Pastor offers encouragement to gay community during holidays
The Rev. Scott Hamilton, associate pastor of Church of the Open Arms in Oklahoma City and director of Cimarron Alliance, has taped podcasts offered online to encourage Oklahoma's gay community during the holidays.
Though Christmas is a time known for loving family gatherings and heartwarming activities, the holiday also is noted as a time of depression and sadness.
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Some people feel despair at Christmas when their circumstances are not ideal, particularly with family relationships.
The Rev. Scott Hamilton said members of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community often feel the turmoil resulting from fractured or strained familial bonds most keenly during the holiday season.
Hamilton, associate pastor of Church of the Open Arms and director of Cimarron Alliance, recently taped podcasts that offer helpful dialogue and tips for gays on getting through the holidays. The podcasts have been offered online on the alliance's website since early December. The Cimarron Alliance is a nonprofit organization dedicated to advocacy and education on behalf of Oklahoma's gay, lesbian and transgender community.
“For many gay people, the only time they see their families is at Christmas,” he said.
Hamilton said oftentimes, a gay person may not feel comfortable bringing his or her partner to Christmas festivities because of the reception he or she may receive from family members who are opposed to the gay lifestyle. Or, he said, gay people who have not publicly spoken of their homosexuality may feel stressed when family members ply them with prying questions regarding their love life.
“Even as more families are including gay members of the family, there are still some families where childhood issues come into play,” Hamilton said.
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