In my practice as an Educational Therapist, ongoing training is a necessity. Within the last few years, I’ve made an effort to become more educated and better-licensed in matters of Neurodivergent and LGBTQIA+ mental health and vocational
In addition to my Educational Therapy practice, nothing has opened my eyes and has helped
me connect science to lived experiences better than volunteering in religious trauma recovery.
In short, there are spaces within the Church which downright dangerous for LGGTQ+ and Neurodivergent/ disabled people due to those laity and clergy who are obsessed with the doctrine of sexual ethics moreso than being concerned with the sanctity of life and human dignity. I see and experience all of this regularly as a parent of LGBTQ+ kids and as a practitioner.
I recently responded to a leader in Christian ministry for Christian parents of gay kids. “Thank you for sharing this, _______, This statement right here, :“His church agreed to be the site for a sold-out conference to help parents of LGBTQ kids learn to love their children while maintaining their Christian faith” is the reason some LBGTQ+ Christian kids have had their lives threatened while others have already taken their lives. Christian parents must love and accept their LGBTQ+ kids because the suicide rate is much higher in Christian homes than it is in secular homes. Conferences like this save lives and families. It is literally that serious because I see it serving in religious trauma recovery outside of my practice as an Educational Therapist. It’s a real trick to maintain the Christian faith while loving LGBTQ+ family members, much less due to doctrine than the way other Christians treat families like ours. There are too many ministers who refuse to theologically work through this and place the sanctity of life and human dignity first. You would not believe the lengths my husband and I have had to go through to find a safe space for our family to worship and socialize with other Christians who accept LGBTQ+ kids.
As I stated have stated many times before, aligning pastoral ministry with current science is about
safety and life. Religiosity and Suicidality among LGBTQ Youth | The Trevor Project Churches which have not reconciled with families who have Neurodivergent and
LGBTQIA+ people over their sexuality and/or gender identity will continue to endanger them. Suicide risks need particular attention because this is a life issue.
The Church should not be part of the problem but part of the solution to reducing the health
risks and suicide rates of Neurodivergent and LGBTQIA+ youth. From what I have witnessed within the Church, I believe there are still too many dangerous spaces for those who are different,
especially in Texas and other states like it. I commend the efforts of LGBTQ+
affirming ministries and other non-profits. From my personal experience in the Church, I have encountered too many clergymen and laity who are in the business of trying to intrinsically change people rather than allowing people to
live their interior lives within the context of their own settings. ALL spaces in the Church should be safe, welcoming, and accepting
towards all people. The health, well-being, and even lives depend on it, especially the
minority populations I’ve mentioned.