I’ve been wanting to post this list for some time and I think the beginning of the New Year is the perfect time. Many of you have contacted me with stories of a friend or family member in your life who is part of the LGBT community and you’re reading this blog because you have a lot of questions. You may be wondering how to relate, what to say, how not to offend, or how to understand what your friend or loved one is experiencing, feeling, or thinking. Some of you may even be in pastoral care and are feeling ill-equipped and under-educated.
What better way to love and honor an LGBT (or questioning) person in your life than to make your New Year’s resolution a commitment to seeking truth, insight, and kindness towards your friend or loved one?
This is not an exhaustive list by any means, but it’s a good starting place for those of you who want a variety of perspectives, and some helpful information, on what’s really going on for LGBT folk. The resources listed here contains various perspectives on homosexuality and are labeled as such. All are helpful resources for education. Some are religious in nature, some not so much. I don’t endorse any one perspective – I just provide a variety of perspectives for your benefit, and hopefully, some balance.
There is one stipulation to using this list. You must agree to read ones you think you’ll disagree with. 🙂
I’ve given headings and hyperlinks to each resource to help you find what you’re most looking for. If you have a particular need, or a particular area of interest, and need some help knowing where to start, COMMENT ME PLEASE! This is why I’m doing this – I want to help you to be better friends, parents, brothers, sisters, pastoral care givers, and loved ones to those people in your life who just happen to experience unwanted same-sex attraction, or who happily identify themselves as a member of the LGBT community. I love questions. If any of these resources piques your interest and you want more info, COMMENT ME. I have a storehouse of more detailed resources that could help, but these are at least a good starting place for a variety of information, particularly on LGB issues (I’m still working on my T resources). Also, if you have any more resources to share, feel free to leave them in comments.
For First Time Traditional Christian Readers/Researchers on the Topic:
- If I Told You – Vol 1 (2007) and Vol. 2 (2010) – real and honest stories from those experiencing same-sex attraction in a conservative Christian college environment (2007)
- Through My Eyes DVD – stories from LGBT Christians describing their relationship with God and the process of struggle in reconciling their faith and sexual orientation
- Love is an Orientation: Andrew Marin – After three of his best friends (all Christians) came out to him within three months, Marin had to wrestle with difficult questions regarding sexual identity and Christianity. In this book, he shares about his bridge-building ministry between the LGBT community and the Church, his incarnational presence in the largest gay neighborhood in the country, and he addresses tension-filled questions with grace and new insight
- Washed and Waiting: Wesley Hill – As a celibate gay Christian, Hill provides a glimpse of what it looks like to wrestle firsthand with God’s ‘No’ to same-sex relationships. What does it mean for gay Christians to live faithful to God while struggling with the challenge of their homosexuality? What is God’s will for believers who experience same-sex desires? This book gives good perspective on the struggles that celibate gay Christians have, and pushes the audience to consider how the Church ought to respond.
- GCN – The Great Debate – two articles that present differing perspectives. Side A – God blesses monogamous same-sex relationships and Side B – God does not bless same-sex sexual relationships. Both articles present the popular arguments and respond to the Scriptures that mention homosexuality. Read both articles.
- Love Is An Orientation – blog for the Marin Foundation, an organization dedicated to building bridges between the LGBT and evangelical Christian communities
- Bridging The Gap – blog for New Direction Ministries, a Canada based organization whose mission is to nurture safe and spacious places for those outside the heterosexual main-stream to explore and grow in faith in Jesus Christ.
- This Blog – Specifically, see these pivotal posts, if you haven’t already:
- Brokenness – are LGBT people “broken”?
- Did They Choose It? – examines whether sexual orientation is chosen
- Meet Jared – a personal story of a Christian gay man
- Gay Lingo 101 (Part 1 and Part 2) – language that relates to the LGBT Community; what to say and what NOT to say
- Why Gays Deserve an Apology from Christians – explaining how the church has misrepresented itself, and ultimately Christ, to the LGBT community
LGBT Resources – Created For/By Christians (Varying Perspectives):
- The Marin Foundation – Bridge-building organization (works between the church and the LGBT community); website contains a fantastic list of resources and articles
- Institute for the Study of Sexual Identity – Research based institute at Regent University that addresses the challenges and difficulties for those facing the hard work of reconciling their faith and sexual orientation from a psychological perspective
- Exodus International – Umbrella organization that provides a list of organizations and resources for those experiencing unwanted same-sex attraction.
- New Direction – Canada based organization whose mission is to nurture safe and spacious places for those outside the heterosexual main-stream to explore and grow in faith in Jesus Christ.
- Gay Christian Network – a nonprofit ministry supporting Christians worldwide who happen to be lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT); provides an online chat/support community, podcasts on LGBT/Christian topics, annual conference, and open, safe discussions on how to honor God with homosexual orientation (monogomous relationships vs. celibacy)
- Evangelicals Concerned – works to provide safe and comfortable places for men and women to reconcile their Christian faith with their sexuality; offers a mentorship program for Christians in the LGBT community
LGBT Advocacy/Awareness/Support Organizations:
- Give A Damn Campaign – Advocacy and support for LGBT community
- GLSEN (pronounced Glisten) – Advocacy and support for LGBT; initiatives include the very popular Day of Silence and GSA’s (Gay/Straight Alliances) in schools to provide support for youth combating bullying
- GLAAD – Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation
- The Trevor Project – Works towards prevention of LGBT teenage suicides; originators of the “It Gets Better Campaign”
- PFLAG – Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays; support and advocacy group
- The Advocate – national gay and lesbian newsmagazine
- Human Rights Campaign – organization working for LGBT Equal Rights