What Can UUs Do?

While some in the BDSM community have found a spiritual home in the Unitarian Universalist faith, more often than not it is a home where both explicit and implicit messages tell us to keep silent about our sexuality.  Others would like to join, but wonder if they would be fully welcome.  And all of us welcome greater awareness and support from both individual UUs and UU organizations.

We understand that it will take time before UUs and UU congregations can be as open and welcoming to kinky people as to other communities.  But it cannot happen unless individuals begin and continue the process of education and bridge-building.

Here are some things that you and other UU leaders, both ordained and laity, can do to help in that process:

  1. Read more about BDSM and other sexual minorities, and be willing to pass on this information to others.  Two highly recommended books are When Someone You Love is Kinky by Dossie Easton and Catherine A. Liszt, and Bound to be Free by Charles Moser and JJ Madeson (see Recommended Books on this site).
  2. Find local BDSM organizations in or near your community, and contact their leaders; keep their resources on hand, and maintain communication with them. Many local groups are connected with the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom.
  3. When you hear misconceptions and distortions about BDSM and the BDSM community being repeated in your UU congregation, gently correct them; emphasize how those involved with BDSM engage in safe, sane and consensual practices.
  4. Be supportive of those in your congregation whom you know to engage in BDSM, especially if they decide to come out to one degree or another.
  5. Speak out against antiquated sex laws which criminalize any form of consensual sexual or erotic expression, or other forms of discrimination against BDSM people or other sexual minorities.
  6. If you hold a GLBTQ+ Pride event, consider inviting members of your local BDSM community to attend.
  7. Download a copy of Love Takes Many Forms, L&G’s new workshop curriculum for UU congregations, for presentation to your congregation; it can also be adapted for Districts, ministerial associations, and other groups
  8. If the Adult OWL module is presented as part of your Religious Education program, consider inviting a spokesperson for the BDSM community to the guest panel on Sexual Diversity.

“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.


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