Conforming Toward Normalcy

Even though for many there is no longer a need to conform to conservative or Christian values, the felt needs to conform towards normalcy are no less intense. Just look to the popular MTV show Catfish. This docudrama details the all-too-common scenario of fake personalities online engaging in emotionally invested relationships that also happen online. The hook of Catfish is that the hosts bring both parties in the online relationship together, in person, for the first time. To no one’s surprise other than one of… Read more

Living in the Tension this Monday (4/20)

  At this Monday’s Living in the Tension gathering, we’ll be talking about gender, how we experience it and express it. As a jumping off point, we’ll listen to a 15 minute audio clip from This American Life of an interview with a man who took high doses of testosterone, and how it changed the way he interacted with the world. And as always, we will meet at 7 pm at 5255 N Ashland Ave in Room 124. Also, for anyone… Read more

“Am I a Bad Christian for Loving My LGBTQ Child?”

Finally they voiced the deeper question that drove all their worries, “Are we wrong if we unconditionally love and support our son?” I was caught off-guard and almost fell out of my chair. Read more

Trans Invisibility: An Interview With Our Friend Eli

How often do we really recognize full diversity of experience, expression and identity encompassed by the acronym LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender– and increasingly Queer: LGBTQ)? When we refer to this community as it is some kind of monolith, who gets ignored? I’m joined today on the blog by my friend Eli, who is trans, to talk about the T in LGBT. He’ll be the first to tell you that he doesn’t speak for the entire trans community, and that his experience is innately unique. But like any experience, it’s valid. And I imagine it will resonate with many others, in and outside the trans community, who have been made to feel invisible. Read more

Such a Bridge Is Possible

“When trapped in a power-based system where the dominant entity dictates cultural normalcy, anything outside the traditional realm of what is commonly understood as acceptable is automatically viewed by those in charge as sketchy and unreliable. It is almost as if it is their job as “protectors of the way things are” to undermine any new work and cut off any potential uprising against their beloved system of selected power and chosen systemic oppression. Many of these gatekeepers are quick to blame, accuse, and lie… Read more

Living in the Tension This Monday (4/6)

  At this Monday’s Living in the Tension gathering, we’ll be discussing the religious freedom law recently passed in Indiana and Arkansas, described by many as promoting discrimination against LGBTQ individuals. We’ll be discussing what constructive conversation looks like on this particular issue, considering many of us have strong family and social ties to our neighboring state. As always, we will meet at 7 pm at 5255 N Ashland Ave in Room 124. Also, for anyone who’s interested, we meet for dinner beforehand… Read more

Impact Trumps Power

“Current culture war ideology says with correctness comes power. Add on to that the fact that many in today’s power-based culture believe that power is the key factor which influences the masses. However, something more important trumps power: impact. Having power is one thing. Having the ability to earn high levels of buy-in by the masses who then turn around and tangibly work to influence change within a particular setting or people group is a more important role than the… Read more

Living in the Tension This Monday (3/23)

Hope you can make it out this Monday to our next Living in the Tension gathering! We’ll be discussing the experience of coming out of the closet: whether it’s alienating or liberating (or both),  and whether it’s similar to being vulnerable about other areas of one’s life. As always, we will meet at 7 pm at 5255 N Ashland Ave in Room 124. Also, for anyone who’s interested, we meet for dinner beforehand at 5:15 pm at Lady Gregory’s on… Read more

On Fidelity

The pressure to convince the other of your correctness fosters defensiveness. Commitment to the long view of sustained in-person interaction between strongly opposed worldviews is never an easy process. Yet, sustainable connections almost always rearrange false assumptions. This does not mean all will agree. It does mean that a new awakening of deeper levels of engagement is possible. — Andrew Marin, Our Last Option, Chapter 5 Read more

Identity Theft

Too often in our conversations surrounding faith, gender and sexuality, we hear statements that project one’s own limited understanding and experiences onto the other. Unlike the insight of an intimately acquainted friend, these are unsolicited statements come from a place of one’s own beliefs about a given issue, not their knowledge of you as an individual. Read more

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