Researching the Unmet Needs of LGBT+ Leaders – Call to Participate
It’s time to talk about what we need! Share your story with us so we can help bring about change.
19th January – 16th February 2024.
For all LGBT+ leaders in faith, and charities with a connection to the faith sector.
Further opportunities for 1-2-1 interviews with our researcher, Diego, will be available for those who indicate their interest.
What are we doing, and why?
LGBT+ leaders in LGBT+ faith and charitable organisations are often uniquely placed to offer compelling insight and deliver remarkable results based on their own lived experience. However, anecdotal evidence suggests that the rate of burn-out amongst these leaders is high, with a level of commitment to the aims and objectives of their organisations that can often lead to emotional, mental, spiritual, and even physical harm.
LGBT+ leaders who commit themselves to causes personal to them are seemingly likely to give above and beyond from their own energy and resources. In addition, LGBT+ leaders are often isolated in their peer groups within faith communities, can be used as tokens of diversity, and regarded as single-issue leaders not able to contribute beyond the debates on sexuality and gender. On a personal level, being public figures may inhibit how they choose to express their sexual identity, often leading to submersed desires or heightened shame or fear of being ‘found out’ if the outworking of their sexuality is beyond the accepted hetero-normative experience. This can ultimately lead to a variety of harm that is rarely mitigated against, and almost never proactively prevented.
We are aware of some efforts to support LGBT+ leaders in Christian contexts through annual retreats, where some financial support is available. However, it is a course of great concern that these efforts are not sustained beyond the parameters of the retreats, nor appropriately resourced or accessible.
Currently, we believe LGBT+ leaders are being failed through their exclusion from support structures in traditions and denominations, by senior leaders who do not understand the complexities involved in their work, and a lack of training and formation offered to out LGBT+ people in many traditions and denominations. Through their commitment and desire to make things better for the next generation, LGBT+ leaders are over-working themselves, not taking appropriate rest away from their work, not spending quality time with loved-ones, and not taking sufficient care of their emotional, mental, spiritual, and physical wellbeing. There are few support structures in place, with the risk of harm to both individuals and the causes of their organisations support exceptionally high.
OneBodyOneFaith has commissioned a study with Diego García Rodríguez (University of Nottingham) to explore the unmet needs of LGBT+ leaders in LGBT+ faith and charitable organisations. Whilst we have our own anecdotal evidence based on experience and dialogue with partners across the sector, we hope to find tangible and meaningful data that can guide direct action.
If you are eligible, please participate in the survey via this link: https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/LGBTReligiousLeaders/. There will also be an opportunity to participate in a more detailed 1-2-1 interview with our researcher, Diego.
For further information, or if you have any questions, please reach out to email@example.com.