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2011 Top-Rated Nonprofit

The Gay Christian Network

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Christianity, Religion, Religion-Related, Youth Development - Religious Leadership

Mission: The Gay Christian Network (GCN) is the preeminent interdenominational organization supporting LGBT Christians and those who love them. GCN provides resources and support to help individuals reconcile their faith and sexuality, builds interconnected networks of supportive Christian communities, and works with families, friends, and churches to create respectful dialogue on sexual orientation issues. GCN is best known for its moderated online "safe space" community, where over 13,000 people offer one another support, prayer, fellowship, and understanding in an affirming faith-based environment. This crucial support outlet is available to anyone in the world with an internet connection and regularly saves the lives of teens and adults alike. GCN's weekly podcast, YouTube video series, and Bible study materials educate and inspire gay and straight Christians around the world, while the organization's annual conference, welcoming church network, and local groups provide important face-to-face opportunities for worship, support, and community. GCN's groundbreaking new documentary, Through My Eyes, chronicles the interactions of conservative churches and gay Christian youth and is already changing hearts and minds in the church in a profound way to promote the full support of LGBT people.

Geographic areas served: worldwide

Community Stories

56 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

This is a great place for christians who are gay to find fellowship and acceptance. The people are true followers of God and are always looking to help those who are struggling to finding there identities, or help those who have loved ones in their lives that are find acceptance with them. They truly seek to bridge the gap between faith and sexuality that has broken or severely damaged families and persons of same-sex attraction.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

GCN has been a real blessing to me. To meet so many people from so many different backgrounds who all share this one thing in common- being gay and still strongly desiring to be close to God, has and is having a profound impact on me. I see more hope for my future now then I ever have in my past. I've went from feeling all was ending in my life, that I was unworthy of life, and that I had something seriously worng with me as a human being, to feeling now I have an important place in this world just like everyone else, that my life can mean something special to others, that I do belong here, and that I can make something good of my life. I never thought this was possible before. But I'm learning now it is. GCN has afforded me the opportunity to learn from so many other people, to hear their stories and experiences and be able to relate to every single one of them on a deep level. I know the things I take from GCN are things no one can take away from me. I know the longer I stay involved with this organization the more my life will change for the better. I can really see positive things happening. And I see it happing all the time for so many others who are connected with this organization.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

These guys are fantatic. I do NOT like church, never have, but I am Christain and I believe in God. GCN gives me a connection to the religious world without me having to lie through my teeth about who I am and what I believe all Sunday morning long.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am so appreciative of GCN! I had been struggling, like so many whom God has led to this organization, with my being a born again Christian and being gay. When I began to consider the implications of my sexual orientation, there was one area that I felt could never be congruent-Christianity and same-sex relationships. The struggle began with admitting to myself that I was gay; that was hard enough after being a Christian for many years. Then the implications of being gay--the loss of friendships, family considerations, etc.; it all was too much to handle. I was consistently in confusion and despairing of life.

Finding such simple things as understanding, love, acceptance, encouragement, a desire to help me overcome my struggles, even a willingness to let me become involved in projects and turn my story around to help impact others' lives---that is what GCN is to me. This world is changing at an alarming pace, and because I have found the venue of GCN, I know that I am able not only to accept myself, but most importantly to help others who also struggle, who think that the only solution to inner peace is to 'end it all', who feel that they could never be bold for Christ and be honest about a same-sex relationship, or those who just find themselves stuck on the treadmill of depression and despair. Here is hope; here is GCN.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I believe this organization is helping the world be more understanding of the LGBT Community... especially in the spiritual area of life.

To me, it has served as a psychological stress-relieving place that I could share my opinions and finally be myself. It got me ready for the OUTSIDE WORLD.. and helped me understand that there is always someone out there that undestands you.

This organization is NOT ONLY helping people that have a hard time with their sexuality .. whether trying to accept it or facing judgement... It actually opens a window of understanding to EVERYONE. An example would be.. how many times have you heard 'Christians are supposed to be loving, not judging', and i myself could not agree more! I believe this community IS one of those true-loving communities, and that CONCEPT of not judging may be embraced by other communities that, unfortunately, probably do not see that the way to bring Christ to the lives of people is to actually show EXAMPLES OF HIM, not using his words to make people feel GUILTY. Present Christ with LOVE!

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I got involved w/ GCN about 8 years ago at the request of a friend. It was a smaller community then but grappling with big issues like what it means to be gay and Christian, how we engage the Christian community etc. Through my involvement I've met a # of people from all over the world and really appreciate the conversation and relationships that develop there. I don't think I can recommend GCN highly enough for those trying to understand what life looks like at the intersection where our faith and sexuality cross.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5


I have been affiliated with GCN, since about four years, and this organization serves an under represented community of believers. Individuals who believe in God, but who find themselves judged by a world of people that can be intolerant.

Oftentimes, many people who frequent GCN are people who are hurting, and as a private prayer team member we keep the confidences of everyone who submit prayers to our forum; where such knowledge about a person can prove harmful.

We aim to promote the belief of our risen Lord that love is the ultimate act of our believing, affirming community, and it is love that helps many of us through Christ to support in silence, pray with love and care.

Review from Guidestar

Anthony P.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This Charity brought me back to faith, it gave me a new sense of hope. I have felt warth, love and outreach from every corner of GCN. I am not sure that I would even be alive were it not for GCN. I could never put into the words of the magnitude that this site has on its members and the world...

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been at GCN since about 2004. In that time I have witnessed absolute Christian love and charity at its finest. GCN has literally saved so many lives. They have a extensive online community that is the most caring I have ever seen. They hold a annual conference, release podcast's, Have appeared on numerous television shows to raise awareness among the LGBTQ community. They have helped people with resources to their day to day lives at a financial level, helped people who needed counseling acquire it, released a documentary "Through My Eye's", keep a data base of Affirming Church listings, as well as, tons of behind the scenes work for the Christian faith walk. They shine at building bridges between the Faith based community and the LGBTQ community. They also have a YouTube site called, "Gay Christian Answers" They even helped me through a very dark time in my life. This organization is incredible by anyones standards. Especially, for what little recognition they have received for their efforts. I truly believe Justin Lee should receive the Nobel Peace Prize for his work with the Gay Christian Network.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

GCN has always been a voice of calm reason in the debate over LGBT issues and religion, providing support for both those struggling to find a balance between the their own lives, and equipping others to engage in productive interactions with Christians who might have questions or fears about what it means to be a member of the LGBT community. I have found GCN to be an invaluable resource in opening dialogue with my family and providing perspective on an issue that has literally torn our relationship apart. GCN's strong roots in the Christian faith are comfortable ground for those who have heard so many lies but are forced to confront the issue because of their own sexuality or the sexuality of a close friend or relative, allowing people to gently come to an understanding of the complexity of the issue.

Review from Guidestar

Travis R.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

GCN is an incredible resource for LGBTQ people who are struggling to reconcile their sexual orientation or gender identity with their faith. For those seeking to find fellowship and support from likeminded people who've "been there", it is invaluable. I found GCN at a place in my life when I was totally in the closet and sinking further and further into a hopeless depression. I had tried everything I knew how to "fix" myself, I felt that I was totally alone in the world, and I didn't know how to share what I was going through with anyone. I had never even considered that there were actual "gay Christians" out there, and my time with this community, which has become a family to me, was instrumental in bringing me to a place of peace that I never thought possible.

Review from Guidestar

9

Volunteer

Rating: 4

GCN has been a great place to interact with people and has been spiritually uplifting. It is great to have a place to go where I can post questions, frustrations, or blessings and find others who know just what I am talking about, and are right there with me. It has made a huge positive impact on my life.

12

Volunteer

Rating: 5

GCN has been a powerfully positive force in my life. I found the organization at a time when I felt largely rejected by the Church and detached from most any kind of real support in life. For so many people, GCN is a place where for the first time in our lives, we are free to be both gay and Christian. I went to my first GCN conference a couple of months after I joined the organization online. I will always remember that event as one that has been central to my life's direction. Here I have found my footing. I have found people with moral fiber who will encourage and support me in my faith. I have found community and affirmation. For me, that has made all the difference in the world.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

GCN has been there for me when I felt totally alone. It is a tremendous resource with amazing people! When gay christians feel condemed, the community is supportive. It is also fostering change within the church. Love it!

14

Volunteer

Rating: 5

After a desparate search through the internet and "ex-gay" literature seeking answers to the volume of questions I was facing, I finally just typed in "gay" and "christian", assuming I'd find nothing but more hurtful words about how the two can't coexist... The first site that came up was GCN, and I found home. During the difficult months of seeking to reconcile my faith and my sexuality, fellow Gay Christians of all walks of life filled my heart with hope. Regardless of differing end conclusions, GCN remains home for LGBT individuals, friends and family members. Although it's membership has exploded in recent years, GCN seeks to keep people from falling through the cracks by providing a number of forums targeting different populations, so members can still experience the safety and intimacy of it's smaller days. Our board, staff, and volunteers are committed to maintaining integrity and sincere faith and work hard to keep the GCN community safe, honest, fun and "on-track".

14

Volunteer

Rating: 5

One of the greatest strengths of the Gay Christian Networks is that it provides a forum for those who feel otherwise isolated to know that they are not alone. With such a hot button topic in our culture and churches, GCN graciously facilitates loving a respectful dialogue among even people who may disagree. I am personally grateful for GCN for helping me to live a life I love.

9

Volunteer

Rating: 5

GCN has served as a safe place for gay Christians who have been rejected by family and church. I love God with all of my heart, but couldn't reconcile my understanding of Scripture and homosexuality until I read a position paper on the topic. Having a Biblical Studies degree, i was very critical of what the author had to say. The argument in favor of being gay and Christian was finally settled and now I serve the Lord proudly as a gay, Christian man. I'm excited to see what God does with this ministry in the future.

10

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Eight years ago, I googled "gay Christian" for the first time- not just because those words described me, but because I had inadvertently hurt someone who had recently come out, and who was just beginning to re-explore his spirituality. I had wanted to help him reconcile his languishing faith and emerging sexuality, but I bungled it bigtime, and feared that I had done more harm than good. Turning to the internet in search of advice, I came across an exchange between Justin Lee (GCN's founder) and Ron Belgau (a fellow gay Christian thinker), talking about exactly what I wanted to know! I e-mailed them, and shortly thereafter learned about the Gay Christian Network, where I reveled in both the freedom to ask my questions, and also in the wisdom of people who could answer them! I was the 31st person to join the group- and even back then I could tell it was something special. Eight years later, GCN's message boards alone have well over 14,000 registered members worldwide, not to mention listeners to the internet radio broadcasts, youtube channel subscribers, conference attendees, and viewers of the recently released DVD, Through My Eyes- a collection of first-person narratives from young gay Christians. But you can read about all that stuff anywhere. What I want to tell you is that thanks to GCN, that young man that I had wounded is now my best friend, and has been for the last 6 years, despite our being separated by half the country. What's more- I've just met another person who's in a similar stage of life, and this time I knew how to help him, instead of hurt. My story isn't unique, but it's true, and it matters. Which is why GCN matters, too.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

GCN first made an impact in my life back in early 2005. And since then it has continued to keep me close to God, while providing a community that shares my experience. As a gay person who wants to follow Christ, I can say this organization is amazing and fruitful! Today, GCN is not only a part of my ministry, but it's also a group of friends.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The support and encouragement I received from GCN when I was going through a difficult time in my life has endeared them to me. I have seen the difference they have made in hundreds of lives and cannot think of a single organization whith their specific focus that has done so much for as many people as they have.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was going through the slow process of coming out to my friends and eventually to my parents. Through a friend at my pride center in college he directed me to GCN. There I found an overflow of support from it's members that helped me cope with coming out. Despite it being tough still after coming out, I know how the support thanks to GCN to move forward with my life. Thank you so much GCN!