Because of COVID-19 public health restrictions, a great majority of the world’s population is spending time in their homes. The media is full of articles with suggestions for how to keep busy, entertained, distracted, and healthy while isolating at home. Bondings 2.0 offers its readers the following suggestions for what you can do to advance LGBTQ equality in the Catholic Church while staying home because of the coronavirus.
These suggestions are not for everyone and they are not offered as what we think you should be doing, but as things that people can elect to do if they have time on their hands and they don’t know how to use it. They are offered as a way to help people pass the time productively, not as things that need to get done above all else. Everyone needs to set their own priorities and take care of themselves and their loved ones above all, including doing things to help one another live peacefully together while living in close quarters all the time.
- Write a letter to your bishop (and/or other diocesan leaders) describing your life as an LGBTQ Catholic or ally. Folks often want to do this but never have the time. Now you have the time. Be sure to request an opportunity for a personal visit. For U.S. citizens, find out your bishop’s contact information by clicking here.
- Search the web for new Catholic LGBTQ resources that you don’t know. You’ll be amazed at the amount of information and support out there.
- Spread the word about LGBTQ faith resources, organizations, programs, and activities through social media. Share these especially with people who need to learn about LGBTQ people of faith.
- Make rainbow lapel crosses. Buy some rainbow ribbon and tiny safety pins. Cut the ribbon into pairs of small pieces, one longer than the other. Form the pieces into a cross with a safety pin. Wear them when you can go to church again. Bring along the extras to distribute. (Do a web search for “rainbow ribbon” and you will find a number of online vendors.)
- Write your coming out story or the story of how you reconciled your faith with your sexuality or gender identity. If you don’t feel comfortable writing, speak your story into a recording device. These stories will be important documentation for future generations to learn from previous generations’ experiences.
- Go on an in-home retreat. Check out “Journeys: An LGBTQ Scriptural Reflection Series.” Share the series with friends on social media and discuss particular scriptural passages together.
- Call (or have a video conference with) people you know to discuss how you could further LGBTQ discussion in your parish, school, or your families
- Call LGBTQ people who are living alone and perhaps are feeling isolated. See if they have any practical needs that you can safely fulfill.
- Learn more about Catholic LGBTQ issues and history. You can start by clicking the “Learn” tab on New Ways Ministry’s website. Read some of the quotes from church documents and some of the resources for action. Look under the “I’m Looking for. . . “ tab for other informational resources. Learn about Catholic LGBTQ history and current events by checking out our archived blog posts (Look under the “Categories” heading in the right-hand column). For older history check out the archives of “This Month in Catholic LGBTQ History.”
- Order a book about Catholic LGBTQ issues from an online bookstore. Read it.
- Dream. Take some time each day to imagine what the church would look like if equality reigned. Brainstorm some practical steps you will be able to do to make that vision real.
- Pray. Take time each day to pray for LGBTQ equality in the church. Tell God your fears and worries and ask for blessing. Meditate on the saints and the people in your life who give you courage. Ask for the wisdom to guide your steps as to how you can play a role in the LGBTQ equality movement in the church. Think of the ways that God has blessed you already as an LGBTQ Catholic and offer prayers of thanksgiving. And, of course, pray for all who are sick with COVID-19, for the health care workers attending to them, for research scientists and government leaders, for those whose jobs are in peril, and for our whole world.
In everything you do, don’t forget to wash your hands, avoid touching your face, and practice social distancing. Stay healthy and safe!
What are your suggestions for things people can do to advance LGBTQ equality in the Catholic Church while staying at home? Share them with readers in the “Comments” section of this post.
—Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry, March 24, 2020