Cedar Rapids teen combines faith, advice in letters to others in LGBTQ community

A Cedar Rapids teenager is being recognized for his work helping LGBTQ teens, especially those who feel like they don't belong in their faith.
Published: Jul. 3, 2022 at 11:22 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Sid High, 18, knows what it’s like to feel like you don’t belong.

High said several years ago he was in youth group and was told, “‘I have these Bible verses from Leviticus about why you’re—like, why this cannot happen, why you cannot be queer.’ And I was like, I don’t agree with that. And so I stopped going there, but that really messed with me a lot.”

High has been out as trans for about one year now; he was out as “queer” before that. He said there was stress with reconciling his LGBTQ identity with his faith.

“I was like, am I going to go to hell for this? And I remember sitting in the car with my mom crying because it really messed with me,” High said. “And she talked to me about how God loves everyone and how it shouldn’t matter.”

When he was 16, High started sending letters of advice and encouragement.

“I was like, you know what, I’ll just do a Google form, post it on TikTok, like, ‘Hey, you guys want advice? Come check it out.’ And teenagers saw it and they reached out,” High said.

High shared from two of the letters he has sent. In one, he offered advice on everything from hair styling to self-esteem.

“I know what it’s like to feel down on yourself. God has your back. God has your back every step of the journey,” High said. “While it may be tough, he’s always there for you.”

In the other letter, he wrote, “I deal with anxiety myself and I can relate to you in that.” He added, “Find an affirming space to practice your faith. As a trans man, finding an affirming church in my local community has been a struggle.”

High went on to recommend Beloved Arise, an organization he discovered on TikTok. Beloved Arise describes itself as “the leading national organization dedicated to celebrating and empowering LGBTQIA+ youth of faith.” High is one of five youth ambassadors for Beloved Arise this year.

High knows what it is like to struggle with acceptance, and he is eager to share his perspective with those who reach out.

“I felt myself getting closer to God, actually, since I came out as trans, which surprises a lot of people,” High said. “But, like, for me, that’s how it is.”

The form for Sid’s advice can be found here.

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