A new and invaluable resource, Church Clarity serves as an organization advocating policy disclosure on church websites. For LGBTQ Christians, it's an all-too-common refrain when we share our spiritual journeys: We visit a church whose public message is "come as you are", find it comfortable and welcoming, become involved, and learn through inevitable confrontation with leadership that we're not allowed to serve or participate where we had hoped. Church Clarity seeks to preempt these conflicts by scoring churches on their transparency; by doing this, it's much easier for LGBTQ Christians to find safe and inclusive congregations. They recently added a Women in Leadership category as part of a broadening in Church Clarity's work. If you'd like to be involved, you can submit scores for churches and volunteer to update the database.
Kevin Garcia, a prominent figure in gay Christian circles, blogs on their experiences, sexuality, and what faith looks like for those like us. Their podcast is every bit worth your time, and you can even find me on episode forty-five!
Laura is a personal favorite of mine, writing honestly and vulnerably on her journey out of fundamentalism, evangelicalism, and what life looks like on the other side. Her story is difficult, worth knowing, and you'll find what she has to say deeply moving. For those who've walked similar paths, her posts resonate in profound ways. Plus, I’ve had the privilege of redesigning her website! Check it out.
Julie is another personal hero of mine, formerly a writer for Spiritual Friendship with prominent, celibate gay Christians like Wesley Hill and Eve Tushnet. Julie became affirming of herself and LGBTQ persons and publicly shared her journey.
Much like myself, Caitlin was a student in an evangelical college setting writing publicly and without apology on her experiences, theology, and sexual ethics. She's also very funny, stylish, and kind, so be sure to check out her social media.
Speaking graciously and honestly into one of the most difficult and often vitriolic conversations facing Christians today, Austen blogs and publishes videos on his journey as a transgender Christian. There's so much to learn from his story, what a theology for trans lives looks like, and how to best love and support our trans friends and family.
Intended as an "online encyclopedia for LGBTQ and Christian life", this is an immensely valuable resource for both LGBTQ Christians and straight Christians like to read into queer theology, sexual ethics, and what it looks like to affirm LGBTQ lives from a robust foundation of thought.
Perhaps the first prominent and influential organization for LGBTQ Christians, QCF (formerly known as the Gay Christian Network) was the first place I ever learned affirming theology existed. Having been built up by Justin Lee and launching its own yearly conferences, their work is profoundly important.
The Open initiative by Convergence has been helpful in identifying affirming churches across the country whose theological premises are far more compatible with my identity and faith journey. Visit this site to find affirming, inclusive churches in the United States, Australia, Ireland, and Canada.
“God and the Gay Christian” by Matthew Vines is a seminal work for affirming theology, offering a thorough, accessible read that approaches Scriptural hermeneutics in a way that won’t leaving you ripping your hair out because “theology”. If you want to understand what affirming theology even is, read this book. It changed my life.
Karen Keen’s work on the ethical and hermeneutical conversation surrounding affirming theology is particularly important, and her blog posts (which became this book) were incredibly impactful when I was undergoing my faith deconstruction. She’s wonderful, brilliant, and this book is one of the best there is on the subject.
“Bible, Gender, and Sexuality” by the Reformed, conservative theologian Dr. James Brownson is for those who really, really love theology. Dr. Brownson dives into the subject of affirming theology without spending too much time on those “clobber passages” so often used against LGBTQ people – instead, his book centers itself on moral logic and the ethical narratives present in Scripture. If you want a deep look at affirming theology from an ethical and moral perspective, this is your book.
“Changing Our Mind” by David Gushee is based on a series of columns he wrote several years ago in which he systematically defined an affirming position on LGBTQ sexual ethics. A helpful and honest book, you’ll find it particularly helpful from an evangelical perspective.
Written by Reformed pastor and author Jeff Chu, this book is a raw and powerful glimpse into the diversity of thought, experiences, and communities of LGBTQ Christians in the United States. Sometimes painful and sometimes deeply resonant, this book was important for me to read as I began fully coming out to my family.
Dr. Gushee's story is one very familiar to those Christians in public Evangelical ministries whose willingness to stand in solidarity with LGBTQ people costs them nearly everything. In his case, it pushed him out of the faith and community he had known. His is a difficult and honest story worth knowing.
I don't know that I can even begin to overstate Mike McHargue's influence on my own faith journey. His work with The Liturgists was instrumental in guiding me through my deconstruction and giving me a framework with which to live as a Christian whilst valuing empiricism. His own crazy, mystical story makes me cry every time I hear it, and this book changed my life.
I was introduced to Father Richard Rohr through The Liturgists podcast, and his Franciscan Catholicism - a mystical tradition - has been immensely valuable for my faith journey. This book on the Trinity, God's relationship to God and us, is a wonderful and tremendously helpful look at something we often take for granted.
Sexual ethics are tricky and confusing, with the blanket absolutism of purity culture building complexes of shame where they should never exist in the first place. Miguel A. De La Torre's ethic of sexuality integrates Liberation Theology and the liberating message of the Incarnation to suggest an alternative rooted in mutuality, consent, and self-giving love.
Few have had quite the impact on my faith journey like Peter Enns. He's a Harvard graduate whose work has been the synthesis of historical criticism and Christian faith - he undermines biblicism whilst appealing to the Word of God (Jesus). This book was the first foray I had ever taken into this new way of reading Scripture, and as a purely introductory work, it's readable and scholarly with a side of his wit.
In a similar vein as Peter Enns, one of my favorite authors - Rob Bell - takes on biblicism and our general ignorance of Scripture's context in a way that's entirely interesting, fun, and will get you ridiculously excited to study it even more. He provides a whole lot of resources at the end, with Jewish, Christian, and secular scholars cited in a lengthy list.
If I was trapped on an island with and could only listen to a single podcast until my untimely demise, this would be it. I've cried, laughed, and learned so much about this world through hours upon hours of listening to Science Mike and Michael Gungor chat with guests and one another on a variety of topics. The LGBTQ episode changed my life, and I've shared it with many of my closest friends. If you're interested in the intersection between science, faith, and art on some of the most controversial topics imaginable, this is it. And it will change your life.
This weekly podcast is for those whose love of knowledge and learning everything you can about the world needs to be regularly fed. With 129 episodes, there's certainly a lot to be covered. Mike McHargue answers listener questions about science, faith, and life. It's sometimes emotional and sometimes funny. Worth checking out.
Peter Enns remains one of my favorite writers and speakers, and this podcast is enlightening in a variety of ways. He regularly interviews Christian, Jewish, and non-Christian scholars on a plethora of topics you may not even find immediately compelling, but upon listening, will discover the richness of biblical scholarship. It's accessible and funny, with a lot of material disseminated in a short period of time.
Rob Bell is gifted in a variety of ways, and one of those peculiar gifts is being an excellent podcaster. Each episode is something different, with a lot of helpful and important conversations happening. His series on "What Is God" radically changed my life and destroyed my previous conceptions of the Divine.
Every few days, I'll be walking across campus stifling my laughter whilst listening to this masterpiece of Christian subcultural critique. Insanely funny, honest, and sometimes mildly explicit, Kevin and Caroline have quickly become two of my favorite people. Whether you grew up an Evangelical Christian or strongly adhere to atheism, this podcast is perfect for you.
This podcast by Matthias Roberts is supremely helpful in sharing the stories of other LGBTQ Christians and their journeys through faith, sexuality, and what life looks like for them now. It's easy listening complete with humor and queer culture's very best representation. Stories change the world, and this is a good place to participate in that.
Kevin Garcia is one of my favorite prominent gay Christians, and his podcast is a great place to find out why. They’re transparent, vulnerable, and has some of the greatest exchanges with guests you'll find on podcast-sphere. It's serious, funny, and might make you follow them on Twitter.
Blake Chastain's foray into the stories of former Evangelicals is an immensely important contribution to the conversations taking place in faith communities and the like. It's been so, so good to hear from others who've experienced the grief, loss, and trauma of exiting their worldview, and for many, their stories have something to do with LGBTQ people and affirming their humanity. I resonate deeply with many of these and am grateful for this resource
Interested in messages from an affirming, Progressive Christian perspective? Listen to GracePointe Church’s weekly podcast. It’s a pleasure to work there, and even more so to have a part in the work churches like GracePointe are doing. Even if you don’t live in Nashville, GracePointe’s family is spread far and wide.