The goal of this collection is to force conversation between two of the greatest paradoxes that exist today: Queerness and Religion. As a queer atheist I want to spotlight and celebrate prominent openly queer leaders in religion. These subjects risk so much personally in order to live in their truth and create positive change within the monotheistic religions. The subjects captured provide a safe space within institutions that historically have promoted queerphobia. 

Religion is more than belief, it’s power and it’s influence. That influence affects all of us regardless of your own belief. Criticism does not change things, neither does invalidation. So how do we walk this tightrope?”

Chelsea Sheilds

“Black Queer Christian identity has taught me not just to exist but to thrive, as me, as the person God made me to be – it has gifted me spaces of deep belonging amongst chosen family who, each in their way, rock my soul, carry my griefs and share my joys!”

Fr. Jarel Robinson Brown

“Queerness in Religion is as innate to faith as love is, where love is the foundation of our faith. My queerness and faith as a Muslim and my love for Allah and all creation are one and the same.”

Shaira Choudhury Muslim and Co-Founder of TransActivismUK

“Without a bit of queerness, religion can grow rigid and sour. Queer people and perspectives offer renewal, an opening out to those who would otherwise turn away. The ultimate queerness we can approach is the divine, the totally other which is also the elusive meaning within ourselves.”

Rabbi Mark Solomon

“I think religion has always been somewhat queer. My Christian faith speaks of God born as a powerless baby, who turned social structures on their head, and proclaimed the radical equality of all people.
Sounds pretty queer to me.”

Fr. Charlie Bell

“Many people, perhaps unknowingly, make rather exaggerated claims using the Bible as their source to oppose homosexuality. But homosexuality plays a very minor role in the Bible, much smaller than the rules on food, farming, care of the stranger and charity.”

Harrie Cedar, Jewish Chaplain,
Kings College London

“Over thirty years ago I woke with the words formed in my mind assuring me that God loved me in my sexuality. Gradually I realised that God loved me in my gender identity too. May this be true for you.”

Mthr. Christina Beardsley SMMS

“For me, being queer and being Muslim are both acts of resistance. Outwardly and on my own terms, according to my boundaries, my faith is evident and so is my queerness (if you look closely, that is). Seeing my identity as a sanctuary has helped me to accept every part of myself. Alhamdulillah.”

Deenah al-Aqsa

“Rabbi Meshulum Zusya’s (z”l) students asked why he was afraid of dying. ‘In the world to come I will not be asked why were you not Moses? What will I say when I am asked: why were you not Zusya?’ Our queerness & spirituality thrive when we are empowered to be our authentic, congruent selves, inclusive of our sexual orientation and gender identity.”

Rabbi Indigo Jonah Raphael

“After centuries of silence and denial, and after the last 50 years of speaking out in the Catholic Church, queerness is finally being recognized and accepted. Thank you, Pope Francis, for your love and support!”

Sister Jeannine Gramick, SL
She/her, LGBT+ Ally

“Our sages teach that the splendour of the Divine is held in diversity: When a person stamps coins with a seal, the coins are identical. However, when God stamps all humanity with the seal of Adam, we are all unique.”

Rabbi Natasha Mann

“The perceived incompatibility between religion and queerness is odd, given that religion is centred around a relationship with God who, by nature, is ‘other’. Unsurprisingly, many who know themselves to be ‘other’ more fully comprehend the enormity of God’s love.”

Fr. Simon Buckley

“Catholic and gay, is that possible? Yes it is. Being a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, and working with the clergy and hierarchy, the focus is to make the ‘respect, sensitivity and compassion’ of our Catechism a reality for all.”

Ruby Almeida

“Throughout history religion has adapted and developed to reflect new knowledge and the reality of the time. A person’s gender or sexuality is not a barrier to their religious practice or spiritual connection. We all come as full humans with a multitude of identities and all of which should be embraced and celebrated. Humanity was made perfectly in a divine image therefore, each and everyone of us is holy.”

Cantor Tamara and Rabbi Anna Wolfson

“Love does not exist. Love is in the evidence. Being true to who we are as LGBTQIA+ people is the evidence that God is Love for every human being.”

Fr. Bernárd Lynch

“Whilst struggling to reconcile my gender identity and my faith, I saw an openly gay, Anglican priest and counsellor who helped me to realise the dignity in all of God’s creation. It helped me to see that there was dawn and dusk between the light and dark we read about in Genesis and this has enabled me as an educator to accept everyone, including myself, as truly made in the image of God.”

George White, Trans Catholic Teacher