It is a problem in multiple religions, including Judaism, Christianity and Islam, and leaders in all religious traditions face the urgent responsibility to address it.
But many LGBT people and their families were desperately grateful. It offered at least one way out of the impasse between traditional religion and sexuality. Look at it this way. When a young person from a strict religious upbringing discovers the powerful force of his own sexuality, it is scary enough. Pat on the back, and out you go.
But for lesbian, gay and bisexual young people, the answer is very different: You are not normal. Your sexuality is uniquely sinful, a rejection of God himself.
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You must repent and change. You can never act on these sexual attractions. Quite often the answers are accompanied by the sternest, sometimes the cruelest, verbal, emotional and even physical violence. Even the very tentative declaration that a young person may be feeling some same-sex attractions can send religious parents and pastors through the roof. Others spend years attempting to conform their desires and behaviors to the religiously prescribed options, such as celibate singleness or heterosexual marriage, remaining in their religion at the cost of cauterizing their sexual identity.
Some ping-pong back and forth between these options, both of which they find agonizing and neither of which they can sustain. Others eventually find peace in creating, or discovering, a version of their faith that can accommodate the sexuality they have, rather than the sexuality that the tradition demands they have. This is usually a very long and difficult process. Which of you will take some risks to get a serious conversation going about these issues in your faith community, on behalf of your own most vulnerable young people? He is an RNS columnist. At the Vatican, big-tech and interfaith groups team up to protect minors on the web November 13, Pope Francis kicks off World Day of the Poor with free healthcare for disadvantaged November 12, The images that survive are shared, along with testimony, on the project's Instagram account and website, which asks for visitors of all countries to share their stories of discrimination.
That inclusive approach aims to amplify the voices of those who are traditionally silenced.
The ultimate goal, Hammond says, is to have LGBT people seen, heard, and valued within their own communities. So I hope that by having stories coming from this marginalized group, they can challenge hostile narratives about their lives," Hammond says. Twenty-three-year-old Jamaican Bobby Brandon Brown says he cannot keep a job and has been physically beaten several times for being a gay man.
Kicked out of his house by his family, Brown is homeless, has been sleeping with strangers for money and food, and has made several attempts on his life. He is pictured with year-old Jamaican transgender woman Persion Unapologetic, who was in a relationship with Brown when the photo was taken. One of my family members is now with ISIS. Because of him, I ran away here.
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He was in charge of investigations in ISIS. They want to catch and kill the gays.
My last partner was kidnapped and interrogated by ISIS. I'm 90 percent sure they killed him. To kill someone they will choose the highest building and push him from it. They are worse than the Syrian investigation services.
The gay people are treated as if they have a contagious disease. In Islam you are given the chance to ask for mercy and to re-enter Islam and follow the Islamic law. But ISIS considers [homosexuality a] a contagious disease, so that's why they kill them. Twenty-five-year-old Jamaican Elton McDuffus was teased, called racial slurs, and physically attacked when he was younger for not participating in traditionally masculine activities—such as playing outside or kicking around a football. He frequently changes residences in Kingston for his own safety.
Because she is bisexual and presents as a woman, some fellow queer Jamaicans consider her "confused" and "promiscuous" for liking both genders. Today, she is an administration officer for an LGBT organization in Kingston that she says advocates for "freedom for all people.
Yaounde: "I lived a peaceful life with my sweet and loving mother in the big city of Douala, Cameroon, in the year Our life was peaceful, calm, and reserved, but all changed suddenly when two gay friends [visited] my mother's apartment when she had traveled. This left all the tenants in the knowledge of my hidden homosexual status. When mummy came back from the village, she was broken and destroyed, and after a good time she asked me if I entered into witchcraft. Noelle Noelle is a year-old transgender woman living in Jamaica who came out as gay before she realized that she identified as a woman.
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Though she says that navigating conservative social spaces in Jamaica reminds her of threading an obstacle course, she is still proud of her country and heritage. Badr: "The worst moment of my life was in December of The first president of [Damj, a Tunisian non-profit for human rights that Badr helped to found] received death threats, and I was hiding him in my home to protect him. So I became the target of a group of homophobic gangsters who infiltrated my home in the medina of Tunis; they took my archives and many documents of the non-governmental organization after having violently brutalized me.
A posed portrait of lesbian couple O 27, right and D 23, left : "After [men attacked us for being lesbians], I felt even more strongly how dear D is to me, and how scary the thought that I could lose her.
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The worst thing that I felt was an absolute inability to protect the one I loved, or even myself. Yes, now I look back on the street and look at every passing male as a possible source of danger. I realized that there are defective people who can pounce on us just because we are lesbians.
But every time, now when I'm in the street, when I take her by the hand, I do it consciously, it is my choice. D, hold my hand, this is my reward for your courage.
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Maximus Bloo, Tunisia: "Young kids who found out they're gay and [are] still discovering their life, they often get blackmailed by people such as [an older man I met on Grindr who blackmailed me] and pushed to be turned to a material and a tool for old people and other people to have fun with. Salah Barka, Tunisia: "When my brother told [my mother] that [I was] homosexual, at first she didn't understand because my mom has never been to school, so my brother explained that her son is having sex with other men, and she said, 'And so? It was not a normal reaction to me, because I was expecting a war, the end of the world, or being beaten up.
B is a year-old gay man from Kenya: "At 14 I discovered who I was but I was still confused because I was still young. At the University, in , I discovered that I was not alone, many of my friends were like me but they were in the closet.