Ava Dryden (She/Her)
Ava Dryden is a Texas based artist currently working towards a BFA in graphic design as a senior. She specializes in illustration, painting, printmaking, and digital art. To contact, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or reach out on Instagram @thingsavamade!
The church, a place of solace and spiritual exploration for many, has the power to be a source of support and understanding for queer youth. One in five LGBTQ youth regards religion or spirituality as important, and they deserve to find acceptance within their faith. Paradoxically, some LGBTQ young adults who value their religion have reported higher odds of recent suicidal ideation. LGBTQ+ adults who left their religion due to conflicts with their sexual identity also face higher odds of attempting suicide. This highlights the urgent need for inclusion, acceptance, and compassion within the church community.
My piece aims to convey this message, urging the church to embrace the diversity of its youth, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. It’s a reminder that in a world where these statistics weigh heavily, inclusion and empathy are needed more than ever.