Two Saturdays ago, FCC was invited to a dialogue on LGBTQ+ issues held by non-governmental organization, The Whitehatters. I am so proud of Miak and Moey (the mother of one of our transgender members) who represented FCC on the panel, as well as all those from FCC who participated in the exchange of stories and perspectives. I think as a church we have come a long way, and I am proud of our team because of the courage and grace each one has shown.
Some of you may be aware that a letter was written to Today responding to a remark made by Miak during the dialogue session. You can read it here: https://www.todayonline.com/voices/attributing-suicide-among-lgbtq-discrimination-over-simplistic-and-unhelpful-1798306
I want you to know that Miak wrote a response yesterday and you can read his full letter here: https://www.todayonline.com/voices/address-factors-causing-suicide-among-lgbtq-persons-better-prevent-such-crises-1800286
In his letter, Miak wrote, “I have journeyed with many LGBTQ persons who have had experiences with suicidal ideation and self-harm, and have known, sadly, quite a few who took their lives. The irony is the simple things Dr Chan says can avert a crisis — such as a listening ear or being given a sense of hope for tomorrow — are what many LGBTQ persons feel they don’t have. When they fear rejection from their family, friends and religious community, they have nobody to talk to.
A study by the Family Acceptance Project at San Francisco State University, published in 2018, showed rates of attempted suicide by young LGBT people whose parents tried to change their sexual orientation were more than double (48 per cent) that of young LGBT adults who reported no conversion experiences (22 per cent). Suicide attempts nearly tripled for young LGBT people who reported home-based, parental efforts to change their sexual orientation and intervention by therapists and religious leaders (63 per cent).
It is not my intention to blame or induce guilt, but to invite people to become aware of the possible effects of their actions. It would be irresponsible of me not to speak up for those harmed by conversion therapy or rejection by the church, or both.
I appreciate the approach the dialogue took because it required us to listen to understand, rather than refute. This creates safe spaces where people who may hold opposing views can come together to listen to one another and reach a better understanding of one another’s positions.”
I pray we will continue to be a church that gives voice to the voiceless, and ultimately be the embodiment of God’s love in the spaces God calls us to.
Join us this Sunday as we continue on our sermon series, Home Is The Way — Opening Our Doors to Love.