I'm going to highlight something Jenna is doing, if that's okay.
The series of acronyms used in the title means, In Our Own Voices - LGBT People of Color. http://www.inourownvoices.org/
In Our Own Voices, Inc. and The New York State Black Gay Network, Inc. will be hosting the first statewide LGBT People of Color Health Summit on February 21-24, 2008 in Albany, NY. The Health Summit’s theme is: Unity through Diversity: Shifting Our Focus
Jenna is going to be presenting a workshop, "Mother Loss – the violence of the church’s gender stereotypes". Her rough workshop purpose statement is as follows:
Issue Description: Often neglected in social care for LGBT is the marginalization experienced that results from estrangement from one’s family faith institutions. The loss is lived out daily by those who are denied identity in God’s image and membership in community.
What Is Known: POC traditionally have strong familial religious affiliations. The church that rejects these Children of God has intentionally edited out all but God’s stereotypically masculine images from holy texts and doctrines. Mother Loss, the disconsolate fragmentation of self-image that follows the loss of a mother figure, can effectively describe the loss felt by those who’ve been ostracized by their church and/or community.
Current Strategies: Using traditional language, there are no images upon which to draw except those of a stereotypically masculine God and imposed norms of gender identity and behavior. To be included in the family of faith that employs gender stereotypes requires LGBT to suffer identity denial and “hate the sin, love the sinner” theologies.
Lessons Learned & Recommendations: Through examining feminine and gender-ambiguous images of God, which abound in scripture, and engaging in lamentation to express the pain of rejection from mother church, we can strive towards healing as we reclaim the image of a loving God that we each engender.
Learning Objective(s): To find ways in which GLBT, especially POC, can claim their God-given identity, and fulfilling and inspiring spirituality in their faiths of origin.
Jenna is soooo looking forward to this event.