LGBTQ Inclusion

chuppahw:mychalThere is room in contemporary religious life for all who wish to walk a spiritual path.  I have dedicated much of my work to the exploration and integration of  LGBT and spiritual identities.  I also advocate on behalf of queer identified people of many religious backgrounds, helping people creatively challenge religious structures from within.  If LGBTQI people cede religion to others, then we have successfully been robbed of our own home for spiritual seeking.  We deny our human need for spiritual community, healing, and growth.

Struggling in Good Faith: LGBTQI Inclusion from 13 American Religious Perspectives is the culmination of this work. D’vorah Rose and I co-edited a multifaceted source book telling the story of reconciliation, celebration and struggle for LGBTQI inclusion across the American religious landscape.

I have been an activist in the LGBTQ Religious community for many years, beginning in 1999 as the JQlogoCooperberg-Rittmaster Rabbinic Intern at Congregation Beth Simchat Torah in New York City, the world’s largest Jewish LGBTQ community. I founded two LGBTQ Jewish campus groups with students, Mishpacha (Hebrew for “family”) at UCLA, and JQ (Jewish Queers) at Stanford, empowering students to explore the intersection of their various identities.  I sit on the board of NUJLS: National Union of Jewish LGBTQI Students.

LGBT Conference Presentations:

2010 & 2011 Expanding the Circle: Creating an Inclusive Environment in Higher Education for LGBTQ Students and Studies Session: Getting Past Leviticus and Other Silencing Texts: LGBTQI Students’ Struggles with Religious Texts, Dual Identities, and Minority Religious Backgrounds

October 2012 Weiland Annual Conference at Stanford University: Faith and Sexuality, “Judaism and Queer Identities”

Reviews of my session:

“Presenter’s knowledge and enthusiasm and scholarship/resources brought forth. Would love to take another class with Rabbi Copeland.” “Rabbi Mychal’s answers and way(s) of answering the questions was so good: welcoming, challenging, enlightening”