A Quaker fellowship
- If you are a Quaker member or attender looking for a Quaker lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex community, we hope you will find the website helpful. We hope you will have the chance to attend a gathering with other LGBT+ Friends.
- If you are finding out about Quakers – welcome. We hope you will try a Quaker Meeting for worship, where you will be received warmly. To find out more about Quaker worship, where you can find a Quaker Meeting and more about Quaker faith and practice, please follow the link on the right to the main Quakers in Britain website.
Please feel free to let us have any ideas and suggestions in the comments box below.
Follow us on Twitter – qlgf_gb
The future role of the Quaker LGBT+ Fellowship
A more sustainable QLGF
What kind of organisation should QLGF be today? We welcome your views about how QLGF should go forward. Can we thrive without a subscription fee? How important is QLGF for personal support – a place of belonging for LGBT+ Quakers? How important are occasional gatherings for worship, sharing, fellowship? What is the Quaker message for understanding and equality today? What can we learn from other LGBT faith groups?
A welcoming fellowship
QLGF has been an active national fellowship and campaigning group serving the needs of LGBT+ Friends for many years and as you know was named Community Group of the Year in 2013 by Stonewall. We have been building on this encouragement by pursuing our outreach to the LGBT+ community, including several successful recent Gatherings focussing on sexual ethics and on the experience of Transgender people. We still hope to pursue these themes further.
A space for all
Some people find that T sits uncomfortably with LGB. The experiences of gender variance is distinct from sexuality and sexual orientation, except that in either case, you have to face ‘coming-out’ to family and friends, you encounter discrimination and you have to reconcile your self-knowledge with your faith and culture. Our Quaker testimony to equality acknowledges those people whose sexual orientation or gender identity might distance them from community, work and worship. LGBT has come to represent a strong mutually supportive community, affirming the lives of diverse people. QLGF tries to be an active space for all who value the gifts and fellowship of the LGBT community.
However, these activities need active Friends. The committee is considering how QLGF might evolve into a more sustainable form. This means that we will try to strengthen our community by:
- increasing QLGF activity online via our website, Twitter and Facebook;
- consider subscription fees, to ensure the group is accessible for all Friends;
- forming small task groups to undertake more limited activities;
- continuing to produce a paper newsletter with Quaker oriented articles;
- encouraging Friends House to produce outreach and inreach materials for the LGBT+ community;
- supporting other organisations, for example Young Friends General Meeting in dealing with issues around sexuality and gender, and Sibyls, who work with trans people of faith;
- continuing to support existing and new local groups in their fellowship and outreach roles.
Would a mainly ‘virtual’ presence, an awareness and information resource, and occasional gatherings be a more viable role for QLGF?
National gatherings: many of us value the personal fellowship of national gatherings where LGBT+ Friends can meet face to face. However, these take a lot of planning and organising, and we hope we may yet organise more of them if and when people come forward to help organise them.
Regional and local events: For the present, and for a limited time at least, we may be able to continue to support QLGF members or local groups financially to run local or regional events.
A new name
We have acknowledged the time has come for a new name for the group, that includes all who may benefit from or contribute to a Quaker approach to LGBT+. We hope to publicise this change soon.
The recent AGM at Friends House
There was a fantastic turnout of about 50 at the QLGF Annual General Meeting at Britain Yearly Meeting in may, which helped discern the right way forward, and reveal new active people revitalising the agenda.
We welcome new members from Quaker Meetings and from those in sympathy with the Quaker way. See the page with details of how to join.