It’s been two months since I came out. Those 59 days have been full of texts, emails, Facebook messages, Instagram DMs, and conversations. This is to be expected. While the vast majority of my close friends were well aware of my orientation, many followers and Facebook friends were surprised. Not as much by the fact that I’m gay, (wasn’t much of a plot twist for most) but by the fact that I’m unapologetically queer and still a Christian. I even received a text that said “…since you claim to be a born again Christian, where do you find Scriptural support for homosexuality?” Well, of course, the answer to this is much more complicated than this sender assumes.
Just as the biblical case for the trinity, the soul, and the problem of suffering (or, The Reason Bad Things Happen) cannot be explained with a John 3:16 and an Acts 16:31, the biblical case for inclusion of queer and trans individuals is not a simple, clear-cut explanation.
If you’d like to learn more about affirming and queer theology, this is a collection of resources for you. You will find examinations of the Greek and Hebrew biblical texts, personal testimonies from queer people of faith, and common-sense reasoning. My hope is that these resources will help you cultivate compassion, give you understanding about the experiences of others, and expand your view of our vast, all-encompassing God.
This is a simple, easy-to-read article from Matthew Vines. Many arguments you’ll hear are continuations of the ones presented in this article.
10 Reasons God Loves Gay Christians
This lengthy letter, written by a pastor in the United Church of Christ, explains why the UCC has taken such a position in the social justice matter of gay, lesbian, and bisexual rights.
“The gay conversion success story is a popular trope among evangelical church blogs and other conservative faith-based media. It usually takes the form of a profile of someone in a church or faith organization who has heroically overcome their sexual temptations with the help of their church community, prayer, and the divine touch of God. But scrape off the inspirational veneer of these conversion stories and discover the content for what it really is: a deceptive tactic to drive a wedge between straight Christians and the LGBTQ community.”
The Problem with Gay Conversion Anecdotes
Of course, I couldn’t share a list of resources without sharing the link to my own story. It’s a bit lengthy to read in one sitting, but it’s divided into clearly-defined chapters.
My Story of Growing Up, Coming Out, and Being Embraced by God
If, for whatever reason, deep down inside, you still believe that people can change their sexual orientation, please read this. If orientation change were possible, these people would know. Instead, after decades of “ex-gay ministry,” they have pronounced it all for nought.
9 Ex-Leaders of the Gay Conversion Therapy Movement Apologize
And, here’s another article about the ex-gay movement, because if there’s one easy thing to prove about this whole issue, it’s that sexual orientation change is not possible, with or without rigorous prayer and fasting.
The Downfall of the Ex-Gay Movement
If you believe there’s any choice in the matter for queer individuals when it comes to romantic and sexual attraction, check out this link.
Why would people ‘choose’ to be gay?
“Imagine being convinced that something healthy and sacred and life-giving was sinful. And then imagine trying to give that thing up.”
Same-sex attraction, celibacy, and Jackie Hill-Perry
There’s no such thing as being more Christian than queer, or being more queer than Christian. They aren’t enemies to each other.
“Because the more I am fully the created self that God, in God’s goodness and grace, formed me to be, the more fully I am God’s. The closer I come to my queerness, the more deeply I know that I am Beloved.”
The Lie of the Queer Christian Zero Sum Game
Another lovely piece from Laura Jean Truman.
“So Are You Straight Now?” (And Other Bi Reflections on Sex, the Church, and God)
In these videos, Kathy Baldock explains what went into the translations of the Bible that gave us the word “homosexual,” and gives a comprehensive tour of the various definitions of sexual purity that have existed in establishment conservatism’s history.
Unclobbering the Tangled Mess–Part 1
Unclobbering the Tangled Mess–Part 2
Julie Rodgers was a leader at Wheaton College, until, basically, the staff decided she was an unredeemable queer. Here is an article about that specifically, written by Rodgers for Time Magazine, and below is a speech she gave at The Reformation Project in LA.
Julie Rodgers at The Reformation Project in LA
This is a great talk for those of you who have non-affirming friends and family. Justin Lee offers encouragement and guidance on conversations you might have with loved ones.
Justin Lee of The Reformation Project: When They Won’t Listen
Matthew Vines, a leader in the gay Christian movement, gives more encouragement for those of you hoping to provide an affirming influence on non-affirming friends and family members.
Matthew Vines: Moving the Conversation Forward
This is an intensely thoughtful dialogue about “a parent’s transition and a son’s redemption.” I was able to hear Williams speak on a panel discussion at the QCF Conference in Chicago, and I send this talk to any friends who are not affirming of gender-expansive individuals.
Paula Stone Williams and her son give a TED Talk on their experience with her coming out and his transition to acceptance
A completely non-religious talk listening to the unique stories of trans people.
How to Talk (and Listen) to Transgender People
This one is just really interesting. Check it out.
What the Gay Rights Movement Learned from the Civil Rights Movement
Queerology is a warm and thoughtful podcast “about belief and being.” Ideal listening experience: while folding laundry in your bedroom at 2am.
Queerology with Mathias Roberts
I haven’t personally listened to Cheatham’s podcast on a regular basis, but I’ve attended a small workshop presented by her, and I appreciate her voice and message.
Crystal Cheatham’s Podcast, Lord Have Mercy
Kevin’s podcast is as bold and anti-establishment as Kevin themself is. Ideal listening experience: during a long road trip in the midwest or mid-south on a sunny day, but one of those sunny days where you can look up and see huge clouds with lots of interesting shapes.
A Tiny Revolution with Kevin Garcia
Blue Babies Pink will keep you on the edge of your seat from episode one. If you have trouble understanding the pain that non-affirming theology puts queer folks through, this is a must-listen. Ideal listening experience: driving home from work on a rainy or Autumn day through a busy stretch of downtown.
Blue Babies Pink (podcast and blog series)
There are so many books, I will not attempt to give you a succinct description for each. Amazon’s descriptions are satisfactory.
Undivided: Coming Out, Becoming Whole, and Living Free From Shame by Vicky Beeching
Boy Erased: A Memoir of Identify, Faith, and Family by Garrard Conley
God and the Gay Christian: The Biblical Case in Support of Same-Sex Relationships by Matthew Vines
Walking the Bridgeless Canyon: Repairing the Breach Between the Church and the LGBT Community by Kathy Baldock
Bible, Gender, Sexuality: Reforming the Church’s Debate on Same-Sex Relationships by James V. Brownson
Changing Our Mind by David P. Gushee
UnClobber: Rethinking Our Misuse of the Bible on Homosexuality by Colby Martin
Torn: Rescuing the Gospel from the Gays vs Christians Debate by Justin Lee
Modern Kinship: A Queer Guide to Christian Marriage by David & Constantino Khalaf
Transforming: The Bible and the Lives of Transgender Christians by Austin Hartke
How We Sleep at Night: A Mother’s Memoir by Sara Cunningham
Beyond a Binary God: A Theology for Trans* Allies by Tara K. Soughers