A Gathering in Numbers, Feedbacks and Gratitude
Our last gathering in Chicago was an amazing and memorable occasion for everybody who was there. Here are some useful statistics from our three gatherings that demonstrate how representative they were of our wide network, and the LGBT+ Catholic spectrum.
*The 2015 GNRC Present Groups represents those who subsequently became GNRC members in 2017.
- 32 groups were members of GNRC who were present when we signed the Constitutional Papers in Dachau – Germany, 2017 – at Chicago the membership increased to 39 official members. By the end of 2019, our membership has grown to 41 groups with the inclusion of Alpha Omega (Korea) and Fortunate Families (USA).
- Of the 39 active member groups we had in June 2019, 17 could not attend the Assembly due to logistic issues such as the denial of travel Visas – 4 delegates from Africa couldn’t attend despite being on full GNRC scholarships. Then there was an overlap of local LGBT+ Catholic/Christian agendas – the European Forum held its annual meeting in London just one week prior to our Assembly. This made it economically prohibitive for many European groups to attend both meetings.
- 52 LGBT+ people attended the Assembly, comprising 40 cisgender males and 12 cisgender women. Unfortunately, this time we did not have any representatives of transgender or intersex brothers or sisters. So, the diversity of gender identity representation is an important issue to consider for future assemblies and scholarship offers. In the case of the sexual orientation diversity, we had 10 lesbian women, 35 gay men, 1 bisexual woman, 1 bisexual man, 1 straight woman and 4 straight men.
These statistics demonstrate the need for GNRC to keep working toward a greater presence of women, a better representation and visibility of our BT+ brothers and sisters, a more considered approach and understanding of how VISA demands adversely affect our African members. These issues will be at the forefront of considerations for the hosts of our next Assembly host along with the considerations of scheduling in local LGBT+ activities.
On a more positive note, the Assembly had good feedback about female empowerment – even though women were statistically a minority – they had a high level of leadership and visibility during the workshops and general activities, and four of the seven elected Board members are cisgender women.
Our Gratitude and Acknowledgement
We would like to thank all those who made our Assembly happen, especially our hosts DignityUSA and our sponsor the Arcus Foundation. We must also express our gratitude to The Sisters of the Cenacle who so warmly welcomed us at the Retreat and Conference Center – as well as to all the team from the Center on Halsted – Chicago´s LGBT center where we celebrated our closing dinner thanks to the contribution of Daniel Bender, Human Rights Campaign, Dignity USA, The Legacy Project and Stoli Vodka.
Special mention goes to our keynote speakers, theologians Mary Hunt, Miguel Diaz and Bryan Massingale, to Petrus Russ our musical person in charge and preaching leader, to our photographers Deborah Winarski and Leakey Licky for the wonderful images captured through their cameras. We know that we are missing many names that helped and supported us – before, during and even after the end of the Third Assembly. So many of you made it a remarkable experience and an occasion to keep growing and building the home that is our GNRC. Our love, hugs and greetings go to all of you.
We wish you a Happy 2020 to all our GNRC members, friends and allies. May the blessings of Holy Spirit reach out to all our LGBT+ Catholic/Christian Communities worldwide.