During this experience I learned a lot about judgments I have not faced even though I am part of the LGBTQ community, judgments people go through that not only because they identify as something other than straight but because they identify as this and are part of a religious affiliation.
Something I found extremely powerful or interesting was when the first keynote speaker was talking about what Christian churchgoers and non-churchgoers think about Christians in one word. This one word was anti-gay. 80% of churchgoers and 91% of non-churchgoers stated that when they think of Christians they think of anti-gays. It shocked me that out of all the things these people could say to describe Christians 85.5% of people, both churchgoers and non-churchgoers, the one thing they agreed on was that Christians were anti-gay.
I found a lot of information helpful and interesting for me to take away from the conference but this fact was something that will continue to stick with me every day, always in the back of my mind. It makes you think what do people think of me and my views in just one word? Do I portray something so negative that it could hurt someone else?
I am thankful for the chance to get this experience and hope to help spread the information I received to others and help them. Not only in being okay with whom they are but feeling safe with coming out in their church or religious community.