Photo art exhibition by Ilar Gunilla Persson

The faith, opinions and belief systems that congregations and other fellowships are made up of often provide a strong sense of belonging and of being safe within the group. Sharing faith, values and having the same elevated hope can be very forceful. But what happens to those

who can’t believe what is being preached or that which “is written”? What happens to those who dare to question fundamental “truths”? What does it do to a person to constantly be judged for their personal feelings? And what happens to a person who discovers their homosexuality while having been told their entire life that homosexuality is a most serious sin?

For several years already, photography artist Ilar Gunilla Persson has met with people from the LGBTQ+ community who have a background in a religious or other strongly defined group. Most of them have experiences of creating a new life, making new friends and redefining families after severing connections to their “previous life”. She has asked them to write down a defining experience, event or memory as a symbol of their journey, and from those chosen words she has planned and developed individual pictures. Stand-in models have been used in the pictures whenever the participant chose not to be in the photo. Each participant has approved their picture. God Love Pride is an ongoing art photo-project that welcomes new participants.

The past few years have seen exhibitions of God Love Pride in several Evangelical Lutheran churches in Finland and Sweden.

The exhibition God Love Pride can be seen here: