Lesbian minister talks God, the church and how things are changing for better

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A lesbian Methodist Minister has said visible gay role models are key to changing attitudes about the LGBT+ community in churches.

Delyth Liddell is a Methodist Minister and chaplain at Cardiff University.

She is also involved in leading the Gathering in Cardiff, a church for "LGBTQ+ people and their allies."

"Everybody I work with and everybody I minister to are perfectly aware I am gay and part of the LGBT community - I'm proud of that," Delyth said.

"I came out when I was in my 30s and have found love and excitement in that."

For Delyth, having visible role models is key to helping other people navigate their own sexuality and gender, and to help them feel confident in being who they are.

She said: "I think it's so important to be who you are. I'm out within my church environment.

"I'm a Methodist Minister, I'm a Reverend and people know I am a lesbian.

"What's good about that is other people can feel confident in exploring their own sexuality within a church environment that has for so long had traditional views that being gay or in a same sex relationship isn't okay.

"Things are changing there and that is really good but unless you have the role models there to encourage people that it is possible then things won't change."

Delyth believes attitudes towards sexuality within churches and wider society are changing, but says its important people "are accepted for who we are."

"I think my hope for the future for anybody in regards to sexuality and gender is we become so much a part of the norm of society and in church that it's no longer an issue whether we're talking about our equality, or our dignity, or our solidarity with those environments."

Delyth was sharing her experiences as part of Lesbian Visibility Week.

The campaign aims to celebrate and support lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer women across the UK.

Research commissioned by charity Just Like Us suggests lesbians are more likely to feel lonely and isolated, and have deteriorating mental health during the pandemic.

Nine in ten young lesbians have felt lonely and separated from the people they’re closest to since the pandemic began and 78% of young lesbians say their mental health has got worse through lockdown.