You know, I get a lot of exposure to ordinary LGBTQ people on social media, where I promote my stories.
I help administer Facebook groups, for example, comprising close to 200k LGBTQ people all up, though not all of those people are active.
One thing I’ve noticed is that LGBTQ people in general on those groups are tremendously hostile to organized religion. These are not by any means groups organized around secularism or atheism — just LGBTQ support in general.
But my eyes have really been opened over the past couple of years but how ready ordinary LGBTQ people are to comment very unkindly about religion. And very emotionally. I’ve toned down some of my articles in response! I don’t want to cater to really dark hostility.
But that brings to mind a disconnect. As you mention in your story here, one wouldn’t necessarily get that idea from “official” queer sources or advocacy groups, where religious LGBTQ people are often centered, even though by the numbers, they’re in a pretty small minority,
I don’t mind the aspiration. I’d love to see organized religion get to a point where it offers as much solace and mental health benefits to queer people as it does now to cis/straight people.
But the reality is that it does not. Affirming churches are few and far between. Many are the churches that claim to be accepting but hide a toxic message under smiles and upbeat music.
Yes, we need accepting spaces for LGBTQ people who are not people of faith or who feel that existing organized religion is too toxic for them. The need is compelling.