We Are All One

An interview with Reverend Jesse Brune-Horan, director of “Inspire LA”—an LGBTQ spiritual center.

BY ROXIE PERKINS

“Inspire LA” is a nonprofit, LGBTQ spiritual center led by Reverend Jesse Brune-Horan that provides mentorship, community and a variety of spiritual practices to the LGBTQ community through their weekly Sunday services in West Hollywood at 916 N. Formosa Ave.

They also offer free online classes, workshops, spiritual counseling, and mentorship programs that can be accessed through their website at
www.inspirespiritualcommunity.org.

IN an interview with THE FIGHT Brune-Horan talks about the beauty and the uniqueness of the LGBTQ experience, working with elders and supporting the trans community.

It’s so exciting to see more people in the LGBTQ community interested in spirituality because it’s a challenge to let go of the past, and the hurt, and forgive the teachers and parents that used the bible as a weapon against us.”

What are the core religious beliefs of Inspire LA and how do they relate to the queer experience?

My congregation represents a diverse array of philosophies and religious backgrounds… I think that we do a really beautiful job finding common ground between all of them. Those differences are a really integral part of what we celebrate as an individual’s spiritual journey and the beauty and the uniqueness of the LGBTQ experience…The baseline philosophy is: we are all one, oneness is God, and God is love. So the philosophy we practice is an exploration of oneness and what oneness means… I can’t tell you what God is, you have to discover that for yourself.

What sort of work does Inspire LA do in the LGBTQ community?

We’ve grown to the size now where we’re able to support emerging LGBTQ spiritual leaders. We developed a spiritual licensing program which actually licenses people to become spiritual counselors and then that grew into a ministerial licensing program as well…

We’re also doing a lot of work to support the elders in the community with an “Elders Q and A,” a panel where the members are between the ages of 65-90. It is an opportunity for LGBTQ adults to ask questions about life and show respect to those that have cleared the path for us.

We’ve been able to take this program to universities in Southern California – we did it at “Models of Pride” which is an LGBTQ youth conference that happens at USC every year.

I’m always trying to see what’s needed for the healing of our greater community and how we can become a stronger functioning family. At Inspire LA I get to develop programming and empower people to heal. My main focus right now, because I feel it’s the most important issue facing the LGBTQ community, is to support the trans members of our community.

I’m sure you must hear from people in the queer community who have had traumatic experiences with religion all the time- what would you say to someone who is afraid to re-approach their spirituality as a queer person?

Yeah, it’s such a common experience for LGBTQ people to have this moment in the church or the community in which they were raised where the god they grew up with suddenly does not have space for them in his home. I grew up Southern Baptist, and I remember feeling like: it’s not okay for me to be gay in this church…

The first couple of years of Inspire LA – our big focus was healing the wounds that organized religion had left on many of us, myself included…

It’s so exciting to see more people in the LGBTQ community interested in spirituality because it’s a challenge to let go of the past, and the hurt, and forgive the teachers and parents that used the bible as a weapon against us. I think we’re taking big strides towards turning it back into a source of inspiration.


For more info visit: www.inspirespiritualcommunity.org.