- you don’t want to rock the boat,
- you feel inadequate to challenge the way things are,
- you believe you may be the only one who is disturbed by this, or
- you’re not sure you have the right words to express what you feel?
- feel compelled to do something,
- have said, “enough already” or
- are asking, “why can’t they see this?”
…these are gentle nudges to raise your voice.
You do have the ability to speak authentically and to motivate others. Lifting your voice may not require grand schemes and extensive planning. Simply say what is true for you in your own way, and you will have taken a significant step. Many Voices will help you with resources to make that difference.
Remember, there may be young people in your congregation, as in many others, who self-identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or “queer.” There may also be those with questions and concerns about sexual orientation or gender identity in relation to their faith. Raising your voice helps create a safe environment for their questions. Breaking silence enriches the community and saves lives, especially in religious settings where youth seek to balance their commitment to God with their sense of self.
Remember also that parents and guardians of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or questioning children need places of nurture and spiritual guidance. Speaking about the needs of these families will not require expertise in theology or human sexuality; it will simply require your compassion.
Lifting up your concerns may open room for others
to express their private hurts and initiate the process of healing. Whatever you do to demonstrate compassion, seek justice, and broaden understanding of God’s abundant grace will reap benefits.
Genuine welcome is wholly transformative. You, your congregation, and the larger community will see the change happen. Remember the words of Audre Lorde, When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.