Stories of Healing from Religion

In reading the lived experiences of people who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer or questioning, we often hear the question “Am I worthy?” 

Here we share with you honest, powerful, and spiritual stories from folx confronted with this question.

It probably won’t surprise you these folx were not only bullied — they were also told they were unacceptable to God.  

Yet, these are stories of healing, and triumph. They have endings that are full of joy, gratitude, and love.  

Each story, excerpted from the booklet “Worthy: LGBTQ Stories of Overcoming Rejection and Religion to Find Truth” is a tale of inner transformation.  

The writers came to know, understand, and love who they truly are and to see themselves within the whole, one with God. As Rev. Mark Anthony Lord, wrote, after a long, painful life journey, he now believes, “I am so flippin’ worthy it’s ridiculous!” 

So are you.  


The Essence of Love: Chosen Family

by Jen Dickey

Jen DickeyI would love to say my coming out experience was filled with ease and grace.

It seemed to start out that way with friends in 2006, the majority of whom were not the slightest bit surprised by my long-kept but apparently not well-hidden secret.

The faith tradition I grew up in condemned same-sex relationships, and when that denomination split, I found myself isolated from the rest of my family.

It was hard enough to share my truth with my immediate family, and it was considerably harder when they realized this wasn’t “a phase.” I was met with passionate disapproval and months of silence, which threw me into deep grief. …

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Finding God on the Edges

Bishop Yvette Flunder

by Bishop Yvette Flunder

I grew up in a rather insular African-American Pentecostal family.

My people were of the diaspora that left Texas and came to California just before World War II. We all lived in the same neighborhood, went to the same school, attended the same church, and shopped at the same stores.

I was deep in the church and, as they say, “highborn” because I was the child of bishops, preachers, and leaders who were on the front lines; I felt called to ministry from an early age.

However, it was an atmosphere where men were able to be the preachers and leaders, and women were the support system. I had the skills to be a leader and to preach—in fact, I was a bit of a prodigy, one of those kids who read the Bible through three times.

But the church didn’t know what to do with me. …

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The Search for Wholeness

Ellis Delaney

by Ellis Delaney

It feels as if I have lived my whole life searching for wholeness, for belonging, for my way back to connection with something greater. I have felt as if I’m just treading water while waiting for a better, holier version of myself to arrive.

When I was a kid, I learned I couldn’t look to the grown-ups in my life for the protection or steadfast guidance I needed, so I read the Bible and lived inside country music. 

I grew up in a small town in Texas. Even moving there at five years old meant being an outsider and not really from there. It was hard to fit in anyway as the boyish girl I was. In a small town without many relatives or connections outside of school … 

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The Tests & Blessings of Parenthood

Juan del Hierro Family Parenthood

by Rev. Juan del Hierro

Growing up, I always thought I would get married and have children.

Even as I struggled in the closet, I knew one of the reasons I would eventually come out and make peace with living as my true self was because it would create the space to have my own family.

However, when it finally happened, it was so much more of a healing experience than I ever expected.

Being part of the beautiful LGBTQ rainbow prepared me to be the best parent I can be. It gave me a strong sense of the importance of living my life in an authentic way. It gave me …

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Worthy – I Am

by Rev. Mark Anthony Lord

To say I think I’m worthy today is an understatement. I don’t just think it—I believe it. Most important, I feel itThat definitely wasn’t always the case.

I grew up in a blue-collar, Catholic suburb of Detroit. In hindsight, I don’t think anyone felt truly worthy as there was a pervasive feeling of guilt and fear of God. For me, heaped on top of that pile of shared unworthiness was the secret of being gay. That exponentially multiplied my sense of not being good enough—a “sinner.”

My childhood was very, very painful. …

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The Day She Disappeared

Evin Wilkins

by Evin Wilkins

Today was the day everything would change.

She knew something that others in the office did not know. She was going to disappear. The person her coworkers had come to know during the past two years would walk out that day, never to return.

The two women who shared her workspace had invited her to lunch. “Lunch with the Ladies” had been on her calendar for a week now. The conversations were certain to include husbands, kids’ soccer games, and day care. …

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There is Only Love

by Rev. Michael Gott


These stories and many more are excerpted from the New Thought LGBTQ+ resource guide center at  Explore the guide here and request a free copy (really, yes, free!) of the WORTHY booklet. 



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