A Litany | In Remembrance of Rachel Held Evans, and in Response to Bethel’s #OnceGay Movement

This past Spring, the Christian faith community lost a powerhouse of a woman — Rachel Held Evans. She was a woman of valor, a source of light in the darkest of times, and the friend so many of us didn’t even know we had. We looked to her for spiritual guidance, allyship, and inspiration in the face of tragedy.
She stepped out in faith before many other straight Christians to affirm LGBTQ+ folk in their identity and their place in the Christian faith. After her passing, the community mourned collectively. Queer+ Christians flocked to share how Rachel inspired them and what her allyship meant to their own personal faith.

In the last couple of weeks, Bethel Church in Redding, CA, has been promoting their “Changed Movement.” Although more digestible than similar historical movements, it is an ex-gay ‘community’ thinly veiled with ‘accepting’ theology. While not outright anti-gay, the message they are preaching is that God cannot love you as you are, and you must change in order to be acceptable to God and the Christian faith. Continue reading “A Litany | In Remembrance of Rachel Held Evans, and in Response to Bethel’s #OnceGay Movement”

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Staying Safe

Kiss your partner before you open the door.
Make sure the blinds are closed.

Once you step into the harsh outside world,
don’t show affection and don’t look back.

Walk.
Fast.
With your keys poised between your fingers,
like your life depends on it.

When you get home,
lock the door.

Check out the window for moving figures.
Double check the lock.

Suffer through the heat at night
because it’s safer than
opening the balcony door.

      Continue reading “Staying Safe”

Rainbow Church

I wrote this during Spring Break of sophomore year of college. My roommates had all gone back home, I was holed up in my little apartment amongst the blizzard-ridden Blue Ridge Mountains, and I was desperately searching for a faith community that would accept and comfort me among the secret I was hiding. I needed support, and I needed it fast — before I spiraled into utter self hatred, spurred on by internalized homophobia, courtesy of the evangelical church. Continue reading “Rainbow Church”

Present

The pungent, burning aroma seeps into your skin.

The families, lovers, and soon-to-be friends
chat over small, rickety tables.

The students pour through outdated textbooks,
the businessmen conduct phone calls over the machine’s clunks,
the book club rearranges tables to take up the main floor.

The bees buzz in through one door
and out the other.

People watching,
studying,
writing,
knitting,
composing.

Small town coffee shops:
simple
but never still.

My Dream Deferred

I am sitting in this cozy coffee shop in a little mountain town nestled in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains. I am surrounded by sweet strangers enjoying their Saturday afternoons with loved ones, studying, and catching up with old friends. The chilly winter weather is punctuated by the sun’s rare appearance for this time of year. Outside, the wind howls, and the ice on the ground sneakily begs for unsuspecting folks to ignore the warnings and slip on it.

I take a break from working, open Instagram, and am greeted by a smiling child’s face, joy radiating from her brilliant smile. Continue reading “My Dream Deferred”

God’s so-called “Will”

The saying “God’s will” has become so ubiquitous among Christians that it has become an excuse for many to dismiss institutionalized and systematic oppression, excusing it all as “God’s plan.” However, there are indeed a wide variety of social systems that are not divine, have been created by flawed humans, and have injustice built into them which disadvantages entire people groups. Continue reading “God’s so-called “Will””