I've started the Silent Gays Project and thought I'd mention it here for some feedback. I'm really passionate about it and believe there is a huge need for this.
The Silent Gays Project
A worldwide network of LGBT people and allies connected by a common vision of breaking out of religious structures and traditions to find love, freedom and acceptance.
The focal point of the project is the Silent Gays website which is primarily a collection of resources (articles and links) outlining the issues faced by LGBT people in the church and religious structures.
The intent of the project is to help people recognise religious paradigms and discover their own unique identity and spiritual journey with respect, dignity and integrity.
The website is directly linked to the Silent Gays Facebook page which posts regular items of interest and updates for the community as well as promoting discussion on various related topics.
There is also a "secret" Facebook group called Gaylent Sighs where members are free to share and discuss personal issues in a safe and secure environment.
I'm publishing my autobiography soon (It's Life Jim...) that will express more of my heart and journey as a "silent gay".
The overall long-term objective is to create a network of groups worldwide with the goal of providing personal support in small groups. Each group will be autonomous while holding to the general principles of helping others find their own unique spiritual journey. The core standards are always love, acceptance, compassion, nurture and empathy. Theology, doctrines or any specific religious beliefs are secondary to the support and unconditional love for every individual.
· Meetings are to be held in “neutral” locations such as cafes, bars etc, with no more than about 6 to 8 people. This is to ensure a relaxed non-triggering environment. Often situations like home groups have been the most terrifying for “silent gays” as often the level of intense personal interaction in these groups can cause a lot of fear and stress.
· The meetings are NOT to be counseling sessions. Everyone attending is on equal ground, the goal being to listen to each other’s hearts, discuss problems, share burdens and explore religious assumptions and paradigms that underlie the issues.
· Every person’s spiritual journey must be respected. The process of dismantling religion to find spiritual and personal integrity can be a long difficult process. The group’s purpose is to support each other on that journey while exploring and challenging traditions and religious assumptions.
· The Gaylent Sighs Facebook group is the central focus for meetings. People can look for others in their area in the group and discuss issues, share their concerns, ask for advice etc.