To My Former Best Friend

After we come out of the closet, we often experience strain or breakdown in some of our friendships. Sometimes we’re not even sure exactly why these friendships are fading away. Caitlyn Spence, one of the members of our Vancouver Generous Space group, wrote about one such friendship in the hauntingly beautiful piece below. We’re grateful for her permission to share it here, and we hope…

Terminology 2.0

The terms we use for minority groups are not just about political correctness. I believe they are of spiritual consequence. If we use words that dignify people’s (often painful) journey toward self-understanding and authenticity, we can actually bestow honor on them, affirm them as image-bearers of God, and show them hospitality. When we impose our…

Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust

Several members of the New Direction community face daily battles with depression and other forms of mental illness.  The rejection, marginalization and isolation they often experience as LGBTQ+ Christians can exacerbate these realities.  One of our hopes at New Direction this year is to talk more about mental illness and de-stigmatize it.  Together, we can learn how…

Review of Mark Yarhouse’s “Understanding Gender Dysphoria”

If I have learned anything from the flurry of Christian responses to Caitlyn Jenner’s “Vanity Fair” cover, it is the need for widespread transgender education in the church. The most fearful and hateful reactions betrayed a total ignorance of transgender experiences. And maybe we shouldn’t blame them. While Christian books on homosexuality abound, pastoral resources…

Straight/Cis Christians… We Need You!

Lately I’ve been having great conversations with straight cisgender Christians who ask how they can best support the LGBTQ+ Christian community.  These are important questions, and I’ve been hearing more and more innovative, contextual ideas.  As a catalyst to this ongoing conversation, consider the following suggestions…

 

65333_10153752995680089_1473418938_n1. Open up your homes.

There are several members of our LGBTQ+ community who need housing right now. Some have come out in Christian contexts and have been kicked out of their homes or have become unwelcome among their housemates. They have been couch-surfing, using shelters, or shuffling from one short-term rental to another. Many times these experiences contribute to struggles with depression, loneliness and shame.

They’re not simply looking for a room to rent – they’re looking for a home, a place of safety and belonging. They want a place where their faith will be affirmed and supported, where their ongoing journey with their sexuality and/or gender identity will not be judged, but rather given space, and treated with humility and respect.