You are invited to apply for the 2023 Ecumenical Queer Think Tank: “Queering Allyship”  

Over the past decade, IAM has convened queer clergy, faith leaders, and allies at three Ecumenical Think Tanks to analyse, assess, and strategise toward the inclusion and recognition of LGBTIQ+ people in the faith landscape in South Africa. Previous themes included:

  • Talking Back: Exploring LGBTIQ+ identity and Queer perspectives (2015) 
  • Exploring Contours of Embodied Resistance (2017) 
  • Creating Counter Communities of Care (2021)

Our theme this year is “Queering Allyship”. We are inviting you, as a LGBTIQ+/queer faith leader to a space for reflection and critical dialogue on how to develop queer-led and ally-supported strategic actions to bring about recognition of LGBTIQ+ realities within faith communities on the African continent. 

“Queering allyship” refers to the constructive disruption of the status quo of current allyship for LGBTIQ+ inclusion and affirmation within denominations. Within each of the partner denominations, considerable work has been done by allies in changing both institutional policy and culture to recognise and embrace LGBTIQ+ people. However, without exception, more work is required in all denominations within Southern Africa. We will have the chance to take stock and reflect on where things currently stand, and to map our current experiences. 

Our theme acknowledges the indispensable value and influence of allyship in bringing about change, while centering both the realities and the agency of queer leaders within faith communities. This also seeks to trouble and disrupt binary thinking between queer people and allies by exploring how allyship is expressed amongst LGBTIQ+ people, and how allyship functions across the intersections of sexuality, gender, race, class, ability, and other power-laden divisions.  

The gathering will consist of roughly 20 queer faith leaders. On the second day, we will invite allies to join us. These are key individuals who are both strategically placed to exercise institutional change, and who currently demonstrate active allyship for LGBTIQ+ people in their faith community. Together, we will explore our own questions and curiosity when it comes to imagining queer recognition within faith spaces through creative activities. 

Date: 6-8 November 2023 

Venue: Cape Town (TBC) 

IAM will cover all expenses for travel, accommodation, and meals.

This is more than a once-off event. By applying for this gathering, you are also committing to remain part of a network of faith leaders that partner with IAM in bringing about real change for LGBTIQ+ people in faith communities. 

As space is limited, we are unfortunately only able to accommodate a small group of individuals. Your application will be reviewed and confirmation will be given by Monday 16 October 2023.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Louis –

Ecumenical Queer Think Tank 2023