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Former SGN writer releases new edition of book on Queer people and Christian Science

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In the 1970s, when the SGN was nothing more than a fledgling newsletter, Bruce Stores was writing history, though at the time they just called it news. Now, 50 years later, the SGN is still around and one of the oldest LGBTQ+ newspapers to remain in print, and Stores really is writing history. A second edition of his first book, Christian Science: Its Encounter with Lesbian/Gay America, was just released and can be found at Barnes & Nobles across the country.

Stores' book takes a deep dive into the intersections of faith and Queer identities, examining how Lesbian and Gay believers throughout US history have reconciled with a faith that is often at odds with their humanity.

"This new book sheds light on a hitherto unknown chapter in the annals of Christian Science," Stores said. "Here is the story of Lesbian [and] Gay believers. Herein is their pursuit for respect and dignity in the Church of Christ."

The book holds nothing back, exploring some of the church's darkest days, filled with bigotry and hatred toward the LGBTQ+ community, but ends on a hopeful note, suggesting that progress toward an accepting balance may be in the future.

"The narrative traces stormy encounters from the days of near-total rejection up to the friendlier atmosphere in the 21st century," Stores said. "Some events in this real-life story are shameful, while others are praiseworthy. This book relates perseverance, hope, and especially healing."

Despite the title, the nearly 600-page book does not focus on religious teachings surrounding the LGBTQ+ community but rather on the historical context and repercussions it has faced as a result of said teachings.

"Anyone who values the triumph of right over wrong, and truth over error, will find this narrative both compelling and highly informative," Stores added. "Despite the title, this book has little to do with religion per se. Its purpose is to chronicle a segment of the age-old conflict between freedom of conscience and ecclesiastical authoritarianism. The pursuit of freedom in one religious denomination is set against the backdrop of the wider LGBT movements for full equality, including civil rights and marriage."

Christian Science: Its Encounter with Lesbian/Gay America is the perfect book for LGBTQ+ people and allies grappling with the contradictions of faith, interested in historical Queer movements, or fascinated with the ways in which religion has shaped culture in American history.