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.
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)
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.
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.
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
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!
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.
“To survive, you must tell stories.” - Umberto Eco. I love reading. Books have been a safe haven where I can explore bold stories from the comfort of my bedroom. Long before I felt safe enough to start speaking openly about my sexuality with people, I was devouring books that introduced me to stories of other people like me.
Role models are so important to me. It’s a powerful thing when you finally find someone who has walked down this path ahead of you, then circled back to walk shoulder-to-shoulder with you, like a kind of tour guide through this confusing and scary world. It’s even more than that for me, though.