Introducing the Rainbow 🌈 Sangha of the European Buddhist Union

The EBU is the umbrella association of national Buddhist unions and Buddhist organisations in Europe. They also have a Rainbow Sangha with the aim to connect Buddhist LGBTIQ+ groups and teachers worldwide. So if you are interested, have a look at the site to see how we can all help each other.

They are currently conducting a survey to see what opinions/views there are on this topic within Buddhist circles. So please take part, also if you are cis.


Ayya @Vimala, could you remind me what CIS stands for please?


I assume Ayya meant “a cisgendered and/or heterosexual ally who doesn’t identify as LGBT+”


I fully agree. And this group as well as others like it feel that “people are people” and the Dhamma should be for everybody and therefore everybody who feels that way is welcome, regardless of their sex and gender. So it sounds to me that this is exactly the place where you should be.

This is however very much in contrast with the more accepted “highly-politicized special interest groups” of men and women, that exclude part of the population, especially within the monastic Sangha.

The mission statement of this group reads:

“We support the implementation of Human Rights, equality and individual responsibility for all,
regardless of ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, language, religion, nationality, social origins,
birth status or any other distinction.”

Sounds pretty wholesome to me and not at all “suspicious”.

I think you are misinformed on this issue. There certainly is no clear cut policy on this at all. The case against the ordination of LGBTIQ+ is based on far less material then that against the ordination of women and even that could be disputed succesfully. As I have pointed out in some of my other articles, I believe that the introduction of words like ‘pandaka’ into the Vinaya come from the influence of the Jains and wider society after the Buddha’s passing away. More research is needed to really establish it’s origins but there are indications that point in that direction. And even without that, nobody really knows what the word really meant in the first place and there are many different opinions on that.

What you are saying also goes against the reality. Most monasteries will allow homosexuals to be ordained. With regards to transpeople there are less known cases but there are some. And all monastics wear the same robes regardless of sex and gender.

In any case, this is very far from a “clear cut policy”.


Everyone has a right to exist!

Questioning the legitimacy of trans or queer monastics to exist is really quite ignorant as well as offensive. This person also questions why organisations that look after our LGBTQIA Buddhist community should exist whilst providing good examples of why we clearly need such organisations to care for these people in our community who face this kind of discriminatory attitude and hostility from within Buddhist communities, as well as broader society.
The survey is about the experience and needs of Buddhists. If you don’t like it or don’t want to participate, then don’t. Your response is really unfair and unhelpful.

I have flagged your post and encourage others to do the same.

There are already different Buddhist groups for other reasons, such as Sakyaditha for women in Buddhism, there are groups for different ethnicities, such as Thai and Sri Lankan Buddhist organisations, there are youth groups, environment focussed groups, monastic only groups, lay people only groups etc etc. This person’s hostility to the idea of a group that cares for LGBTQIA needs is really bizarre.

Imagine how it feels being a queer monastic to come onto this community forum and be told you shouldn’t exist! :face_vomiting::face_vomiting::face_vomiting:


Good Morning Kalyanamittas :slight_smile:

Please remember to keep things non-personal.

This is a friendly invitation to have a look and participate if interested. There is no pushing of an agenda or pressure to do anything, and NO OPINIONs expressed.

Reactions to this are wholly ones own.

Therefore this is NOT

The only trap here is if one constructs it themselves.

Metta and compassion :anjal: :dharmawheel:


Even Ajahn Brahm has publicly said trans cannot become monastics, but should be fully included in the lay community. This is an antidotal example, but he has received awards for his work with the LGBT community in Australia. He’s a rock star for equality in the Theravada world.

I would of course defer to Ajahn Brahmali for a more authoritative assessment.

Flag all you want.

I’m out.

Ajahn Brahm also did not want to ordain Bhikkhunis and openly said that it could not be done, until somebody did the research and convinced him that it was a possibility. Therefore, more research needs to be done.


I’m not sure either of these attitudes is particularly constructive.

As Viveka stated, the invitation to participate in the survey was extended so that those who wished to could participate. I took it and didn’t note anywhere that I was forced to identify myself, nor any indication that the survey was for anything but information gathering purposes. It is not tied to participation in D&D.


@Nadine I ask you to put yourself in the position of a LGBTQIA person participating in this forum, and also use empathy to imagine the feelings of the many queer monastics who participate on this site having to read things like

Queer and trans people get told they shouldn’t exist all the time. They experience rejection from family and society, persecution, imprisonment, conversion therapy, and the death penalty. They are told that they are unnatural, perverted, impure and much more! They are excluded, told to be quiet and remain invisible. I’m not sure you understand just how hurtful and messed up it is to read things like queer monastics shouldnt exist on a site that is meant to be a safe and inclusive space for LGBTQIA people? So, I shouldn’t exist but his right to not be flagged should??? The author clearly knew that he was compromising the site guidelines by saying that he expected to be banned. I merely flagged the post, as is my right as a user, yeah?

In this thread about a survey on the needs of LGBTQIA Buddhists, I would expect that you should centre voices like mine from that very community and listen when we say that this kind of speech is not okay. I would have thought that suttacentral’s moderation guidelines would be pretty clear on this. In fact, in my conversations with @sujato he has strongly and repeatedly encouraged flagging posts. He also was looking into creating a symbol that lets queer and gender diverse people (as well as others) know that suttacentral is a safe place for them. If the moderation team and other users don’t support queer and trans people to be free from this kind of language and this hostile attitude to LGBTQIA issues, then D&D has failed in it’s stated aim to provide a safe and inclusive space for this significant part of the D&D community.


Understand that I’m not defending Lokantara’s position as stated in his post, but I did not interpret the section you highlighted as stating that LGBTQ+ people should not exist as persons. Rather that he was referring to a need for special groups. It seemed to me that he fears splintering and fragmentation when all should be welcome.

This is a topic that can get emotionally heated very quickly. I apologise that my comment, while trying to point that out to both parties, was not more clear.


As to this, specifically, my objection was to a call to gang up on someone, unless I misunderstood you.


No @Nadine, I think that is an unfair characterisation. And knowing that you have also been a moderator, an unfortunate one. I think it’s fine to let people know that they can flag a post. In past conversations with other users and moderators and Bhante Sujato, it became clear that many people don’t know that they can flag a post or when they should. I also learnt that the number of flags triggers a response from the moderator team. Therefore my encouragement to those who wish to flag it (not an obligation or an order!) was designed to protect other queer people from having to read this stuff.

I wish that you and the moderation team felt the same.

I have had to take long breaks from using this site in response to homophobic posts on the past. I barely use it these days because of those types of interaction. On my recent post about Rainbodhi, I had to write “positive comments only” (or something similar) because I did not wish to be trolled, questioned, or intimidated by users questioning if I should post it. That fear and trepidation speaks volumes I think, if you will listen.

and then I come on this morning and read this?


Time to cool off a little I think, and to insert some time for reflection between posts.
Posting will re-open in 12 hours.

May all being be free of suffering :pray:


This thread was opened with a single piece of information. There was no invitation to share opinions in the thread. When it reopens please be aware that the Forum welcomes ALL people of good will. Those of us with goodwill, then, can only speak with kindness towards each other. Please let each of us make sure that we do only speak with kindness and good will.


This topic was automatically opened after 11 hours.

This thread is for introducing the Rainbow Sangha and inviting people to take a survey.

For those of you who want to discuss the vinaya in relation to LGBTQ issues, please do so in another thread or create a new thread :slight_smile: