Supporting our LGBTQIA+ Youth

The Diocese of East TN strives to welcome *all* to our community just as God made them. In order to do so, we must educate ourselves on the best ways to make people feel welcome and comfortable in our community. We hope the resources below help us learn just how to do that. 

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Leigh Finke

Are you LGBTQ+? Not sure? Whether you're queer or questioning, understanding sexuality and gender identity can be confusing. And if you're a Christian, questions of identity can be even scarier. Is there something wrong with you? Will your friends accept you? When should you tell your family? What about church?

Queerfully and Wonderfully Made: A Guide for LGBTQ+ Christian Teens has answers to all these questions and more. You'll get insight and support from an amazing group of LGBTQ+ professionals, as well as testimonies from young adult queer Christians who've recently been exactly where you are. You'll walk away with a lot of answers, prepared with tools to help. But most importantly, you'll hear the good news: God loves you exactly as you are. No matter your identity or where in your journey of self-discovery you find yourself, you got this.

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Leigh Finke

How should I respond when a teen comes out? Do I have to tell their parents? What does it mean to be transgender? And how do I talk to a trans youth?

These are the kinds of tough questions facing Christian communities everywhere. It's not enough for faith leaders to improvise their way through these questions. Leaders need concrete tools to navigate the LGBTQ+ landscape.

Welcoming and Affirming: A Guide to Supporting and Working with LGBTQ+ Christian Youth is one of those tools. A handbook for pastors, youth workers, church leaders, educators, and other adults in Christian settings, the book provides answers to the most pressing questions about sexuality, gender, mental health, safe sex, and more.

Written by a team of LGBTQ+ adults, Welcoming and Affirming features first-hand, personal testimonials from queer young adults who have experienced the joys and hardships of being queer and Christian. You'll walk away with a lot of insight, prepared to love, affirm, and accept the LGBTQ+ teens in your community the way God does--exactly as they are.

Developer

Use this space to introduce yourself and share your professional history.

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Gayle E. Pitman

Illustrations by Laurie Fournier

On Sunday morning, we gather together. We are every color. Every age. Rich and poor. Our church is open, affirming, and accepting. We believe in love instead of hate. There's room for everyone! This book celebrates a spiritual community that embraces all people―no matter their age, race, class, gender identity, or sexual orientation―in love and faith.

Equality

Human Rights Campaign

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Marke Bieschke

When do you decide to come out? Will your friends accept you? And how do you meet people to date? Queer is a humorous, engaging, and honest guide that helps LGBTQ teens come out to friends and family, navigate their social life, figure out if a crush is also queer, and challenge bigotry and homophobia. Personal stories from the authors and sidebars on queer history provide relatable context. This completely revised and updated edition is a must-read for any teen who thinks they might be queer or knows someone who is.

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Ross Murray

Formed at a time when the overlap of such categories was unthinkable, The Naming Project provides a place where youth of all sexual orientations and gender identities can be safe and affirmed in their identity and faith. Because of that foundational work, other pastors and youth ministers often reach out to leaders of The Naming Project with their questions about LBGTQ-inclusive youth ministry. Made, Known, Loved provides the guidance these leaders have been asking for.

School Kids

Human Rights Campaign and Welcome Schools

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Lewis Hancox

A groundbreaking memoir about being a trans teen, in the vein of FUN HOME and FLAMER... and at the same time entirely its own.

 

Lewis has a few things to say to his younger teen self. He knows she hates her body. He knows she's confused about who to snog. He knows she's really a he and will ultimately realize this... but she's going to go through a whole lot of mess (some of it funny, some of it not funny at all) to get to that point. Lewis is trying to tell her this... but she's refusing to listen.

In WELCOME TO ST. HELL, author-illustrator Lewis Hancox takes readers on the hilarious, heartbreaking, and healing path he took to make it past trauma, confusion, hurt, and dubious fashion choices in order to become the man he was meant to be. It's a remarkable, groundbreaking graphic memoir from an unmistakably bold new voice in comics.