Queer hymn search: The Hymn Society in the United States and Canada is seeking hymns and songs for Songs for the Holy Other, a new collection for those seeking to embrace queerness through congregational song.
Queer hymns are congregational songs by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, etc. (queer/LGBTQ+) people, or about queer/LGBTQ+ issues (broadly defined). The database on this site contains information on both queer hymns and LGBTQ+-friendly hymns: hymns that do not specifically address queer issues, but may address queer pastoral needs (e.g. non-gendered marriage hymns) or discuss inclusion more generally.
If you would like to learn more about queer hymns, I recommend reading my 3-page paper, or Dr. Stephanie Budwey’s article in The Hymn (Spring 2016) if you have access to it — or send me an email, and I’d be happy to chat about queer hymns and this website!
A note on the word queer: I use queer as an umbrella-term for the LGBPTQIAA2+ community, since it is the most inclusive umbrella term for this community. I am aware that, since it is a reclaimed slur, queer can be a hard word for some people within the LGBPTQIAA2+ community; however, I would note that the vast majority of the words we have to identify ourselves (lesbian, gay, homosexual, same-gender attracted, queer, transgender, etc.) have at some time been used against us. Generations before mine in the queer community worked very hard to reclaim queer, and many of those currently pushing against queer as an umbrella term for our community are those who want a narrower definition of who is included in the community.
QueerHymns.org is run by Sylvia Hook. I (Sylvia) created this resource as part of my undergraduate Honours Senior Research Project at the University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, studying under Dr. Kenneth Hull.
In addition to creating this resource, I wrote a 3-page conference paper for a general audience, and am currently revising my undergrad thesis (“Fabulous Hymns and Where to Find Them: Cataloguing Queer Hymnody”, c. 20 pages, aimed at hymnologists) to submit it for publication.
I am a queer Mennonite, church nerd, graphic designer, and year-round cyclist. When I’m not too busy with work and church business, I like to work with food (growing, preparing, and eating), play board games, hang out with friends, and spend time with my family and my spouse.