GiveOUT Day 2020: Rainbodhi Fundraiser
Rainbodhi LGBTQIA+ Buddhist Community is participating in GiveOUT Day 2020, Friday 16th October, a day of philanthropy for LGBTQIA+ community projects. Rainbodhi is raising funds to produce a booklet promoting more inclusion and diversity for LGBTQIA+ Buddhists in temples, organisations and retreat centres across Australia. This resource aims to introduce basic LGBTQIA+ terminology and concepts, as well as explain practical steps Buddhist organisations can take to become more welcoming of LGBTQIA+ Buddhists.
Funds will be used to design, print and distribute the booklet to hundreds of Buddhist centres across Australia, with translations into Mandarin, Sinhalese and Vietnamese. Rainbodhi has already received requests for the booklet to be made available overseas in Europe, the UK and the USA.
This project is proudly being auspiced by the Buddhist Council of NSW.
To find out more and to donate visit the Rainbodhi GiveOUT Day page:
A recent LGBTQIA+ Buddhist research project, sponsored by Rainbodhi and undertaken by Dr Stephen Kerry from Charles Darwin University, interviewed over 110 LGBTQIA+ Buddhists across Australia. The results show that Australian Buddhist centres can be unwelcoming places, and that prejudice and discrimination is common in Buddhist spaces. We have lots of work to do!
Speaking about their Buddhist centres, survey respondents reported:
- 61% felt that Buddhist centres silence or ignore LGBTQIA+ people and issues at least some of the time
- 55% were at times reluctant to disclose their LGBTQIA+ identities at their Buddhist centre
- 54% had seen or heard sexism
- 37% had seen or heard homophobia
- 26% had seen or heard transphobia or misgendering
- 26% had seen or heard racism
- 16% had been told that their LGBTQIA+ identity was inconsistent with the Buddha’s teaching.
Other responses included sad stories of rejection and discrimination: one woman was told she could not join a Buddhist group because she was a lesbian; a trans woman reported repeated misgendering and sexual innuendo; several gay/bi men said they had been told that their sexuality was ‘sexual misconduct’.
These results show that Buddhist organisations, temples and retreat centres are not always safe spaces for everyone. Acknowledging the existence of prejudice and discrimination is an important first step for Buddhist organisations. Rainbodhi’s GiveOUT Day booklet project is the next step; providing practical knowledge and tools for Buddhist organisations to make necessary changes to create safer and more inclusive Buddhist communities for all.
Find out more about GiveOUT Day and all the great projects to support, here.
Donations received on Friday 16th October will be matched up to $1000.
Please note that whilst I work with Rainbodhi, I do not receive any personal benefit from this fundraiser.