Gay spirituality, an unthinkable term for preceding generations, has become a concept that deserves some serious consideration for people of faith. Although, the words, “gay” and “spiritual” are still considered a mix as impossible as oil and water by many, there are a growing number of people in the GLBT community, who are developing healthy spiritual lives; a fact that has left many traditional Christians scratching their heads as if in the presence of a miracle.
When the American Psychiatric Association removed homosexuality from the lists of mental disorders in 1973, it punctuated a turning point in our society suggesting it was time to redefine what is and what is not ‘normal.’ Research has shown that gays and lesbians are not usually despondent over the direction of their sexual energy, rather their greatest emotional challenges come from a homphobic society that does not know how to make room for differing sexual orientations. What we need at this time in our history are theolgies that can flex with our increased understanding of what it means to be fully human.
Five years ago, as part of my own growing curiousity and professional development in this area, I conducted a survey that interviewed people in the GLBT community about what they felt was most helpful and most harmful in thier spiritual development. Every time I recorded the sacred stories of people’s lives, I felt I was standing on holy ground. Those who allowed me to collect their stories did so with their blessings and hope that others might be encouraged to continue their own spiritual journeys as well. As a result I have been leading seminars on gay spirituality the past several years at National conventions of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, and written my first book, “Coming Out, Coming Home, Making Room for Gay Spirituality in Therapy.” (Routledge, 2009, 273 pages) To see a video about me talking about the book and why I felt the need to write it click this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0UhUhUz-EiM
My conclusion? Gay spirituality is a gift of life. It is not an impossible mix of oil and water, but something more akin to water turning into fine wine, a blessing whose time has come for all who have felt estranged by the perception of difference. (See my book release pages on my website for more information.