Local queer youth explore issues of faith through drama troupe

The Post-Gazette has a thoughtful piece on Dreams of Hope, a local drama troupe for LGBTQ teens and their allies.  Their performance theme this year is “Gay Youth in Good Faith.”

“One of the biggest themes is the personal issue of sin, of how something that is so natural and doesn't seem like a bad thing, can be seen as horrible and people reject them for it. That is a big issue that most of them are dealing with,” said [founder]Ms. [Susan] Haugh.

One need only read back posts on this blog to verify that the intersection of faith and sexual orientation can be treacherous. It can also be uplifting and magnificent as our own local Reverend Janet Edwards has demonstrated. 

The youth themselves have different experiences of faith — in some cases, acceptance by their faith community while others have been cast out by their very own clergy-parents.  What's cool about these young people is that they channel those individual experiences of faith into a constructive dialogue for the larger LGBTQ community. 

What a great gift for those of who aren't so much youth any longer.  These kids are creatively exploring these intersections of identity that perplex the hell out of most adults, particularly gay people of faith in non-affirming communities

Kudos to Dreams of Hope for being a few steps ahead of the rest of us, but inviting us along for the journey. 

One scene re-creates a bus ride two actors took during which another rider condemned them by reciting Bible verses.

“That really hurt me, because I believe in God,” said Renee Ballard, 20, a pastor's daughter from the North Side, who was on the bus.

Ms Ballard said that when she came out as a lesbian, her relatives rejected her, asking how she could still call herself a Christian. But there has since been reconciliation, she said.

“I told them I believe in God and God is in my life no matter what I'm doing. God loves me, no matter what. My sister came and said that she would also love me, no matter what,” she said.

Check out Dreams of Hope at their website.


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