Repairing Our Therapy

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A few months ago I sat across the table from a guy whose eyes searched the room and voice broke when he asked me one of the most heartbreaking questions I’ve ever heard: “How do I become straight?” Two years into my work here at The Marin Foundation, this was the first time I had heard that question pointe blank. Though the pain in his eyes was all too familiar. [Read more...]

Empathy Can Backfire

Misguided Empathy

Empathy restores humanity.

But this blog post isn’t about the merits of empathy.

Empathy can backfire. It can have the unintended, reverse effect of being unhelpful, disconnecting and dehumanizing. This is misguided empathy [Read more...]

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the Urgency of Opposing Inequality

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The following post is by Jason Bilbrey, our Director of Pastoral Care here at The Marin Foundation.  You can read more from Jason at his blog,www.jasonbilbrey.com or follow him on Twitter at @JasonBilbrey. “I must confess I am not afraid of the word ‘tension.’ I have earnestly opposed violent tension, but there is a type of [Read More...]

Christmas is the Perfect Time to Protest. No, Really.

If there’s one theme that unites these two traditions — the plate-of-cookies-for-santa narrative and the candle-light-Christmas-Eve-service narrative — it’s comfort. The warmth of firelight. The familiarity of ritual. The excitement of anticipation. It’s all very comforting.

Yesterday, the church across the street from where we live did something very uncomfortable and untraditional. They filed out the doors and into the street chanting, “Hands up — Don’t shoot!” They held signs saying, “Black lives matter to God and us,” and “We can’t breathe,” and “Do Justice, love mercy and walk humbly with your God.” They filled the intersection in front of my building and shut down traffic (with the help of law enforcement officers, it should be added). [Read more...]

The “Closet” is OK, But Here’s an Alternate Floorplan-Based Metaphor for Coming Out

The term “coming out” is an interesting phrase (with a long and fascinating history that you can find out about here). The imagery associated with it is one of emerging from a closet (a place of hiding) into a room (a shared space). It’s moving from a private space to a public one. It implies a decisive moment for an LGBTQ person. One minute their sexual orientation or gender identity is a secret, and the next it isn’t. [Read more...]

Why My Wife Came Out

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Last year at about this time, I wrote about when my wife came out to me as bisexual. It was an exposé of my own baggage (of which there was a lot) as well as a tribute to her patience and generosity (of which there was more).

Amid the flood of response, I received many different iterations of the same question: “Why? Why did your wife feel the need to come out at all?” [Read more...]

Labels

Labels are tricky. On the one hand, they can be incredibly useful as tool for self-definition and community-affiliation. This was my wife’s attitude toward the word “bisexual.” Finally, she had a label that helped make sense of her experience and connect her to a community of like individuals.
On the other hand, labels can be oppressive. My wife and I tend to feel this way about the term “mixed-orientation couple” or “mixed-orientation marriage.” Technically, my wife and I fit that description; she’s bi and I’m straight. But the term seems to imply a conflict of sexual orientations that is absent in our relationship. So it’s not a particularly useful label for us. [Read more...]

Cultural Competency Vs. Cultural Humility

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The first approach is to say nothing. It’s hard to offend if you don’t open your mouth. There are any number of proverbs about “the fool” defending this position. It’s wise. However, it’s not really sustainable in the long run. The conversation around gender and sexuality has become one of the the defining issues facing the church today. As I wrote last week, moderate voices are needed.
The second approach is to equip oneself with the right vocabulary and the right set of expectations. It’s hard to offend if you don’t say anything offensive. Or at least in theory. In practice, these conversations can be very difficult to navigate, as we’ll see. But this approach is known as cultural competency.
There’s a third approach, of course. It’s cultural humility. [Read more...]

“What If They Think I’m Gay?” And Other Fears that Keep People from Engaging

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“Be Bold.” This is the declaration splashed across our website and facebook page. It’s The Marin Foundation’s motto, although it’s not one that I reflect on often. [Read more...]

4 Things I’ve Learned from Matthew Vines and Julie Rodgers

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The following post is by Jason Bilbrey, our Director of Pastoral Care here at The Marin Foundation.  You can read more from Jason at his blog, www.jasonbilbrey.com or follow him on Twitter at @JasonBilbrey.  Does the Bible support or prohibit same-sex relationships? This question behind a three-part series, “The Bible and Homosexuality,” that we’ve put on as [Read More...]

Mixed-Orientation Marriages

The following post is by Jason Bilbrey, our Director of Pastoral Care here at The Marin Foundation.  You can read more from Jason at his blog, www.jasonbilbrey.com or follow him on Twitter at @JasonBilbrey.  When my wife came out to me as bisexual two-and-a-half years ago, I was immediately overcome with a sinking feeling that this information [Read More...]

The Bible’s Answer to the Problem of Sexism (Part 2)

  The following post is by Jason Bilbrey, our Director of Pastoral Care here at The Marin Foundation.  You can read more from Jason at his blog, www.jasonbilbrey.com or follow him on Twitter at @JasonBilbrey.  In my last post, I talked about sexism as the possession of women. It’s an attitude of gender relations that dates back [Read More...]

My Reluctant Journey Toward “Reverend”

The following post is by Jason Bilbrey, our Director of Pastoral Care here at The Marin Foundation.  You can read more from Jason at his blog, www.jasonbilbrey.com or follow him on Twitter at @JasonBilbrey.  I’ve been called “reverend” more than a few times in the last few years. Doing pastoral care for The Marin Foundation, I’m engaged [Read More...]

Individuals Make for Horrible Icons

The following post is by Jason Bilbrey, our Director of Pastoral Care here at The Marin Foundation.  You can read more from Jason at his blog, www.jasonbilbrey.com or follow him on Twitter at @JasonBilbrey.  Last Monday at our biweekly Living in the Tension gathering, one of my friends explained the experience of being a gay Christian like [Read More...]


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