Wednesday, November 2nd, 2022
The LGBTQIA+ Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania wants to help queer youth, queer adults, their parents, and their families find an affirming spiritual home within our faith community.
Below you will find a variety of free online resources they have identified that might help you, your families, and your children learn more about LGBTQIA+ issues and their intersections with spirituality. If you have further questions or would like to discuss finding affirming community and support within The Episcopal Church, please feel free to contact them at email@example.com. (You can also download this sheet here.)
An Ally’s Guide to Terminology: Talking About LGBT People & Equality
From GLAAD. “Designed for new allies who want to support LGBT Americans but often face an array of confusing terminology and language, this short guide offers an overview of essential vocabulary, terms to avoid, and a few key messages for talking about various issues.”
Glossary of Terms
From the Human Rights Campaign, a glossary “written to help give people the words and meanings to help make conversations easier and more comfortable.”
The Language of Gender
From Gender Spectrum. “Precise use of terms in regards to gender can have a significant impact on demystifying many of the misperceptions associated with gender.”
The Defining Series
Asking “but what does it mean?”, an extensive series that seeks to “unpack various terms and identities.”
The Genderbread Person
A teaching tool that helps communicate “the dist inct, disconnected spectrums of gender identity,gender expression, biological sex, sexual attraction, and romantic attraction along which people might place themselves.”
A similar teaching tool, created “to recognize genders outside of the western gender binary.
What if My Child is Gay?
From the Association for Family and Community Integrity, a resource for parents who are new to the language surrounding LGBTQIA+ topics.
My Kid is Gay
Information, education and advice for parents or family members with LGBTQIA+ children.
Our Children: Questions and Answers for Parents and Families of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Questioning People
From PFLAG, a helpful booklet that “focuses on providing support for parents, caregivers, families, and friends of people who are LGBTQ+, with an emphasis on sexual orientation and gender expression.”
LGBTQ Youth & Family Resources To Decrease Mental Health Risks & Promote Well-Being
From the Family Acceptance Project, a portal to find LGBTQ services and support.
Breathe, Learn, Act: An e-Care Package for Parents & Loved Ones of Trans Youth
A guide to help parents learn about transgender and non-binary identities.
Transgender Children & Youth: Understanding the Basics
From the Human Rights Campaign, brief guides for parents on questions such as ‘is my child transgender?’ or ‘is my child gay or lesbian?’ and ideas on how to support your transgender child.
Our Trans Loved Ones: Questions and Answers for Parents, Families, and Friends of People Who Are Transgender and Gender Expansive
A comprehensive guide from PFLAG covering childhood, adolescence and adulthood.
Talking to Grandparents and Other Adult Family Members
From the Human Rights Campaign, a brief guide on how to handle “the more difficult conversations parents of transgender children face.”
Supporting & Caring for Transgender Children
A comprehensive guide from the Human Rights Campaign on how to care for gender-expansive and transgender kids.
Parenting - HRC
Other parenting resources from the Human Rights Campaign.
Resources for Families of LGBTQ+ People
From PFLAG NYC, guides in English and Spanish for families and “anyone who wants to understand LGBTQ+ issues better.”
Talking About Suicide
From The Trevor Project, guides discussing risk factors, warning signs and what we can do to “play a vital role in ensuring that all young people, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, are provided with safe, accepting, and supportive environments at home, at school and in their communities.”
Supporting the Transgender People in Your Life: A Guide to Being a Good Ally
From the National Center for Transgender Equality, a straightforward guide listing ways to be a good ally in different arenas of life.
Understanding Non-Binary People: How to Be Respectful and Supportive
From the National Center for Transgender Equality, tips on how to be an ally to non-binary people.
A Straight Person's Guide to the Coming-Out Conversation
A “good, comprehensive FAQ that prepares the receiver of the coming-out conversation to respond.”
A Guide to Being an Ally to Transgender and Nonbinary Youth
A resource providing “best practices on how to support transgender and nonbinary young people.”
The William Way Community Center
A wonderful regional resource and locus for community building. Inside the William Way umbrella are groups focused on Trans and Gender identities, Queer youth, and The LGBTQIA+
Elder Initiative, which is a separate organization lobbying and advocating statewide for education and access and equal treatment for us as we age.
The Attic Youth Center
This Philadelphia institution is dedicated to creating “opportunities for LGBTQ youth to develop into healthy, independent, civic-minded adults within a safe and supportive community and to promote the acceptance of LGBTQ youth in society.”
Philly AIDS Thrift @ Giovanni’s Room
Founded in 1973, the original Giovanni’s Room is the oldest LGBTQ bookstore in the country and remains a great source of books and other resources.
A program of Planned Parenthood Keystone, located at Salem United Church of Christ in Doylestown, the Rainbow Room is an “LGBTQIA youth program that provides a supportive and empowering environment for youth ages 14-21.”
Eastern PA Trans Equity Project
This organization “provides direct services to transgender and gender-diverse Pennsylvanians” including name changes, gender-affirming garments and support groups.
A center that provides “quality comprehensive health and wellness services in an LGBTQ-focused environment, while preserving the dignity and improving the quality of life of the individuals we serve.”
Penn Medicine Program for LGBTQ Health
Penn’s center is “designated as a ‘Leader in LGBT Healthcare Equality’ by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, and firmly believes that LGBTQ patients deserve access to respectful, compassionate and equitable health care at all times.”
Nemours Children’s Health - Gender Wellness Program
Nemours’s center provides “a wide range of services for kids and teens who are looking for help with their gender identity development and/or transition.”
Main Line Health - Gender Care Program
Main Line Health’s center promotes “optimal health and well-being for transgender, gender diverse, and nonbinary individuals.”
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
CHOP’s center offers “psychosocial and medical support for gender nonconforming, gender expansive and transgender children and youth up to age 21 and their families.”
An organization with chapters around the country that seek to “provide support, information, and resources for LGBTQ+ people, their parents and families, and allies.”
Provides “free online groups for pre-teens, teens, parents, caregivers, and other familymembers and adults” to create supportive communities.
The Trevor Project
“The world’s largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ young people.”
An organization “for student leaders and campus groups working to create a safer college environment for LGBTQ students.”
National Center for Transgender Equality
An organization that “advocates to change policies and society to increase understanding and acceptance of transgender people.”
From Strong Family Alliance, an extensive directory of organizations including denomination affiliated and non-denominational.
A site featuring “the largest welcoming and affirming church directory in the world.”
A national nonprofit that is led by transgender people and focused on issues of faith and spirituality.
UMC Reconciling Ministries Network
Resources from the United Methodist Church’s Reconciling Ministries Network.
Faith Ally Materials
From Straight for Equality, a program of PFLAG, resources such as “10
Things You Can Do to Be a Straight Ally in your Faith Community” and “Faith in our Families: Parents, Families and Friends Talk About Faith, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity.”
A guide from the Family Acceptance Project focused on “connecting LGBTQ youth and families with affirming faith communities, resources, religious and spiritual leaders and places of worship.”
Deconstruction resources that launched from Susan Cottrell’s popular TED Talk.
Religion & Faith
From the Human Rights Campaign, resources including “What does the Bible say about homosexuality?”, “What does the Bible say about transgender people?” and “Coming Home: To Faith, To Spirit, To Self”, a guide “aimed at folks who hope to lead their faith communities toward
a more welcoming stance, and those seeking a path back to beloved traditions.”
True Faith Doesn’t Bully
From the Tyler Clementi Foundation, a campaign to end religion-based bullying.
Religion and Asexuality Overview
A collection of links, including content on “what it’s like to be asexual in religious contexts.”
Faith and Religion
From The Proud Trust, “A space to explore what it’s like to be LGBT+ and have a religion, faith or belief.”
Believe Out Loud
An online network that empowers Christians to work for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality.
LGBTQ & Faith - Study Resources
Affirming theology, video, books and other resources from the United Methodist Church’s Reconciling Ministries Network.
Walter Brueggemann: How to read the Bible on homosexuality
Walter Brueggemann is a leading Old Testament scholar and an author of nearly 150 books.
Lots of resources, including the series “How you can know that it's really OK to be LGBTQ and Christian.”
Homosexuality and the Bible
A short look at the heart of the gospels and the issue of homosexuality. This article is a good place to begin if you are looking for a way to explain to your LGBTQIA+ child that they are indeed included and loved in the scriptures.
Trans religious leaders say scripture should inspire inclusive congregations
NPR article on how “pro-trans voices are emerging within Christianity.”
LGBTQ Liturgy Resources
Liturgies from enfleshed, which “creates and facilitates spiritual resources for collective liberation through prayer, liturgies, art, meditations, teaching, and other resources.”
Struggle and Triumph: Close Friendships with LGBTQ+ Christians Help a Mother Embrace Her LGBTQ+ Son
From Strong Family Alliance, a mother shares how her friendships helped her experience “tremendous pride and joy” in her son.
Issues of Faith
From Strong Family Alliance, suggestions to help parents as they reconcile questions of faith.
Responding to the ‘Clobber Passages’
From Gender Spectrum. How to respond to the Bible passages that some use “to argue thatgender divers ity doesn’t or shouldn’t exist.”
From Colby Marti, tnhe author of UnClobber: Rethinking Our Misuse of the Bible on Homosexuality. His site includes cheat sheets that walk through each of the ‘clobber passages.’
Amy-Jill Levine: How to read the Bible’s “clobber passages” on homosexuality
Amy-Jill Levine is a leading biblical scholar and the author of books such as
The Misunderstood Jew: The Church and the Scandal of the Jewish Jesus.
An extensive listing of affirming books.
Fiction, non-fiction, and memoir books for parents of LGBTQ youth.
By Colby Martin
By Austen Hartke
By Suzanne DeWitt Hall
By Shannon T. L. Kearns
By Matthew Vines
By Tara K. Soughers
By Will Horn
By Daniel A. Helminiak
By Jay Emerson Johnson
By Patrick S. Cheng
By Andrew Maxwell Trisca, LCSW
By Rylan Jay Testa, Deborah Coolhart and Jayme Peta
Parents Reconciling Network Virtual Porch
Videos from the United Methodist Church for parents of LGBTQIA+ youth on topics like gender identity.
From an Youth Gathering event of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
Transfigurations – A Performance Lecture about Gender Non-Conforming Bible Characters
A video from Peterson Toscano that helps illuminate Bible characters. “Toscano’s one-person performance deepens well-known (and lesser-known) Bible stories and presents an array of Bible characters with an array of genders.”
Reading the Bible From a Trans and Nonbinary Perspective
From the Eastern PA Trans Equity Project, scholar Joy Ladin “explores how transgender and nonbinary identities fit into the Bible.”
The Bible for Normal People
Hosted by Pete Enns, a biblical scholar and professor at Eastern University, and Jared Byas.
Episodes of interest: