Queer Youth of Faith Day is around the corner! Here's what to expect from activists and organizers in and outside of GLAAD

LGBTQ youth shouldn't have to choose between their faith and their queerness, but often young people are pressured to. Religious queer youth are some of the most vulnerable members of the LGBTQ community due to the religious pressure to be seen as ungodly. However, LGBTQ faith activists and communities are trying to change this. Organizations like Beloved Arise are preparing to host and celebrate the third annual Queer Youth of Faith Day Thurs., June 30. This day is about celebration; a moment for queer youth to see all the diversity within themselves, the world and their communities without having to choose between their faith and their gender and sexuality.

Beloved Arise—a leading national organization dedicated to celebrating and empowering LGBTQIA+ youth of faith—announced its Queer Youth of faith "All In" Los Angeles party as well as announced their organization’s queer youth of faith ambassadors: Jacob Feldon (Logan, UT), Lily Clifford (Portland, OR), Roswell Grey (Sherman, TX), Sabrina Hodak (Hollywood, FL), and Sid Karasek (Cedar Rapids, IA). These inspiring young leaders give voice to LGBTQ+ youth who are often silenced and marginalized in religious communities.

Only 1 in 3 LGBTQ youth live in LGBTQ-affirming homes, leaving 69% of all queer youth to find safety in online spaces, which is why Beloved Arise wants to bring awareness to this day and celebrate with you. 

“One in four LGBTQIA+ youth say faith is important to them, but many struggle with embracing both their faith and their queer identity. I hope our five queer youth of faith ambassadors, who come from various faith traditions, can be a source of inspiration and encouragement,” said Dr. Jun Love Young, founder of Beloved Arise in a press release. “As part of PRIDE month, Queer Youth of Faith Day is our chance to go “all in” to support LGBTQ+ youth from across all religious communities. In a world that tells them to change or hide in shame, let’s all boldly say to queer youth: You are beautiful, beloved, and worth celebrating!”

Beloved Arise is collaborating with ALL IN—an inclusive Christian creative community—for the first time to host the party, which starts at 6:00 p.m. PST at Harmony Toluca Lake (4301 Cahuenga Blvd, Toluca Lake, CA 91602). The event will also be live streamed and a pre-show will commence at 5:00 p.m. in the lawn area of the church. Register for the in-person event here and tune into the live stream here.

The Beloved Arise multi-faith celebration will include voices from the LGBTQ+ youth community and a worship-style concert led by Gattison, founder of ALL IN and a singer/songwriter based in Los Angeles. For those who cannot attend the event, Beloved Arise encourages communities across the nation to host their own “All In” parties in celebration of Queer Youth of Faith Day.

Lutheran Deacon Ross Murray the Vice President of the GLAAD Media Institute says elevating this day is more important than ever before. 

"We set an example for queer youth when we recognize the depth and diversity of faiths, cultures and queer identities in our global community,” said Murray. “Youth should never have to choose between faith and their queerness. They should recognize, practice and celebrate who they were made to be with Pride—that’s what Queer Youth of Faith Day is about."

Murray specializes in the relationship between religion and LGBTQ people. He is not only the author of Made, Known, Loved: Developing LGBTQ-Inclusive Youth Ministry is available from Fortress Press. He has also contributed to two books focused on LGBTQ+ Christian youth: Queerfully and Wonderfully Made, and Welcoming and Affirming, and is the producer of the podcast "Yass, Jesus!" podcast, a faith and sexuality affirming podcast that believes you don't have to pick between gay and God. This summer Murray will be in Minnesota as the director of The Naming Project—a volunteer based organization with the mission to create places of safety for youth of all sexual orientations and gender identities where faith is shared and healthy life-giving community is modeled—for summer camp (July 17-22) where youth, ages 13-18, discuss and understand sexuality and gender in terms of their own spiritual journey. Youth also spends time with other teen campers and staff while canoeing, swimming, hiking, singing, doing arts and crafts.

The third annual Queer Youth of Faith Day is sponsored by over 20 partner organizations and people dedicated to uplifting LGBTQ+ communities, including The Trevor Project, GLAAD, PFLAG, JQY (Jewish Queer Youth), Interfaith Alliance, Hidayah, and Keshet. To learn more about Queer Youth of Faith Day, visit the Queer Youth of Faith website for more and check back here for more updates! 

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