RELIGION IS NOT CLOSED TO YOU.
The honest to God truth is that whether you are Muslim, Jewish, or Christian and LGBTQ+—your God loves you. While religious institutions that have been colonized and rebranded for the sake of condemning and excluding may not love you or welcome you, it’s important to keep in mind that the building and God are two very separate things. Faith is a deeply personal thing, something built on a foundation that only you and your God stand on.
There’s a sense of power that can come from realizing that your faith is not what condemns you. Your God is not the one turning from you. No matter which religion you find comfort in, your God wouldn’t try to change you because they made you exactly who you are.
Them.Us published a piece that told the story of different LGBTQ+ Muslim women, one of Rwhom says, “The biggest thing I remind myself of is that Allah is the only one who can judge me, and who can truly know that I am like this.”
“The love of God’s creatures must include all humankind, regardless of religion and race,” says Rav Avraham Yitzchak Kook, of the Jewish faith “The narrow mindedness that sees whatever is outside people as impure and contaminated is one of those terrible blights that destroys any good building.”
Reverend Bailey from the United Methodist Church is a 27-year-old LGBTQ+ woman who chose to work within the church to make it more welcoming and accessible to all communities. When talking to her about the clobber text often used against the LGBTQ+ community, she s, “When we can make the Bible say whatever we want it to say, and we can use the Bible to harm or we can use the Bible to talk about radical love, for me, I am going to choose that radical love every single time.”
Oftentimes we are Christian, or Muslim, or Jewish, or another religion before we realize and accept that we are LGBTQ+ and that can mean that we are in spaces that aren’t the most welcoming. We are subjected to mistranslated scriptures or old beliefs that don’t correlate with faith because the religious environment we were brought up in never took the time to not only know us but also never practiced the foundation of faith which is not to exclude but to love.
Reverend Bailey uses her faith as a reminder of the complexity of God. “If God truly encompasses all things, all genders, all sexualities, all nations, races, all that,” she says, “then God also has to include, and not only include but affirm me as part of God’s creation and that’s something that my faith has taught me.” Her words are not just specific to the Christian God but can encompass the truth of many Gods for various religions.
As LGBTQ+ people, religion is often used against us and therefore turning us away from the God who made us and loves us. Religion is not closed to you. Your God loves you and wants a relationship with you. You are not alone. Down below will be just a few of the many resources offered in various religions to help LGBTQ+ individuals in their journey of faith.