Rainbow Alliance of Bermuda’s Response to “Coming Out Ministries” Event
The Rainbow Alliance of Bermuda is aware of an event being hosted by the Seventh Day Adventist Church of Southampton and question their continued focus on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) individuals. It is disappointing to hear that there is an effort by the ‘Coming Out Ministries’ guest speakers to alter the sexual orientation of individuals. We accept people of all sexual orientations and gender identities and reject the notion that individuals should be or could be forced to change their identities.
The event flyer claims there will be discussions on how to treat LGBTQ family, friends, or co-workers. The only way to treat any of these individuals is with the respect and dignity all humans deserve. “Conversion therapy” is incorrectly mentioned as a “treatment”. The American Psychiatric Association categorically opposes any form of “treatment” that is based on the assumption that homosexuality is a mental disorder, “All major professional mental health organizations have gone on record to affirm that homosexuality is not a mental disorder.”
It is impossible to alter an individual’s sexual orientation through any means, whether it be prayer, conversion therapy, or some other medium.
Groups like ‘Coming Out Ministries’ promote hurtful, exploitative, alienating, and other-ing ideas about the LGBTQ community that is harmful for impressionable children, teenagers, and young adults who are indoctrinated from a young age to believe that LGBTQ identities are dangerous. Perpetuating homophobic bullying and societal rejection of both LGBTQ youths, and the LGBTQ community in general, has tragic consequences. Bullying and social stigma results in a high rate of LGBTQ youth suicide internationally. The Rainbow Alliance strongly rejects the idea that any influence should be allowed to impact negatively on Bermuda’s youth.
The Rainbow Alliance of Bermuda is committed to creating safer spaces for the LGBTQ community, and are hosting a Valentine’s Day themed-event on Wednesday, February 11: Rumba°r Rainbow Wednesdays – Valentine’s Edition. PrideHouseTO representatives plan to be in attendance to recruit volunteers for the 2015 Pan Am/Para Pan Am Games, ensuring an inclusive sporting experience.
For more information on the Rainbow Alliance of Bermuda, visit www.rainbowbermuda.org
See also: Royal Gazette Article