Posts tagged story
Sex-Positive Christianity

Sex.

It’s wonderful, gross, beautiful, entirely underwhelming, and pretty fucking great.

Up until a certain point in my adolescent development, I prided myself on my relative “purity” to that of my classmates. This, of course, was complicated by my confusing thoughts and feelings directed at male peers, late-night internet searches, and varied experiences throughout my pubescent years–still, I’d never slept with a girl nor provided myself any opportunity to.

My virginity was in tact, whatever that meant.

When my awareness of my queerness expanded in college through the painful introduction of that nebulous concept we call love, I realized things were pretty dang complicated for me. And after I began dating the boy who would become my husband, the hard truth made itself known:

I spent my whole life guarding myself from experiences I would never have nor want.

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What Liberty University Taught Me

Two years ago, in the onset of my faith journey, I thought I could put my head down and just get it over with.

I was wrong.

It's not that I exclusively needed my experiences at Liberty to inform the person I am today, but they unwittingly became an invaluable part of who I've become. The friends, the memories, and the cost of coming out taught me - and I'm still learning - much about life and the pursuit of collective justice. I've lived and participated in a culture that blames the victim, vilifies the marginalized, and refuses to acknowledge its own sin.

Still I'm finding, through the trauma, the loss, and the anger, the early signs of a coming spring.

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On Taking a Break from the Bible

When existential questions of sexuality and faith uprooted the fragile certainty of my biblicist framework, the Bible quickly lost its appeal. The colorful depth and texture of Scripture assumed an evolving character, one whose apparent hostility to my identity I was reticent to acknowledge. And in the darkest throes of my faith deconstruction, the last thing I felt I needed was another passage of Scripture to trigger a personal crisis in the midst of what was an extended personal crisis.

If I'm honest, I haven't had a consistent practice of reading Scripture in something like a year and a half.

And that's okay.

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Redeeming Rage

Rage.

Sometimes directed, sometimes contained, something akin to a simmering pot of water on the brink of a boiling release. It's both uncomfortable and rewarding, destructive and productive. We've all felt it. We've all attempted to cope with wave upon wave of roiling anger only to have the tide broken against the steadfast rocks of rational thought, allowing ourselves the humbling respite that follows.

Maybe we don't reach that place as quickly as we'd like, finding ourselves keeping the rage tucked within as best we can even as cracks in the dam allow just enough pressure to find its way out such that we are not overcome by it.

And then, for some of us, the dam breaks.

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Gay and Progressive at Liberty University

For many of us, who we are today – for better or for worse – exists largely because of the community we found at Liberty.

I write this not as a means of demeaning the value of your experiences and love for the institution – I respect you and consider all of these things tremendously sacred. I’m sure we can agree Liberty University has its share of flaws. Instead, I’m going to give you some honest perspective from my short three years of experiences at the largest evangelical Christian university in the world.

So here’s another piece of my journey, transparently and graciously laid out with the hope you can make space.

This is what it’s like to be in a minority attending a school built by a moral majority.

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reFRAME

In the months after my plunge into affirming theology and subsequent deconstruction began the savagery of life as I had known it, I found myself without the solid footing I once knew. There was a day not too long ago when I could give anyone an answer as to what I believed and even provide a basic set to justifying propositions from within that framework.

Having lost that entire framework, there wasn’t much to justify anything; the beliefs I once held dear were now untenable concepts predicated upon untenable constructs. It had all fallen apart, and what was left was a shell of “belief” out of need for survival.

What surprised me most was my lack of interest in redeveloping any framework upon which I could renew spiritual disciplines.

Nothing about Christianity, God, or the Bible provided comfort.

It was quite the opposite, in fact.

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Gay Jesus

There’s nothing I can say that hasn’t already been said. I can’t bring any new theology to the masses, add to the perennial affirming-versus-non-affirming discussions, give you a heartbreaking story of oppression or redemption – no, all I can do is appeal to your reason as a fellow human being and child of God.

So much has been written and spoken, but the best I can do is point you to the very best resources and share my own story.

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