Category Archives: images that queery

marriage for all and #morethanmarriage

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marriage for all and #morethanmarriage

In honor of the Supreme Court hearing the cases for Marriage Equality, here is my beloved and I sharing about how for us, family means for all moments I love you.  Our family is no less and no better than anyones, our family is equal.  We are #morethanmarriage and will continue to fight until all are equal truly mean all are equal…not just in terms of marriage or family structure but in all facets of our humanity and life experiences.

 

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a catholic’s witness that it gets better

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a catholic’s witness that it gets better

At a time where the Catholic Church is under much scrutiny due to scandal, abuses of power, and upholding teachings that fracture rather then unite, this short video has rekindled my faith that all will be well within the tradition that I was raised in.

The priest’s message of love and acceptance not only embraces the queer community but also warmly welcomes all those who have been outed of their communities. It also reminds me that no religious institution is perfect for as humans we are all prone to blunders, both intentional and unintentional, especially when it comes to faith. The priest’s testimony reflects that the Spirit is moving in the Catholic Church and the wider religious world with an inspiring message that church is more than an institution’s hierarchy or leadership—church is the people, all of the people, who together form an interconnected web with G-d at the center holding us together.

The loss of the priest’s young friend to suicide is a tragedy that needs to end. Too many lives have been lost due to communal practices of marginalization and dehumanization of those of us who live and love beyond the norm. His death impacts the entire web, though things can be repaired it will not be the same. Together we must honor his life by making sure that all those on the fringes truly know that they are loved and celebrated for who they are. Things are getting better, little by little. Together as a web of people we must do all we can to make it better now!!!

born this way, oh yeah!

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born this way, oh yeah!

In a world where church, society, politics, schools and media try to limit our sense of self by imposing boxes and labels on us, Glee and Lady Gaga are refreshing reminders of the importance of self-expression, together forming a powerful witness and counter-narrative that encourage us to embrace all of who we are and to wear our unique identities with pride and gusto. Though the Glee characters focus in on just one part of their identities in this clip, I challenge us to embrace all parts of ourselves, to integrate our many identities: sexual orientation, gender identity, race/ethnicity, mental health, body type, socio-economic status – everything that makes us us, a human mosaic of goods and bloopers that are beautiful and worthy of being celebrated. May we all embrace with glee our inner gaga so you “don’t hide yourself in regret, just love yourself and you’re set. I’m on the right track baby, I was born this way.”

featured image found at:  http://imagequotes.tumblr.com/page/372

whats this facebook about?

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whats this facebook about?

Facebook has truly been an amazing tool and resource for people to carve out a space for themselves to connect with others: family, friends, relatives twice removed, new people, fellow supporters of a cause, fellow supporters against a cause, etc. With all of the likes, sharing, poking, videos, tags, comments and images, I wonder if all our status updates are truly accomplishing what this Facebook advertisment claims Facebook is meant to do: connect us. I am not against Facebook as I myself am an active member and I recognize its many benefits. But I wonder if it actually strengthens our ability to relate intimately with others. Part of building strong relationships consists of being courageous enough to be extremely vulnerable and show our true selves to one another, not just the image we want to project to the world. It is this practice of revealing our true selves that creates strong connections with others, ourselves, and the divine.  I don’t want to discourage you from using Facebook but rather, to help you see it for what it is, a social networking tool, which cannot replace the real effort and courage required to forge real connections.

ain’t i a person

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ain’t i a person

For a few days now the words of Sojourner Truth’s “Ain’t I a woman”, specifically as proclaimed by Alfre Woodard, have been resonating in my heart and mind (words shared by Truth herself here in my new home of Ohio). Sojourner Truth…radical freedom fighter who fought for both gender and racial equality—she was a voice in the wilderness that demanded that all people be respected, affirmed, and treated as people.

Sojourner Truth…woman, mother, slave, prophet, abolitionist, activist, preacher…a person.

At a time where her humanity was questioned and doubted, her rant is a declaration of the remembering and re-membering of her worth, chutzpah, and personhood…a challenge for all of us to help make the world right side up again—a transformation sparked by solidarity and community. Truth’s spirit is echoed in Alice Walker’s Celie in “The Color Purple”… “I may be poor, I may be black, I may even be ugly…but dear G-d, I’m here.”

In the face of the hurtful and marginalizing messages we get from society of unrealistic and inhuman expectations regarding our bodies and identities….in spite of the dehumanizing messages we give ourselves of not being good enough…may today and always be opportunities to claim and reclaim and re-re-claim Truth’s and Celie’s passion… “ain’t I a woman…ain’t I a person”…I’m here, I’m here, I’M HERE! Amen, que asi sea.

let it go

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let it go

For many of us who live and love beyond society’s norms, Frozen’s “Let it Go” has become an anthem and banner of embracing who we are–both the warm fuzzies as well as the cold pricklies. 

Many of us who identify as lgbt or as queer have truly resonated with the song’s theme of letting go; however, I believe that anyone who has been othered can relate to Elsa’s desire to be free of the shackles that limit and confine the fullness of being created in the image, love, and sound of G-d.   We’ve all had our share of moments of choosing or being forced to conform, whole chapters of our lives in which  “Don’t let them in, don’t let them see, Be the good girl you always have to be, Conceal, don’t feel, don’t let them know” seems to be written on every page (sometimes different sizes, different fonts, different colors, but the same message of denying who we are).  We’ve bottled up our feelings, repressed our curiosities, pushed away insights into our wholeness.  We’ve isolated ourselves, our bodies, our minds, our hearts, our spirits in order to be accepted, to pass, and to half-hazardly belong.  We’ve convinced ourselves that if we show others who we really are, we will be rejected, cast out, and marginalized.  By denying who we are, we find it safer (despite it being more painful) to deal with our own interior shatteredness and rejection, then face the possibility of communal rejection.  We retreat to our closets by wearing the mask of lifeless but “safe” conformity.

But like our Disney heroine, we must learn to embrace the storm within, to claim our power, and live into “letting-go-ness.”  Being labeled different has not always been easy for me but dealing with the sticks and stones is much easier than dealing with words that profoundly hurt.  I’ve come to realize that if we harness our inner storms, we spark rainbows that have led me to embrace and be embraced by a new familia and kindom–a kindom where this queen’s coldness and warmth is not seen as threats to be squashed but rather differences that birth freedoms to be celebrated.

For some of us, letting go means radically moving away from communities that have hurt us…for others it is revolutionizing and resisting systems of oppression.  For me, letting go is living each day recognizing that the “past is in the past” (we don’t forget, we just don’t dwell), becoming one with our winds and skies and dawns, truly believing at our core that the cold is not a bother or sinful or inhuman…of not letting fears control us.  Living into “letting-go-ness” is not easy, its a journey of taking chances, getting messy, committing bloopers…its a happier place where one sleeps better, is able to use the bathroom much smoother, where we are able to laugh, and where we can “test the limits and break through [walls of black/white into color], No right, no wrong, no rules for me, I’m free.”

I have not been able to construct my own crystal palace like Elsa, but I am getting there…I am a work in progress.  I am learning moment to moment to strive to let it go…the coerced expectations, the insecurities and self doubts, the false beliefs that I am somehow less then or not good enough.  I pray that each of us is able to embody whole-heartedly and soulfully that we are free, we will “stand” and “stay” facing (not perfectly but humanly) “the light of day”, living and thriving through the storms, actively being in empowering solidarity with others (and with ourselves!), not caring what others say, slamming the doors of our closets (behind us), so that we all can be free…Amen.

featured image from:  http://www.pinterest.com/pin/205758276699918665/

spiritually franciscan and claire-ian en la lucha

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spiritually franciscan and claire-ian en la lucha

Musings pondered from a painting of st francis

 

Pax et bonum…Peace and goodness.

Advocate and lover of Brother sun, Sister moon…of earth that is mother and father to all.

Instrument of peace.

“Rebuild MY church.”

A romanticized stripper of earthly, familial, societal, and communal possessions.

Server to those most in need…

Embracer of those marked by leprosy of mind, body, and spirit.

One who often misunderstands GOD’s calling.

A prayer life so passionate, intimate, lively, and sensuous…

it creates a divine sanctuary that is ablaze with light, heat, love, and presence.

A contemplative in action who preached the gospel using words when necessary…

who was not afraid of taking chances and embracing the messiness of life.

A radical for Jesus, a radical with Jesus, a radical because of Jesus.

 

This is not only the life of Francis of Assisi…the earth-respecting, peace-making, grungy lover of life.

But also the lives of those reflected in the glass of his painting.

We are all called and challenged, invited and inspired

to live, love, and laugh with GOD and for GOD in this crazy, blessedly screwed up world.

 

Like Francis, it is a calling to discipleship that is holy and rambunctious…

In which one is a voice for the voiceless (the transgender youth, the male rape victim, the immigrant).

A home for the outcast (the person with HIV, the drug addict, the bankrupt millionaire).

A rebel who shakes things up in church with prophetic words and action

by preaching Jesus and not a sanitized, politically correct, fluffy, lovie-dovie hippie.

 

While pondering GOD’s fool, I also wonder about Claire of Assisi.

Where is she?

Where is her painting?

The contemplative diva with chutzpah,

a saint in her own right…

advisor to popes…a woman of prayer…

a leader who struggled with her family who did not accept her vocation,

often in the shadow by her hippie, grungy, earth loving brother in the faith.

Though history has neglected her at times,

Her embodiment of eucharist lives on in both church and world today…

a reminder that church and “body of Christ” is not limited by church walls

but thrives in the world.

 

Francis and Claire,

Prophets and instruments of a radical and inclusive peace

that inspires the ongoing call to repair and rebuild church.

It is a life that praises GOD with

all the words, prayers, “umph”, actions, and chutzpah one can muster.

Are we ready to carry the burden, privilege, craziness, joy of being GOD’s fool?

featured image by John August Swanson, from http://www.johnaugustswanson.com/default.cfm/PID=1.2.12