My name is Adele and i blog at Existential Punk. i have been a part of the Emergent conversation both in the UK and the USA for the past 10 or so years. After years of white-knuckling and repressing my sexuality through a Religious Right conservatism, charismatic, fundamentalist Christianity that lived by literal interpretations of the Bible in dogmatic ways, Reparative Therapy and ex-gay ministries, where the mantra became, “Pray Away the Gay”, and years of depression and suicidal tendencies, i FINALLY came to terms with my sexuality and G-D. Through a very long journey with many peaks and valleys, i decided, through much counsel and prayer that reconciling my same-sex attractions and my Christian faith was a reality where i could exist.
Here is a brief summary of my journey:
Twenty years ago this month I had a ‘born-again’ experience at a charismatic church where an American missionary to S. Africa was speaking. Hell was one of the topics being preached, so at the end of the evening I went forward for the altar call to ‘receive’ Jesus into my heart. I did this because I was afraid of going to hell. Thus, I was purchasing my ‘fire insurance’. I attended Pat Robertson’s graduate school in Virginia Beach, Regent University, to obtain an M.Div so I could be a youth pastor. I began to seriously look at my life-long struggle of same-sex attractions. The school and my therapist along with my charismatic church back home always communicated that being gay was a sin, a choice, and those who actively pursue it will go to hell. I was shell-shocked and confused. I attempted suicide and spent a month at two different times in a psychiatric hospital. I even did reparative therapy and attended ex-gay ministries to pray away the gay, which never worked. In 1997 I moved to Los Angeles and began living a double life as a Christian and as a gay woman. I began to read Brian McLaren and found him writing things I had felt inside but was very afraid to express outwardly to anyone. In 2002 I went to Northern Ireland to do a DTS with YWAM. I met the great Peter Rollins and we developed a great friendship. His teachings and writings on postmodernism and Christianity radically shaped how I viewed my faith. I could no longer hang onto certainty with regards to interpreting scripture. There were more important things in kingdom living than where we go after we pass from this world to the next, like poverty, AIDS, the environment, etc. About 2.5 years ago I FINALLY came to terms with my sexuality. I found peace with myself and with God. Coming out was fairly painless with the exception of a few people who still think I am in sin and going to hell. I no longer hold this view and I am ok if people think that about me. I hate labels as they are so limiting, but are sometimes a necessary evil. After being a right wing Republican most of my voting life, I now consider myself an independent that leans more liberal than moderate.
Queermergent was created today in order to create a safe space for those Christ-followers who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersexed, Questioning, and Queer to partake in mature discussions regarding the LGBTQ community of faith within a 21st Century, postmodern, emergent/emerging church context. Queermergent is also a space for those that are not from the LGBTQ community but desire to understand us more, ask questions, and contribute to the queer conversation in a life-affirming way. As we journey along together we will hopefully be changed for the better. Thanks be to G-D!