Happy Kinship Awareness Month!
A couple of years ago, we voted to make the month of October a time to raise awareness of Seventh-day Adventist Kinship International. Since October 11 is National Coming Out Day, we decided to take the entire month to celebrate and affirm who we are. Some of us can do this publicly and others can certainly celebrate in the safe space that Kinship provides for our community.
SDA Kinship has over 41 years of history, and we are still in the process of coming out as an organization. As long as there are Adventists, specifically LGBTQIA+ Adventists or families and loved ones of LGBTQIA+ Adventists who don't know we exist, we still have work to do; and we must continue this coming out process. Every Adventist who needs a safe space and needs to be told that they are loved unconditionally should know about SDA Kinship and be able to find us. Daily I hear from new folks who are hearing about us for the first time and are so excited that we exist.
I like to view our community as the elite cream of the crop of Adventism. Many have endured hardships and enormous stress just for being who they are. It’s something they have no control over or choice in the matter, but yet they have to be careful and navigate around friends, church family, and biological family. Here, with your Kinship family, you can be 100% yourself. Being open with family has always been the most difficult hurdle in the coming out process and it continues to be so. No one can tell you when the correct time is to “come out.” Only you know when that might be. But rest assured that there is life after coming out. It might not always be easy, but you will feel an enormous burden off your shoulders as time heals and things get better. Your safety and self-care come first. Your SDA Kinship community cares about you. Post in the Facebook and WhatsApp groups and let us know what is going on so we can pray together and be there for you when you need us most.
Let's make October a month of celebration, looking back at where we came from and looking forward to where we would like to be in our Kinship community. We have some fun things planned for celebrating Kinship Awareness Month, and we hope you will join us and take part in the events.
If you have any suggestions on how to share our community with other Adventists, please let me know. If you'd like to volunteer and help make this magic happen, we'd love to have you be a part of the team that creates programming and education for others. It is time to shout it from the rafter of the churches, schools, and everywhere we can that we are LGBTQIA+ current and former Adventists and that we are survivors and we invite others to join us in celebrating this. Our stories are powerful and each of us has a unique story to share. I invite you to take 60 seconds and briefly share what it means to you to be LGBTQIA+ and coming out in an Adventist setting. What would you like the church and your friends to know about you? You can easily post it here: bit.ly/KAM21StoryInfo.
We are about community and sharing our message with others. If you know of someone who is LGBTQIA+ and Adventist, please tell them about us and encourage them to join us. If you have come out to your parents, invite them to join SDA Kinship and let them know we are a community for them as well. They can interact with other parents and families and draw strength and understanding from the Families and Friends community of SDA Kinship.
Stay tuned to the Kinship Awareness Month programming and join in helping to make it a blessing for you and share it with your friends. Last, I would love to hear from you about what you would like to see Kinship do in the next year that would be meaningful to you. What would help you make a more valuable connection with Kinship and our community? It will take all of us working together to bring about the awareness that we need to provide to those who need to know about us. Feel free to reach out to me at:
Be blessed and celebrate Kinship Awareness Month with us!
—Floyd Poenitz, President