The mental health impact of religion on the LGBTQIA+ community is largely unchecked and misunderstood.
With an increase of LGBTQ+ rights, visibility, representation and social progress it could be easy to think that homophobia is a thing of the past.
However, while many of us relax in our progressive, urban bubbles, queer individuals from conservative, religious communities, alone and often ignored, commit suicide at alarming rates.
How many must die before we start talking about it?
Robbie Kruithoff is the gay son of two pentecostal pastors from small-town Australia. His journey of faith and sexuality took him down a tumultuous path from suicidal bible college student to intravenous-drug-addict, forced to work the streets of Melbourne. Almost twenty years after clawing his way out of that gutter, Robbie began researching this topic while writing his own memoir. He was shocked to find that suicide rates among queer religious youth are potentially higher today than they were when he came out. This sent him on a journey to find out why this is still an issue, how many are affected, and does the church understand the hurt it is causing?
Robbie is now a happily-married, American/Australian citizen, and reconnected with his family with an ever evolving faith. It is his goal to raise awareness for this at-risk group and the mental health challenges they face without demonizing those of a faith in the hope of reconciliation.
Twenty years ago when I was a young closeted man, "gay" was not a world that was used in polite conversation. It was used as a most damaging taunt or to describe utter disgust. Now, however, with an increase in LGBTQIA+ social and political rights and visibility conservative-religious Americans are having to confront their faith and beliefs around non-heterosexuality. The subsequent rhetoric within households, churches, schools, social media, and community groups is irreparably harming our most vulnerable and we as a society as turning a blind eye.
The discrimination sexual minorities receive continues to have lethal effects over the course of their lives. Conversion therapy is dangerous and deadly, but it just the tip of the iceberg of how queer youth incur mental health trauma in a non-affirming religious upbringing. This docuseries will speak with experts to explore the words, thoughts and behaviors that happen on a daily basis that are adding to the trauma of this at-risk group, and how these same actions are pushing religious, queer youth away from their faith.
The goal of this documentary is to show that reconciliation is possible. Although zealots exist, not all religious people are consciously homophobic and may be unaware of the hurt they cause. Many churches believe they are accepting, however, acceptance is not tolerance - "We accept you in our church but you will need to change". "We accept you, but you are going to hell". These sentiments are proven to be as damaging as more virulent rhetoric.
However, this documentary will also give voice to religious families trying to reconcile their faith and belief in the bible with the sexuality or identity of their loved ones and try to understand their struggle.
Every decade or so a societal 'moral' or 'gay' panic sweeps the nation fueled by the changing societal, political and economical landscape.
This film will give voice to theologians, advocates and politicians to discuss the signs of the next "gay panic" and the potential consequences.
The following are only a few of these signs:
"The last fifteen years have seen great growth worldwide in the visibility of people gathering, organizing, and campaigning around sexuality, sexual orientation, and gender identity... The emergence of new or once-hidden identitiesin political life and in human rights discourse has again prompted a backlash in conservative and religious communities" - Human Rights Watch
This documentary will highlight advocacy and community groups whose mission is to support religious trauma survivors and those who aim to inform, support and encourage religious families to accept their queer family members through faith and love.
Religion is often external. It is a building, a title, a community, a set of rules.
Faith is internal. It is belief, spirituality, one's relationship to God.
For many queer individuals, faith is an integral part of their identity. Religion often convinces queer individuals that living as their authentic selves means abandoning their faith, however, faith can exist without - or at times, in spite - of religion. No longer will straight religious zealots be the gatekeepers of our faith.
Do you have questions or comments about our film? Do you have a theater where we could arrange a screening? Send us a message, and we will get back to you soon.
Thing's We Shouldn't Talk About
Copyright © 2023 Thing's We Shouldn't Talk About - All Rights Reserved.
Powered by GoDaddy