Favorite

believr dating app is for gay Christians navigating a unique dating pool 

Queer&There

A new LGBTQ Christian dating app named “believr” will be hitting your app store sometime this year! Wait, did the words “LGBTQ” and “Christian” just “come out” in the same sentence, void of hostility? Yes. Yes, they did.

Believe it or not, there’s a group of people out there that belong to these two communities, communities that often find themselves in conflict with each other. Just this past week, the homophobic Westboro Baptist Church was found picketing yet again, this time at the United Methodist conference, which was voting to decide how its theology as a denomination will engage with LGBTQ matters. That conference didn’t end well for LGBTQ inclusion.

But how does one identify as queer and Christian? Aren’t they mutually exclusive? This mentality that the two identities cannot cohabitate in one person presents unique struggles for someone identifying as both, including myself and my friend Adam Evers, 31, believr’s founder and CEO.

“I often find I’m too gay for the Christians and too Christian for LGBTQ+ circles,” Adam shares. His history displays this so vividly.

Growing up here in Colorado Springs, Adam and I attended the same private Christian school as awkward, closeted gays. Apparently, Adam loved the closet so much, he continued on to get his degree at a private Christian university and join Pastor John Piper’s church — a deeply fundamentalist community. After years in the church, volunteering and receiving a Christian education, Adam was removed from membership, and the church publicly “turned him over to satan” for being gay.

But it’s not just the Christians to whom he feels he has to explain his existence. “Because most LGBTQ+ people have experienced abuse from Christians, they see I’m a Christian and immediately assume I’ll be the same,” Adam says. “I find myself apologizing for the hurt that I myself have personally experienced. It can become exhausting having to explain yourself to both sides.” In fact, during our conversation about believr, Adam shared that it hasn’t been fundamentalist Christians who have attacked him the most for launching the app, but LGBTQ atheists who claim Adam is “causing division in the community.”
That’s the last thing Adam wants. Other than creating a space where he can “find a husband,” Adam wants believr to be a space where people who identify as LGBTQ and Christian no longer have to justify their right to exist, to either Christians or queer people. Adam aims to create more than just a matchmaking application. The platform is planning on going old-school, with chat rooms like the legendary AOL, as well as value-based matching where you can find a partner who has a similar outlook on life.

But is there a viable market? Are there enough people who identify as both queer and Christian? Or will Adam be talking to himself on this application?

According to a 2016 Gallup poll, 44 percent of American people identify as Christian while 4.1 percent identify as LGBTQ. In 2017, the population of the United States was 325.7 million, according to the United States Census Bureau. Math has never been my strong suit, but if I ran the numbers right, this means there could be 5,875,000-plus people in the United States who identify as queer and Christian. Looks like Adam may find a husband after all.

In fact, Adam isn’t the first person to create an LGBTQ Christian space, simply the first to make an app dedicated to the community. Every year, more than 1,000 queer Christians attend a conference called Q Christian Fellowship, dedicated to giving a space to LGBTQ people of faith. Similarly, the Reformation Project is a Bible-based, Christian grassroots organization that works to promote inclusion of LGBTQ people by reforming church teaching on sexual orientation and gender identity. They meet once a year to explain how the Bible can affirm homosexuality.

More and more Christian spaces are forming as Christians re-analyze their doctrine, agreeing with Adam’s belief that he and his LGBTQ Christian family have a right to exist in the eyes of a loving God. It is very possible that in the near future our perceptions of these two populations will drastically change, as we see more and more people standing up and saying both of these identities can find peace in an LGBTQ Christian.

Sponsored: Club Q supports conversations that connect our local LGBTQ community.
To learn more, go to clubqonline.com

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