Recognizing the reality that queer people are too often still excluded or marginalized in faith spaces, two sister projects, LOVE and FAITH, are starting up for queer spirituality and faith. Both projects center youth and young adults who have been marginalized by faith and society, queer, BIPOC, disabled, neurodivergent, and all who are not listed here and all who exist across the intersections and feel the exclusions of marginalization.
The two projects are based in Madison and South Central Wisconsin, but are not limited to only those spaces. Vica-Etta Steel, a queer woman and one of the organizers, says, “If there is an interest in other parts of our state, we can grow!”
Regarding LOVE, two of the founding organizers, Katie Rickert, the LGBTQIA+ lead for Madison Metropolitan Public Schools, and Vica-Etta Steel felt there was a need for a broadly welcoming space for youth and young adults across the spiritual spectrum. Another organizer, Gabriel Loredo says, “What drew me in is that it’s a group that celebrates queerness and will help youth explore spirituality in a way that I didn’t get to,” adding, “it’s my duty to be a good queer mentor.”
The sister project, FAITH, centers queer and allied youth and young adults in a more intentionally faith-based space. The core of this group is affirming Lutheran but is open to all who hold affirmation of LGBTQIA+ people in their heart and actions. The founders of this project are Marie Leafblad, Associate to the Bishop of the South-Central Wisconsin Synod of the ELCA, an affirming branch of the Lutheran church, and Vica-Etta Steel.
You can find out more about both projects at sites.google.com/view/faith-and-love/home.
Or you can contact any of the organizers at [email protected].