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Questioning Queerness in the Face of Faith

Tomorrow is Easter. I have had so many traditions over the years. Coloring Easter Eggs, making Easter baskets, Egg hunts, brunch, Sunday morning church, pictures with the Easter Bunny, and the list could go on. All of these traditions had the undercurrent of a faith walk that I was wrestling with as I was navigating my own sexuality and identity. The joy of the holiday could never be fully felt because at the core of it I was wondering if I was even allowed to be who I was or if who I was would make me unacceptable to the higher power my parents taught me to believe in.

Being true to yourself is a powerful and important journey, one that can be complicated for individuals who identify as queer, particularly when faith and religion are involved. Though it may not feel there are easy existing answers on how to embrace your queerness while navigating the complexities of religion and faith, it doesn't mean you’re alone. There is support in your process and ways in which to honor both elements of your identity – queerness and faith/religion – with acceptance instead of judgement; compassion instead of denial; affirmation rather than erasure.

If you are finding yourself in that space this Easter Sunday here are some resources to explore. There are countless books out there currently to help process through religious text that has been used to condemn queerness and offer support and understanding to those of us who desire to makes these decisions outside of the shame our family of origin or religious institution might have offered. Books like ‘God and the Gay Christian’ by Matthew Vine, ‘Unclobbered’ by Colby Martin, ‘Does Jesus Really Love Me’ by Jeff Chu, ‘Confessions of a Recovering Evangelical’ by Daniel Henderson, and ‘Beyond a Binary God’ by Tara Soughers to name a few.

In addition to the support of individual research and reflection, there are also resources that offer care and community. Many of the towns we live in offer groups that offer connection with other LGBTQIA+ individuals that are processing through similar issues. The Q Christian Fellowship is an online resource that connects queer individuals who are processing through faith through virtual and in person support groups, in person conferences, and other resources to process through expression of one’s authentic self to family members. Their website is . In addition, Living Out is another online resource that offers insight and support for those of us processing the complexities of faith and sexuality. Their website is . Again, these are just a couple of the resources that are becoming more and more available and serve as reminders that you are not alone, no matter where you might live in the country and how that area might make you feel isolated.

Thankfully the dialogue surrounding faith and sexuality and the awareness of religious trauma inside and outside of the queer community is increasing. There are many counselors, myself included, that offer trauma informed care and support. Utilizing mental health professionals to process through this trauma in embracing our authentic self is a resource that many of us didn’t have when we were making these decisions. Psychology today allows for you to filter on therapists that are either in the LGBTQIA+ community or allied, as well as those therapists that are religious trauma informed in their therapeutic approach. You are not alone in this process. You are not alone in your questions and fears. You are loved and valuable in the fullness of who you are no matter what decision you make regarding your faith walk. Let us journey together in this pursuit and support one another in accessing the resources needed to make the next positive step forward… and then the next… and then the next.

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