Austin Outpost

Dear Affirming Faith Communities:

LGBTQIA+ Central Texans Need You

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We Need Your Help Spreading the Good News

Although we come from many faith traditions and none, we share a revolutionary faith that LGBTQIA+ people are beloved and worthy of love, fellowship, and equality just as they are.

Together, we can share the blessings of deep community with every LGBTQIA+ person in Greater Austin. The need is urgent and great:

  • More than half of the 2,200+ participants in QWELL and Dell Medical School’s LGBTQIA+ Wellbeing Survey (2019) did not feel like part of a community. (And only 17% felt like a valued member of the community.)

  • Loneliness impacts physical and mental health more than smoking, obesity, lack of exercise, or poor nutrition.

  • Along with trauma and minority stress, this social isolation is a primary reason that many LGBTQIA+ people engage in high-risk coping behaviors.

  • 26% of respondents had suicidal thoughts the week before taking our survey.

Creating deep LGBTQIA+ community will help make Greater Austin a place where finding compassion, support, and healing is the rule, not the exception.

You know firsthand that a loving community can transform lives.

You’re also an expert in a spiritual process of liberation through which the oppressed can free their minds and hearts from indoctrination in and identification with the world’s oppressive systems. LGBTQIA+ people need real liberation as well as equal rights, deep community, and access to affirming physical and mental health care.

The QWELL strategy is a plan developed by local leaders to engage LGBTQIA+ Central Texans and connect them with each other and affirming resources they can use to improve their wellbeing.

Multiple “Austin Outpost” LGBTQIA+ Community Centers will provide convenient, easy ways for LGBTQIA+ residents to build diverse, intergenerational, positive-focused social groups. We hope to plant Outposts all over Austin/Central Texas - none of us wants to spend any more time in traffic than we have to!

We are compiling a database of LGBTQIA+ resources at CityPride.org so that we can refer people to resources in their own neighborhoods.

QWELL is leading partnerships and programs to:

  • Identify local queer-competent physical and mental healthcare providers and make it easier for LGBTQIA+ clients find them;

  • Work toward providing immediate, stigma-free, free access to competent text therapy for LGBTQIA+ clients who might benefit from it but cannot otherwise access treatment;

  • Increase the number of queer-competent providers in Greater Austin, and,

  • Improve LGBTQIA-affirming resources’ ability to attract and serve LGBTQIA+ patients, participants, and supporters.

Affirming faith communities like yours are full of goodhearted people who care about their LGBTQIA+ neighbors.

Will you please help us spread the word about QWELL’s important work to your members and networks?

We know you’re busy and doing all you can to serve the entire community, including your LGBTQIA+ siblings, and it would help if you could:

  • Include a blurb about QWELL or “Austin Outpost” in your email newsletter or bulletin.

  • Invite our volunteers to table at a service or event at your faith community.

  • Mention our project with other announcements at your services.

  • Help us identify volunteers and/or fundraising team leaders from among your membership.

  • Do you have other ideas about how your faith community can participate in this work? Contact us!

We hope that thousands of LGBTQIA+ and Ally Central Texans will each invest a monthly donation of $25 or more to help manifest our shared vision. While we are also pursuing grants and major gifts to fund these projects, you know how powerful it is for a community to fund its own future, as much as possible.

Donation link: https://www.austinoutpost.org/donate

On behalf of all LGBTQIA+ Central Texans, thank you for your prayers, advocacy, and support.

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