VIDEO: LGBT Catholics own their faith while working for acceptance

A new video was just released by LGBT Catholics: Owning Our Faith, a project led by young Catholic individuals who are dedicated to using social media to achieve full LGBT acceptance in the Roman Catholic Church. The video features personal views and experiences from Catholic LGBT individuals that highlight the difficulties of being an LGBT individual of the Roman Catholic faith, and express the need for full acceptance within the community. In addition, their families and other members of the church voice their advocacy for acceptance and support for the LGBT community within the Roman Catholic Church.

The video conveys the overarching themes that human sexuality extends far beyond procreation and that LGBT individuals are gifts to the church – rather than flaws - that allow Catholicism to modernize with vitality. Above all, however, each person asserts that all are welcome in the church, as everyone is loved by God.

Individuals in the video recognize the church's growing acceptance for the LGBT community, and Father Patrick J. Conroy says this is "an extraordinary time, a time of great hope." However, the dually note that the church still has ways to go in terms of full acceptance.

Through this video, Owning Our Faith hopes to inspire much-needed change within the church so that everyone feels welcome, accepted, and supported. The video aims to encourage total acceptance of the LGBT community in the Catholic Church while offer a message of hope and acceptance for those who feel lost or as though they don’t belong. In doing so, they aim to encourage a long-overdue dialogue about acceptance and equality for Catholics throughout the world.

It is absolutely excellent – and borderline revolutionary – to see this type of acceptance and advocacy for change within the Catholic Church. Hopefully Owning Our Faith will foster a more open, accepting community for LGBT individuals, and will inspire others to do the same so that anybody – regardless of their religion – can live life as their authentic selves.

The video, which is also avaialble with Spanish and Italian subtitles, is released months before Pope Francis is scheduled to visit the United States for the World Meeting of Families. The visit and the meeting will have profound implications for LGBT Catholics, as well as their friends and families. Owning Our Faith was started by Michael Tomae, who was inspired to advocate for LGBT communities when he volunteered at a homeless shelter for youth, and noticed that many of them had been disowned by their parents for their sexuality or gender identity.