Monday, April 2, 2007
Where Are They Worshipping?
So I know the studies showing the percentage of the American population who are gay vary-- anywhere from 4% to Kinsey's better-known "1 in 10" study. I know that among my daughter's friends are several who are gay. And my younger son clearly knows many lgbt folks in their 20s from the gay clubs and bars in NYC. But where are the gay men and lesbians who are in their 40s and up? And where are any of these folks who live in the suburbs worshipping? Every once in a while someone gay or lesbian stumbles through our "welcoming" church doors, but most of the time they only come one or two Sundays and then they're gone-- this in a congregation that's touted as one of the most lgbt- friendly places to worship in Westchester!
I spent lots of time this weekend trying to figure out from websites what churches were both saying they are welcoming AND actually had some gay couples attending. I began by going through the databases that are available online for "gay-friendly" churches in this part of the country. Among the churches listed, I know from first hand experience that so many don't have a single out gay person in their congregation, much less a gay community there. Then I began to do a search of websites using regional directories of various denominations-- Episcopal, Presbyterian, Methodist, UCC, Unitarian. Again, most of the churches say they are welcoming and they may yearn to be so but the websites of Christian congregations in this part of the country seems to reflect a very different reality.