Who we are and what we do
We are a fellowship of LGBTI+ people within the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in Britain. We welcome people seeking an inclusive spiritual home within Quakers. We hope to provide a welcoming space for individuals who share the joys and challenges arising from diverse sexual orientation and diverse gender identity. We also act as a resource for Quaker Meetings relating to diversity and equality.
This is an LGBT+ community, promoting equality for all lesbian, gay, bisexual, asexual, transgender, intersex and queer people, among faith groups and in society, in the UK and elsewhere. We hope to inspire the Quaker community in Britain to reach out to people who are seeking a spiritual home but who feel marginalised by faith communities, because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
We are a national network and a Quaker Recognised Body, which is run according to the Quaker way. We welcome non-Quakers who are in sympathy with the Quaker testimonies to equality, integrity, peace and simplicity.
We appreciate the ongoing journey a lot of us are on to self-acceptance, and want to mirror that acceptance in how we operate as a group. We believe we have a lot to learn from each other in our daily lives and know that our Quaker faith is the ground in which we live and grow as individuals and as a community.
We arrange occasional gatherings around the country providing an opportunity for sharing experience, learning, worship and enrichment. We keep in touch with an occasional newsletter.
In 2017 we changed our name from the Quaker Lesbian and Gay Fellowship. We now use the phrase gender and sexual diversity in our name as a way of acknowledging the breadth of our lived experience and because we want to be as inclusive as possible. But it is a long name with too many syllables and a terrible acronym! So please feel free to call us Queer Quakers, or QGS for short.
We work alongside other LGBT+ groups and faith groups who share our objectives for equality, acceptance and celebration.
We are a Quaker group, led by Quaker values. Quakers is a faith group, a church, historically rooted in Christianity, but without dogma and without priests. Quakers believe in answering that of God in everyone; and that our faith is lived through action.
The Quakers in Britain website states:
How we act as Quakers goes together with what we believe. We don’t have a fixed creed because we have found that the search for truth can lead us to new expressions of values as well as confirming existing ones. We call these values ‘testimonies’. Today we focus on equality, peace, truth, justice and simplicity, and how they relate to one another.
Our testimonies encourage us to work for a more just, peaceful and sustainable world. It’s not always easy to live this way, but as Quakers we try to encourage each other to keep trying.
There are Quaker meetings across the UK and in many countries around the world. You can find Quaker meetings in Britain at quaker.org.uk/meetings
As a community, we are exploring the evolving relationship between our Quaker faith and its testimonies, and our spectrum of gender and sexual orientation experience. We also know that our faith, sexuality and gender also intersect with and influence other aspects of our lives. As Audre Lorde wrote:
‘There is no such thing as a single-issue struggle because we do not live single-issue lives.’