Rainbodhi LGBTQIA+ Buddhist Community

Rainbodhi is an international spiritual friendship group for LGBTQIA+ Buddhists and an advocate for inclusion and diversity. We offer meditation, teachings, discussion and social events in a safe, affirming environment for people from all Buddhist traditions and those interested in Buddhism and meditation.

Rainbodhi welcomes people of all shades, ethnicities, sexes, genders, sexualities, body shapes, abilities, and cultural identities.

All Rainbodhi events are free.

Our values: Inclusion. Compassion. Wisdom.

Rainbodhi’s name combines two words; rainbow representing our diverse community and bodhi the Buddhist concept of Enlightenment.

A Little History of Rainbodhi

Rainbodhi was founded in 2019 by Buddhist monk Bhante Akāliko in Sydney, Australia. During the covid-19 pandemic, Rainbodhi went online, connecting with an international community of LGBTQIA+ Buddhists. Rainbodhi now has two groups in Australia ; Sydney and Melbourne (Naarm), plus Canada, Spain, Poland and the USA.

Discover our international groups below:

Our Events Ethos

Rainbodhi is about two things: being LGBTQIA+ and being Buddhist.

Our speakers and guest teachers are always both LGBTQIA+ and Buddhist.

Rainbodhi events aim to:

  • Centre diverse LGBTQIA + Buddhist Experiences
  • Amplify rainbow Buddhist voices
  • Celebrate and nurture our queer/trans spirituality together.

Our events represent our value of inclusion by being:

  • Representative of all LGBTQIA+ genders and sexualities
  • Diverse in terms of race, bodies and abilities.
  • Non-sectarian (we embrace all Buddhist schools)
  • Accessible
  • Free

Safeguarding Rainbodhi Communities

About this Policy

This publicly available document outlines Rainbodhi’s commitment to providing a safe and affirming space for LGBTQIA+ Buddhists.

The policy covers the following areas:

  • Commitment to Inclusion and Diversity
  • Intimate Relationships
  • Responsibilities of Rainbodhi Organisers, Teachers and Guests
  • Accountability Procedures and Safeguarding Steward

Commitment to LGBTQIA+ Inclusion, Diversity & Safety

Rainbodhi exists to provide a safe space for LGBTQIA+ Buddhists.

Inclusion is one of Rainbodhi’s three core values, along with Compassion and Wisdom. We succeed in demonstrating our value of Inclusion when our organising team, speakers and participants reflect the diversity of the LGBTQIA + Buddhist community.

Rainbodhi recognises that our diverse community has different experiences and needs. We work towards making everyone in our community feel welcome, safe and affirmed at Rainbodhi events.

All Genders and Sexualities are Welcome

We celebrate our diverse community in all its forms.

Ways that Rainbodhi welcomes all sexes, genders and sexualities:

  • We affirm all the groups in the LGBTQIA+ acronym
  • We don’t assume someone’s gender, sexuality or pronouns
  • No-one needs to prove their gender or sexuality
  • Allies are welcome
  • Pronouns are modelled and respected
  • We provide choices for Non-Binary (NB), trans, genderfluid and genderqueer people for toilets, accommodation, and in registration forms
  • Using inclusive language and avoiding unnecessarily gendered language, binary language, sexist or gender-based stereotypes,
  • We do not tolerate Homophobia, Transphobia, Bi erasure, Intersexphobia, or rejecting Asexuality
  • We acknowledge that Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminist (TERF) and bio-essentialist views harm our community and these views are not welcome at Rainbodhi events.

All Bodies are Welcome

We value people as they are and as they want to be.

We welcome bodies of every shade, sex, gender, ability, shape and size.

Ways that Rainbodhi welcomes all bodies:

  • We try to ensure our events are accessible
  • We make accommodations where possible
  • We don’t use ableist language
  • We acknowledge that some disabilities are not visible
  • We don’t assume what people can or can’t doWe reject fatphobia and body shaming
  • We are aware of white privilege, colonialism and power dynamics
  • We actively work to centre Black, Indigenous, Mixed, People Of Colour (BIMPOC) experiences and voices
  • We reject forced surgeries and sterilisation of people with intersex characteristics
  • We reject coercive or unwanted medical procedures for trans people
  • We embrace people’s medical choices about their bodies.

All Minds are Welcome

We value different ways of seeing and experiencing the world.

We welcome people who are neurodivergent, autistic or people with ADHD.

We also understand that many people in our community experience mental health concerns which impacts them and affects their experiences of the world.

Rainbodhi also recognises people in our communities may be traumatised by ongoing experiences of violence, oppression, abuse, prejudice and discrimination.

We understand the importance of physical, emotional and cultural safety.

Ways that Rainbodhi welcomes all minds includes:

  • Difference is valued, celebrated and supported
  • We avoid ableist or othering language
  • We don’t control people or their behaviour
  • We encourage self regulation and stimming
  • No-one is forced to participate in any activities, people may opt in or out
  • We don’t stigmatise mental health concerns
  • We encourage a trauma-informed approach to safety
  • We don’t give unsolicited advice about medication or healthcare.

Power and Privilege

We acknowledge the intersectional barriers to inclusion and creating a diverse community.

These include:

  • Race, skin colour and ethnicity
  • Sex, gender and sexuality
  • Location and distance
  • Education
  • Language
  • Economic status

Rainbodhi aims to equalise disparities of privilege by centring and empowering people excluded by intersectional barriers.

Bullying Behaviours

Rainbodhi does not tolerate bullying of any kind.

Bullying is a repeated and deliberate verbal, physical, social, or online behaviours that causes physical or psychological harm.

Bullying is done by individuals or groups against one or more people.

Types of bullying behaviours include:

  • Physical
    • hitting, pinching, slapping, kicking, etc
  • Verbal
    • teasing, name-calling, insults, intimidation, LGBTQIA-phobic remarks
  • Social
    • gossip, humiliation, exclusion, ganging up, mimicry, reputation damage
  • Online
    • trolling, toxic communication, sharing intimate images without consent.

Anyone who bullies another person at a Rainbodhi event or on Rainbodhi’s social media can expect to face consequences.

We encourage people to come forward if they experience bullying through Rainbodhi’s activities.

Contact Rainbodhi’s Safeguarding Steward to make a report. You will be listened to and supported.

Intimate Relationships & Rainbodhi

We value relationships that are consenting and healthy.

It’s natural that people in the Rainbodhi community may become attracted to each other. Consensual intimate relationships between adult Rainbodhi members are celebrated.

We encourage people to follow the Buddhist 3rd Precept about avoiding sexual misconduct and being committed to being non-harming in relationships.

Harmful Interactions

Rainbodhi is committed to preventing and responding to sexualised violence.

This includes: rape, intimate partner violence, indecent assault, sexual harrassment, inappropriate touching, coercive financial control, sexual innuendo, stalking, and sharing intimate images without consent.

Anyone who violates the consent of another person at a Rainbodhi event or on Rainbodhi’s social media can expect to face consequences.

We encourage people to contact Rainbodhi if they have experienced sexual violence at Rainbodhi’s activities.

Contact Rainbodhi’s Safeguarding Steward to make a report. You will be listened to and supported.

Teacher-Student Relationships

Rainbodhi recognises the harm and abuse that has occurred in religious communities and we condemn physical, sexual, verbal, emotional, financial or spiritual abuse.

Teachers occupy a position of power and prestige in Buddhism. Due to the potential for harm that arises from the power imbalance between teachers and students, Rainbodhi’s policy is that teachers should never start a special or intimate relationship with a student.

We define ‘teacher’ as a person with recognised religious status and authority who is in a position of ongoing spiritual influence over others in a community. This includes: ordained Sangha; lay ordination traditions, including teachers who use religious titles such as Lama, Sensei , Roshi, Master, etc; well known lay teachers; or anyone whose primary source of income is from spiritual or meditation teaching.

This definition does not include lay organisers of Rainbodhi groups who may engage in occasional teaching through peer led activities.

A ‘student ‘ is someone who attends Rainbodhi’s events online or in person and who has an ongoing connection with a teacher in a spiritual or learning capacity.

If a student or teacher feels that a relationship is becoming problematic, they are encouraged to discuss it with the leadership team of their Rainbodhi group, if it is appropriate to do so.

Alternatively, confidential reports can be made to Rainbodhi’s Safeguarding Steward using this form.

Responsibilities of Rainbodhi Organisers & Guest Teachers

All organisers, invited teachers and guest speakers will be sent Rainbodhi’s Commitment to Inclusion, Diversity & Safety policy and asked to affirm their personal commitment to these guidelines.

Organisers, teachers and guest speakers are encouraged to make sure they understand this policy and use the suggestions here to ensure that Rainbodhi activities are inclusive and safe for all participants.

Accountability Procedures

Rainbodhi is committed to accountability, transparency and fairness.

General Feedback

For general feedback or suggestions for things we can do better, email our management team: hello@rainbodhi.org

Rainbodhi’s Safeguarding Steward

Rainbodhi takes discrimination, harassment, bullying, violence and abuse seriously.

A Safeguarding Steward has been appointed to investigate and resolve serious concerns arising from Rainbodhi activities. The Steward acts independently from Rainbodhi’s management team.

All reports will be acted upon.

Rainbodhi’s accountability procedure is:

  • About You
    • We will be informed by your views on what can be done to resolve the issue.
  • Confidential
    • We will not reveal any information about you or your issue without your consent.
  • Timely
    • We will take immediate action where necessary and resolve your issue as soon as possible.
  • Transparent
    • We will consult with you about the process that we will engage in and inform you of the outcome.

Consequences for Policy Breeches

If a complaint has been made about you or your behaviour, Rainbodhi will take a fair and open minded approach to investigating what happened.

If a policy breach has occurred, we will clearly communicate the reasons for any actions taken.

Rainbodhi reserves the right to suspend and ban people who have violated the safety, dignity, and human rights of Rainbodhi’s community.

Report an Issue

If you have experienced discrimination, harassment, bullying, violence or abuse at a Rainbodhi event or online, contact Rainbodhi’s Safeguarding Steward by using the confidential form below:

We will do everything we can to help you through the accountability process, however as Rainbodhi is not a professional service provider, we encourage you to seek further support.

Download this Policy

A printable and shareable version of Safeguarding Rainbodhi Communities is available as a PDF below: