QUESTIONS & ANSWERS:
Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual/Transgendered Department

Please remember, this column is designed to help the consumer seeking behavioral-health information, and not intended to be any form of psychotherapy or a replacement for professional, individualized services. Opinions expressed in the column are those of the columnist and do not represent the position of other SelfhelpMagazine.com staff.

Question

It seems like everywhere I go in our local lesbian and gay community I hear nasty remarks about Republicans and about fundamentalist Christians. That's hard for me because I was raised in a conservative, Baptist home and still believe in many of the values I was taught, even though I reject the anti-gay teachings. Is there any place I fit in, where both my sexual orientation and my values will be welcome?

Answer

I suspect you're right about the existence of negative attitudes toward Republican and conservative religious views within many parts of our lesbian and gay communities. It is sometimes difficult for people to see that a philosophy (such as conservative Republicanism) may have positive aspects even though some of those associated with that philosophy are very anti-gay (Pat Robertson, for example). However, I do not think the solution is to keep quiet. Our communities are diverse politically and spiritually, and we need to recognize those differences and talk about them.

It is also important for all of us to have like-minded individuals in our lives, and there are lesbians and gays who share your views. I suggest you try to find kindred spirits through some of the many gay and gay-supportive Christian churches and political organizations. The Log Cabin Clubs are organizations for gay, lesbian and bisexual Republicans in the U.S.. For more information, call (202) 347-5306, write Log Cabin Clubs at 1101 14th Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20005, or e-mail to LCRNAT@aol.com.

There are two ways you may be able to meet your religious and spiritual needs. One is through the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches, a federation of Christian churches founded by a gay man. Members of MCC congregations are primarily, but not exclusively, gay, lesbian and bisexual. They're at 5300 Santa Monica Blvd., Suite 304, Los Angeles, CA 90029, (213) 464-5100. They have congregations in many states. You may also want to contact the Welcoming Churches movement, which is composed of Baptist, Presbyterian, Disciples of Christ, United Church of Christ, Lutheran, and United Methodist congregations that have taken a formal position welcoming lesbian, bisexual and gay people. You can reach them through the "Open Hands" Magazine, at 3801 N. Keeler Avenue, Chicago IL 60641, (312)736-5526.

03/13/98


Author and psychologist Gail S. Bernstein, Ph.D. has a psychotherapy practice in Denver, Colorado. Dr. Bernstein speaks and writes about gay, lesbian and bisexual people for both general and professional audiences, and is the author of the new audiotape, NOT HETEROSEXUAL: An Educational Program About Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual People.

 

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