I married a man, even after having been in a lesbian relationship for six years. She had been raised Catholic, and I was raised in the SDA church, so we had convinced ourselves that we were simply two women who happened to fall in love with each other. After she married a man, I figured that was what I was also expected to do. After all, the church taught that God would put "the heterosexuality of Jesus on you" if you obeyed and married the opposite gender.
Loneliness set in after I left a job I loved and all my friends and family, to move across the country because of my husband's job. Once we bought a VCR, I rented a movie called "Personal Best" and admitted to myself that I've always been a lesbian. During my coming out process, I saw an ad in the back of MS. Magazine for "Adventist Lesbians" and thought at first that it was a trick by the General Conference to catch sinners like me. But I needed to know if there really were more people who had grown up Adventist and then realized they were lesbians, so I rented a post office box and made up a pseudonym.
SDA Kinship turned out to be an actual support group of and for SDA & former SDA gays, & lesbians, as well as their friends and family. With all the support I received, I found the courage to get a divorce, after which the SDA church threatened to bring up the issue in a full membership meeting after church, unless I would willingly request my name be dropped. That felt like having my identity yanked right out from under me, leaving me gasping for breath.
The longer I've been on the outside looking in, the less likely it is that I will ever choose to re-join the SDA church. But the longer I've been a member of SDA Kinship, the more I feel like I have a family of choice.
I found Kinship because of a friend of mine from high school who was gay. I knew he had suffered because our denomination couldn't fathom, at least then, loving the LGBTIQ community. They still don't, for the most part.
I went to the annual Kinship Kampmeeting that year and always wanted to go back because I felt so accepted and supported by those I met there. I saw many old friends there. I made new ones too.
It was quite a few years before I could return, but joined in local activities as much as I could.
I shared my wonderful experience with others as well. Not everyone was supportive, but everyone at Kinship was. I go yearly now.
I even served two years on the Board of Directors as the Friend and Family coordinator. I helped new friends and family members with getting acquainted with our organization. I offered reading materials and other support as needed.
I am an Ally in this organization and felt some ofriends the same rejection from the church because of wanting to be a female in ministry,and was rejected. So I feel a kindred spirit with them.
I enjoy contributing to the group projects. I feel safe and loved there.
I recommend anyone join us.
I am a proud member, participant, and supporter of Kinship International because I have witnessed the redeeming value of their work. This organization provides opportunities for meaningful interactions among its members. For those of us wanting to make a difference in the community, Kinship International offers opportunities for outreach projects and to practice solidarity among its members. I believe my life has been enriched by my affiliation with Kinship International and its members from around the world. As its name indicates, this is an international organization. Its members are diverse in many ways; age, gender, ethnicities, occupation, nationalities, interests, education, sexual orientation, etc. This diversity ensues dynamism and greater levels of engagement from its members. Furthermore, Kinship International merits include the fact that it is operated by volunteer board members committed to serving the community. I personally know five of its current board members, including two college students who are already engaged giving back to the community and taking positions of great responsibility.
I have been actively involved with SDA Kinship since the late 1980's. I am proud of the work and accomplishments that SDA Kinship has made over the years. Pointing out hypocrisy of "change ministries", educating church leaders what it means to be LGBTQ, showing the difference between gender and orientation and that neither is a choice. SDA Kinship is the only Adventist related organization that provides a community for those who are current and former SDAs and are dealing with their orientation or gender being on the margins of the mainstream teachings of the SDA Church. SDA Kinship is all inclusive and unconditionally accepts everyone just where they are. Please join me in your support of SDA Kinship, join us to continue the work, pray for us to have the wisdom to share God's love and remember SDA Kinship in your charitable giving to spread the good news that God's love is unconditional for ALL.
Growing up I thought I was the only Seventh-day Adventist who was "different" than my other Adventist friends. Later I learned that this "difference" was called homosexuality and I was gay. I thought that getting married would change all that, but after 6 years of trying to be heterosexual, it wasn't working. During the time of the divorce I looked for others who may be going through a similar experience and I found SDA Kinship listed in a local gay publication. I wasn't alone! There were others like me. SDA Kinship became a lifeline for me, helping me to realize that I am OK just like I am. I became involved as a volunteer and Board Member. SDA Kinship works to promote an affirming community around the world, letting them know they are not alone. A great trait of SDA Kinship is that it is not just for one particular group, but is open to diversity of all kinds, including allies who support this inclusivity.
These people (aside from being around the world) are an oasis in an otherwise desert of confusion shame guilt and ignorance. the number of lives saved from suicides/ attempted suicides will never be known.
Most of benefit; they exemplify that religious affiliation and sexual orientation aren't mutually exclusive.
Kinship has made an important impact in the Adventist community and has helped many people create support networks and build friendships. My hope is that more people get to know about this organization and benefit, as well as contribute to the cause, creating a safe space to grow spiritually and live out our lives authentically and honestly.
The people in Kinship just seem to care so much about anyone who is hurting. They were there for me when I most needed them. Their love and dedication is simply amazing.
This organization is a beacon of light to the community that holds no sympathy, compassion, or understanding of those who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered. The services that this charity offers has given hope to someone like me and to thousands around the world.
SDA Kinship is part of me extended family. When I was literally kicked out of Gate Way Adventist Centre with others who believed in Equal Love and Equality for all. Kinship was there with full support and practical love. Kinship friends empowered me to care for the GLTBI people who were marginalized, stigmatized and disembraced by the SDA Church.
It is through SDA Kinship that Iam working part time at a suicide prevention centre which specializes in preventing self harm and suicide to young GLTBI People. Kinship provides the practical resources through its virtual community Face Book pages where we as a Kinship Family communicate and discuss issues.
Kinship also provides social networks were we meet face to face every Friday in Melbourne and embrace those who were persecuted by the Christian Churches because of their sexual orientation, we have movie nights, book reading club and a health and fitness.
Many young SDA people are participating and finding meaning and acceptance. Kinship members in Melbourne Australia are vitally involved in community service such as volunteering to do breakfast for 80 homeless people four days per week, conducting English Language classes for refugees. That is what I like about Kinship it’s inclusive and while our service is toward the GLBTI community we do help with the community at large.
Kinship member Melbourne Australia
I found/joined SDA Kinship a few years ago when I was hurting from the treatment I recieved from the church when someone 'outed' me. I was getting more and more depressed and was looking for love and support as well as someway to connect who I was with my spirituality. I found that with SDA Kinship. After attending our first Kampmeeting, my wife told another member it was nice to have her wife back. And I am still 'back'. Thank you to Kinship members.