The past year has seen Philly writer Crystal Cheatham’s IDentity Kit Project, a Christian-based initiative aimed at educating children and religious leaders that it’s OK to be gay, growing like crazy. Within that time, she launched a website, released an e-book and, in January, moved into a brick-and-mortar office space in Rittenhouse’s Church of the Holy Trinity. There she assembles and mails kits to children and church groups all over the world — seriously from America to Canada all the way to Australia. But the changes don’t stop there. This fall, she will release four new kits for the Muslim, Hindu, Jewish and “all-audience” communities, and amp up her workshop schedule in schools, churches and community centers around Philadelphia.
Cheatham’s mission is a commendable one and, as I explained in January, one that carries a personal meaning to her. Raised in a Christian home, she suffered backlash from her family and church community for coming out of the closet. But instead of repressing her queerness or turning her back on the beliefs she grew up with, she decided to embrace her religion and homosexuality. This is the message she tries to spread through IDK Project, to let kids know that being queer is not a sin, and, even more importantly, to educate religious leaders about the problems that can arise from telling kids to deny gay feelings.
She recently started a Kickstarter page to raise funds to support her work to instill harmony between the religious and LGBT worlds. She’s looking to raise $4,000 to help cover everything from IDKit printing costs and website maintenance to five-week workshop training courses. There’s only four days left to donate, and so far the project has only raised $1,557 toward its goal. To give her the last-minute bump she needs, donate here. And visit the IDK Project website for info on upcoming workshops and details on how to order a kit or to make a email@example.com.