A new podcast started last month, entitled OUT IN ZION.* It attempts to deepen and enrich the conversation intersecting membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. The podcast features weekly discussions, interviews, and stories exploring current events and perennial topics, from varied perspectives. They approach the conversation with a commitment to two basic guidelines: to be LGBT-affirming and church-affirming at the same time. This means no church bashing and no LGBT pathologizing, while still maintaining space for thoughtful analysis of both the church and the LGBT experience/culture.
According to it’s website: http://www.outinzion.org
Significant values of the OUT IN ZION podcast include:
- Allowing listeners to appreciate and reverence the unique spiritual journeys and yearnings of LGBT people, their allies and families in the Church, while avoiding prescriptive advice to them or to their church leaders.
- Endeavoring to help LGBT Mormons feel a sense of empowerment around their own decisions regarding their life path.
- Exploring the spiritual, psychological and social value of being ‘out’ (meaning not hiding our sexual orientation and/or gender identity) within our faith community.
- Affirming that spirituality and/or religious devotion for many, is an important ongoing part of individual identity, purpose and well-being.
- Recognizing how either being and/or knowing LGBT people has positively impacted our individual growth.
- Inviting a sensitive and person-centered tone of discourse within the LDS LGBT world.
In short, OUT IN ZION is a dialogue that attempts to equally and respectfully honor both spiritual and sexual orientations and gender identities.
*A note about the name of this podcast: in the LDS scripture Book of Moses 7:18 it states, “And the Lord called his people Zion, because they were of one heart and one mind, and dwelt in righteousness; and there was no poor among them.” Hence the use of the term “zion” in this context represents our aspiration for the kind of people and community we might become – where all strive to be empathetic toward one another so that there might be no emotionally, spiritually, or materially poor among us.