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Coming out, Always In

God has always loved us all

A message from Pastor Joelle Henneman (she/her) of the United Methodist Church for All People, Columbus, OH

For National Coming Out Day 2021, we collected stories from LGBTQ people of faith and faith leaders to break down the false dichotomy between faith and LGBTQ dignity and to offer comfort and encouragement to those who are not yet out. Check out the stories below and learn how you can take action!

Listen to the stories

"When I first came out, I couldn't have imagined the life I'm lucky enough to be living today. Whether you're still not able to come out, you're newly out, or you've been out for a long time, I hope you're able to find a meaningful spiritual community." Rabbi Alex Braver
"Thanks be to God for the journey. Experiencing and expressing gratitude for being queer, an essential ingredient of our sacred worth, is a radical reorientation that frees us to fully experience God's glorious kin-dom." Kimberly Knight
"If you are coming out today, I stand in Holy boldness with you and bear witness to the sacredness of this moment. If you've been told that you are unworthy or an abomination, erase the tape. As a Genderqueer, Lesbian and person of faith, I affirm you are BELOVED. If you are not in a safe space to share your truth, that's ok. Rejoice in acknowledging your truth to yourself. I pray that one day you will have the freedom to walk in the light and be loved out loud." Teña Nack-Hope
"A church member and I recently did a community presentation titled, "Coming Out is Holy" linking our faith and our sexuality. We have been instrumental in educating school and health department staff about the special needs and concerns of LGBTQ individuals and families." Jeanne from St. John Church
"The more I learn about those who endured so much for my freedom, just to be, the more I ask myself, how dare we hide? We are all made as a reflection of the divine, to hide ourselves is to diminish a part of the full picture." Rev. Terri Echelbarger
"I now live, move, and having my beingness as a proud, unapologetically aware, transparent, authentic and powerful Black Gay man who is a minister, teacher, artist, author, a father of 5 sons (children of choice not birth) and grandfather. I am finally happy, at peace, and truly grateful for all parts of myself. At 55 I feel the best I have ever" Rev Raymont Anderson
"I came out to my congregation four months before they were due to vote on renewing my contract.... I received what I can only describe as grace upon grace, an outpouring of love and affirmation that strengthened my ties with my congregation." Rev. Patricia Raube
"As a leader in my faith community and queer person, it is important to me to affirm to everyone that they are loved by the Gods no matter if they're ready to come out or not... The Gods themselves have aspects that reflect LGBTQ+ identities and you are loved by Them." Justice Hardman

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