Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Queer Youth Speaking Up: Reteaching Gender and Sexuality

Check out this video I came across yesterday. It's been the repost of the day on Facebook by queers and trans folk across the interwebs. Young people in Seattle from the Put This On The Map project put together this fantastic short video. I think it's vitally important that we allow young people to speak for themselves and define their own queerness and their own spaces; as opposed to just telling them, "It Gets Better" — which these young people also critique in this video.

My favorite line: "We need to move past safe spaces ...how about liberating spaces?"



Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Exodus International Targets Young People for 2011

Despite the substantial scientific, and even theological, evidence that debunks the myth that homosexuality, bisexuality, and gender variance are not embodied ‘disorders’, ex-gay organizations, like Exodus International, have refused to close their doors and rescind their claims that LGBTQ folk are morally flawed and in need of fixing.

Instead, for 2011 Exodus International has refocused their mission and their strategic vision planning has developed into the following manifesto for the upcoming year: Simplify, Amplify, and Intensify.

In an open letter to their supporters, Alan Chambers elaborates on these concepts as they move forward to refocus their mission (simplify), refocus their target audiences (amplify), and refocus the cultural impact their message carries in the world (intensify).

As expected, I have many contentions with Chambers’ message. I find his argument within these categories to be theologically problematic. However, despite my best efforts to disagree with Chambers and Exodus, their organization continues to exist and their message continues to reach the lives of many individuals every day.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Staying connected!

This has been a long overdue post. I wanted to take some time to reintroduce the many ways that folks can get in contact with or even just stay connected with me online. There are several ways to do this:
  • Subscribe to my blog via email! This way you won't have to visit my site every day to look for new posts. Instead they'll be delivered directly to your inbox.
  • Tweet me! You can follow my Twitter account to read my latest updates, interesting thoughts about events, news, etc. I tweet very often when I'm traveling and at conferences.
  • Add me as a friend on Facebook. We all learned from The Social Network, that Facebook really is the one thing online that connects us all to one another.
  • Watch and subscribe to my videos on YouTube. Over the past couple of years I have vlogged about my coming out experience, 'ex-gay' experience, and my stint with an exorcism. Check out my channel!
  • Say hello! I invite emails and inquiries anytime. You can fill out the contact form by click on the 'Contact' tab, and those messages go directly to my inbox. 

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Queer Youth and Religious Debates Over Sexuality

Last month, Harvard Divinity School hosted, "Queer Youth and Religious Debates Over Sexuality," a panel that discussed, as the titled suggests, queer youth in the United States and their relationship to religion and the church. The panel consisted of leading voices on the subject, including Dr. Mark Jordan, a prolific author on the role of homosexuality in American religion.

The video of the event is finally available on the HDS website, but I thought I would repost the video here to facilitate further discussion on the subject of youth, religion, theology, and sexuality.

Video after the jump.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Where's Our Queer Fairy Tale?

Glee, as it does every week, has everyone talking. This past episode definitely had queer folk across the country smiling, yet crying. Feeling joy, while also feeling anguish and anger even. Last night's episode of Glee had Kurt spying on a nearby all-boy private school. While Kurt pretends to go undercover, he meets another gay teenager, and viewers finally see Kurt engaged in the beginnings of a queer romance. The all-boy Glee club performed Katy Perry's "Teenage Dream" and it is definitely the buzz of Tweets and Facebook statuses (video after the jump).

This performance left me smiling, and thinking that this is the beginning our queer fairy tale -- finally available for young queer people struggling to understand their same-sex attractions and/or gender variance. The queering of Katy Perry's song brings me back to the times in my life when I felt attractions and crushes towards other men, but 1) didn't have a language to talk about said feelings; and 2) didn't think it was acceptable to feel that way.

An Indictment Against the Violence and Harm of the 'Ex-Gay' Movement

The Soulforce Symposium on "The Truth About Faith, Love, Science, and Reparative Therapy" created a space for some of the leading voices working on 'ex-gay'-related research and work to come together in hopes exposing the violence and harm produced by the 'ex-gay' movement.

I mentioned yesterday that I had the opportunity to present a paper on the intersectionality panel, titled "Critical Witnessing and Multilingualism: Building the Counter Movement," which is available for download on the Soulforce website.

After the Symposium I took time to reflect on my experiences and to process the information and arguments I heard over the weekend. I wrote an article titled, "An Indictment Against the Violence and Harm of the 'Ex-Gay' Movement," to respond to the Symposium which is available through The Bilerico Project.

As I stress in the article and in my paper, it is crucial that we talk about the violence produced in the 'ex-gay' movement in order to build an inclusive radical counter movement. I hope my words and reflection can help inspire us to get to that point.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Soulforce Symposium: Paper on Building the Counter Movement

Over this past weekend, I had the privilege of attending the Soulforce Symposium on "The Truth About Faith, Love, Science, and Reparative Therapy" as a presenter. I was asked to present a paper on the intersectionality panel on building an inclusive movement centered on intersectional justice. The Symposium was a great time for folks to come together and have deeper conversions through multiple lenses about the violence and harm produced by the 'ex-gay' movement.

Download my paper titled "Critical Witnessing and Multilingualism: Building the Counter Movement" at from the Soulforce website.