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LGBTQ+ Healing from Religious Hurt

During Pride Month, we celebrate LGBTQ+ victories and recognize the progress that still needs to be made. A painful part of the LGBTQ+ experience can be trauma associated with religion. Whether the hurt comes from outside sources, or a battle within oneself, reconciliation between faith and Queer identity is a difficult gap to bridge. The books in this list seek to provide healing and hope. 

Struggling in Good Faith: LGBTQI inclusion from 13 American religious perspectives by D'vorah Rose Mychal Copeland
A multifaceted sourcebook telling the powerful story of reconciliation, celebration and struggle for LGBTQI inclusion across the American religious landscape. "No matter what stage in the process of change, religious belief is unveiled in all its dynamism in this book.... Wrestling with issues and struggling for better understanding of one's fellow human beings is at the center of every religion, no matter how old or new, narrow or expansive, Western or Eastern, that religion is. The struggle itself is a sign of life in these religious endeavors, and with life there is hope." --from the Foreword by Bishop Gene Robinson We are at a critical turning point in American religious and political life over LGBTQI inclusion. How each spiritual community approaches the question will profoundly impact the American political and social climate of the future. This accessible resource explores thirteen faith traditions that wrestle with LGBTQI inclusion, documenting the challenges and transformation of American religion. Faith Traditions Covered: The Black Church * Buddhism * The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon) * The Episcopal Church * First Nations (Native American) * Hinduism * Judaism * The Lutheran Church * Islam * The Presbyterian Church * Protestant Evangelical Traditions * The Roman Catholic Church * Unitarian Universalism

Outlove: a queer Christian survival story by Julie Rodgers
After decades of bouncing between hope and despair, Evangelical, Baptist-raised Julie Rodgers found herself making a powerful public statement that her former self would have never said: ""I support same-sex marriage in the church."" When Rodgers came out to her family as a junior in high school, she still believed that God would sanctify her and eventually make her straight. Wanting so intensely to be good, she spent her adolescent and early adult years with an ex-gay ministry, praying for liberation from her homosexuality. In Outlove Rodgers details her deeply personal journey from a life of self-denial in the name of faith to her role in leading the take-down of Exodus International, the largest ex-gay organization in the world, to her marriage to a woman at the Washington National Cathedral. Through one woman's intimate story, we see the larger story of why many have left conservative religious structures in order to claim their truest identity. Outlove is about love and losses, political and religious power-plays, and the cost to those who sought to stay in a faith community that wouldn't accept them. Shedding light on the debate between Evangelical Christians and the LGBTQ community--a battle that continues to rage on in the national news and in courtrooms across the country--this book ultimately casts a hopeful vision for how the church can heal.

A Queer Dharma : Yoga and Meditations for Liberation by Jacoby Ballard
In "A Queer Dharma" Jacoby Ballard introduces a queer-centered lens for yoga and the dharma. This book deconstructs issues of modern yoga, and explains concepts to combat these issues such as lovingkindness, compassion, and forgiveness. Ballard addresses the trauma queer communities have faced, and provides ways to work through that trauma.

Heavy Burdens: seven ways LGBTQ Christians experience harm in the church by Bridget Eileen Rivera
Provides an honest account of the ways LGBTQ people experience discrimination in the church, helping Christians grapple with hard realities and empowering churches across the theological spectrum to navigate better paths forward.

Queer Virtue: what LGBTQ people know about life and love and how it can revitalize Christianity by Elizabeth M. Edman
Frustrated by the notion that Christian love = tolerance, Edman argues that Christianity, at its scriptural core, is not a tradition that is hostile to queer people but is, in fact, itself inherently queer. Edman reveals how queering Christianity that is, disrupting simplistic ways of thinking about gender and sexuality--can illuminate contemporary Christian faith and shows why queer Christians are gifts to the Church.

If God is Love, Don't be a Jerk: finding a faith that makes us better humans by John Pavlovitz
John Pavlovitz examines the bedrock ideas of our religion: the existence of hell, the utility of prayer, the way we treat LGBTQ people, the value of anger, and other doctrines to help all of us take a good, honest look at how the beliefs we hold can shape our relationships with God and our fellow humans--and to make sure that love has the last, loudest word.

Unashamed: a coming-out guide for LGBTQ Christians by Amber Cantorna
On a daily basis, author and LGBTQ advocate Amber Cantorna receives emails asking the same question: How does one reconcile their sexuality with their faith? Depression, despair, and thoughts of suicide often haunt LGBTQ Christians as they feel unable to imagine the possibility of living a happy, fulfilling life as an LGBTQ person of faith. As the gay daughter of a thirty-plus-year executive of conservative Christian organization Focus on the Family, Amber lost everything when she came out as gay in 2012. However, her journey to embrace her authenticity brought her fulfillment and wisdom to share. Unashamed serves as a guide for Christians considering coming out, tackling tough subject matters such as demolishing internalized homophobia, finding an affirming faith community, reestablishing your worth as a child of God, navigating difficult family conversations (especially in cases where family is involved in church leadership/ministry), and healing from the pain of rejection. Unashamed encourages LGBTQ Christians to embrace their unique identities and to celebrate the diversity placed inside them by God.

Gay Conversations with God by James Alexander Langteaux
Representing a first in gay and Christian publishing, this provocative book presents a complete reversal of thought and action, contending that God loves homosexuals without attempting to refute scripture references. The study confronts its subject with a quirky sense of humor in the spirit of the "bedtime story," providing a rare, evangelical Christian volume addressed directly to the gay community. Unorthodox in its presentation, this guide speaks the language of those who may feel abandoned, condemned, and damned while avoiding reinterpretations of scriptural passages.


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