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
Author: Matt Ventura
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.
Life on Side B Podcast Episode
This week I had the privilege of being interviewed for an episode of the Life on Side B! I've so appreciated the work of Life on Side B and the way Josh Proctor has reached so many people with stories of Christian sexual minority people over the past few years, so it felt pretty surreal … Continue reading Life on Side B Podcast Episode
Last weekend Eternity News published this article by Nathan Campbell that I contributed to. Our article explores how the church might respond differently to things like the Victorian Change or Suppression Practices Prohibition Bill if we formed habits of listening better… listening to stories of gay and trans people, the kind of stories that led … Continue reading Listening Well
Sexual [or] Intimacy
"Do you love him?" "No, we're just friends." "They were 'intimate' with each other." "During lockdown, we were only allowed to visit a person if we had an 'intimate relationship' with them." I’ve been finding that there's a lot of confusion out there about the difference between intimacy and sex. The quotes above show how we often use love/intimacy as a stand-in to describe sexual/romantic relationships as though they are basically the same thing.
I Want to be Held
I've been thinking a lot about what it means for humans to be embodied people--not just spirits, but people made of physical bodies who relate to each other in embodied ways. I am someone who deeply craves physical touch, and it's been a weird year to think about this stuff during 2020 while touching other people has suddenly gained a whole lot more baggage than usual.
A few weeks ago I was on a late an evening walk through the park talking to a dear friend on the phone about how lockdown and social distancing have affected us this year. Both of us are people that have always been good at long-distance friendships, and we’ve both managed to stay closely connected to our friends this year through phone calls, video calls, 1-1 catchups and small group gatherings. But something was missing.
Eight Reasons to Consider Coming Out
I initially journaled these thoughts in 2019, but with today being National Coming Out Day, I thought I'd post them here to mark the occasion. Here's to celebrating greater authenticity and closeness!
The Myth of a Model Minority
I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately about the power of narrative and the way sharing stories reveals our values. Telling stories helps people understand how we experience the world, and they help us imagine what our world could—or should—look like. If you read my blog, it's no surprise to you that I think this. But lately I’ve been thinking particularly about the insidious potential for weaponising narratives: the potential for telling stories in a way that seeks to control or subvert someone else’s experience of the world. Perhaps the most subtle but powerful form of this is when people take stories that were originally told with innocence, good intent, and truth, and then weaponise those stories to control others.