All Courses Forums Course Discussion Forums Spiritual Care of LGBTQ Persons Starting the Conversation: LGBTQ spiritual needs Reply To: Starting the Conversation: LGBTQ spiritual needs


Hi Trish, you make some interesting comments about labels. Society is great at stereotyping and categorizing and labeling. And it can feel extremely limiting, especially when we are seen by society through only one label. I think Mary made a similar comment earlier in this thread about treating same-sex partners the same way one would treat a straight couple.

On the one hand, this can be very affirming and “normalizing.”

On the other hand, LGBTQ folks do have specific differences, needs, and identities that need to be honored. This has some parallels to saying of people of color: “I don’t see color; I treat all people the same.” That is considered dismissive and short-sighted, because there are very real differences and distinctions. I absolutely want people to treat me with respect and dignity and with a great honoring of my full humanity. But I don’t want to be treated like a straight person. I don’t want to be seen as “the same.” Partly that is because I have some pride in who I am, and it has been a long and arduous process to embrace my full humanity, which includes being gay. So sweeping it under the rug actually feels dismissive to an important part of who I am.