With its latest (July/August 2010) issue, 'Whosoever', the leading online magazine for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Christians, begins its 15th year of publication.
"When we started in 1996, there was nothing on the Internet to assure LGBT Christians that God loved them and created them to live into their sexuality with integrity and joy," said Candace Chellew-Hodge, founder and editor of 'Whosoever'.
"'Whosoever' began a movement of online support for LGBT Christians and now there are many resources available."
Whosoever began as a print magazine, and Chellew-Hodge handed out the premier issue at Atlanta's gay pride back in 1996.
"People weren't sure what to think and many were suspicious that our agenda was to convert LGBT people," Chellew-Hodge said. "But, that all changed when they read the magazine."
The magazine remained in print for four issues (Chellew-Hodge displays three issues in the photo) before becoming an online resource. Over the years, many influential religious figures have appeared within its pages including Bishop John Shelby Spong, Soulforce founder Mel White, and even Evangelical Christian writer Philip Yancey.
The magazine also spawned a book written by Chellew-Hodge called Bulletproof Faith: A Spiritual Survival Guide for Gay and Lesbian Christians, published in 2008 by Jossey-Bass.
White has said of 'Whosoever': "Every time I open Whosoever I am amazed at the quality and quantity of work that goes into this magazine for GLBT Christians, their friends and families. I am especially grateful for the information Whosoever provides for that closeted Christian who, after being rejected by his or her church and family, has nowhere to go but the Internet to find someone who understands."
Chellew-Hodge said she has heard from many such LGBT Christians who have said that 'Whosoever' has been a source of hope and healing for them. That hope and healing has a ripple effect, too, on the larger church.
"We see the results of our efforts as mainstream churches begin to open their doors to LGBT people of faith," Chellew-Hodge said. "We still have a lot of work ahead, but the progress we have seen over the past fifteen years has been astounding and affirming. Whosoever's contribution to this spiritual revival has been great and will continue to grow in the coming years."