LGBTQ+ Clergy Experiences
The experiences of LGBTQ+ clergy are varied. Some were lucky enough to attend open and affirming seminaries, while others avoided going to seminary for years despite feeling called to ministry out of fear that they would not be accepted. Some expressed fear of their safety should they go through seminary as an out LGBTQ+ person, while others went through seminary in the closet and did not come to terms with their sexuality until later. Some were ordained in open and affirming churches such as MCC, while others were ordained in less accepting churches, such as Rev. Eva O’Diam, who was initially ordained as a Church of the Brethren pastor before moving her credentials to MCC.
I went through seminary and never dealt with the fact that I was lesbian.” – Rev. Eva O’Diam, 2015
At that time, no seminaries let gay and lesbian people in—it was still too new.” – Rev. Mary Merriman, 2013