CRISIS: 40 STORIES REVEALING THE PERSONAL, SOCIAL, AND RELIGIOUS PAIN AND TRAUMA OF GROWING UP GAY IN AMERICA



Answer our president's call to service by doing some easy and simple activities that will help people better understand the harm caused by religion-based bigotry.

1. I'd like to help us get Crisis into Middle Schools and High Schools in my community.

Do you have a teenager in middle school or high school? Perhaps you know a friend, family member or co-worker who have children in middle school or high school. Maybe you know individuals who work in the public education system at those grade levels. Meet with a member of the school's guidance counseling staff and present them with a copy of Crisis and ask them to review it. Let them know that there have been numerous discussions in public schools across the nation and it has been very well received as a resource tool for teachers and staff.

2. I'd like to help us get Crisis into Churches in My Community.

• Do you know a friend, family member or co-worker whose church teaching promotes an attitude of rejection and condemnation. Ask that person if he or or she will present a copy to their pastor and ask the pastor to read it and share his or her comments.

• Commit to personally taking a copy of Crisis to three churches in your community and let them know that you are presenting the book as a resource for them in relating to the gay and lesbian individuals in their church. You can also include a copy of the Open-Letter to Rev. Rick Warren by Mitchell Gold and Tracey Zoeller. You can simply go the website and download the video clips onto a DVD by clicking here.

3. I'd like to present my state representatives a copy of the book.

Send a copy of crisis to your state senator and state representative as well as your U.S. Senator and Representative. Enclose a personal note. For your convenience, we have a letter to elected officials that you can download and personalize.

4. I will write a letter-to-the-editor for my local newspaper.

Send a copy of Crisis to the editor of your local newspaper or news producer at a local televison news desk. Enclose a personal note from you as a reader. For your convenience, we have a letter to media representatives that you can download and personalize.

5. I will post comments on my favorite blogs.

* Post comments about Crisis on your favorite news blogs.

There are an abundance of articles that either directly or indirectly reference religion-based bigotry toward gays from USAToday.com to your favorite LGBT blog. When you see an article, post a comment on the article about how Crisis is a good resource for helping people understand the harm caused by religion-based bigotry. It doesn't have to be more than a sentence. Here's an example you can use:

Getting people to understand the harm caused by religion-based bigotry is the most effective way in getting them to understand why attitudes must change. I encourage everyone to get a copy of Mitchell Gold's book "Crisis: 40 Stories that Reveal The Personal, Social and Religious Pain and Trauma of Growing Up Gay In America." Share it with someone you know who needs to better understanding the harm they cause by their attitudes of condemnation and rejection or their indifference to such attitudes. It's a transformative book.

6. I will be a Faith In America History Maker.

• Have get-together with your 5-7 of your close friends to discuss the book or watch For The Bible Tells Me So and raise $100 dollars for a donation to FIA to help distribute the book to 5,000 schools and 1,000 churches this year.

• Make a pledge to contact 10 of your friends and personally ask them to subscribe to Faith In America to learn more about our work and to stay abreast of our activities.

And finally, remember that you can also send a copy anonymously to anyone through the Faith In America website. Just purchase the book through that site and provide the name and address of the person you would like to receive it.

7. I will make calls to my state legislators.

8. I will monitor local media coverage of LGBT issues.

If we are going to educate the public about religion-based bigotry and the harm it causes, we need to know where and when it being used against our community. When see an article or newscast in your community in which an individual or group is espousing religion-based bigotry and prejudice against LGBT individuals, let us know by going to our Religion-Based Bigotry Alert page.

9. I will share Faith In America news with two new contacts each month.

10. I will start a Faith In America chapter in my community.

Send us the names of those in your chapter and we'll post on the website and distribute via our email list so that others in your area can join and network with your chapter.