A few months ago, I got to see the Australian premiere of one of my favourite musicals: The Hunchback of Notre Dame (the musical). Now there’s so much I could say about why I love this narrative and the depth of insights it offers into so many dimensions of the human experience, from exploring the social model of disability, to the relationship of church and state, to critiquing purity culture (quite literally!), but perhaps the most prevalent theme that stood out to me that night was the concept of sanctuary. This theme of sanctuary runs throughout the entire show and carries a number of meanings, including both the Medieval practice of fugitives claiming ‘sanctuary’ in the Catholic church and also the broader meaning of ‘sanctuary’ as a safe space to be protected from the world’s harms.
Author: Matt Ventura
Emotional Labour Part 2
In a short elaboration of my last post, I thought I'd share another example of the kind of emotional labour queer people (and others!) have to do to exist in the church. At the end of the last post I mentioned that emotional labour still happens even when we aren't directly participating in a conversation: … Continue reading Emotional Labour Part 2
Picking up where I left off in this series of 4 Ways Christians Burden Queer People, I wanted to talk about another burden queer people disproportionately carry in the church: emotional labour. If the first burden was "1. Telling us how to speak instead of listening to what we say," the second burden Christians place … Continue reading Emotional Labour
Life After the Closet
Today marks the first anniversary of my friend T choosing to courageously invite everyone in her life to know her more personally than she’d ever done before, and it seems like a timely opportunity to reflect on what life outside the closet is like for us who've had the privilege of emerging form it. Having journeyed with T for some years and been church family together, I got to see just how much courage this took and how significant this decision to be more fully known was for her. I have so much admiration and love for her, so today I want to honour T’s story and dedicate this post to her.
4 Ways Christians Burden Queer People: Language Policing (1/4)
Today I’ve been thinking about Jesus’ warning against hypocrisy to the religious leaders of his day in Matthew 23. At one point he says, “They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.” (Matt 23:4 NIV). It’s not … Continue reading 4 Ways Christians Burden Queer People: Language Policing (1/4)
What Children Teach Me About God
Here’s a sentence I never thought I’d write: I just got home from an impromptu dance party with some small foster children I was on a playdate with. I’m still beaming – my heart does a happy front-flip every time I picture the goofy smile written across the face of this pre-verbal toddler who didn’t say much but who communicated such loud joy with his whole body as we rocked out together to The Lion Sleeps Tonight. His older brother was the mastermind behind the idea; after we got back from a playdate at the park and found there was no one else home yet, a mischievous glint flashed across his eyes and he said, “We have the house all to ourselves… we should have a party!!!A dance party!” So we did. It was awesome.
Heavy Burdens: Book Review
Dear readers, It's been a few months! A number of you have been quietly nagging me to do some more writing, and while I can't make any promises for the future, I do hope I'll be in a position to share more of my writing soon. I have a lot of things I'd like to put into words and many feelings I'd like to share, but the truth is, I can't. Not right now. There are a few reasons for this, but most of all I'm just so emotionally depleted.
Christian Leadership, Risk Absorption, and Conversion Therapy
Photo by Rod Long on Unsplash A few years ago I had to stay overnight with my younger sister on suicide watch. She was in a pretty vulnerable place and at a high risk of harm, and since I was in town it just made sense for me to support her by being present and … Continue reading Christian Leadership, Risk Absorption, and Conversion Therapy
On Monday morning I woke up to a message from a friend that read, “I am sorry to hear about your lockdown!” I had literally just woken up moments before picking up my phone (I know, I know, I’m a millennial), so the fact that we were going into lockdown was news to me. When I’d gone to bed 8 hours earlier, I expected to wake up to another normal day. Instead, I found out from an interstate friend that Brisbane was going into a snap lockdown to control the spread of some new covid cases.
When I first started this blog about a year ago, one of my main goals was to share stories. By nature, I tend to intellectualise a bit and default to sharing ideas rather than stories, but I’m becoming more and more convinced that there’s a deeper kind of learning that happens through embodied experiences and stories. Some learning is more caught than taught: especially the kind of learning that involves character growth and worldview shifts. So I wanted to share with you a story of how my church family taught me about family.