All Family is a film that explores the experiences of LGBT people of deep faith -- who have been told there is no place for them in their church of origin -- and the experiences of their parents and siblings -- who have been cruelly asked to choose between su familia y su relgión.


Before God, We Are All Family
A La Familia: A Conversation About Our Families, the Bible, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

Request a screening of Before God, We Are All Family
Contact Us: Lisbeth Melendez Rivera, Director of Latino and Catholic Initiatives - familia@hrc.org


 

SHORT VIDEOS

Outspoken - A new documentary short film series from the producers of Seventh-Gay Adventists.


Yo soy JhonnyPublished on May 1, 2017 -https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZgNsHJ2DNto&feature=youtu.be
Como dijera Braulio Peralta al citar a Carlos Monsivais en su libro "El closet de cristal": "de que puede enorgullecerse una persona si no esta orgullosa de su comunidad"; pues bien, me enorgullece representar a ambas comunidades, conflictuadas entre si durante mucho tiempo y quizá sea tiempo de desmitificar las razones por las que no debiéramos pertenecer a una u otra comunidad. A través de los vídeos que estaré subiendo procuraré dar una perspectiva diferente a la diversidad sexual tocando el punto desde el ángulo cristiano.

Dejo los links de algunas comunidades incluyentes en la república mexicana:

Católicos cristianos incluyentes: https://www.facebook.com/CasaApostoli...

Adventistas incluyentes: http://www.sdakinship.org/es/

Mormones incluyentes: http://afirmacion.org/

Evangélicos incluyentes: https://www.facebook.com/icmcasadeluz...

Judíos incluyentes: https://www.facebook.com/Guimelmx/?fr...

Mi blog personal: https://www.facebook.com/yosoyjhonny/..


Here I Am - https://vimeo.com/158130932
"Here I Am" interviews 28 individuals and discusses the importance of telling our stories at the intersection of faith and sexuality. It was produced largely due to the efforts of our friend and Kinship member, Dr. John Wallace.


Matthew Vines at the Together In This event, February 21, 2015 - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCj7j5qgIMa9gX-apCl7h1Yg 
Watch Matthew Vines (matthewvines.com) and his session from the Together In This event on February 21st, 2015.

The Gay Debate: The Bible and Homosexuality - http://www.matthewvines.com/transcript/
by Matthew Vines

Matthew Vines is an advocate for the acceptance of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people within Christian communities and in society at large. He lives in Wichita, Kansas. Matthew attended Harvard University from 2008 to 2010. He then took a leave of absence in order to research the Bible and homosexuality and work toward LGBT inclusion in the church.

In March 2012, Matthew delivered a speech at a church in his hometown about the Bible and homosexuality, calling for acceptance of gay Christians and their marriage relationships. Since then, the video of the speech has been seen more than 500,000 times on YouTube, and it was featured in The New York Times and The Christian Post. You can access transcriptions of this speech in Deutsch, Español, Français, Italiano, Portugués, русский, 日本人 , 中国(简体 ) , 中國(傳統), 한국의 ,


Teaching Empathy  - http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/children-full-of-life/

Children Full of Life
Mr. Kanamori, a teacher of a 4th grade class, teaches his students not only how to be students, but how to live. He gives them lessons on teamwork, community, the importance of openness, how to cope, and the harm caused by bullying.

In the award-winning documentary Children Full of Life, a fourth-grade class in a primary school in Kanazawa, northwest of Tokyo, learn lessons about compassion from their homeroom teacher, Toshiro Kanamori.

He instructs each to write their true inner feelings in a letter, and read it aloud in front of the class. By sharing their lives, the children begin to realize the importance of caring for their classmates.

Toshiro is an amazing example of what all teachers across the world should be like. He truly understands what teaching children is all about and certainly made a positive difference in the lives of these 10 year olds. 


It Gets Better -http://www.itgetsbetterforadventists.org/
The It Gets Better Project is an internet-based project founded in the United States. Its goal is to prevent suicide among LGBTIQ youth by having gay adults convey the message through social media videos that these teens’ lives will improve. The project has grown rapidly: over 200 videos were uploaded in the first week, and the project’s YouTube channel reached the 650-video limit in the next week.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suicide_among_LGBT_youth - cite_note-Savage_sfgate_1010-29 The project is now organized on its own website, the It Gets Better Project (http://www.itgetsbetter.org/) and includes more than 30,000 entries, with more than 40 million views, from people of all sexual orientations, including many celebrities. A book of essays from the project, It Gets Better: Coming Out, Overcoming Bullying, and Creating a Life Worth Living, was released in March 2011. The link above is the one made by and for Seventh-day Adventists.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6qXQRxr4ZWg


Norman Spack: How I Help Transgender Teens Become Who They Want To Be

TEDxBeaconStreet 2013 · 16:53 · Filmed Nov 2013
Puberty is an awkward time for just about everybody, but for transgender teens it can be a nightmare, as they grow overnight into bodies they aren't comfortable with. In a heartfelt talk, endocrinologist Norman Spack tells a personal story of how he became one of the few doctors in the US to treat minors with hormone replacement therapy. By staving off the effects of puberty, Spack gives trans teens the time they need.   Interactive Transcript

GENERAL RESOURCES
The goal of QueerBio.com is to be the definitive online biographical reference source for the international LGBTQ community. Its database lists over 9,000 contemporary and historical figures who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer, and includes artists, sports figures, politicians, entertainers, business leaders, academics, activists, and more. The database is widely international in scope and is an ideal source for research and analysis with full search and sort functionality.

Level Ground uses art to create safe space for dialogue about faith, gender, and sexuality, Level Ground hopes to cultivate a better way of speaking with one another across our differences and disagreements.

A La Familia is a bilingual project that promotes inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people within communidades Latinas.

Building Safe Places is an organically developing project dedicated to helping pastors, teachers, administrators, family life coordinators, youth leaders, counselors, and families better care for and support the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex people in their congregations, schools, and communities.
INTERNATIONAL RESOURCES

The Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office promotes the goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all, as reflected in the United Nations Charter. Through targeted education, advocacy, and outreach, we engage Unitarian Universalists in support of international cooperation and the work of the United Nations.

The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) is a leading international organization dedicated to human rights advocacy on behalf of people who experience discrimination or abuse on the basis of their actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity or expression.

The GLOBAL INTERFAITH NETWORK on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity builds solidarity amongst individuals of faith regardless of SOGI, promote dialogue, respect and affirm diversity within various contexts and achieve common goals of equality, spirituality, and justice.

KINSHIP MEMES

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LGBTIQ HEALTH 
RESOURCES FOR FAMILIES

Someone to Talk To

The purpose of this ministry for Adventist families and friends of gays and lesbians is:

•   to provide a listening ear for parents who desperately need a "safe" person to talk to,

•   to help parents work through their initial emotions of shock, anger, shame, grief and pain,

•   to enable parents to get past focusing on their own suffering so they can begin to understand their children's situations and the confusion and rejection they have experienced much of their lives,

•   to encourage parents to demonstrate God's unconditional love to their children, and

•   to provide information and resources in the hope that they will help our church to move beyond ignorance and prejudice and to reach out with true compassion and understanding to those who so often have not been treated the way Jesus modeled.

Overview of Lesbian and Gay Parenting, Adoption and Foster Care

Lori Duron is the author of Raising My Rainbow: Adventures in Raising a Fabulous, Gender Creative Son (Random House, September 2013). The first parenting memoir to chronicle the journey of raising a gender nonconforming child, the book is based on her blog of the same name. www.RaisingMyRainbow.com - facebook.com/RaisingMyRainbow - twitter.com/RaisingRainbow

SCIENTIFIC ARTICLES AND PAPERS

Conversion therapy - Consensus statement

At the request of the Department of Health this public information was prepared by the UK Council for Psychotherapy with the support and assistance of the British Psychoanalytic Council, the Royal College of Psychiatrists, the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, the British Psychological Society, The National Counselling Society, Pink Therapy and Stonewall. February 2014.

Read the Statement by clicking here.

What Do Health Care Professional Organizations Say About "Reparative Therapy" Efforts to Eliminate Homosexual Desire?

TRANSGENDER RESOURCES

REFUGE is a web application that seeks to provide safe restroom access for transgender, intersex, and gender nonconforming individuals.

Terminology within the transgender community varies and has changed over time so we recognize the need to be sensitive to usage within particular communities.

Glossary of Terms - Transgender

YOUTH & STUDENT RESOURCES

Resources for LGBTQ Students

LGBTQ Students and College Affordability

The Intercollegiate Adventist GSA Coalition (IAGC) exists to support Gay and /Straight Alliance (GSA) groups at Adventist colleges across North America.

It Gets Better (for Adventists, too) from Stephen Eyer on Vimeo.
A message of hope for LGBT Adventist youth. It really does get better.

LifeWorks is the youth development and mentoring program of the LA Gay & Lesbian Center. We offer one on one, peer, and group mentoring opportunities for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning youth ages 12-24.

HeartStrong is a nonsectarian organization established to provide outreach to gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered and other persons adversely affected by the influence of all denominations of religious educational institutions.