Effect of Religion on the Lives of Gay Men, Lesbians, Bi-sexual and Trans People
Meeting Was Held On -
Sunday, March 18, 2018 8:42 PM
First huge thanks to Joan Beecroft for her thought provoking presentation. There were ongoing questions and comments which Joan’s talk stimulated. Also many thanks to Tom and Edna Burri for warmly hosting the event at their home.
LGBTQ2 refers to Lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transsexuals, queers and 2 spirited people.
PFLAG? Recently the understanding has been expanded from Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays to welcoming all those who are, or have associations with, those in the LGBTQ2 community, and/or questions around gender identity.
Joan explained that whereas those who identify as queer (an often used umbrella term) are at a higher risk for suicide, it doesn’t have to be that way. Parents who talk to their children, and demonstrate their compassionate and inclusive values (not only in relation to LGBT issues), can and do grow up secure and strong. If however, the family is supportive but attends a church that is homophobic, the child will inevitably be more confused and therefore more at risk. Several United Churches are making strides in being more inclusive however their numbers are dwindling. The non-accepting Pentecostal and Evangelical churches are growing.
In the last years, Joan has identified two organizations which appear on the surface to be supportive but who actually carry the mandate of “converting or straightening out” the student or adult. (Still Waters and Generous Spaces) Joan wasn’t sure if these organizations are still active.
Because of the huge harm that has been done by religion to members of the LGBTQ2 community, Joan will not use church spaces for meetings.
The group discussed bullying. Enormous strides have been made in the curriculum, bullying assemblies, presentations by Sheatre, open discussion in classrooms, etc. however unfortunately there’s still bullying going on in the schools. It’s an ongoing struggle.
How can ‘straight’ folks show their support? Go to the Grey Bruce Pride website, ‘like them’ and attend the events that indicate that ‘friends’ are welcome.
Other conversations and questions focused on the church, dying with dignity, same sex marriage, and more.
Books that were mentioned and recommended:
Conclave by Robert Harris
Origins by Dan Brown
Queering the Bible
Ruth Henrich updated us on the petition (1264) from humanists that has now been delivered to the House of Commons. This petition asks that people with no religious beliefs be protected from discrimination under the many laws that cover other identified groups.