This thread was initially featured as a discussion in our Monthly Sub-Forum for the month of September 2020, however it is still open for replies. --- Many members of the LGBT community don’t have a faith. In a world where science and technology explain so much, they don’t get the idea of faith and of course, that’s absolutely fine, but for some members of the LGBT community the conflict between their sexuality and/or gender identity and faith is very real and distressing. It’s a conflict that has left people struggling within the closet, with little or no support for many, many years. For some, it has been so acutely painful that they have attempted to pray away the sexuality or gender conflict or undergo reparative or conversion therapy. In this spotlight thread we want to give all members an opportunity to speak frankly and openly about faith and sexuality/gender identity and receive help and support. Has this been a matter of conflict for you? Have you encountered hostility within your religious community, or are you part of an affirming religious community? Have you had to deal with religious family members and how did it go? What advice would you give to LGBT people of faith? I am starting this thread on behalf of the EC Staff because I am openly gay and a practising Christian (Anglican/Episcopalian) too. I have been on the journey of reconciling my sexuality with my faith and I try to help other LGBT people who are having the same struggles. A reminder that this spotlight support thread is still subject to EC rules on discussing religion and atheism and all comments should be made with those rules in mind https://forum.emptyclosets.com/inde...ons-of-religion-atheism-and-ec-policy.330755/ --- About my personal journey: I realised I was gay as a teenager and one of the big issues that kept me in the closet was the conflict between my faith and my sexuality. I heard conservative Christians deride homosexuality as unnatural, evil and contrary to God's word (The Bible). As hurtful as it was, I could never bring myself to accept this narrative, which seemed entirely contrary to the simplicity of Jesus' commandments, which emphasise love and compassion at all times. If the Christian faith is focused on the life, death and resurrection of Jesus (the one whom we call Christ), then his word must be supreme and stand above all others. As I delved into the history and composition of the Bible and the context in which it was written and developed, so this proved to be. The shrill pronouncements against the LGBT community come from a very simplistic reading of The Bible which largely ignores historical context and development. In a great many cases, the emotional tirades we hear against the LGBT community come from a place of prejudice rather than a place of love and compassion and The Bible is weaponised to undergird such a viewpoint. This realisation was a lightbulb moment for me. It didn't happen quickly, but came about after much reading and theological study. It was time well spent! No longer do I feel conflicted by my faith and sexuality. I know and fully understand that God does not hate me or the LGBT community. I now attend an inclusive Anglican/Episcopal Church, where the former priest was openly gay. I'm not saying my denomination is perfect, but it's certainly among the most affirming and has taken significant steps in the right direction.