In my life and work, my passion is carving space for people like us to exist. As much as we are aware of binaries within the LGBTQ community, we forget that other parts of our identities can live on binaries too. Our faith exists on a binary, as does our sexuality, as does our gender.
And we can move along this binary too. Queer is fluid. Gender is fluid. Faith is fluid. It is so important that we have intersectional and inclusive spaces to explore ourselves – and it may be for you that space to explore is the very space between these pages. Questioning our faith is a part of discovering our faith. We are not all raised with religious beliefs that will accept us. I reclaimed my Islam as I reclaimed my body and my skin. Find the Islam that will accept you and reclaim Islam for yourself.
Sabah Choudrey, Trans Youth Worker, Speaker and Writer
At KeshetUK we are working with schools, youth and young adult organisations, synagogues and wider community organisations to create a world where no one has to choose between their Jewish and LGBT identity. All of us are created b’tzelem Elohim (In G-d’s Image). All of us have value, all of us are loved by G-d and we are exactly who we are meant to be. In Judaism there is a belief that to save a life, is to save a world and therefore we have to create a nurturing space for all young people. There is a growing understanding across all denominations of Judaism (liberal, orthodox, reform and masorti) that when society and community rejects and dismisses LGBT people – it causes real harm. We believe that all areas of the Jewish community can, should and in many cases they are, acting to ensure that the Jewish community is inclusive of LGBT people and their families.
Dalia Fleming, Executive Director of Keshet UK
I’ve been in public Christian ministry for forty years. It saddens me, therefore, that young people should still struggle with a sense of conflict between their faith and their sexual orientation, or between their religion and their gender identity. As a matter of urgency, religious leaders in our country should lift the exemptions they negotiated from UK equality legislation; exemptions that send misleading signals to young LGBTI+ people. Along with preaching and pastoral practice that suggest that LGBTI+ people can alter their sexuality or their gender identity, these provisions heap shame and stigma on those already living with the stress of being a minority. Both in my role as a priest and healthcare chaplain, and as a trans Christian advocate and champion for LGBTI+ equality, I’ve worked to promote the integration of gender, sexuality and spirituality, as does this valuable resource. I warmly commend it to you.
The Revd Dr Christina Beardsley, co-editor, This is My Body: hearing the theology of transgender Christians and co-author, Transfaith: a transgender pastoral resource
Manchester Cathedral serves a large, diverse urban diocese and county with ten towns including the two cities of Manchester and Salford. Our vision is to grow, build community and make a difference in our society and wider world through the good news of our Lord Jesus Christ. We seek to live out our faith in God in practical ways and to be an inclusive Cathedral as we see the grace of God at work around us. The Cathedral is host to many inclusive groups who meet here regularly e.g. Challenging Hate Forum, Peace and Unity, Scriptural Reasoning and Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Forum. We are also a Third Party Reporting Centre for Hate Crime. We are proud to be a place of welcome to people of all faiths and none. We do not discriminate on grounds of race, gender, age, disability or sexuality and actively encourage inclusion at all levels of our common life.
Rogers Govender, Dean of Manchester