Some people think God and being Gay do not mix. Certainly religion has been a source of both peace and pain for many LGBT Americans.
Now, there’s #FaithfullyLGBT, an interfaith hashtag for queer people of faith. It’s also a photo series capturing LGBT people of all backgrounds and faith traditions and shares their stories.
Creator Eliel Cruz describes it as a place for LGBT people of faith to share news stories, share their own stories and find other people going through similar experiences in places of worship.
“I created it over a year ago and it has become a vibrant online community,” the bisexual activist said. “The series came from wanting to brand the hashtag a bit more.”
Cruz is a writer who covers religion, bisexuality, media, and culture at The Advocate, Mic and Religion News Service.
“I've written on the LGBT faith community for over four years now in media,” he said. “There's still such a divide in terms of the conversation being a God vs. Gay debate. Despite there being ample evidence that there is a significant portion of LGBT individuals who are religious, both LGBT organizations and faith traditions perpetuate the false divide. The last Pew Research on religion showed how many queer people actually identify with some sort of faith tradition.”
Cruz admits covering gays and god can be tense.
“Both people of faith and LGBT folk aren't crazy about LGBT people of faith,” he confessed. “As evidenced in the comment section of every piece I write, and surely this piece once it's published, there will be queer people really angry for us choosing to stick with our faith traditions. I understand that -- it comes from a genuine place of pain. Many LGBT people go through instances of homophobia rooted in religiosity.”
That’s not stopping Cruz from having big plans for this project. He’s started a crowdfunding effort on Indiegogo to help pay for additional photographers.
“I am photographing more individuals as I travel to meet with other queer people of other faith traditions,” he said.
You can find out more about #FaithfullyLGBT and its fundraising efforts at Indiegogo.com