The Huffington Post religion section has published a list of inspirational LGBT faith leaders. Originally billed as “15 Inspiring LGBT Religious Leaders”, the photo slideshow with brief bios features a diverse array of LGBT faith leaders.
The initial list featured LGBT faith leaders who are recognizable from recent media attention. Reverend Ouyang Wen Feng received media attention for being Malaysia’s only openly gay pastor. The Rt. Rev. V Gene Robinson, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire, and Bishop Mary Douglas Glasspool, Assistant Bishop of The Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles, were the first and second openly gay bishops in The Episcopal Church. Rev. Scott Anderson is the first openly gay minister to be ordained in the Presbyterian Church since the church formally dropped all barriers to ordination for LGBT individuals.
Some of the people included on the list are known for their historic contributions. Rev. Troy Perry founded the LGBT denomination of Metropolitan Community Churches in 1968. Archbishop Carl Bean founded the Unity Fellowship Church Movement, a primarily African American and LGBT denomination. Rev. Malcolm Boyd is an Episcopalian Priest and author of "Are You Running With Me Jesus?"
Many of the people feature on the list are still currently serving congregations. The Rev. Pat Bumgardner is the Senior Pastor of Metropolitan Community Church of New York. Pastor Manny Santiago is the pastor of University Baptist Church in Seattle, Wash. Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum serves as the spiritual leader of Congregation Beit Simchat Torah, the largest LGBT synagogue in the world. Imam Daayiee Abdullah is the imam and religious director of Masjid An-Nur Al-Isslaah. Bishop Yvette Flunder founded and still serves City of Refuge United Church of Christ in San Francisco and is presiding Bishop of The Fellowship.
Others on the list are known for their contributions to social justice and spirituality. Irshad Manji is founder and director of the Moral Courage Project at New York University's School of Public Service. Larry Yang is on the Spirit Rock Teachers' Council and a core teacher at the new East Bay Meditation Center in Oakland, Calif. Rabbi Steven Greenberg is Director of Orthodox Programs for Nehirim, the organization for GLBT Jewish culture and spirituality.
The Huffington Post called the initial list of 15 as “sampling” and encourages readers to submit their own nominations for inspiring LGBT faith leaders. GLAAD encourages you to lift up and name those LGBT leaders who have had an impact on your faith. It is important for us as a community to lift up those faithful LGBT leaders who are making change at the local and cultural level. By sharing with others the LGBT faith leaders who inspire us, we do two things. First, we remind people that there are LGBT people of deep faith who live and act on that faith every day. Second, we encourage other people to live out an affirmation of both faith and identity. GLAAD hopes this list serves to inspire all LGBT people of faith, and that they in turn inspire their familes, friends and communities.