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After Evangelicalism: A Guide for LGBT People: Community

About

One of the toughest things about leaving an evangelical community can be how tight-knit they are, and how often church activities can dictate your entire week. While an evangelical community are often harmful and toxic for LGBT people because they employ a mix of open hostility, subtle denigration, and patronizing empathy, the strong emphasis on community and belonging to the body of Christ can be hard to deny. Maybe in the past it seemed worth it to overlook any harmful aspects of the church because of the community. But if you have gotten to the point where it is simply not tenable anymore to be a part of that community, it may be helpful to try and become part of LGBT communities to find a way of life outside of the strict moral and religious life of the evangelical church. That can be volunteering for organizations that support other LGBT people, or it can be going to dance parties specifically for LGBT people. In this section, you will find various resources that can help you make a life where you can be a part of a different community that can is healthy and actually supportive.

Churches

The National LGBT Task Force has published resources to educate churches on how to create an inclusive and affirming church structure. This can be an introductory reading to consider what you might want to look for in a church.

Volunteer

Volunteering with organizations that support or do political organizing for LGBT people can be a way to find new communities that are healthy for you and affirm that whatever your gender and/or sexuality are not sinful. If you are able to volunteer, working with others of like mind and/or similar struggles can help open up the possibilities of life outside of an evangelical context, where being queer is celebrated. Also, if you are able to volunteer, you would be helping those that are maybe even more vulnerable than you, which is also an important aspect of being a part of a community. 

These organizations are also there to serve you! If you need help, get in touch with the organization you feel best matches your needs.

Nightlife

Going to parties can be a way to express your gender and/or sexuality in new ways with others, and to bear witness to others doing the same, to be a part of the multiplicity and possibility of queer life. These are all collectives based in NYC that throw parties that center queer and trans people of color (QTPOC). Parties can be incredibly vulnerable spaces, where violence can easily be enacted towards others, so by focusing on making the space safe for the most vulnerable members of the queer community first, the space is safe for everyone.