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K-State Today

May 9, 2018

Research team travels to Omaha to present on LGBTQ religiosity

By Barrett Scroggs

Nate Faflick

Nate Faflick, junior in human development and family science, and Barrett Scroggs from the School of Family Studies and Human Services, recently traveled to Omaha, Nebraska, to present their research on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer, or LGBTQ, individuals' religious identities. Their research has found that being connected to a religious community can serve as a protective factor for LGBTQ individuals who are attempting to integrate their LGBTQ and religious identities.

The team partnered with Urban Abbey United Methodist Church in downtown Omaha for an evening with the church's Queer Faith on Campus group. Scroggs and Faflick also presented for a group of local clergy who desire to create safer spaces in their religious communities for the LGBTQ community. Their final presentation in Omaha was with a group of students at a local middle school who were seeking out ways to make their school safe for LGBTQ individuals.

"Dr. Scroggs and Mr. Faflick inspired our community to think deeply about the importance of community, the power of connection and meaning of true acceptance in the lives of young LGBTQ folks," said Rev. Debra McKnight of Urban Abbey. "We were grateful that both Barrett and Nate were so approachable, that church leaders felt at ease to ask questions and engage in deep reflection about their practice of ministry and how it can impact young people. We dream of every church being a safe church and they helped us take an important step in that work."

The team has worked to bring their research into the communities that need it most. Faflick said that through their work they are interacting in spaces trying to provide knowledge to create change. Those actions are what make places more inclusive and welcoming to all people, he said.