Affirming the dignity and sacred worth of LGBTQ people is literally life-saving and it’s hard to imagine a time when our work has been more needed than it is right now. The Center for LGBTQ and Gender Studies in Religion (CLGS) is on the front lines of advocacy, making a crucial difference in communities across the United States and Latin America. And in the challenging years ahead, we’ll need the experience and expertise that we’ve developed more than ever before. By working collaboratively with people of faith from many religious traditions, we have the opportunity – and the responsibility – to address the root causes of homophobia and transphobia in our world.
CLGS’s work since our founding in 2000 has prepared us for this moment. We are proud to represent and speak to the diversity of the LGBTQ communities and our families, creating programs that effectively address the intersectional issues of our day. Here are just a few examples:
- The Umoja Project, which builds networks of Black church pastors, has just completed an at-capacity training with a new group in Michigan. These LGBT-affirming religious leaders are part of a vital effort to counter the use of religion to justify discrimination in our country.
- Our website has several brand new and free resources—in English and Spanish— that provide theologically and spiritually grounded information to congregations, individuals, and families to help them understand, welcome, and support transgender people.
- Our new Jewish programming is off to a great start in its first year, hosting an amazing conference this past fall on gender identity and Judaism, and planning an LGBTQ Jewish clergy retreat for next Spring.
With the beginning of our Jewish Roundtable, we have focused on building a strong multifaith perspective. We’ve begun work with the queer Muslim community, considering what it means to be “Queer and Muslim in the Age of Trump,” the title of Dr. Sahar Shafqat’s CLGS Lecture in October.
In the coming year, we’ll build on this intersectional and vital work. In March, immigration activist Jose Antonio Vargas will be with us for a weekend conference focused on border crossings—including those of sexual orientation and gender identity. We’ll continue to develop practical and inspiring resources to support congregations, activists, and individuals in their work to bring about justice for all LGBTQ people.
We invite you to be a part of this transformational work by making a donation to CLGS today. To be honest, we need your support this year more than ever and you can be confident that your donation will go right to work strengthening and protecting our communities.
The CLGS Staff