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Interview with Tania Irias, GIN Board member for Latin America

I am Tania Irias and I live in Nicaragua. And I am currently part of the Global Interfaith Network, for me, being in GIN has given me the opportunity to meet other people who just like me belong to the LGBTI community and have not renounced their possibility of faith.

In Latin America, in Central America mainly, religious discourses are totally fundamentalist and aim to promote hatred towards the LGBTI community.

In Nicaragua there is no alternative space in which we as an LGBTI community can access this need that we have to express our faith and live in community, so for me it has been so important to be able to establish links with other people who are doing things that apparently in our country are impossible. Being here in Brazil at this congress of feminist theology, a theology that poses the possibility of recognizing oneself as free, and free to believe also, truly, and with the right to believe in God, to express our faith as we wish; for me, has been very important , and instead of discouraging me because in my country there is not much of this, it encourages me to continue digging, to continue asserting, to continue establishing links and alliances with other people who have already done things that we as Latin America need to continue reinforcing, and to start even in other places where these possibilities do not exist.

GIN for me is a space of reunion with that God, with the God that each one has within herself, with the God that each one has decided to believe no matter what, that God that fills us, that feeds us and that each day accompanies us, above all… I have tried to renounce, but for me to give up my faith has been impossible, truly, I have had multiple conflicts, because feminism has also confronted me with these traditional religious fundamentalisms – which is what I had learned that it means to have a religion, or what it means to be a practitioner of a religion – but knowing other possibilities, these other points of view, has given me encouragement to continue to believe, to live my faith in community with people from other countries and to continue helping others in my community so that they can live their faith in freedom and with tranquillity; above all, with that God of love, because God is love and is the only thing that should matter.

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