A friend comes out—shares that he or she is gay—and you wonder, “What should I do? How can I respond compassionately without abandoning the Bible?” Or maybe a family member posts something about Gay Pride Month on social media and you wonder, “What is gay pride? How do I interact with this?”
With Gay Pride Month in June and National Coming Out Day in early October, these months are when Christians are most likely to ask these questions. As a gospel people, we want all that we do to be saturated with the grace of the gospel and the love of Christ, including our response to coming out and gay pride. Yet most Christians don’t know what to do or say, and their churches avoid the topic.
Good news! EQUIP has designed and tested a program, called Coming Out & Gay Pride: A Compassionate Christian Response, that invites Christians to think deeply and have healthy conversation about these topics. Better yet, this year your church can host Coming Out & Gay Pride at your church so that your members can learn how to respond compassionately to gay pride and coming out.
What is Coming Out & Gay Pride?
In 2018, 85 people attended our first Coming Out & Gay Pride. Participants experienced the following:
Heard personal coming out stories from real people
Gained a deeper understanding of the history and motivations of gay pride
Learned why people choose to come out and the risks they face
Discovered how to respond compassionately to gay pride and coming out in small group discussion
Here’s what attendees said about last year’s Coming Out & Gay Pride event:
"We were blown away by how well the whole experience was put together. For me it was a very humbling and heavy afternoon as I came to terms with just how little I know about these subjects.“
“I think the small group conversations were the thing that really made the event for me. It provided a sense of community and gave a space where we could openly discuss our experiences. While there were things in every section that stood out, the one section that really changed part of my perspective was the section on pride and understanding the culture that has developed around it."
"The stories I heard from the young people that have come out was very moving. The history and the do’s and don’ts were very enlightening, but I still have much to learn. This was a first step for me (of many) to building a Christian relationship with gay people."
How can I make a difference?
Bring Coming Out & Gay Pride: A Compassionate Christian Response to your church this year. You can ensure that people in your church are prepared to respond compassionately to the coming out stories of their friends and family members. This conversation is for all Christian teens and adults who desire to learn more about gay pride and loving gay people well. Here’s what you can do:
Share this post with your pastor and urge your church to consider hosting a Coming Out & Gay Pride event at your church this June or September
Point them to this recording of last year’s event to get a better understanding of the event content
Connect your pastor with EQUIP to explore pricing information and schedule your Coming Out & Gay Pride event
Invite your church to learn about responding compassionately to coming out and gay pride
Let us do the rest! We’ll bring individuals to share their stories, provide rich teaching content, and facilitate meaningful small-group discussion