All: Select this for one long list of all of our resources.

10 Top Resources

(format: brochure-pamphlet)

A flyer with 10 of our best resources for learning more about affirmation and the LGBTQ+ community. Great for handing out at community events, having on hand in a narthex for church members to take home, and to keep around as suggested resources for study groups.

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A Better Place

Mark A Roeder, 2011 (format: Book)

The story of two boys from two completely different worlds struggling to find themselves amongst a whirlwind of confusion.

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A Brief Guide to Ministry with LGBTQIA Youth

Cody J. Sanders, 2017 (format: book)

This book challenges pastors and church leaders to reflect on the various trials that adolescence brings for LGBTQIA youth. Designed for congregations that currently have a theologically and biblically affirming stance toward the LGBTQIA community, A Brief Guide to Ministry with LGBTQIA Youth provides insight and practical advice for tough questions like:

  • How does an affirming stance toward LGBTQIA people affect the day-to-day experience of teenagers in a church setting?
  • In what ways can a churchs youth ministry have a positive impact on the lives of LGBTQIA youth who want to fully live out their Christian faith and their gender identity?
  • How can a pastor, youth minister, or youth ministry volunteer embrace, nurture, and provide skillful care for LGBTQIA youth in a congregation or community?

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A Church that Welcomes Everyone

(format: brochure-pamphlet)

A brochure that explains what it mean to be a welcoming Open & Affirming congregation to people who haven’t heard of GLAD, O&A, or even the Disciples.

Great for having on hand for visitors to your church, for new members, or on a table at a street fair or gay pride festival.

This version has a text box on the back for your church or ministry name, or other information.

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A la Familia: Una Conversación Sobre Nuestras Familias, la Biblia, la Orientación Sexual Y la Identidad de Género/A Conversation About Our Families, the Bible, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

Miguel A. De La Torre (format: Free Download)

A guide that seeks to hear the voices of the lgbt persons in Hispanic churches and families, to faithfully integrate an excluded group of people back into the life of their churches and families, and to embolden Hispanic churches to follow the mission Christ gives to them — that of welcome and hospitality.

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A Letter to Louise: A Biblical Affirmation of Homosexuality

(format: Free Download)

A conservative Southern Baptist retired pastor writes to Louise about God’s love for her gay brother.

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A Time to Build: Creating Sexually Healthy Faith Communities

Debra Haffner, 2012 (format: Book)

Outlines the building blocks of a sexually healthy faith community. Sections rigorously examine sexually healthy religious professionals, worship on sexuality issues, pastoral care on sexuality, youth and adult sexuality education, safe congregations policies, welcoming and affirming programs, and how congregations can advocate for sexual and spiritual wholeness in their communities.

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A Time to Embrace Same Gender Relationships in Religion, Law, and Politics

William Stacy Johnson, 2006 (format: Book)

Presents an analysis of the religious, legal and political stakes in the debates over gay marriage, civil unions, and the place of committed gay couples in a democratic society. Johnson lays out different responses from churches, and tests the arguments of each along the way.

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A Time to Seek: Study Guide on Sexual and Gender Diversity

(format: Free Download)

Offers a concise review of current sociological, public health and scientific data regarding sexual orientation and gender. It also considers key Scriptural passages in light of contemporary understandings of sexual and gender diversity.

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A Whosoever Church: Welcoming Lesbians and Gay Men into African American Congregations

Gary David Comstock, 2001 (format: Book)

Comstock interviews African American religious leaders from a variety of denominations in a conversation concerned with the church as a welcoming community and addressing how to welcome lesbians and gay men into African American congregations.

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Additional Spanish Language Resources

(format: Website)

Additional Spanish language resources listed by the Institute for Welcoming Resources.

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Affirm United/S’affirmer Ensemble

(format: Website)

Affirm United/S’affirmer ensemble is an organization of people of all sexual orientations and gender identities within The United Church of Canada.

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African American Roundtable

Pacific School of Religion Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies (format: Website)

The African American Roundtable at Pacific School of Religion seeks the full inclusion of Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in communities of faith by fostering dialogue about faith and sexuality among Black church and faith leaders.

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All God’s Children: Teaching Children About Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity

(format: Book)

A guide to open and caring conversations with young children about gender and sexual orientation.

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All in God’s Family: Creating Allies for Our LGBT Families

(format: book)

A curriculum available for the Institute for Welcoming Resources which includes the All in God’s Family curriculum guide, the book Families Like Mine, the video In My Shoes: Stories of Youth with LGBT Parents, and the CD-ROM That’s So Gay: Portraits of Youth with LGBT Parents. This curriculum gives you opportunities to gather with other members of your congregation to pray, to learn, to share, and to work together to transform your lives, your congregation, and your world into a loving place in which God’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender families can thrive.

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Alliance Q and O&A Logos

(format: free-download)

Here are several logos from the Alliance Q. Please note that these logos are copyright by the Disciples LGBTQ+ Alliance and can only be used by permission. We authorize and encourage the O&A Ministries listed on this site to use these logos on your website and printed materials to proclaim your Open & Affirming welcome. Others may apply for permission to use these logos at

Contact Mark Johnston at if your needs require other formats.

The Disciples LGBTQ+ Alliance Logo

300dpi for print

72dpi for web

The Open & Affirming Ministry Logo

300dpi for print

72dpi for web

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Always My Child: A Parent’s Guide to Understanding Your Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgendered or Questioning Son or Daughter

Kevin Jennings, 2002 (format: Book)

Filled with real-life stories, scientific research and practical advice, Jennings stresses the importance of family acceptance for a child’s self-esteem and the need to create a safe haven at home for GLBTQ teens, who often feel depressed, isolated, and harassed by peers and society at large.

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And God Loves Each One/Dios Nos Ama Por Igual

(format: Book)

A tool for discussion about sexual orientation in churches and communities. Also available in Spanish.

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Answers to Questions About Religion & Homosexuality

PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) (format: Free Download)

A pamphlet from the Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays answering questions about religion and homosexuality.

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Answers to Your Questions About Individuals With Intersex Conditions

American Psychological Association (format: Free Download)

A pamphlet from the American Psychological Association explaining intersex conditions.

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Answers to Your Questions About Same-Sex Marriage

American Psychological Association (format: Free Download)

A fact sheet from the American Psychological Association on same-sex marriage.

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Answers to Your Questions About Transgender Individuals and Gender Identity

American Psychological Association (format: Free Download)

This pamphlet from the American Psychological Association explains the meaning of the term transgender and provides information about transgender people and their experiences.

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Answers to Your Questions For a Better Understanding of Sexual Orientation & Homosexuality

American Psychological Association (format: free-download)

This pamphlet from the American Psychological Association is designed to provide accurate information for those who want to better understand sexual orientation and the impact of prejudice and discrimination on those who identify as lesbian, gay, or bisexual.

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Asian and Pacific Islander Roundtable

Pacific School of Religion Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies (format: Website)

The Asian and Pacific Islander Roundtable envisions the emergence of coalitions and networks of API LGBTQ and API allies across the country that affirm the dignity and spiritual wholeness of API-LGBTQ people of faith.

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Be Not Afraid: Straight for Equality in Faith Communities

Straight for Equality, PFLAG National, 2012 (format: free-download)

Be Not Afraid, delves deeply into how to be an ally to LGBTQ people in faith communities. Straight for Equality, which developed this resource, is a program of PFLAG.

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Be Yourself: Questions & Answers for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgender Youth

PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) (format: Free Download)

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Being In Relationship: A New Way to Talk with Black and White Theologically Conservative Christians about the Place of Lesbian and Gay People in Our Families, Our Churches and Society.

(format: book)

Being in Relationship from Auburn Seminary is a guide for conducting discussions around LGBTQ issues across racial and theological divides. As can always be expected from Auburn Seminary, this resource is well researched and well presented.

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Believe Out Loud

(format: book)

A resource for all churches living into God’s radical hospitality

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Benediction written for a Transgender Day of Remembrance

Sonny Graves (format: free-download)

A benediction written for a Transgender Day of Remembrance service.

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Bisexuality: Making the Invisible Visible in Faith Communities

(more information)

Marie Alford-Harkey, Rev. Debra W. Haffner, 2014 (format: Book)

Bisexuality: Making Visible the Invisible in Faith Communities is a multifaith compendium of stories and resources to help congregations as they take the next step toward full inclusion of LGBT people. This comprehensive guidebook helps congregations minister to bisexual people and their families by answering such questions as: How can a congregation become welcoming and inclusive of bisexuals? What does Scripture say about bisexuality? Can a minister or rabbi be openly bisexual and serve a congregation?

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Body and Soul: We Belong

Room for All, 2014 (format: On-line Video)

This series of 6 videos is produced by Room for All, the welcoming church program similar to GLAD in the Reformed Church in America. Each video examines a theological topic such as faith, baptism, and scripture. Although the discussion in the video sometimes focuses on creed and catechism in ways unfamiliar to Disciples, the questions asked are deeply familiar and the resulting discussion honors Christian tradition in ways that any Disciple can appreciate. Each video is about 10 minutes long and there’s a study guide available, making this an excellent resource for a Sunday School or Bible study group.

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Brethren/Mennonite Council for LGBT Interests

(format: Website)

A network of Mennonite and Church of the Brethren communities who welcome gay, lesbian, transgender, and bisexual members.

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Building An Inclusive Church: A Welcoming Toolkit

(format: free-download)

This is THE go to resource for starting your congregation’s journey toward Open & Affirming.

This updated version of the Toolkit draws upon decades of experience within a variety of Christian denominations. The Toolkit is a step-by-step guide to help facilitate an Open & Affirming process in your local congregation. Biblically and theologically based, it uses tools of relational organizing, congregational assessment, conflict management and change theory. The outlined process emphasizes approaching the process from a place of graceful engagement, building relationship, and understanding your congregation and its unique needs. Including are tools for listening and sharing stories, as well as resources on biblical engagement and sexual orientation and gender identity and expression.

Alongside the Toolkit, Disciples congregations will find the Companion to the Building an Inclusive Church Toolkit for Disciples of Christ Congregations useful. The Companion and the Toolkit are included in the ZIP file that will download when you click here.

There is also an online introduction to the Toolkit available here (based on an older version of the Toolkit).

Also, from time to time there are trainings offered. These will be listed on the Alliance Calendar here.

If you are considering an Open & Affirming process for your congregation, check out these pages

The Welcoming Journey : How any congregation can take another step toward widening the welcome

Becoming Open & Affirming : Guidelines from AllianceQ to be listed on our list of O&A Ministries.

The Journey to Become O&A : A suggested process.

If you would like paper copies of the Toolkit, we can ship 5 copies to you for $30. This is cheaper than having them printed at a print shop and cheaper than a new print cartridge for your computer. Contact to order.

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Building An Inclusive Church: A Welcoming Toolkit – Online Introduction

Instiute for Welcoming Resources and Reconciling Ministries Network, 2013 (format: On-line Video)

This online introduction to Building An Inclusive Church: A Welcoming Toolkit provided by the Methodist Reconciling Ministries Network is an excellent way to learn the basics for on Open & Affirming process as outlined in the Toolkit.

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Bulletproof Faith: A Spiritual Survival Guide

Candace Chellew-Hodge, 2008 (format: Book)

Written by a UCC pastor out of her experiences as a gay Christian searching for how to live with integrity while contending with hateful opposition. The spiritual survival tips that conclude each chapter serve not only as summaries but also as direct points of advice for GLBT persons coping with inevitable conflict. A confident, sensible approach to handling the opposition and self-doubt that can undermine a GLBT person’s sense of worth and belonging as a Christian.

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Bullied: A Student, a School and a Cast that Made History

(format: DVD)

This documentary film from Teaching Tolerance, a project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, chronicles one student’s ordeal at the hands of anti-gay bullies and offers an inspiring message of hope to those fighting harassment today. It can become a cornerstone of anti-bullying efforts in middle and high schools.

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Call Me Malcom

(more information)

(format: On-line Video)

Call Me Malcolm is the story of a young transgender man, his struggle with faith, family, and identity, and overcoming shame and fear with grace, compassion, and knowledge. It is an excellent video from the UCC. Click the more information link for a discussion guide.

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Celebrating Equal Marriage

Mark Johnston, 2013 (format: Free Download)

A short paper by Mark Johnston, Executive Director of GLAD’s Open & Affirming Ministry Program, describing equal marriage and making practical suggestions.

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Changing Our Mind

David P. Gushee, 2015 (format: book)

If you’ve read previous work from David Gushee, you’d be surprised to find a review of one of his books here. Rev. Dr. Gushee, an ordained Baptist minister and graduate of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and Union Theological Seminary, has been described as “America’s leading evangelical ethicist.” In his previous work, Dr. Gushee has repeated the evangelical line that same gender relationships are always unacceptable.

However, in this volume, Dr. Gushee describes how he has changed his mind on this issue and calls on the church to do the same.

Dr. Gushee describes how a look at the the way the church treats LGBT people, along with personal relationships with LGBT people, have shown him how the church has harmed many with this teaching even as he has come to see that the lives of LGBT people can exhibit Gospel values as well as any other.

While Dr. Gushee does take a look at these scriptures that are frequently used to claim that same gender relationships are contrary to Biblical teaching, this is not an in depth Bible study into these texts. Dr. Gushee also describes the ethical issues involved in various options available to Christians as they consider their relationship towards LGBT people and from this ethical viewpoint he calls upon the church to make choices based upon biblical gospel values.

This is an excellent volume for those who approach the Bible from a rather conservative or evangelical viewpoint who are starting to question the conservative stance on LGBT issues.

Don’t miss the study guide prepared by Rev. Dr. Robert Cornwall, pastor of Central Woodward Christian Church in Troy MI.

For more resources for those who approach the Bible from a rather conservative or evangelical viewpoint, see this review of the books Torn and The God Box.

For a more direct look at the scriptures commonly used to condemn LGBT people, see the resources listed in the Bible Study section of GLAD’s Resources tab, especially What the Bible Really Says About Homosexuality and God vs. Gay? The Religious Case for Equality.

For information on how best to use the resources provided in our Resources Tab, see the page The Welcoming Journey.

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Claiming the Promise: An Ecumenical Welcoming Bible Study Resource on Homosexuality

Mary Jo Osterman, 1997 (format: Free Download)

An in depth study program created by reconciling programs from several denominations. Provides an affirming perspective on Biblical issues. Excellent for a church Sunday School or Bible Study group. Be sure to download both the Bible Study and the Leaders Guide.

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Clunky Questions

LutheranWorks, 2015 (format: on-line-video)

Clunky questions is a series of short videos produced by our Lutheran friends at ReconcilingWorks. These three minute videos cover a range of topics including

  • Why can’t church just say “All are Welcome!” and leave it at that?
  • “LGBTQIA” Why do you need a label for everything?
  • I don’t “get” trans.
  • Is this a gay church now?
  • . . . and more! Check it out.

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Coming Out Young and Faithful

Leanna McCall Tagert and Timothy Brown, 2001 (format: Book)

Inspired by the Youth and Young Adult Ministries Program of the United Church of Christ, this is a book of coming-out experiences of spiritual teenagers and young adults. Written by teens for teens, and also a good resource for anyone who works with teens.

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Coming Out, Coming In: Nurturing the Well-Being and Inclusion of Gay Youth in Mainstream Society

Linda Goldman, 2007 (format: Book)

Describes the process of “coming in” to a welcoming and nurturing family, from both the teen’s and the parents’ perspective. Linda Goldman draws on her personal and professional experience as a school guidance counselor, child and adolescent therapist, parent, and a member of the national group PFLAG to build a common language and a new paradigm for understanding sexual orientation and gender identity as a part of mainstream culture.

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Congregations Talking about Homosexuality

Beth Ann Gaede, 1998 (format: Book)

From the Alban Institute, an excellent resource for those working to start a dialog within their congregations. Includes stories of congregational experiences, tips for getting started, and guidelines to keep the dialog constructive.

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Controversies in Queer Theology

Susannah Cornwall, Lisa Isherwood, 2011 (format: book)

Queer theology is a significant new development and central to much current teaching and thinking about gender, sexuality and the body. Controversies in Queer Theology provides an overview of the main areas of difference and debate in queer theologies, engaging with and critiquing all the major writers working in this area. Susannah Cornwall shows how this field is still in flux and the highlights implications for employing queer methodologies across theological work.

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Crisis: 40 Stories Revealing the Personal, Social, and Religious Pain and Trauma of Growing Up Gay in America

Mitchell Gold, 2008 (format: Book)

Revealing stories by forty diverse Americans, some well known and some not, plus insights from straight clergy and parents explaining their support of gay people as whole human beings guaranteed equal rights by our Constitution.

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Diversidad Sexual y Religión

Hugo Córdova Quero, Ph.D., 2015 (format: free-download)

This resource was created by Argentinian scholar, Hugo Córdova Quero, Director of Online Education & Adjunct Faculty at Starr King School For The Ministry in Berkeley, California. Dr. Quero holds an MA in Systematic Theology and Critical Theories (Feminist, Queer, and Postcolonial) from the Graduate Theological Union; an M.Div. from ISEDET University in Buenos Aires, Argentina; and a Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Studies in Religion, Migration, and Ethnic Studies from the Graduate Theological Union. Currently he is also on the adjunct faculty at Graduate Theological Union, an instructor at Multidisciplinary Research Group on Religion and Social Incidence (GEMRIP)/Universidad del Centro Educativo Latinoamericano (UCEL) in Buenos Aires/Rosario, and a Researcher at the Program on Multiculturalism, Migration, and Inequality in Latin America, Center for Advanced Studies at the National University of Cordoba (CEA-UNC) and Research Center for the Study of Culture and Society (CIECS/CONICET) in Córdoba, Argentina.

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Does God Care About Sex?

Rev. Tim Carson, 2012 (format: On-line Video)

Rev. Tim Carson, pastor of Broadway Christian Church in Columbia, MO, asks Does God Care About Sex? in this sermon on YouTube.

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Doing Justice: Congregations and Community Organizing

Dennis A. Jacobsen, 2001 (format: book)

Doing Justice is an introductory theology of congregation-based community organizing rooted in the day-to-day struggles and hopes of urban ministry and in the author’s 14 years of personal experience in community organizing ministries. Recommended for any interested in a biblically and theologically grounded foundation for justice work.

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El Amor No Crea Victimas

Latino/a Roundtable at Pacific School of Religion, 2014 (format: free-download)

Enfocando con el lente del amor de Cristo, no el de miedo o condena.

Also available in Portuguese: O amor Não Cria Vítimas Uma Reflexão Sobre a Igualdade

Este caderno é para você, sua família e sua igreja. Leia devagar, pense no que você está lendo, converse com sua família e amigos/as, mas, sobretudo, coloque-o em prática.

Also available in English: Love Doesn’t Make Victims: A Reflection on Equality Booklet

A resource focusing through the lens of Christ’s love, not those of fear nor condemnation. Created by the Latino/a Roundtable.

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Evangelism 101

UCC Open and Affirming Coalition, 2015 (format: free-download)

Mentioned in this presentation are some resources for UCC congregations. Disciples Open & Affirming congregations are welcome to download logos and resources from the Downloads section under Resources.

Is evangelism a dirty word in your church vocabulary? Does it make you think of preachers with fire and brimstone sermons and people who knock on your door with tracts about hell and damnation?

No! Our Open & Affirming presence in the Christian Church is, itself, evangelism, witnessing to the good news that all are welcome at the table of God’s love.

Evangelism is all about making good on our commitment to be open about our affirmation and being active ministers of God’s affirming love for all.

This slide show from Andy Lang, Executive Director of the UCC Open & Affirming Coalition, shows how evangelism is a coming out, speaks to your neighbors both LGBT and straight, and is especially important to reaching young adults.

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Faithfully Gay: A Documentary

Jordan Ray, Lena Blietz, and Shannon McLaughlin, 2015 (format: on-line-video)

A video produced by TCU students documenting the experience of LGBT students and faculty at the university. Provides insight into how our young people experience both anti-gay prejudice and affirming support.

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Families Like Mine: Children of Gay Parents Tell It Like It Is

Abigail Garner, 2004 (format: Book)

Garner, a straight daughter from a gay family, chronicles and articulates the experiences of other adult children of lgbt parents. Includes resource-referral guidance for LGBT families.

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For the Bible Tells Me So

(more information)

Daniel Karslake, 2007 (format: on-line-video)

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. For the Bible Tells Me So offers healing, clarity and understanding to anyone caught in the cross hairs of scripture and sexual identity. Don’t miss the study guides available on the website (see the Resources tab at the More Information link).

Available on YouTube

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Free Your Mind: The Book for Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Youth and Their Allies

Ellen Bass, 1996 (format: Book)

A very accessible basic guide for youth and those who care about them includes many valuable, practical suggestions and pointers to additional resources. Includes chapters on self-discovery and coming out, dealing with friends and first love, dealing with family, defending and asserting oneself in school, finding solace in spirituality, and locating community support, as well as information for parents.

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From Sin to Amazing Grace: Discovering the Queer Christ

Patrick S. Cheng, 2012 (format: Book)

Struggling with the doctrines of sin and grace, Cheng argues that people need to be liberated from the traditional crime-based model of sin and grace and proposes a Christ-centered model that is based upon the ancient doctrine of theosis, or deification, in which sin and grace are defined in terms of what God has done for us through Jesus Christ. This accessible work will serve as a useful resource for all people who struggle to make sense of the traditional Christian doctrines of sin and grace in the twenty-first century.

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Gay Christian Network

(format: Website)

The Gay Christian Network is a nonprofit ministry serving Christians who happen
to be lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender, and those who care about them.

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Gender Identity Sermon

Rev. Dr. Katy Valentine and Rev. Jesse Kearns, 2016 (format: on-line-video)

This is a sermon for a mostly Anglo, mostly straight congregation that explores the concept of gender identity, Scripture and the love of Christ.

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Gender Outlaw: On Men, Women and the Rest of Us

Kate Bornstein, 1995 (format: Book)

A thoughtful challenge to gender ideology that continually asks difficult questions about identity, orientation, and desire. Bornstein cleverly incorporates cultural criticism, dramatic writing, and autobiography to make her point that gender is a cultural rather than a natural phenomenon.

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Gender Spectrum

(format: website)

Gender Spectrum’s mission is to create a gender-inclusive world for all children and youth. To accomplish this, we help families, organizations, and institutions increase understandings of gender and consider the implications that evolving views have for each of us.

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Gifted by Otherness: Gay and Lesbian Christians in the Church

L. William Countryman & M. R. Ritley, 2001 (format: Book)

Explores what it means to affirm, not merely accept, being gay or lesbian, as well as Christian. Written primarily for the lgbt community, they explore the ways in which the gay and lesbian community can appropriate and re-tell the biblical story, and find confidence in their unique spiritual journey and gifts. This pro-active and self-affirming book provides new hope for those who feel that it is impossible to be gay or lesbian, as well as Christian.

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GLBT National Youth TALKLINE

(format: website)

The GLBT National Youth Talkline provides telephone and email peer-counseling, as well as factual information and local resources for cities and towns across the United States.

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GLBTQ: The Survival Guide for Queer and Questioning Teens

Kelly Huegel, 2003 (format: Book)

A great choice for teens who are gay or questioning their sexuality. Moves through the primary issues of coming out; dating and sexuality; religion; and life at school, work, and home. Gives sound, practical information and advice in an inviting package.

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God and the Gay Christian: The Biblical Case in Support of Same-Sex Relationships

Matthew Vines, 2014 (format: Book)

Matthew Vines faced a dilemma. Growing up in a conservative evangelical church, his family and community believed that it was wrong for him to be gay. But knowing Jesus’ teaching that a good tree produces good fruit, he couldn’t reconcile the pain caused by this non-affirming teaching with the love he knew in the church.

In God and the Gay Christian Matthew uses careful Bible study, looking closely at the scriptures, their context, and their history, and explains his case from an evangelical perspective that the Bible does not condemn loving relationships be they mixed or same gender.

Matthew presents his study in a personal manner framed by his conversations with his father. His presentation is careful, loving, and personal. This book is highly recommended for anyone who seeks a close understanding of the Biblical texts.

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God Believes in Love: Straight Talk About Gay Marriage

Gene Robinson, 2012 (format: Book)

Lovingly and persuasively makes the case for same-sex marriage using a commonsense, reasoned, religious argument, made by someone who holds the religious text of the Bible to be holy and sacred and the ensuing two millennia of church history to be relevant to the discussion.

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God vs. Gay? The Religious Case for Equality

Jay Michaelson, 2012 (format: Book)

An excellent book for those who want a thorough and academic yet personal and readable account of how our religious tradition does not require conflict between religion and the full equality of LGBT people, but rather our tradition demands support of full equality.

Read a review of God vs. Gay in the November 2013 edition of Crossbeams.

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(format: book)

GroundSpark’s Respect For All Project facilitates the development of inclusive, bias-free schools and communities by providing media resources, support and training to youth, educators and service providers.

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Guía de Recursos Para Salir Del Clóset

Human Rights Campaign, 2013 (format: Free Download)

El Proyecto Nacional Para Salir del Clóset del HRC es un programa para promover honradez y franqueza sobre el ser gay, lesbiana, bisexual o transgénero en la universidad, en el trabajo y en la comunidad. Esperamos que la Guía de Recursos Para Salir del Clóset de la Human Rights Campaign sea un buen punto de partida en este tu viaje.

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Guide to Being a Straight Ally

Straight for Equality, PFLAG National, 2015 (format: free-download)

This publication from Straight for Equality (a program of PFLAG) understands that allies come in many shapes and sizes. Some are working to learn more, some are confronting their own beliefs and prejudices, and all are supportive in their own way, in their own place and time.

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Guide to Being a Trans Ally

Straight for Equality, PFLAG National, 2016 (format: free-download)

This booklet from Straight for Equality (a program of PFLAG) provides guidance and education on how to be allies to our trans neighbors and siblings.

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Hearts Unbound: Engaging Biblical Texts of God’s Radical Love through Reader’s Theater

David R. Weiss, 2013 (format: free-download)

An excellent resource that invites you to explore ten Biblical stories of radical love and welcome. Designed for a small group in a ‘readers theater’ format. Entertaining, thought-provoking, and participatory, each session looks in-depth at the story, the historical context out of which it came, and insights to be gained.

Also, don’t miss the great sermon series preached by James Brewer-Calvert in Decatur, GA, based on Hearts Unbound.

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Holy Conversations: Talking About Homosexuality: A Congregational Resource

Karen P. Oliveto, 2005 (format: Book)

A study resource for theological reflection on homosexuality that serves as a tool for people in churches who feel they are surrounded by painful, confusing debates in the church about homosexuality, and want to discover how the Christian tradition can be a constructive–rather than divisive–resource.

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Homosexuality and Christian Community

Choon-Leong Seow (ed.), 1996 (format: Book)

Written by faculty from the Princeton Theological Seminary, and thus a bit more academic, but an excellent set of essays on scripture, theology, and faithful Christian practice. Includes an excellent chapter entitled “How to Discuss Moral Issues Surrounding Homosexuality When You Know You Are Right.”

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Homosexuality and Christian Faith

Walter Wink (ed.), 1999 (format: Book)

A collection of reflections on the Bible, faith, and personal experience. An excellent all-round resource.

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Human Rights Campaign

(format: Website)

The Human Rights Campaign works for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender equal rights. This link goes directly to their Publications page, providing resources for LGBT people and their allies in English and Spanish.

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I Am This One Walking Beside Me: Meditations of a Gay HIV Positive Man

Daniel Gebhardt, 2010 (format: Book)

Gebhardt is an HIV positive gay man who has created a book full of meditations and prayers on how to live life without the negative restrictions imposed on one’s self that can come with that disease. However, what he has unwittingly done is created a text just as applicable to anyone, with or without disease, that liberates both the mind and soul and states in a little under a hundred and thirty pages that we are all human but despite our humanness are never truly helpless.

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I Do! Getting Ready for Marriage: Today’s Guide for Couples

Stillspeaking Writers' Group, 2014 (format: Book)

I Do! Getting Ready for Marriage: Today’s Guide for Couples, by the Stillspeaking Writiers’ Group of the United Church of Christ, is a short but comprehensive guide to working with couples and planning weddings that is thoughtful, comprehensive, and gender inclusive.

I Do! Getting Ready for Marriage includes short essays ranging from “What I No Longer Say at Weddings” to “Vows That Still Have Value: What I Still Say at Weddings” to “The Second Time Around.” This booklet includes useful top 10 lists such as 10 Bad Reasons to Get Married in a Church as well as 10 Good Reasons to Get Married in a Church.

Also included is a list of 13 Real-Life Conversations to Have Before the Wedding and advice on planning the wedding service.

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If Eve Only Knew: Freeing Yourself from Biblical Womanhood and Becoming All God Means for You

Kendra Weddle Irons and Melanie Springer Mock, 2015 (format: book)

“She is a godly woman.” “True love waits.” Are these phrases and many others about gender truly based in scripture, or based on dusty, outdated stereotypes? And how do these perceptions repress people, especially women, from fully expressing their faith?

If Eve Only Knew offers a fresh perspective on gender and the Bible, destroying trumped-up, captive-creating messages with the freeing proclamation grounded in Jesus’ ministry and found everywhere in scripture: that we are all created in God’s image, and by relying on our gifts and skills – rather than on gender-designed roles – we become all God means for us to be.

Check out this YouTube with the authors.

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In from the Wilderness: She-r-man

David E. Weekley, 2011 (format: Book)

This is the story of a transgender man who has been an ordained elder in The United Methodist Church since 1984 and has quietly served his congregations for twenty-eight years before sharing his story and spiritual journey with his congregation, denomination, and the world.

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In God’s House: Asian American Lesbian & Gay Families in the Church

Network on Religion and Justice for API-LGBT Persons , 2014 (format: on-line-video)

In God’s House: Asian American Lesbian & Gay Families in the Church is a quality 22 minute presentation on the experience of lesbian and gay Asian Americans in their churches and families. There is also a DVD available with subtitles in Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Indonesian, Japanese, Filipino. The DVD contains several special features, including a 30 minute Bible study on the Bible and homosexuality by Dr Kah-Jin Jeffery Kuan, Associate Professor of Old Testament at Pacific School of Religion; a study on a Theology of Acceptance by Rev. Nobuaki Hanaoka; and footage of the award-winning Gay Asian Pacific Alliance float in the 2006 San Francisco Chinese New Year parade, among other special features.

You can find information on the DVD here.

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In the Eye of the Storm: Swept to the Center by God

Gene Robinson, 2008 (format: Book)

Rt. Rev. Robinson, raised in a Disciples family and now the retired openly gay Episcopal Bishop of New Hampshire, writes from the center of a storm of controversy raging in the Episcopal Church and the worldwide Anglican Communion, offering an honest, thoughtful portrait of the faith that has informed his life as well as and the controversy that continues to rock his Church.

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Inclusion: Making Room for Grace

Eric Law, 2000 (format: Book)

Published by Chalice Press, Inclusion is a practical and theologically based guide in responding to diversity. The author is careful to understand that the impulse to exclude is very human and very understandable, yet the Christ who was accused of spending too much time eating with sinners calls us to expand our welcome.

Rev. Law explains with theological clarity how our safe sense of community is continuously challenged from the outside and describes with practical insight how Christian communities can respond to these challenges patiently and carefully with an eye to the scriptural mandate to welcome and include.

Inclusion provides a simple language and framework for understanding what is happening when we exclude and how we can include, thus providing a simple but insight filled guide for making practical and sound choices when confronted with diversity and challenged to include.

This is not a book about LGBT inclusion, it’s a book about Christian inclusion; a must read for all who seek guidance on building an ever more inclusive Christian church.

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Inclusive Marriage Services: A Wedding Sourcebook

Kimberly Bracken Long and David Maxwell, 2015 (format: book)

Inclusive Marriage Services: A Wedding Sourcebook edited by Kimberly Bracken Long and David Maxwell, is exactly what the title promises, a book full of both complete wedding services and additional liturgical material for weddings.

The material in this book sounds familiar and traditionally Christian, but what’s different is exactly what the title offers: the language is not gendered and a variety of services are offered.

Inclusive Marriage Services includes complete services for those who are marrying for the first time, for those who have already shared a long term relationship, for those with children, and for couples where one is not Christian. Beyond that, complete services are adapted from the Church of Scotland, Uniting Network of Australia, United Church of Canada, United Church of Christ, and the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) along with two services for reaffirmation of vows.

And that’s only Part One of the book. Part Two includes a variety of alternate material for every aspect of a wedding service, and Part Three includes practical advice for a variety of couples and situations, including LGBT couples, couples with children, music suggestions, sermon ideas, and even walking down the aisle.

Want to know more about this resource? Check out this in-depth review by Disciples Pastor Bob Cornwall.

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Infographic: What to Do If You’re LGBTQ and Bullied

Lambda Legal (format: Free Download)

For a lot of LGBTQ students, those perceived to be LGBTQ and the friends of LGBTQ students, bullying is a serious reality. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be stopped. You have a legal right to be who you are and to be safe. If you or any of your friends are bullied, here’s a list of things you can do.

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Inlaws & Outlaws

(more information)

True Stories Project, 2005 (format: DVD)

With remarkable honesty, good humor, great music and real heart, Inlaws & Outlaws weaves together true stories of couples and singles, gay and straight to celebrate what we all have in common: we love.

Inlaws & Outlaws tells the true stories of couples and singles — both gay and straight — a collective narrative that is as hilarious as it is heartbreaking.  With remarkable honesty, good humor, great music and real heart, Inlaws & Outlaws weaves together true stories of couples and singles, gay and straight to celebrate what we all have in common: we love.

This documentary film by Drew Emery is not only entertaining but an excellent resource for starting discussions in your congregation around gay and lesbian relationships and equal marriage.

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Institute of Welcoming Resources

(format: Website)

This site provides a wealth of resources from the Institute of Welcoming Resources, an organization founded by GLAD and several other welcoming church programs.

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Integrity USA

(format: Website)

Integrity USA is a nonprofit organization of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Episcopalians and our straight friends  leading grassroots voices for the full inclusion of LGBT persons in the Episcopal Church and our equal access to its rites.

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Interface Project

The Interface Project (format: Website)

The Interface Project gathers and shares personal stories of people living with an intersex condition and spreads the message “No Body is Shameful.”

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Intersex and Identity: The Contested Self

Sharon E. Preves, 2003 (format: Book)

Drawing upon life history interviews with adults who were treated for intersexuality as children, Sharon E. Preves explores how such individuals experience and cope with being labeled sexual deviants in a society that demands sexual conformity. By demonstrating how intersexed people manage and create their own identities, often in conflict with their medical diagnosis, Preves argues that medical intervention into intersexuality often creates, rather than mitigates, the stigma these people suffer.

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It’s Perfectly Normal: Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex, and Sexual Health

Robie H. Harris, 1996 (format: Book)

From conception and puberty to birth control and AIDS, it is a refreshingly open and thorough presentation of the facts of sex—both biological and psychological—which children need now more than ever.

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Jesus, The Bible, and Homosexuality: Explode the Myths, Heal the Church

Jack Rogers, 2009 (format: Book)

Examining the biblical issues in light of the Presbyterian Church’s struggles around lgbt issues, Rogers offers both a rigorous yet accessible theological study and a model of spiritual discernment for anyone struggling to reconcile their faith with the needs of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

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Jesus’ Family Values

Deidre Good, 2006 (format: Book)

Professor of New Testament at the General Theological Seminary in New York, Good asks: What are Christian family values? Why are there so many interpretations of what Jesus actually taught and said? and Which biblical values should guide our lives?

See the book review of Jesus’ Family Values written by Mark Johnston, Executive Director of GLAD’s Open & Affirming Ministry Program.

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Just the Facts About Sexual Orientation & Youth: A Primer for Principals, Educators & School Personnel

American Psychological Association (format: Free Download)

The information in this booklet has been developed by a coalition of education, health, mental health, and religious organizations that share a concern for the health and education of all students in schools, including lesbian, gay, and bisexual students. We know you also share this concern—that all students have an opportunity to learn and develop in a safe and supportive environment.

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Justice Calls: Sermons of Welcome and Affirmation

Phil Snider, 2016 (format: book)

In Justice Calls, Disciples Pastor Phil Snider collects sermons that add compelling clarity to the growing chorus of Christian voices that are passionate about LGBTQ justice and equality–not in spite of their faith but precisely because of it.

With a combination of pastoral sensitivity, scholarly insight, and courageous vision, these sermons are a must-read not only for LGBTQ people longing to know they don’t have to deny their religious convictions in order to embrace their sexuality and/or gender identity, but also for people of faith who wonder if they have to disregard the Bible in order to fully accept their LGBTQ neighbors, friends, and family members.

Justice Calls includes sermons and essays from many well known Disciples pastors and scholars: Rita Nakashima Brock, Derek Penwell, Sandhya Rani Jha, Christian Piatt, Glen Miles, and a host of other excellent writers.

This volume is an ideal resource for small groups, Sunday school classes, preachers, church leaders, and all people everywhere who are interested in recognizing how the rich resources in the Bible can be cultivated in order to celebrate–rather than condemn–LGBTQ friends and neighbors.

Starting with the call for equality and ending with a call for the transformation of the church, this volume walks the journey of God’s affirming love for all with both care and courage.

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Justicia y Salud: Desafíos Para las Familias Latinas

Latino/a Roundtable at Pacific School of Religion, 2015 (format: free-download)

Las dos partes de este folleto quieren servir de ayuda a familias latinas. Estas páginas buscan ayudarte a encontrar nuevos caminos para apoyar mejor a tus familiares que son LGBTQ. Ellos/as necesitan tu apoyo para poder vivir las vidas plenamente humanas que Dios quiere para ellos/as.

Cada una de las dos partes fue escrita para reflejar valores tan cristianos como el amor, la dignidad de cada persona, la justicia social, la inclusión de todos/as en la sociedad, la aceptación de todos/as los/as hijos/as de Dios y los derechos humanos.

Aunque hay personas que creen que los derechos que nos corresponden en la sociedad son apenas resultado de decisiones legales, nosotros/as entendemos que los derechos civiles y legales tienen que ser reflejos reales y prácticos de los derechos y dignidad que Dios nos da a todos/as por ser humanos. Por eso también, los derechos civiles y legales de nuestros/as familiares LGBTQ tienen que reflejar sus derechos y dignidad como hijos e hijas de Dios. Estos derechos son el contexto necesario para que nuestros/as familiares que son LGBTQ puedan vivir sus vidas plenamente—social, cultural, religiosa y políticamente protegidos/as e incluídos/as en la sociedad y en nuestras comunidades latinas.

Also available in Portuguese: JUSTIÇA E SAÚDE: Desafios Para As Famílias Latinas

As duas partes deste caderno tem o intuito de ajudar as famílias latinas. Através destas páginas, esperamos que encontrem novas formas para melhor apoiar aos seus familiares que são LGBTQ1. Eles/as precisam do seu apoio para viver a vida plena que Deus deseja para eles/as.
Cada uma das duas partes foi escrita para refletir sobre valores cristãos como o amor, a dignidade de cada pessoa, a justiça social, a inclusão de todos/as na sociedade, a aceitação de todos/as os/as filhos/as de Deus e os direitos humanos.

Embora há pessoas que acreditem que os direitos que nos correspondem em sociedade são apenas o resultado de decisões judiciais, nós entendemos que os direitos civis e jurídicos devem ser reflexões reais e práticas dos direitos e da dignidade que Deus nos dá enquanto seres humanos. Assim também, os direitos civis e legais do nossos familiares LGBTQ devem refletir seus direitos e dignidade como filhos e filhas de Deus. Estes direitos são necessários para que os nossos familiares, que são LGBTQ, possam viver plenamente suas vidas—social, cultural, religiosa e politicamente protegidos/as e incluídos/as na sociedade e nas nossas comunidades latinas.

Also available in English: Justice and Health: Challenges to the Latino/a Family

The two parts of this booklet aim to help Latino/a families. This booklet wants to help you to best support your LGBTQ1 family members as they seek to lead the full lives that
God intends for them. Each of the two parts is guided by the Christian values of love, the dignity of every person, social justice, inclusion, acceptance, and human rights.

While many people see civil rights as simply a legal matter, we see the civil and legal rights for our LGBTQ family members as an indispensable context and requirement for them to live full social, cultural, religious and political lives in the Latino/a community and in the wider society. Laws have consequences, and in this booklet we highlight the positive effects of laws on our children and teenagers when full civil and human rights are guaranteed our LGBTQ family members, as well as the negative effects when those rights are not granted and guaranteed.

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Know Your Rights

Lambda Legal (format: book)

A website from Lambda Legal for young LGBTQ persons designed to help you know your rights and make sure they’re respected.

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Latino/a Roundtable

Pacific School of Religion Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies (format: Website)

The Latino/a Roundtable at Pacific School of Religion promotes understanding, acceptance and affirmation of Latino/a LGBTQ persons and their families by transforming Latino/a faith communities and the wider Latino/a community.

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Latino/a Roundtable Resources

Pacific School of Religion Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies (format: website)

Free Spanish-language resources published by the Pacific School of Religion Latino/a Roundtable. English translations are also available.

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Laura’s Playground

(format: website)

Laura’s Playground is a support and resource site for those on the transgender spectrum and their friends, family members, and allies. Laura’s Playground offers discussion forums covering a broad range of topics as well as a live chat room staffed by moderators trained in crisis resolution and suicide prevention.

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LGBT Asylum Support Task Force

(format: website)

The LGBT Asylum Support Task Force is a community-based organization of volunteers dedicated to supporting and empowering LGBT individuals who are seeking asylum or refuge in the United States.

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LGBTQIA+: Deciphering the Alphabet Soup (especially if you’re too embarrassed to ask!)

(format: book)

A replay of a webinar co-hosted by AllianceQ and the Disciples Seminary Foundation exploring the meaning of words used to describe LGBTQIA people.

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Liberating Sexuality: Justice Between the Sheets

Miguel A. De La Torre, 2016 (format: book)

Liberating Sexuality by Miguel A. De La Torre and published by Chalice Press is a collection of essays on gender, sexism, heterosexism, and healthy sex. Dr. De La Torre brings his sharp mind and theological insights to topics and biblical texts that often, in our churches, are used to control and condemn. These essays open up new insights into Biblical justice making and liberation. This book will serve as a resource to inspire many a sermon and can certainly provide food for thought for a Sunday School or book study group.

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Light in the Closet

(format: website)

The ministry Light in the Closet offers a safe place for individuals to discuss, with confidentiality, personal issues, desires and fears they are dealing with. This support ministry is designed for those who are already Christians, but also benefits those who are seeking spiritual or emotional guidance.

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Listening to the Spirit: A Handbook for Discernment

William Paulsell, 2001 (format: Book)

This is the handbook for the General Assembly’s call for discernment on the question “What is the gospel message to our church as we relate to gay and lesbian Christians?” This study guide does not provide answers to the question, but describes in detail a discernment process including worship, prayer, Bible study, and discussion allowing a small group to listen to the message that the Holy Spirit has for them.

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Living at the Intersection of Transgender Street and Black Boulevard

Carla Robinson, 2019 (format: on-line-video)

A sermon about the intersectional justice issues at for black transgender women. The preacher, Carla Robinson, also appears in the video “Out of the Box.”

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Lutheran Introduction To Our Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, And Queer Neighbors

ReconcilingWokrs: Lutherans for Full Participation, 2016 (format: website)

A quick but thorough introduction to concepts and terms used when talking with and about LGTBQ people from our Lutheran friends at ReconcilingWorks.

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Made in God’s Image: A Resource for Dialogue about Gender Diversity

Ann Thompson Cook (format: Book)

Answers basic questions about gender variance as well as transgender and intersex people and their experiences

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Making Sense of the Bible: Rediscovering the Power of Scripture Today

Adam Hamilton, 2014 (format: Book)

Making Sense of the Bible by Rev. Adam Hamilton is a clear, readable book which, in about 300 pages, gives an introduction to the entire Bible and wrestles with the questions that cause 21st century Christians to struggle with the Bible and their faith.

In this book, Pastor Hamilton describes how his own faith story intersected with the Bible, bringing him to faith and forcing him to question his faith.

This book is especially valuable for groups that have a conservative background and have started asking questions such as “I’m finding it difficult to believe that the Bible is literally true – how do I honor the Bible and struggle with it at the same time?”

Church members studying this text will come away with a fresh perspective on how to read the Bible and with basic tools for examining their own relationship to their faith and scripture.

Click here for the leader guide.

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Mamá, Papá: Tengo algo que decirles

Latino/a Roundtable at Pacific School of Religion, 2015 (format: free-download)

Palabras de animo y esperanza para guiar a aquellos que desean tener una conversacion con sus padres y familia sobre su orientacion sexual.

Also available in English: Mom, Dad, I Have Something To Tell You

Words of encouragement and hope to guide those wanting to come out to their parents.

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Many Voices: A Black Church Movement for Gay & Transgender Justice

(format: website)

Many Voices is committed to creating a national movement for gay and transgender justice from within the Black church, providing quality materials for use in African American and all churches.

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Marriage & the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.): A People’s Guide for Study & Conversation

More Light Presbyterians (format: Free Download)

A brief but thorough study guide on marriage from the More Light Presbyterians including sections on Biblical, theological, and historical considerations.

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Ministry Among God’s Queer Folk: LGBT Pastoral Care

DavidJ Kundtz,. Bernard S. Schlager, 2007 (format: Book)

Ministry Among God’s Queer Folk from The Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies in Religion and Ministry at Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, CA, is does an excellent job of doing several jobs at once:

  • being a clear, concise, and comprehensive read on the pastoral care of LGBTQ folk,
  • providing information about LGBTQ folk succinctly and remaining both accurate and accessible to those seeking an introduction to LGBTQ ministry,
  • providing a deeper, broader and coherent perspective on the the pastoral care of LGBTQ persons to those already involved in ministry,
  • clearly laying out the practical and theological case for caring for the broad range of the LGBTQ persons needs ranging from the personal to the systemic.

Any seminarian, pastor, elder, or church leader interest in the pastoral care of LGBTQ people should read this book and have it at the ready for review and reference.

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More Light Presbyterians

(format: Website)

The national welcoming and affirming network of individuals, families, churches
and local chapters working for equality and the embrace of lesbian, gay,
bisexual and transgender persons in the life, ministry and witness of the
Presbyterian Church (USA).

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Most LGBTQ are Cyberbullied. Here’s How to Stay Safe Online

(format: website)

A guide for protecting yourself from online bullying.

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My Child Is Gay: How Parents React When They Hear the News

Bryce McDougall, 2007 (format: Book)

By parents who have a gay or lesbian child, this compilation of letters can help parents deal with feelings of confusion, embarrassment, guilt, or anger, while showing how ordinary families have found love, happiness, and normalcy again. Together these letters reaffirm the healing power of support and allow those with first-hand knowledge to outline the steps toward understanding and the importance of helping their children share the truth.

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My Mind Was Changed: A New Way to Talk with Conflicted Christians about Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender People in Church and Society

(more information)

Auburn Seminary (format: book)

Shares a new way to talk about LGBT dignity that helps conflicted Christians move through religious and emotional conflicts to become more supportive of equality. Meant for those who are working to craft a message about LGBT issues.

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New Testament and Homosexuality

Robin Scroggs, 1983 (format: Book)

This is an excellent book for anyone curious about the Scriptural basis in Christian debates over the morality of homosexual acts. Starting with a brief overview of various positions on homosexuality and how those different positions are claimed to be supported by Scripture, Scroggs moves to a detailed examination of the cultural background of the time and place where the New Testament was written. Scroggs is intellectually honest and rigorous about both his research and analysis.

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Ni Juicio, Ni Condena: Leyendo de Nuevo los Textos Bíblicos Sobre la Homosexualidad

Latino/a Roundtable at Pacific School of Religion, 2014 (format: free-download)

Una solida presentacion de temas biblicos utilizados frequentemente para condenar a las personas LGBT.

Also available in Portuguese: Nem Julgamento, Nem Sentença: Relendo os textos bíblicos sobre a homossexualidade

Este caderno é para você, sua família e sua igreja.

As explicações que se seguem, sobre como interpretar a Bíblia e sobre cada um dos textos bíblicos, representam, o que hoje em dia, acredita e ensina a grande maioria dos/as especialistas bíblicos de todo o mundo.

Em outras palavras, as interpretações e explicações que aqui apresentamos são interpretações e explicações corretas, comuns e majoritárias para compreender os textos bíblicos que têm sido usadas em relação à homossexualidade.

Also available in English: Neither Judgement Nor Condemnation: Reading Again The Biblical Text on Homosexuality

A scripturally sound presentation of biblical passages often used to condemn LGBTQ persons.

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Open and Affirming Coalition of the United Church of Christ

(format: Website)

Open and Affirming (ONA) is the designation for congregations, campus ministries, and other bodies in the United Church of Christ which make public statements of welcome into their full life and ministry to persons of all sexual orientations and gender identities.

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Open Hands Magazine

Institute for Welcoming Resources, 1985-2002 (format: Free Download)

The LGBT Religious Archives Network, in collaboration with the Institute of Welcoming Resources, hosts an online exhibit displaying the complete run of the award-winning Open Hands magazine. This long-running journal—exploring the intersections of Christianity and LGBT concerns—began publishing in 1985 as Manna for the Journey by the Reconciling Congregation Program (United Methodist). Years later Open Hands became an ecumenical magazine, co-published with Welcoming Church Programs in other faith traditions. Publication ceased in 2002.

You can download and peruse individual issues, each of which explored a particular theme related to LGBT concerns and Christianity. Or you can search the entire collection for the appearance of particular persons or subjects since the exhibit is fully text-searchable.

The great diversity of writers appearing in Open Hands over the years includes most of the major thinkers and activists in LGBT Christian movements of the 1980s and 1990s. Through the issues of Open Hands you can trace the unfolding of much of the ideological and strategic thought that propelled and undergirded these movements.

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Opening the Door to the Inclusion of Transgender People: The Nine Keys to Making LGBT Organizations Fully Transgender-Inclusive

National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, 2008 (format: Free Download)

A publication from The National Center for Transgender Equality and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Opening the Door covers practical ways to include transgender people in a fully inclusive community.

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Our Daughters & Sons: Questions and Answers for Parents of Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual People

PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) (format: Free Download)

Support from PFLAG – Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays – for the parents, answering questions such as “I thought I knew my child,” “Why is my child gay?” and “How to respond.”

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Our Selves, Our Souls & Bodies

Charles Hefling (ed.), 1996 (format: Book)

A collection of essays and reflections from many perspectives, including family, scripture, and theology, but always with a personal, thoughtful touch. Written from the Episcopalian perspective but an excellent book for all Christians.

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Our Trans Loved Ones: Questions and Answers for Parents, Families, and Friends of People who are Transgender and Gender Expansive

(format: free-download)

A booklet from PFLAG full of information and support for families and friends of transgender people.

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Out In Scripture

Religion and Faith Program of the Human Rights Campaign (format: Website)

Out In Scripture is a resource providing an lgbt perspective on biblical liberation and justice for preachers based on the Revised Common Lectionary.

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Out of the Shadows, into the Light: Christianity and Homosexuality

Miguel A. De La Torre, 2009 (format: book)

Rev. Dr. Miguel De La Torre, editor of this collection, has gathered a set of reflections on culture, sexuality, church and theology unique in its breadth and depth. Spanning race and class, delving into faith, culture and justice, this book provides an excellent introduction to the intersections of race, faith, and homophobia.

Starting with a chapter on “Practicing Safe Sexuality” and ending with chapters on “The Role of Straight Allies in the Pastoral Care of Lesbians and Gays” and “The Church in Action Asking Hard Questions,” the center of the book examines the role of Black and Hispanic culture in the lives of LGBT people of faith, as well as a chapter on the power of scripture in the lives of queer people.

Very readable though not for the casual reader, this book is an excellent resource for those seeking to understand the intersection of race, culture and sexuality.

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Outing the Bible: Queer Folks, God, Jesus, and the Christian Scriptures

Nancy Wilson, 2013 (format: Book)

In Outing the Bible: Queer Folks, God, Jesus, and the Christian Scriptures, Rev. Dr. Nancy Wilson, Moderator of the Metropolitan Community Churches, explores the Bible’s complex and often-misunderstood messages on homosexuality and diversity. Wilson explores eunuchs, same-sex relationships, sodomy, sexuality and healing, and other queer issues in scripture.

Read the book review of Outing the Bible written by GLAD member Rev. Robert Shaw.

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Peculiar Faith: Queer Theology for Christian Witness

Jay Emerson Johnson, 2014 (format: book)

This book provides a resource for both students and clergy to reinterpret Christian theology and re-imagine Christian faith in the twenty-first century.

The author seeks “to encourage and equip Christian faith communities to move beyond the decades-long stalemate over human sexuality and gender identity” because “Queer gifts emerge in Christian communities when lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people no longer feel compelled to justify their presence in those communities.”

Useful in both seminary classrooms and in congregational settings, the book is a contribution to the still-emerging field of queer theology, translating the rigors of scholarly research into transforming proposals for faith communities.

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Prayers for Bobby: A Mother’s Coming to Terms with the Suicide of Her Gay Son

Leroy Aarons, 1996 (format: Book)

The story of a mother’s struggle to reconcile the tension between her deeply held religious beliefs and the suicide of her gay son. Mary Griffith came from a religious family and raised her four children to believe in God and live a Christian life. Their church was the center of family life. When Bobby confided that he was gay, Mary convinced Bobby to pray that God would cure him and to seek solace in church activities. Bobby did it all, but the church’s hatred of homosexuality and the obvious pain his gayness was causing his family led to his suicide.

Prayers for Bobby is also available on DVD and as an Amazon Instant Video.

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Qu(e)erying Evangelism: Growing a Community From the Outside In

Cheri DiNovo, 2005 (format: book)

The book chronicles DiNovo’s own attempts as a minister to expand the membership of a rapidly shrinking congregation in a poor, inner city Toronto neighborhood. As a result, DiNovo discovers that, in her congregation’s decision to evangelize among the marginalized and “queer” in their neighborhood, church members are radically changed. Qu(e)erying Evangelism answers the following questions: How do we understand evangelism biblically and in a completely new way? How does one be a queer theologian in a traditional pastorate and not only be faithful to a queer Christ but grow a congregation with all sorts of differences of opinion? How does the presence of the transgendered/transsexual-or indeed everyone perceived as different-challenge both the theology and praxis of a mainline denomination?

From the first chapter:

Like other colleagues in inner-city inclusive ministry, I wanted to try all the techniques of church growth that emanated from places like Willow Creek Church in Chicago. Surprisingly, I discovered that not only did the techniques not transfer effectively to our inner-city, queer-positive context, but that they were predicated on a vacuous theology with more in common with colonialism than with scriptural conversion. Clergy and laity who felt like failures because their churches did not grow numerically, and who feared the death of an inclusive Christianity that plagued them, became another group needing evangelism. How to speak faith to them? How to speak faith to ourselves?

That attendance at our evening or morning service grew ceased to be for me the primary question of my or our evangelical ministry. My own struggle with the discipline of being Christian became and is still focused on ignoring those very numbers. To read anything into the numbers that join or attend our church except our ability to be hospitable, I consider a temptation. Our struggle is to be faithful, to be hospitable, to be nonjudgmental. As we succeed in that, we are caught up in evangelism, we are getting out of the way of the Holy Spirit. For us, what is much more significant than the numbers attending is that the queerest among us feel welcomed, and that we can allow ourselves to show our own queerness.

Qu(e)erying Evangelism can be read online here or bought at the link above.

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Queer Lessons for Churches on the Straight and Narrow

Cody J. Sanders, 2013 (format: book)

Queer Lessons for Churches on the Straight and Narrow is about changing the questions we ask about sexuality, gender identity, and faith. The author helps us imagine new pathways into old conversations by shifting our attitude from one of suspicious scrutiny toward LGBTQ people to one of compassionate curiosity. Less concerned with answering questions, it aims to cultivate our imagination for asking new questions. Sanders asks, “What can all Christians learn from LGBTQ people that will enhance our lives and strengthen our communities of faith?” Lessons are offered on the themes of relationship, community, faithfulness, love, violence, and forgiveness.

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Queer Virtue: What LGBTQ People Know About Life and Love and How It Can Revitalize Christianity

Elizabeth Edman, 2017 (format: book)

Arguing from the heart of scripture, the author reveals how queering Christianity—that is, disrupting simplistic ways of thinking about self and other—can illuminate contemporary Christian faith. Pushing well past the notion that “Christian love = tolerance,” Edman offers a bold alternative: the recognition that queer people can help Christians better understand their fundamental calling and the creation of sacred space where LGBTQ Christians are seen as gifts to the church.

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Queer: The Ultimate LGBT Guide for Teens

Kathy Belge, 2011 (format: Book)

A humorous, engaging, and honest guide that helps LGBT teens come out to friends and family, navigate their new LGBT social life, figure out if a crush is also queer, and rise up against bigotry and homophobia.

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Queering Christianity: Finding a Place at the Table for LGBTQI Christians

Robert Everett Shore-Goss, Thomas Bohache, Patrick S.Cheng, Ramona Faye West, 2013 (format: Book)

This compilation of essays by LGBTQI scholars in religion summarizes LGBTQI theology and explores its relationship to traditional Christianity. Contributors contrast the “radically inclusive” thinking of LGBTQI theology with the “exclusivity” practiced by many Christian churches, explaining the reasoning of each and clarifying contentious issues. At the same time, the book highlights ways in which “queer” theology and practice benefit Christian congregations. This book creates a starting point for dialogue and offers practical suggestions for Christian congregations that wish to put aside exclusionary policies and practices.

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Radical Love: An Introduction to Queer Theology

Patrick S. Cheng, 2011 (format: Book)

Radical Love – a love so extreme that it dissolves our existing boundaries – gay/straight, male/female, life/death, divine/human. Radical Love is an excellent introduction into how queer theology works.

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Radical Welcome: Embracing God, the Other and the Spirit of Transformation

Stephanie Spellers, 2006 (format: Book)

A practical theological guide for congregations that want to move beyond mere inclusivity toward becoming a place where welcoming “the other” is taken seriously and engaging God’s mission becomes more than just a catch-phrase.

Read the review of Radical Welcome published in Crossbeams.

Don’t miss the resources available online. Click here for study guides and tools for reflection, assessment, and implementing Radical Welcome.

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Rainbow Boys

Alex Sanchez, 2003 (format: Book)

Chronicles the senior year of three gay teens struggling with issues ranging from coming out to first love to an HIV scare.

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Rainbow in the Word: LGBTQ Christians’ Biblical Memoirs

Ellin Sterne Jimmerson (Ed.), 2017 (format: book)

Rainbow in the Word is a resource that you will find useful in your personal devotions, to find new perspectives on the Biblical witness, and in sermon writing. This collection is described by Viki Matson, Director of Field Education and Assistant Professor of the Practice of Ministry at Vanderbilt Divinity School, in the forward of the book:

As LGBTQ folks come of age, there are many authorities, institutions, and moral codes to be navigated. It requires a formidable kind of soul-searching and wrestling. Essential to this process are honesty with oneself and others, an intellectual curiosity and willingness to rethink long-held assumptions, deep respect for the mystery of God, and courage to claim one’s own life. It is no wonder then that among the wisest, most integrated, and genuine people I know are a fair number of LGBTQ folk. The furnace of struggle has been a refining one.”

Rainbow in the Word: LGBTQ Christians’ Biblical Memoirs includes the marks and memories of this struggle, particularly as the struggle involves the Bible. Some writers reflect on a particular text, wondering if there are ways to understand it that reveal a liberating rather than a punishing God. Others identify with a particular character in the Bible, diving deeply into their story to unearth what might be hidden or neglected. Some speak of the ways they have been wounded by Scripture, while others speak of being freed by it. Additionally, within these pages you will find genres as disparate as those contained within the Bible itself: narrative, confession, poetry, biography, and calls to action.”

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Raising Ryland: Parenting a transgender child

CNN, 2015 (format: on-line-video)

Ryland’s parents realized, “Do I want a living son or a dead daughter? That’s pretty much what it comes down to.” This 13 minute film from CNN tells the story of Ryland and his two parents, Jeff and Hillary, and the challenges, joys and triumphs that have come with raising a transgender child and learning to affirm his gender identity.

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Reading the Bible Again for the First Time

Marcus J. Borg , 2002 (format: Book)

Sometimes a congregation needs to start its affirming journey at the basics: how to read the Bible. Without seminary training, many of the members in our pews read the Bible like our fundamentalist neighbors. Marcus Borg is a great place to start teaching our members how to read the Bible.

Rev. Dr. Terrye Williams, pastor of Hilton Christian Church in Newport News, VA, writes this in her review of Reading the Bible Again for the First Time in GLAD’s Crossbeams newsletter:

Borg guides the reader to the understanding that it is, in fact, possible to reconcile the Bible with both scientific and critical thinking as well as deep faith. Borg actually takes readers along his personal journey of faith, sharing how he was able to move from unquestioning childhood belief, through a crisis in faith when his childhood belief struggled to a more mature understanding, to an ability to encounter the text in a more powerful way – seriously, but not literally.

Read Dr. Williams’ review in Crossbeams here, and also take a look at other resources from Marcus Borg, The Heart of Christianity and Living the Questions 2.0

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Reconciling Ministries Network

(format: Website)

Reconciling Ministries Network is a national grassroots organization that exists to enable full participation of people of all sexual orientations and gender identities in the life of United Methodists, both in policy and practice.

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Reconciling Scripture for Lutherans

Austen Hartke and Emmy Kegler, 2019 (format: book)

This resource from our friends at ReconcilingWorks offers short commentaries, each of which takes into account biblical integrity and knowledge, key Lutheran interpretative lenses, and the diverse experiences of the LGBTQ+ community. This commentary addresses eight of the so-called “clobber passages” used to exclude LGBTQ+ people from the body of Christ, and finishes with eight Bible passages that offer inclusive and expansive understandings of the nature of God’s welcome.

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(format: Website)

ReconcilingWorks advocates for the full inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Lutherans in all aspects of the life of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America and their congregations.

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Religious Institute on Sexual Morality, Justice, and Healing

(format: Website)

A multi-faith organization dedicated to advocating for sexual health, education, and justice in faith communities and society, the Religious Institute on Sexual Morality, Justice, and Healing offers a concise review of current sociological, public health and scientific data regarding sexual orientation and gender. It also considers key Scriptural passages in light of contemporary understandings of sexual and gender diversity.

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Resource Guide to Coming Out

Human Rights Campaign, 2012 (format: Free Download)

There is no one right or wrong way to come out; it is a lifelong process of being more open and true with yourself and others. Throughout the process of coming out and living more openly, you should always be in the driver’s seat about how, where, when and with whom you choose to be open. This guide was designed to help you through that process in realistic and practical terms. This resource is great for school groups, community centers and individuals, and should be a staple in every LGBT library across the country. Whether it’s for the first time ever, or the first time today, coming out may be the most important thing you do all day. Talk about it!

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Resource Guide to Coming Out for African Americans

Human Rights Campaign, 2012 (format: Free Download)

People of color may face unique challenges when they come out as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. To address these issues, the HRC Coming Out Project has developed a resource on coming out in the African-American community. The guide includes the stories of several amazing people from the African-American community who have left their indelible mark on this country.

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Respuestas a sus preguntas para una mejor comprensión de la orientación sexual y la homosexualidad

American Psychological Association (format: Free Download)

The Spanish version of Answers to Your Questions For a Better Understanding of Sexual Orientation & Homosexuality

This pamphlet from the American Psychological Association is designed to provide accurate information for those who want to better understand sexual orientation and the impact of prejudice and discrimination on those who identify as lesbian, gay, or bisexual.

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Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth

LeDayne McLeese Polaski and Millard Eiland (Eds.), 2013 (format: book)

Developed to assist clergy and lay leaders in leading a healthy and respectful congregational dialogue on the most difficult task of discernment facing the church in our time, Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth features wisdom distilled from 13 congregations who have undertaken this dialogue. Other materials include articles focused on Bible study and theological reflection, as well as scientific/medical and psychological studies. Stories from gay and lesbian Christians and their families are included, as well as from congregations who have struggled with the questions of sexual orientation and Christian faith.

Can be purchased for download here.

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Room for All

(format: Website)

Supporting, educating, and advocating for the full inclusion of LGBT persons in the life of the Reformed Church in America.

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Same Gender Marriage – Study Guide

UCC Coalition Publishers (format: Book)

A curriculum designed as a study for youth groups and campus ministries about same-gender marriage. It can be done in one long session, or two shorter sessions.

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Sample Wedding Services

(format: Free Download)

Here are some sample gender-free wedding services.

Order For Marriage: an Inclusive Version from the United Church of Christ.

The Witnessing and Blessing of a Lifelong Covenant from the Episcopal Church.

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Sexuality and the Sacred, Second Edition: Sources for Theological Reflection

Marvin M. Ellison, Kelly Brown Douglas (eds.), 2010 (format: book)

Christian discourse on sexuality, spirituality, and ethics has continued to evolve since this book’s first edition was published in 1994. This updated and expanded anthology featuring more than thirty contemporary essays includes more theologians and ethicists of color and addresses issues such as the intersection of race/racism and sexuality, transgender identity, same-sex marriage, and reproductive health and justice.

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Sólo los hechos sobre la orientación sexual y la juventud: Una guía para directores de escuelas, educadores y personal escolar

American Psychological Association (format: Free Download)

The Spanish version of Just the Facts About Sexual Orientation & Youth: A Primer for Principals, Educators & School Personnel.

The information in this booklet has been developed by a coalition of education, health, mental health, and religious organizations that share a concern for the health and education of all students in schools, including lesbian, gay, and bisexual students. We know you also share this concern—that all students have an opportunity to learn and develop in a safe and supportive environment.

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Songs for the Holy Other

Songs for the Holy Other Working Group, 2019 (format: free-download)

Songs for the Holy Other contains 45 hymns that will enrich your welcoming affirming worship.

From the preface:

In our society and in our churches, we continue to build walls marking “out” and “in”. We continue to mark boundaries of “us” and “them”, of “normal” and “other”. Songs for the Holy Other aims to provide congregations working to dismantle these walls with a toolbox of hymns by and for those who identify as members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, pansexual, transgender, nonbinary, queer, questioning, intersex, asexual, aromantic, two-spirit, and other sexual/gender minority (LGBTQIA2S+) community and their allies. For many members of the LGBTQIA2S+ community, assimilation is not an option; we continue to be othered for our identities, relationship-styles, dis/abilities, race, economic status, and more. The title, Songs for the Holy Other, is a self-conscious claiming of otherness as holy and beloved of God. We who have been labeled as “wholly other” are claiming our holiness, and reclaiming our otherness as a prophetic witness to the church.

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Spirited: Affirming the Soul and Black Gay/Lesbian Identity

G. Winston James, Lisa C. Moore (eds.), 2005 (format: Book)

Forty writers address the question of how same-gender-loving black people affirm themselves as sexual and spiritual people. These sacred narratives are a canon for survival–holy texts proclaiming the divinity of their lives, the righteousness of their love, and the sanctity of their being.

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Straight for Equality

(format: website)

Straight for Equality is a national outreach and education website by PFLAG to empower allies of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) community.

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The Association of Welcoming & Affirming Baptists

(format: Website)

Members of the Association of Welcoming & Affirming Baptists (AWAB) are churches, organizations, and individuals who strongly support the welcome and affirmation of all persons without regard to sexual orientation or gender identity, and who have joined together to advocate for the full inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer-questioning persons within Baptist communities of faith.

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The Bible and the Transgender Experience: How Scripture Supports Gender Variance

Linda Tatro Herzer, 2016 (format: book)

The author, a nontransgender pastor, spent three years serving a church where ten percent of the congregation identified as trans men, trans women, cross-dressers, or genderqueer. This motivated her to learn about gender variant people and put her in situations where her previous understanding of the Bible was greatly expanded.

In this scholarly yet easy-to-read book Herzer gives clear, insightful accounts of what she has learned.

The Bible and the Transgender Experience includes practical suggestions from the author on how to make your congregation or group trans friendly. Don’t miss the discussion guide that can be used with a book group or as part of a four- to five-week Bible study.

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The Bible, Christianity, and Homosexuality

Justin R. Cannon, 2012 (format: Free Download)

A concise analysis of the Bible verses often misused to condemn gay and lesbian Christians written from an Orthodox perspective. This study was written to be accessible to all.

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The God Box

Alex Sanchez, 2009 (format: Book)

Dramatizes the plight of teens who struggle to balance their homosexuality and their deeply felt religious beliefs. The God Box is well written and youth enjoy reading it. Read the review published in Crossbeams.

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The Greatest Taboo: Homosexuality and Black Communities

Delroy Constantine-Simms, 2001 (format: Book)

Contains 28 provocative essays which explore the often volatile relationship between black gay men and lesbians and others of their race.

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The Heart Will Choose the One It Loves

Barbara Hamm, 2015 (format: free-download)

A hymn affirming the power and grace of relationship without human boundaries.

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The Illumination of Context: The Bible and Homosexuality

Dr. Randolph W. Baxter, 2014 (format: free-download)

This study of the scripture and historical context was originally written for the Open & Affirming process at First Christian Church, Fullerton, CA. Dr. Baxter examines scriptures related to LGBTQ concerns with a focus on cultural and social understanding. His Ph.D. in History is from UC Irvine.

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The Journey Out: A Guide for and About Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Teens

Rachel Pollack, 1995 (format: Book)

“You are not alone” is the intrinsic message of this frank, reassuring book aimed at teenagers who either are questioning their sexual orientations or have acknowledged that they are gay. The authors repeatedly emphasize the importance of self-acceptance as they offer advice on such topics as coming out to family and friends, coping with prejudice and rejection, reconciling one’s sexuality with the sometimes conflicting tenets of organized religion and combating myths and stereotypes. An explicit discussion of sexually transmitted diseases concludes with basic facts about AIDS and a characteristically sound admonition: “Become a responsible adult-not a statistic.”

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The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

(format: website)

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals.

You can call them at any time at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

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The New Black

Yoruba Richen, 2013 (format: on-line-video)

The New Black is a documentary that tells the story of how the African-American community is grappling with the gay rights issue in light of the recent gay marriage movement and the fight over civil rights. The film documents activists, families and clergy on both sides of the campaign to legalize gay marriage and examines homophobia in the black community’s institutional pillar—the black church and reveals the Christian right wing’s strategy of exploiting this phenomenon in order to pursue an anti-gay political agenda.

The New Black takes viewers into the pews and onto the streets and provides a seat at the kitchen table as it tells the story of the historic fight to win marriage equality in Maryland and charts the evolution of this divisive issue within the black community.

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The New Gay Teenager

Ritch C Savin-Williams, 2006 (format: Book)

An introduction to confident, competent, upbeat teenagers with same-sex desires, who worry more about the chemistry test or their curfew than they do about their sexuality. What does “gay” mean to today’s teenager? Teenagers are not especially interested in neatly categorizing their sexual orientation. In fact, teenagers may think a lot about sex, but they don’t think that sexuality is the most important thing about them. And adults, he advises, shouldn’t think so either.

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The Scandalous Gospel of Jesus Christ: What’s So Good about the Good News

Peter Gomes, 2007 (format: Book)

Minister of Harvard University’s Memorial Church, Gomes asserts that we are meant to go beyond the Bible in order to discover the gospel. While looking for the promised fulfillment of the gospel, Gomes points out that we must manage to live in the world as it is. We must risk, we must have compassion, and we must care for all of creation.

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The Transgender Child: A Handbook for Families and Professionals

Stephanie A. Brill, 2008 (format: Book)

Brill explores the unique challenges that thousands of families face every day raising their children in every city and state. Through extensive research and interviews, as well as years of experience working in the field, the authors cover gender variance from birth through college.

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The Trevor Project

(format: website)

The Trevor Project focuses on crisis and suicide prevention efforts among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth. Available on the site are excellent online resources for educating adults and youth. Don’t miss the Trevor Lifeguard Workshop and the suicide prevention information and resources.

Trevor Lifeline: 866-488-7386

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Their Own Receive Them Not: African American Lesbians And Gays in Black Churches

Horace Griffin, 2006 (format: Book)

Griffin offers new approaches to understanding scripture and homosexuality through pastoral theology and black liberation theology. He provides a historical overview and critical analysis of the black church and its current engagement with lesbian and gay Christians, and shares ways in which black churches can learn to reach out and confront all types of oppression in order to do the work of the black community.

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To Do Justice: A Study of Welcoming Congregations

Rebecca Voelkel, 2009 (format: Free Download)

A study of welcoming congregations showing that the process of becoming a welcoming congregation creates a healthier congregation.

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To The Contrary: The Welcoming Movement

PBS, 2013 (format: On-line Video)

An excellent resource for congregations considering starting an Open & Affirming Process, PBS’s “To the Contrary” has produced an episode on the welcoming church movement that profiles diverse Open and Affirming UCC congregations from Michigan and Arizona and a Black Baptist/UCC congregation in Washington, DC. The documentary shares the struggles of congregations becoming O&A and the joys of congregations living out their O&A commitment, stories of young people finding churches that accept them as gay and clergy who find the courage to come out, about parents who learn to love their children and churches that learn to celebrate all their members.

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To the Tune of a Welcoming God: Lyrical Reflections on Sexuality, Spirituality, and the Wideness of God’s Welcome

David R. Weiss, 2008 (format: Book)

Brings academic insight, prophetic vision, and poetic clarity to the question of the church’s welcome to those GLBT Christians at its doorstep and already in its pews. David Weiss reaches out in these engaging and provocative writings to challenge, encourage, and empower.

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Jeremy Asher Lynch and Stephen Przybylowski, 2015 (format: on-line-video)

A short video about Jake, a gender non-conforming child, and the adults who support him.

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Torn Apart: United by Love, Divided by Law

Judy Rickard, 2011 (format: Book)

Rickard writes of the horrors that thousands of lesbian and gay couples face are detailed in this moving political and personal story of immigration and love. When only one half of a gay couple is an American citizen, immigration struggles are confounded by the fact that the partners cannot legally marry in most parts of the United States. Includes resources that outline which organizations can help and what the challenges and the realities of this situation are.

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Torn: Rescuing the Gospel from the Gays vs. Christians Debate

Justin Lee, 2013 (format: Book)

Provides insightful, practical guidance for all committed Christians who wonder how to relate to gay friends or family members–or who struggle with their own sexuality. Convinced that “in a culture that sees gays and Christians as enemies, gay Christians are in a unique position to bring peace,” Lee demonstrates that people of faith on both sides of the debate can respect, learn from, and love one another. Read the review of Torn published in Crossbeams.

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Trans 101: A Brief Guide

Brethren Mennonite Council for LGBT Interests (format: free-download)

Despite its name, “A Brief Guide” this Trans 101 introduction to understanding transgender people contains almost 40 pages of clear and insightful information about trans people and the needs and issues facing the trans community.

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Trans Lifeline

(format: website)

Trans Lifeline is dedicated to the well being of transgender people.

Trans Lifeline runs a hotline staffed by transgender people for transgender people; Trans Lifeline volunteers are ready to respond to whatever support needs members of the trans community might have.

US: (877) 565-8860
Canada: (877) 330-6366

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Trans-Gendered: Theology, Ministry and Community

Justin Edward Tanis, 2003 (format: Book)

Dr. Tanis, through the use of personal stories and the journey of others, as well as scriptural and theological discussion, provides the reader with an insightful and knowledgeable discussion about gender variant people in the church.

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transACTION: A Transgender Curriculum For Churches and Religious Institutions

(format: book)

transACTION is designed to help churches address this issue of understanding and welcoming transgender persons by providing step-by-step training about the needs, apprehensions and fears of transgender people – as well as the wealth of gifts and graces they bring – while responding to the concerns of the church or religious institution.

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Transfaith Institute

(format: website)

The Transfaith Institute is a learning community which equips and empowers community members to provide care and support for people of transgender experience.

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Transgender Basics

(more information)

The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center, NYC, 2009 (format: book)

Transgender Basics is a 20 minute video that gives a quick overview of what you need to know to understand transgender people and their issues.

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Transgender Children & Youth

Human Rights Campaign (format: book)

This web page from the Human Rights Campaign focuses on information and resources about transgender children and youth.

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Transgender College Student Resource Guide

(format: website)

This website provides information and resources for trans youth heading for college.

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Transgender Explained For Those Who Are Not

Joanne Herman, 2009 (format: Book)

Joanne Herman, a transgender woman who read everything in sight to understand her own gender incongruity, has been helping others with her non-complicated explanations of transgender for almost a decade.

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Transgender Visibility Guide

Human Rights Campaign, 2013 (format: Free Download)

The Transgender Visibility Guide aims to help transgender people and their loved ones through the process of disclosure in realistic and practical terms. Whether you’ve just come to understand yourself as a transgender person, or you’ve waited years to share what you know to be true about your gender identity with the people around you, this guide will help you take the next step into the kind of wholeness and fulfillment so many transgender people have discovered.

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Transgendered Suicide Support

(format: website)

This Yahoo Group is a peer support email list, led by two transwomen for the support of transgender adults of all sorts. The group welcomes anyone who may need, now or in the future, support when they may be feeling suicidal. Also welcome are those who want to do all you can to stop the loss of another transgender life.

Subscribe by sending an email to:

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Transparent: Love, Family, and Living the T with Transgender Teenagers

Cris Beam, 2007 (format: Book)

Beam writes of her volunteer activities at Eagles, a small high school for gay and transgender teens in Los Angeles, by focusing on first one, then another, of the young people she encountered.

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Trevor Lifeguard Workshop

(format: on-line-video)

The Lifeguard Workshop video training and curriculum is based on Trevor’s in-person suicide prevention workshop.

The workshop is a learning tool designed for educators, school counselors, school nurses and youth group leaders and is free of charge to educators and youth service providers.

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True Inclusion

Brandan Robertson, 2018 (format: book)

From Mark Johnston:

Here’s what I have to say about True Inclusion by Brandan Robertson – Don’t read this book unless you want to be challenged: challenged to love, love yourself, God, and neighbor; challenged to include, to truly include; challenged to love as Christ loves us; challenged to walk the gospel road of inclusion. True Inclusion is written with a style and a viewpoint that is grounded in evangelical Christianity yet will challenge us all to continue our journey, working to build the Kingdom of God “where there is unity in the midst of great diversity, where we are not forced to abandon the multiplicity of identities that make us unique, but where the gifts that those identities produce are embraced and celebrated.”

See the Q&A with author Brandan Robertson in this AllianceQ Crossbeams newsletter article.

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Umoja: Unity in the Community

Roland Stringfellow, 2015 (format: free-download)

Umoja is a Swahili word that means Unity. African-American communities, however, are deeply divided over homosexuality. Many families and congregations are unsure about supporting loved-ones who come out as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT), especially when the Bible appears to teach otherwise. Many are brokenhearted and confused in the midst of hurtful words and damaged relationships. This study is designed to help.

The Umoja Project is designed to facilitate safe, non-threatening dialogue about the diversity of human sexuality and the tension that sometimes exists within African-American faith communities in relation to LGBT individuals. Film and group discussion will help all participants (regardless of their position on this topic) explore the social and emotional impact of the exclusion those who want to be a part of the church community, but do not feel welcomed.

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Colby Martin, 2016 (format: book)

An evangelical pastor is fired because he has re-read the scripture and concluded that the evangelical rejection of LGBT people is misguided. In UnClobber Colby Martin tells his story and shares his understanding of the scriptures.

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Understanding Gay and Lesbian Youth: Lessons for Straight School Teachers, Counselors, and Administrators

David Campos, 2005 (format: Book)

Assists the classroom teacher, school counselor, and administrator in relating to gay and lesbian youth and creating accepting and supportive learning climates.

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Unfinished Lives: Reviving the Memories of LGBTQ Hate Crimes Victims

Stephen V. Sprinkle, 2011 (format: Book)

Puts a human face on the outrage and loss suffered when people die from anti-gay hatred.

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Unlearning Homophobia Series

(format: On-line Video)

A compilation of three groundbreaking films—Straight from the Heart (parents acceptance of their lgbt children), All God’s Children (Exploring homophobia and it’s effects on the African-American community), and De Colores (lives of families of gay and lesbian Latinos and Latinas as they struggle to accept their gay children).

Here are links to the films on Vimeo:

De Colores

All God’s Children

Straight from the Heart

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Valuing Families: Christian Education for the Household of God

Pacific School of Religion Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies, 2013 (format: free-download)

This curriculum focuses on the API experience of, and commitment to, extended family in community. API families are often extended families in both blood and community, which differs significantly from the dominant model of the nuclear family in the United States. Given this experience of an extended family, it is quite likely that an API individual will be vaguely aware of at least one family member who identifies as LGBT, be it a cousin, an aunt, a niece, an uncle, a nephew, or a long-time neighbor.

This curriculum can be helpful for other racial/ethnic, regional, rural communities that value the extended family as well. In these materials, the educational process does not rely on questions of identity and difference but rather on questions of relationship and connection. How then do we treat each other properly like family members? All other aspects related to LGBT concerns – what it means to be a Christian community, how to use the Bible responsibly, how to think ethically about human sexuality, how to face changing communal realities, and so on – will be addressed from that foundation of relationship and connection.

In that light, all of the sessions in this curriculum involve both “nurturing” and “nudging.” The goal of this program is thus two-fold: to nurture the familial bonds of faith in Christian communities and to nudge those same communities toward an even more expansive view and embrace of faith family relations.

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Voices of Witness: Out of the Box

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Integrity USA (format: book)

This documentary from Integrity, the Episcopal Church’s welcoming program, gives voice to the witness of transgender people of faith. Inviting the viewer into their journeys, the film is ultimately a celebration of hope and the power of God’s love to transcend even seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Click the more information link for a discussion guide.

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Welcoming Community Network

(format: Website)

Welcoming Community Network is an international grassroots organization that exists to enable full participation of persons of all sexual orientations and gender identities in the life and ministry of the Community of Christ.

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What Do I Do Now? When a Child Comes Out as Lesbian or Gay

Mark Johnston, 2019 (format: free-download)

This short guide by Mark Johnston for parents whose children have recently come out to them as lesbian or gay assists parents navigating the emotions, frustrations, and need for information that arise at this important moment in a family’s life and prepares a parent for maintaining a loving and supportive relationship.

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What Is Marriage For? The Strange Social History of Our Most Intimate Institution

E.J. Graff, 2004 (format: Book)

A playful and informative study of the institution of wedlock throughout history, Graff’s book looks at the legal, sociological, and anthropological assumptions about money, sex, procreation, tribal affiliation, and the pursuit of personal happiness that underlie the concept of matrimony in Western societies.

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What the Bible Really Says About Homosexuality

Daniel Helminiak, 2000 (format: Book)

An in depth study of the passages concerning homosexuality, placing the scripture deep within its cultural and Biblical contexts.

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What the Bible Says, and Doesn’t Say, About Homosexuality

Mel White (format: free-download)

Published by Soulforce, this short booklet examines the Biblical witness on homosexuality and calls the church to justice and affirmation.

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What’s Wrong with Homosexuality? (Philosophy in Action)

John Corvino, 2013 (format: Book)

Blending a philosopher’s precision with a light touch full of humanity and wit, this book addresses the moral and religious arguments against same sex relationships. The author makes a fresh case for moral engagement, recognizing that marriage is more than just a relationship between two individuals. It is also a relationship between those individuals and a larger community and thus ultimately, this is an argument for full inclusion in the moral fabric.

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Where The Edge Gathers: Building A Community Of Radical Inclusion

Yvette A. Flunder, 2005 (format: Book)

Flunder explains why the church is called to show the radically inclusive love of Jesus Christ to people on the margin and to move beyond affirmation and inclusion to accountability and responsibility.

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Your People Shall Be My People

Reconciling Works, 2014 (format: Free Download)

A discussion resource on equal marriage from Reconciling Works, the Lutheran Church’s (ELCA) Welcoming Church Program.

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