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New resource for Catholic LGBTQ youth
Several years ago I attended a conference to help ministers work with LGBTQ individuals. The conference was put on by a conservative Catholic apostolate (one that would protest me using the term LGBTQ or even the term “gay”). The speakers were a mixed bag. Some were helpful. Some felt disconnected from reality. Some just wanted to fight a culture war. And some just outright lied about Church teaching.
One of the guest speakers, the best speaker at the conference, was Eve Tushnet. I remember thinking that she wasn’t defensive and she wasn’t fighting a culture war. She talked about reality and shared some of her own experiences as a gay Catholic woman. I have followed her work since then and have valued her voice in the Church.
Eve Tushnet just launched a Kickstarter for a new project she is working on called, “Building Catholic Futures: Creating content for Catholic educators to serve the needs of gay youth.” I like what she’s doing and I want to encourage you to support her work.
Eve recently explained what this project is in a thread on Twitter, and I wanted to share that with you. (I’ve edited it slightly for clarity.)
Short thread on the Building Catholic Futures project. What is this thing???
I've said that it's a group of gay/les/bi/ssa Catholics coming together to create the kinds of educational resources we wish our own teachers, priests, parents, and mentors in the faith would have had: orthodox, creative, hopeful; looking to history to help us envision a future.
Participants include a priest, a teacher, a mom... we're really aiming for a Pokemon of vocations here. Cradle Catholics and converts, Latin and Byzantine, a couple people who had mostly-good experiences being gay in the Church but also people who survived conversion therapy.
The Kickstarter is for our first meeting, at which we'll create a framework for Catholic education on gay topics and begin creating the resources many, many teachers, parents, & priests have asked for. I don't want to limit our work--I'm only one voice--but here are some q's I think we're very likely to address:
What does it look like for gay people to grow in self-acceptance *and* fidelity to Catholic teaching? Where do people like us give and receive love, including life-shaping and committed same-sex love?
How can we tell our stories, & present the fullness of Catholic teaching, *without* making it seem like God's love or is conditional on "good behavior"? How can we make it safe for kids to imagine their futures, whether they accept Church teaching or not?
What does it look like when gay people's stories of faith are woven into all our lessons?
I would really think we'd failed if we got schools to teach about gay Catholics but only when the subject matter is chastity :/
What are the stories--of holy people, of individuals' complex journeys, even of Jesus Himself--that make it obvious that gay people are woven into the great story of our redemption? How can these stories shape teachers' & other leaders' responses to complex pastoral situations?
I'm sure there are many more q's. How do we tell the difference between humility and self-hatred; how do we live both obedience and solidarity? But I hope this thread suggests where we're starting from.
Please check our her Kickstarter and consider supporting this effort to help make the Church a place of welcoming and healing for our LGBTQ brothers and sisters.