This month The Truth Force Project (TFP), a Christian program for youth and young adults to practice the fearless pursuit of truth in community, through faith, reason, and action, launched recruitment for its 2011-12 Activist-Scholars Program: Good Sex/Bad Sex: Christian Taboos, Testimonies, and Transcendence.
Based online via video conferencing, the program connects young people ages 18-22 from across the country who are interested in investigating sex-positive and sex-negative formation and LGBTQ concerns in a Christian context. Once selected, participants attend nine online sessions (once per month) that focus on study of the issue under the guidance of an experienced ministry team. Additionally, in their own communities participants give two hours per month of issue-related service, complete a small capstone project, and reflect and share on their journeys through social networking technologies.
Addressing a topic that has typically not been discussed among many U.S. Christians, TFP director Mike Uca-Dorn reflects on one reason why there’s such a need for the program, “After years of working with homeless LGBTQ youth that often experienced Christian homophobia as a contributing factor to their homelessness, I saw a clear need for fellow Christians to engage their own views about sexuality for change to begin.” A recent study reported that 20-40% of homeless youth in the U.S. identify as LGBT, and that they are more likely to use drugs, participate in sex work, and attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers.
One hope of TFP is that the program connects students who lack local supportive networks so that they do not feel alone. The program is meant for both students who are experienced with the issue and those who are just beginning their interest.