For LGBTQ religious people, Valentine’s Day can be a difficult holiday. Many who come from faith traditions that are not yet LGBTQ inclusive find that friends, family, and community membership are not able to celebrate the love they have found. For too many, this prompts a sense of having to choose between two equally important identities, and makes remaining in faith traditions difficult.
Thankfully, this Valentine’s Day, a Catholic, faith-based coalition is working to spread a different message. Equally Blessed is motivated by a vision of a church where homophobia has no place, where all people – and all the love they find – are celebrated. Amelia Blanton – coordinator of Equally Blessed – and her staff created provocative images that they have been spreading across social media platforms today, images which offer a desperately needed message of hope and healing for the Catholic Church. “My church may need reform,” says a pink-and-red, cathedral-adorned graphic, “but, honey, you were made in God’s image.”
WASHINGTON, D. C., February 11, 2013–The Equally Blessed coalition released this statement on the impending resignation of Pope Benedict XVI:
We join with Catholics around the world who are grateful that Pope Benedict XVI had the foresight and humility to resign his office for the sake of the church to which he has given his life.
With the pope’s impending resignation, the church has an opportunity to turn away from his oppressive policies toward lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Catholics, and their families and friends, and develop a new understanding of the ways in which God is at work in the lives of faithful and loving people regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Mark Kroilkowski wore his hair at shoulder length, his nails long and well manicured, and his ears pierced. His appearance, which evolved over the 32 years he'd spent teaching at St. Francis Prepatory School in Queens, had always been considered a bit unconventional for a Catholic school teacher, but it had caused no poblems until October 2011 when the parent of a freshman student complained, setting in motion a series of events that culminated in Kroilikowski's dismissal.
The former teacher says he was laid off because he informed school officials that he was transgender. He has filed suit. The school’s attorney says Krolikowski was fired for “nondiscriminatory reasons.”
The acronym LGBT has entered into common use in recent years, as a quick way of referring to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. But even individuals who are L, G and B don’t always know much about those who are T. As Christians we believe that the church must work to dispel this ignorance, and to support this deeply stigmatized population.