One idea for trying to research the harm done to gay and transgender people who grow up in the Alliance Church is to research folks who have left the church.
It’s possible, for instance, to publicize a call out to folks who:
- grew up in the Alliance Church, and
- made a choice to leave because of their gender or sexual identity.
Interviewing folks who managed to escape the social and moral doctrine of the Alliance Church might shed light into the harms done. Doing these interviews might look very much like taking impact statements.
Being gay is just as healthy and normal as being straight. But amongst some subcultures in America, it’s commonplace to believe otherwise.
But even within mainstream culture, straight folks don’t do a very good job of really thinking about the violence, harm and ridicule that gay folks face. Similarly so for the lack of understanding by cisgender folks for what transgender folks experience.
And to really get the harm hypotheses it’s probably important for someone to try imagining the problem. Like, really imagine it. Imagine being told by your family, your community, your church and your mentor to stop being straight; to stop acting straight; that it’s a choice.
I can’t do this kind of thought experiment justice – I’m not sufficiently equipped as a writer to help readers really understand how painful, how tragic and how harmful doing this is.
But even as a trite thought experiment, like stop being straight, I suspect that most people inside the Alliance Church have never considered this. And they’ve never considered what the harm might be to put a moral prohibition on someone’s sexual identity, or gender identity.