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Discussion > Gay Bahai Buddy System - add your name, where you are or how you can be of service

Greetings all!

I suggest a buddy system - so any gay or gay friendly (Bahai or not) can feel free to make contact for support or just know there's a Bahai in that area who is open about their support for gays as equals.
This was an idea discussed on a private LGBT Bahai list I'm on and through that one gay Bahai made contact with me and now not only has X come along to some Bahai events with me, but it has made me feel 100% better about being at these events, now I know a gay is included. (Yes, selfish of me, but it makes me happy).

This doesn't mean that other Bahais even have to know that this person is gay, just that it is a way to help gay Bahais feel more welcome. So my suggestion: those of us (whether straight or gay) who would be happy to be contacted can indicate this here and so this can be a resource if anyone wants to meet or attend a Bahai event. As this is a public forum, there are ways to do this discretely too.

In my case you can comment on my blog, and begin the comment with the words "PRIVATE MESSAGE" so then I do not publish this and make contact with me in this manner - http://justabahai.wordpress.com

You can find me on facebook too. I have a distinctive name :) Sonja van Kerkhoff

I live in the Netherlands and I often travel to the U.K. and other places too. I will be based in Aotearoa / New Zealand between Dec '12 till early March. See my blog for the art projects I'll be involved in, which will give an indication of where I'll be >> http://sensonja.wordpress.com and in March I'll be passing through Hawaii, LA and probably Jacksonville.
December 1, 2012 | Unregistered Commentersonja
What a lovely idea... thanks!
December 4, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDaniel C. Orey
Thank you, Sonja for this idea. I'm in the Midwest USA, Missouri to be exact. If anyone here wishes to reach me, you can enter a message on the "submit story" form. It will come to my inbox - just be sure it's clear that it is a personal message to me. If you provide your email address, than I can email you. I am not much help, however, when it comes to introducing folks to my local Baha'i community, as I am inactive and have been for some time. Though I have some good friends that I meet with regularly on a purely social basis in my local community, I do not attend any local Baha'i activities. I am a Baha'i in good standing (so far as I know) and local Baha'is know about my involvement with this website, but since I find Baha'i policy at times quite frustrating, it is better for everyone that I remain on the fringe.

I hope others will offer their contact info. here, but that can be uncomfortable on such an "open to the public" site. If anyone wants to be available to gay Baha'is for support, you can work through me, by submitting a message on the "submit story" form, or if anyone is seeking support in a particular geographical area, you could do the same - contact me personally, and perhaps I can be of help in connecting people with each other, without people having to offer their personal information in quite such a public way. Sound reasonable?

Again, thank you to Sonja.
December 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBarb
And needless to say, anyone seeking to offer support must be fully and completely supportive of gay rights, regardless of current Baha'i policy - anyone not able to affirm such complete support need not apply here - I would not seek to connect such a person with any gay Baha'is who were seeking support, and any gay Baha'i seeking support would be fully informed as to my perception of anyone offering support prior to any connection - obviously the emphasis here is supporting gay Baha'is in a safe way. My name, by the way, is Barb Ruth-Wright, which is also a distinctive name on Facebook, and I could be "messaged" there as well.
December 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBarb
Folks in Oregon and anyone interested in communicating online about these issues is welcome to contact me via Facebook at www.facebook.com/erinlrook. Please just make sure you send me a message as opposed to an blank friend request. If you want to know more about me, you can read my staff bio at www.pqmonthly.com. Thanks!
December 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterER
Those in Southern California please feel free to contact me on face book as well, name is Sean Rayshel, please send me a direct message.
December 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSean
Chicago anyone?
February 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMr.
Hi Mr. I live in Chicago and would be happy to talk with you. Please contact me via private message at: https://www.facebook.com/danwarechicago
February 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDan
Hi, I'm Yashi and I'm from the UK.
I recently came out to the host of a local Bahai meeting and she hasn't contacted me since. I used to get messages on the day of the meeting but these have stopped. My last text to her hasn't had a reply either. I'm not surprised really but for reasons that are best kept to myself. I don't know what her feelings are and wonder why it matters what she or anyone else thinks or feels towards my sexuality and choices.
I'm bodering on inactive personally and in any wider community. I also just went past 30 so am out of youth activities. I actually have no other Bahais in my area. I thought about withdrawing but then asked myself why and found no real reason or benefit to doing so. I know many of you try not to practice homosexuality but I am just learning to become comfortable with it. My girlfriend is my first after years of denial. Although technically I'm Bi or even Pansexual ;)

I didn't know where else to write this. I'll try to check back soon to see if there's any feedback. You can contact me as long as you don't preach that i shouldn't be in a relationship. I will delete and not reply or finish reading those emails. If you want to say Hi or offer solidarity and friendship, that's good. This is a big deal to me. I'm really grateful you're here even though I don't know what to expect now.

In solidarity
Yashasvi

yashi@ecomail.org
March 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterYashasvi
Dear Yashi,

I apologize for being a bit slow to respond here - the last few days I have been busy and haven't checked here as frequently or thoroughly as usual. It takes a lot of courage to come out as gay, not knowing what kind of response you will get, and you show courage in doing so. The discussion that used to take place here has mostly moved to the LGBTQ Baha'is and Allies Facebook page, and you might want to check that page, request to be a member - it is a private group and folks who want to join must have the approval of the moderator. They are a group highly supportive of LGBTQ Baha'is. You can have open discussion with others there, or contact people privately, if you have their permission. Erin Rook (ER above) is the moderator, and has given her contact information above, as have a few other people. You do not have to be from the same locality as these folks (Oregon or Southern California, Netherlands, etc.) in order to contact them.

Please know that you are accepted here as you are, no one is going to try to convince you that you should change whatever your sexuality is, and the same is true for the LGBTQ Baha'is and Allies Facebook page. I am sorry that you have had the experience of coming out to someone you know, who then seems to have cut off communication with you. That is not going to happen here.

You probably have read the stories on this website - you might want to consider sharing your story here as well - a lot of people read them, they are from many different kinds of people with different experiences, and their stories are very helpful to other LGBTQ Baha'is who are reaching out to find others who will understand their own experience.

If you want to send me a private message, you can do so on Facebook - my name is Barb Ruth-Wright. Or I can send you my email address, if you prefer. Thank you so much for commenting here, we hope to hear from you.
March 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBarb
Hi Yashi!

I think we have had contact before - years ago. Of course I offer support / solidarity and I go the U.K. several times a year so we could meet up if you wish. There are other gay U.K. Bahais too and I know of one gay supportive Bahai in the London area. Send me a message at http://justabahai.wordpress.com

Thanks for making contact here.
March 31, 2013 | Unregistered Commentersonja
Hi, thanks for the responses. It turned out that the Baha'i host was just facing the imminent departure of a family member. I'm going to check out the FB Group as that's where I spend most of my net time. Thank you for pointing me in the right direction. And Hi, Sonja. Yes I remember you. After my Dad passed away I deleted all my FB contacts, for privacy. It's likely if we never met that you didn't get added in the reinstatement of my public page. Well, feel free to add me if you wish.
Yashi
April 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterYashasvi
I am glad to help, especially those in or near the state of Minas Gerais in Brasil /// Fico muito feliz em ajudar, especialmente aqueles que estão perto do estado de Minas Gerais no Brasil

hugs // abraços

Daniel
April 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDaniel
I was so happy to find out about this page. I've been out all of my life. I reconciled my orientation and with my faith at a fairly young age. . So far, I haven't received any negative reactions. (At least not to my face.) :)

Is there a gay Bahai Facebook group? If so, I would love to join, or be added to any mailing list.

I live in West Hollywood and also wanted to make myself available to any Bahai's looking for support, or someone to talk to.

Warmest wishes to all my LGBT brothers and sisters, (And our straight allies.)
Jeffrey

nypiper@aol.com
June 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJeffrey
Welcome, Jeffrey. See above comment from ER (Erin Rook), which contains her contact information. You can contact her about your wish to join the LGBTQ Baha'i Facebook Page. Nice seeing you here.
June 28, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBarb
Thanks Barb. :)
June 28, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJeffrey
Hi, I'm gay and Baha'i from Khulna, Bangladesh.
October 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJoy
Hi Joy - nice to see you here, and Welcome.
October 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBarb
Hi, I'm Fabio and I live in Brazil. I have come to this website many times in desperate need for answers to my dilemma: being gay and bahá'í.

I need to speak to someone about my feelings and thoughts about being gay in the Bahá'í community. I've been through hard times alone. Had I spoken to a straight bahá'í friend about my issues, I would been kicked out and/or shunned by everybody in the community.

I have recently been to the Youth Conference held in Brazilia, Brazil and I had the opportunity to witness prejudice by some and acceptance by a few. So, I have some interesting remarks on this.

Please, someone! Contact me as soon as possible! I happen to live in the same state in Brazil as Daniel Orey, that is Minas Gerais. So, if anyone knows him, let him know that I'd like to speak with him.

Thank you all for the support!

Fabio
November 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterFabio
Fabio, I've sent Dan a message regarding your request - you should be hearing from him...let me know here if not.

Good luck!
November 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBarb
Barb, when you get a chance take off Fabio's email. skype... I found him and we don't need to have him getting spam or in trouble... welcome aboard Fabio!
November 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDCO
Hi,

I'm a Bahai in good standing (till now) from Germany.

I'm straight but if I can be of any use to a LGBT friend I am glad if you contact me (e.g. via email). You'll find me in the LGBT facebook group, too.

Love,
Hanna
December 23, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHanna