Panelists discussed social issues within the interfaith and LGBTQ communities at the Centering LGBTQ+ Voices event hosted by Tahil Sharma, La Verne alumnus and regional coordinator for North America for United Religions Initiative, and Zandra Wagoner, University chaplain and assistant professor of philosophy and religion, April 7 via Zoom.
About 32 people attended the event, which featured four panelists, Audri Scott, spiritual director at Spiritual Enhancement Center in Dothan, Alabama. Karen Hunter Watson, a singer, author and artist in Dothan, Alabama; Luca Alexander, a doula, poet and theologian based in Salem, Massachusetts; Jae Carter, a spiritual creative and support counselor, and Honeybee, a poet, both based in Los Angeles.
Each speaker shared their perspectives and personal struggles. They also talked about how they found their peace.
Acceptance, especially in traditional religious communities, was a common challenge the panelists shared.
“I truly believe when you (come from) unconditional love that judgment and ego do not exist in that space,” Carter said.
Many of the viewers were moved by the panelists’ openness.
“I have been questioning myself and my spiritual journey…,” said Mon Cruz, a sophomore child development major. “Being nonbinary and hearing the testimonies from others within my community, it really makes me happy.”