allyship, essays, faith, guest post, queer

Raising Affirming Kids When You Weren’t Raised That Way

I’m honored to introduce you to my friend and former coworker Bekah McNeel. Bekah is an author, journalist, and podcaster (check out our episode together here!) who works tirelessly for those on the margins to have their voices heard and to bring about real change through the power of storytelling. I asked her if she would be willing to share with us her perspective on raising kids in affirming theology and modeling allyship as a parent. Read her wisdom here and then read her book, Bringing Up Kids When Church Lets You Down: A Guide for Parents Questioning Their Faith, which covers many more topics relevant to this community. 


By Bekah McNeel 

I knew before I had kids that we would be an affirming family. My own childhood in the Presbyterian Church (PCA) had not made room for queer family, friends, and neighbors, but my heart always had. Dutiful, obedient, and fearful, I regurgitated the arguments when pressed, but in my heart, I always felt a tug, a tinge of sadness, a little gap growing between the dogma I’d accepted, and what I knew love required.

Even before I reconciled the law and the Spirit in myself, I knew I would not be able to put my children in the same position—to make them choose between loving others and defending doctrine or social positions. It wasn’t just the LGBTQIA community I wanted them to freely love, but people of color and people of different faiths. In big and little ways, I’d heard the Bible weaponized against people who were not like me, if not against their personhood, at least against their social well-being. 

My journey toward affirmation—full-throated, unequivocal affirmation—is also the story of how I am raising affirming kids. I document that journey more broadly in my book, Bringing Up Kids When Church Lets You Down (Eerdmans, 2022), but in this post, I wanted to get more specific about the stepping stones that have carried my children and me forward on the issue of gender and sexuality in particular. I’m not comfortable saying this is THE way to do it, or the way YOU should do it, because how we raise kids and manage our own deconstruction/affirmation depends on the cards in the hand we were dealt, spiritually speaking. 

These stepping stones have helped me as I navigate the streams of parenthood and deconstructing a queerphobic religious tradition. They do not form a linear step-by-step pathway from nonaffirming to affirming. Like rocks in the river, my family hops back and forth between them when new dimensions of sexuality and gender challenge us, and we learn what it means to be more affirming, more loving. The stepping stones are always there to revisit when old fears and “whatabouts” pop up, as they often do for those whose formative spiritual experience was stringently nonaffirming.

I hope these stepping stones provide some help, a place to land for a moment, for others navigating the stream. 

Stepping Stone One: Relationships

No matter how affirming we become, the most meaningful stepping stone will always be relationships with people who are not like us. When I first tried to deal with the gap between love and dogma—my early 20s—my motivation was to keep my queer friends and family in my life and welcome more relationships with Christians and non-Christians. 

By “keep in my life” I do not mean that I refrained from formally breaking a relationship once a friend had come out, as though my friendship was a status that I alone could give or revoke. Intimacy is a two-way street, and for someone to want to stay in my life in a meaningful way, I have to treat them how they want to be treated. “Keeping in my life” meant continuing to offer a safe, loving, reciprocal relationship. Engaging their stories and dilemmas and longings with curiosity and solidarity. If I got weird and theologically rigid every time my cousin wanted to talk about a boyfriend, he would feel alienated, and soon would not want to share life. 

I have had to repent of the times in my early 20s when I was compelled by my ministry job to “speak truth”—usually to younger women in the ministry. I’d bought the lie that to love them meant to guide them back to orthodoxy. It makes me sad to remember those conversations, because I know they must have felt like rejection. Even in the moment, my heart would ache not over “their sin” but over the pain I myself was inflicting. I grieve the fact that I did it anyway.

But outside the ministry job, in places where people weren’t asking me to reconcile my beliefs and my relationships, things were changing quickly.

At 26, I married someone who worked in a normal office, not a church, and realized how ensconced I had been in my homophobic community and how little room that had made in my life for anything but straight people. Choosing schools, neighborhoods, and activities in the general population—places not defined by homophobia and hell-avoidance—increased the religious, racial, and sexual diversity of our friend group and continued to shine light into the darkness of the breach between love and doctrine. We continue to pursue that kind of diverse, open community with our kids, welcoming people whose beliefs and families look different from ours, and let our love for those people lead us to the next stepping stone.

Stepping Stone Two: Spirit

As a child and young adult, I’d been taught that belief was the most important thing, the criteria by which I would be judged. But given how mysterious and ironic Jesus often was, and seeing how corrupted my beliefs had been by cultural, social, and political positions, I found my church’s version of orthodoxy harder and harder to defend, especially when it showed up in the world like exclusion and cruelty. It felt like pouring water on the Spirit—the Spirit that was celebrating with those who celebrated, weeping with those who wept. I felt joy and harmony when I would follow the Spirit’s expansive internal guidance to weddings, voting, protest, and vocal support for LGBTQIA rights. As Cornel West said, “Justice is what love looks like in public.” 

If pressed throughout my late 20s and early 30s, I could not say that my position was biblical or orthodox, though I was reading and exploring affirming theology. But the fact that I was choosing to own and live affirmation anyway was important. It placed love in the lead, instead of subjecting it to arguments and intellectual debate. It’s really important to be clear on this: it is not the same as being “accepting but not affirming.” It was the decision to be affirming without waiting for the knots tied by my church upbringing to fully untangle. It was a deeper decision to stop putting boundaries around love, and to walk away from the trash definition of love that still allows the church to exile queer people and people who disagree with it. This would end up reshaping my entire theology, but at the time it just freed me to love my queer friends and family publicly without caveat or distortion.

We do this with our kids as well, ask first “what does love look like?” They know sometimes it means protest, sometimes it means celebration, sometimes it means standing up for others. They don’t need us to defend this biblically, because they have never known a Christianity that would not affirm queer identity. But to do a good job of advocating and affirming with those who do believe God is opposed, it helps to have words to explain, which nudges me to another stepping stone.

Stepping Stone Three: Words 

To fully love my friends and family, I would have to find the words for an affirming theology, because the people trying to deny their rights, their healthcare, and their inclusion in the family of God like to argue. 

I also want to give my kids some good doctrine, something to lean on when they encounter the still-prevalent homophobia of our society. They’ll have good examples and data from their life, but I want them to have a faith that aligns with that.

So I did the work. I started by trying to argue the few “clobber verses” used by Christians to exclude queer identity and love from the family of God. It can totally be done—plenty of biblical scholars have done it. But for me, the clobber verses weren’t my only collision with biblical inerrancy, and the final untethering of my mind, the unwinding of those knots tied so tightly in childhood, would not come until I had reached a different understanding of how Scripture actually works, what the Bible actually is, and the role of the Holy Spirit in applying ancient words to modern times. 

I’m more comfortable saying, now, that the writers of Scripture were doing their best to understand God and to live as God’s people. They were telling stories and catching glimpses that are helpful to us today as we do the same. But they didn’t always go as big and inclusive with God’s kingdom or God’s values as they would in the future (Hello, Gentiles! Hello, women! Goodbye, slavery!). I understand the role of canonization better, what is lost in the institutionalization of religion. 

So when I am talking to myself, that part of me that still brings up old arguments; this is the doctrine we discuss. When I talk to either “concerned” evangelicals in my life or to my own kids, I don’t have the burden of biblical inerrancy hanging over my head. With those who want to argue, this quickly changes the debate—and frankly, makes them more concerned for my soul than my social positions. With my kids, it opens up more conversation, another stepping stone, one specific to raising kids. While the other stepping stones help me deal with my internal work, and then my public-facing affirmation, the fourth stepping stone is specific to the work of formation, something parents are called to do with their children. 

Stepping Stone Four: Conversations

When I was a kid, anything other than cisgender, heterosexual identity was sinful. Simple. No discussion necessary. But when you do away with that simplistic write-off, things get more complicated. We have to help our kids work out their own identity, understand the world they live in, and process the differences between people as something that is not “good vs. bad” but beautifully complex. 

Some have argued that if they grow up not hearing anything bad about queer identity, then kids will be automatically affirming, and they won’t struggle to come out themselves if they are queer. I think we have to be explicit, because the world is explicit. I think kids process differences in not-always-prosocial ways and they need guidance. But that doesn’t mean they need “the talk.” I think it means lots of little conversations in the context of our hops back and forth between the other stepping stones: relationships, Spirit, and words. 

At dinner one evening, my cousin and his husband welcomed questions from my kids about how a family worked with two dads. There was no question of whether it was okay, but there were practical questions. Was it possible to have babies? How did they know whose shoes were whose? My cousins, who have been together for decades, consented to answer these questions in the genuinely curious spirit they were asked and were gracious when my kids acted like kids. We coached them as well, helping them understand the difference between curiosity and judgment. It was uncomfortable, but there was love there to get us through.

 When our friend came out as nonbinary, we talked to our kids about the mechanics of their identity, the pronouns, the ways gender might be expressed. We did this before our friend joined us on a family vacation, knowing that it was most loving if we did the explaining ahead of time. It was confusing at first for the kids. But since we have taught God as neither male nor female, there was no question of right and wrong. Just adjustments.

Learning these things in the context of relationships—not as abstract “some people”—has been helpful, because they are learning more about people they already love. We also discuss the queer characters in books and movies and ensure that we are doing our part at home to answer questions that could be hurtful or uncomfortable for the people in our lives. We also try to be wise when our kids need to understand that not everyone loves the LGBTQIA community. If they don’t understand this, they will not be able to be in true solidarity with people whose rights are still very much contested. (We live in Texas, so I mean, like REALLY contested.) 

But there’s a difference between bringing our kids into a doctrinal debate—to deconstruct something that was never constructed for them in the first place—and preparing them to advocate for love in their unjust world. 

When I’m talking to my kids about the rainbow flag in our neighbor’s yard, I’m really not concerned with what arsenokoitai means. We talk about all the people we know and love who are represented by that flag. But when my daughter wanted to wear a “free sister hugs” shirt with a rainbow flag on it to a Christian event, I went ahead and told her that there would be people there who might ask her questions or challenge her. I let her decide if she wanted to take on the advocacy that day and offered to help her figure out what she would say in response, starting with love. 


Thanks, Bekah! More resources for parents can be found on my Queer Christian resources list.

Mental health, neurodivergence, Poetry

life preserver

do you ever dream about them

the teachers, the doctors, the counselors

the psych professor who saw a lot of promise in you

the professionals who didn’t see it

do you ever shout at them in your sleep

i was just a kid

and you were the expert on the tower

with training and power

who was supposed to notice

that i was drowning

asexuality, Poetry

Ace Bewareness Week

This is a silly little poem about Twitter, but I really do hope we can recapture the joy and belonging and welcome this Ace Awareness Week in the midst of all the creepy, scary, and ghoulish opinions on the internet. Hope you find all treats and no tricks this year!

Smell it approaching.

It’s coming up fast,

haunting our Pride with dread.

The bad takes change colors

hot as the spices in your cup.

The ringing cheer in the air

from the stadium chants,

“Conform, conform conform.”

The ignorant blue checks moan

with laments they have no knowledge of.

The biting wind of aphobia

swirls the rotting leaves. 

It’s that time of year again!

Ace awareness week is coming.

asexuality, queer, resources

Ace and allo partnerships

Recently, I was asked about ace and allo marriages, and I didn’t have any resources about marriage/partnership and asexuality, especially when one of those partners is allo. In fact, there really aren’t many resources like this out there in general. I’ve never been in a partnership like this as an adult, so I don’t have any experience in this area to draw from. However, aces and their allo partners on Twitter were eager to help and share what they have learned. We all hope these stories and links can strengthen ace/allo marriages and long-term committed partnerships of all kinds. 

My thanks to M.J. Weissenberger, Mitchell Atencio, Grey, Loxley Blaine, Russ Walker, Case, Cody Daigle-Orians, Kate Wood, our anonymous friends, and everyone who replied to my tweet here.

Many mentioned setting boundaries, trying nontraditional things that work for you (separate beds or bedrooms, for example), honest communication, being willing to compromise when you can but be honest when you can’t, and learning more about various ace labels and experiences to have clearer language to communicate your needs and desires. While therapy in general is a good fit for this kind of relationship issue, many therapists are not ace-informed, especially marriage and relationship therapists, so be careful going in to choose someone who understands your situation and won’t pressure you into sex or relationship structures that don’t work for you. For example, some ace/allo partners found polyamory was a good fit and enjoy multiple relationships, but others didn’t and resented how it was assumed or presented as the “solution” to fix their relationship. Some of these answers may work for you and some won’t. They are not blanket solutions, simply lived experiences of those in these partnerships.

Here’s more of what aces and allos in relationships with aces had to say:

Continue reading “Ace and allo partnerships”
disability, essays, neurodivergence

It is for freedom we have been set free

Content warning for child abuse story. Start at 3:24 if this is a trigger for you

First, it is a great feeling to be able to understand and process every word from a speaker without needing the captions. That almost never happens. I feel like I actually processed every word!

Aside from speaking skills, this was so healing. And not only as someone with APD but the heart behind it holds several jewels I think we all need to learn from. Dr. Alexander approaches her work in a way that feels more like ministry than many “ministers” we hear about online.

“I know what it feels like … to be imprisoned, but I also know how it feels to be set free.”

This is the crux of it, right from the start. Those of us deconstructing or evolving or just plain leaving conservative and evangelical church traditions know that feeling of being “set aside and dismissed.” Queer people who have lived in the closet know the feeling of being restrained inside that metaphor, of being not only hidden but trapped. Neurodivergent and mentally ill and disabled people know this prison that is their own mind and body. So many of us who resonate with a name like “Invisible Cake Society” have had to work through our traumas while it felt like no one could perceive us and no one would believe us.

Until we are seen and refuse to be silenced. Until we come out, whether in a quiet, subtle way or an explosion of colors. Until we learn more and advocate for ourselves. Until we hear our therapists and doctors say, “Look how far you’ve come.” That doesn’t always mean physical healing or acceptance of others or a thriving faith or that life is smooth sailing. But at some point we take a step, usually with help from those who have gone before, and walk into freedom out of that system or organization or way of thinking or relationship. Out of places of (or internalized) ableism and queerphobia and trying to pray it all away or hustle our way around it. Out of the cage.

That step is the first part of our story. We know how it feels to be set free. But our freedom isn’t just for us.

“I have made the conscious decision to believe every client who tells me they are struggling.”

So many of us need this from our leaders, our friends, our family. And now, being on the journey of learning freedom, we can offer that empathy to others. We can believe them when they say they are grieving instead of comparing suffering. We can listen instead of ranking and gatekeeping identity. We can learn before dismissing and ask the deeper questions.

Sarah Bessey and Jeff Chu have been talking about this a lot for The Evolving Faith Podcast this season. Your healing is not just for you. Your journey into the wilderness is not a solo trip forever. You may feel alone at the start, but there have been many before and many alongside and many will follow. What will you do with the gifts you have been given? Who has been hurt by the systems you were invested in, and where do you invest now? What will you do with the vulnerable stories shared and the wisdom you have learned through hard experience and the responsibility to do better now that you know better? We can’t answer these like homework questions. They too are lifelong companions we bring with us.

You are good,” and we are so lucky to have you.

This is our work. To speak imago Dei, to make sure that we have treated everyone with respect and value and dignity, to continue the word of goodness to the next generation and to our neighbors who have been traumatized too. Who have been marginalized too. Who have been desperate to escape. Who have been given the diagnosis with condescension and no options. Who have been told to change themselves to belong. Who have been trapped in need of freedom.

The freedom we have felt.

As Kate Bowler says, “You are not the bad thing.”

You are good, you are believed, you are seen, and you are free.

disability, Mental health, Poetry

The Unnamed.

Photo by SHVETS production on Pexels.com

This is a prayer for the mystery case

The pain with no clear cause
The symptoms that don’t match
The lab test that comes back clear

The numbers say you’re fit as a fiddle
So why is your body screaming
As you beg the white coats to care

This is a prayer for the ones unsure
If they deserve to belong here
Disabled. As if it’s a title you earn

This is for the ones who have a hard time
defending themselves against the “just”s
Because maybe this one will be right

And it’s less hope and more desperation
As you swipe your card and try it.
You’re running out of time

You’re running out of your mind
Trying to figure out how to survive
In a new normal each day

And when people ask, you say sure!
Because it still doesn’t occur to you
You’ll be gritting your teeth the day of the event.

But you don’t have a name yet
Or ever. Maybe. Maybe you won’t know
What to tell people when you say sorry

And they don’t understand fully
Because yesterday you seemed fine
And it’s hard to describe what you feel

The symptom list inconclusive
Is hard to describe without
A name for what’s within

This is a prayer for our minds and hearts
and stomachs as they churn
with grief and anxiety and fear

For the choices we make with no guidance
For the questions with no answers
For the mystery that leaves us without

Community. Support. Resources. Research. Plans. Treatment. Hope.

I pray you find a doctor with undying curiosity
I pray you find empathy in a nurse’s needle
I pray you find a treatment that works

I pray your insurance covers you with no fuss
Like a blanket on a soft couch
With all you need within reach.

I pray you hang on to tomorrow
Breathe in and out, do what you can,
And in time you find a name.

essays, faith

Voice of the box

Last week when I wrote here about Barbara Brown Taylor’s EF podcast episode, I had no idea that this week’s episode was also going to be so relevant to that post, so we’re doing this two weeks in a row. I used the metaphor of a child’s toy that comes with shapes that correspond to holes in a box. So did Dr. Chanequa Walker-Barnes in her 2019 Evolving Faith conference talk featured in this week’s episode! It was a perfect part 2 to that topic. She follows up on that moment of recognition and grief over how tired we are of “being good instead of being alive” with a crucial question:

Who told you that you had to fit?

She describes herself as “an ill-fitting Christian. A square peg trying to fit into a round hole, each of the angles representing the diverse religious traditions that shaped my understanding of the Divine.”

Sounds familiar!

But the key is that she doesn’t end there. As Sarah and Jeff discuss at the end of the episode, Jeff says, “For some of us coming to a message like Chanequa’s, the grief of this is that we once did fit and we once really did belong. But for others of us, we’ve never fit and we’ve never belonged, perhaps because of some indelible aspect of our identity. And then there are the folks who have had both experiences.”

I’ve been both and more. In some ways, I used to hold the same views or labels or things in common with others, and we both moved apart. In other situations, they didn’t know or didn’t understand the full extent of my differences because I tried to force myself to fit as part of something bigger. Agreeing to disagree on things that I just didn’t want to be alone in. Not wanting to cause drama or conflict, not wanting to rock the boat or be The Problem. So many times, I didn’t push back or dare to share my real self because it would have risked the relationships I was desperate to hold on to. I chose to lose parts of myself, to silence myself into goodness and compliance, rather than shatter under the ache of grief, exclusion, loneliness, fear, and depression. The catch, of course, is that those were just magnified later with the more I lost and the more people I convinced I was someone I wasn’t to earn their approval.

In still other ways, I’ve had to pick my battles to keep collaborating and doing work together with people who held different views than I did. I believed in the overall cause or shared values or was left without a better-fitting team when no one else was doing the work, so I had to fit into what I had available to me to get the job done. To some degree, these things are healthy and just part of living peacefully together in a society or group.

But there are some parts of me that were never going to fit and I wasn’t welcome to try. Some parts that others don’t even let you in the door if they know about. Today, at this moment, my inclination is “good riddance. I wouldn’t want to be part of their number anyway if they think like that.” But inside, a smaller, quiet, wounded voice says, “Yes, but wouldn’t it be nice if they didn’t think that way? Wouldn’t it have been lovely if there weren’t these barriers for entry or exclusionary signs at the door and they wanted all of the facets of you, not just the ones they identify with?”

Jeff goes on to hit on a (literally therapeutic) point for me: Chanequa “knows the goodness of those facets. She is rooted in their richness. And I wonder whether the knowledge of that goodness, that rootedness, is what could open you up to new possibilities for relationship. You’re not looking for affirmation or acceptance or approval in the way that perhaps you might have before because you don’t need it.”

Sarah adds: “You’re abiding in your belovedness.”

It feels like a bit of a cruel trick that the answer to finding the connection and belonging we are wired to desire is to stop working so hard to get them. To know all the parts of you are already good while also not needing that knowledge imparted constantly through others’ validation. Again, as an Enneagram 3, I am quite good at (there’s that word again!) being good enough, holding up that measuring stick to myself, trying to see if I fit into a shape in the box and, as Chanequa says, wondering how much of myself I lose when I do so. Achieving and approval seeking and looking for affirmation have a reason behind them, and that reason isn’t vanity or ego or selfishness. It’s loneliness. It’s “fitlessness” as Chanequa calls it. It’s that search for belovedness and belonging.

So to hear and know that what it takes is to stop, to be still, to not need it, to accept ourselves and belong to our whole stories… that is both beautifully freeing and incredibly discouraging. I am powerless to engineer belonging. My belovedness doesn’t give me a way of certainty and control outside of vulnerable concepts like trust and faith. Even writing it, part of me doesn’t really believe it. Surely, what I need is a better strategy, to just say and do the right thing to achieve the right numbers so others will see me and love me and invite me into belonging? No?

The implication between the lines of “who told you that you have to fit?” is “the voices telling you this are likely not voices you should heed.” The key here being that we don’t only grieve the ways we have lost our belonging or been denied it altogether, but that we see the goodness in our various parts. We must hear a different voice that tells us who we are, where we belong, to whom we are beloved—as our whole selves, without shame and fear and masking our unwelcome angles.

Abiding in authenticity, with all the good, beautiful, beloved angles of our shape.

essays, faith

So far, so good

The new season of the Evolving Faith podcast debuted this week! I’m so excited for you all to see what this community has up its sleeve for this year. We start off with a bang from the ever-wise Barbara Brown Taylor, revisiting her talk from the 2019 EF conference.

She has this quote in there:

I’m thinking about how tired a tame Christian can get. Tired of self-censoring, tired of swallowing the questions that matter most, tired of putting more energy into being good than being alive.

That line in particular hit me hard. Thus far in my life, I have ultimately been preoccupied with that goodness. Not just the goodness in a sense of being right or moral, the way an Enneagram 1 might, but in the sense of the Enneagram 3. Is this good? Is it meeting your expectations? Is this okay? Am I doing it right? Is this what I’m supposed to be doing? Is this what you want from me? Is this what we’re scripted to do and be and say? At the root of these is the question of worthiness and earning, achieving belonging by measuring up, adhering those ever-shifting standards of what is expected and required and demanded by a society that rewards those who win at its games.

And some of the games, a few, I can be so good at. I play until I am exhausted. So tired, as Taylor says, of all my energy going into my efforts to hold back and to not be obnoxious or too much, to silence myself.

I do, sometimes, need to silence myself. To exhibit tact and self-control, an overlooked fruit of the spirit. I do need to listen more and center myself less, to plug in to empathy and pass the mic. But I don’t think that’s what this is about.

This is the goodness-instead-of-being-fully-alive decision point. The part where we choose to grit our teeth and nod along, prioritizing approval over authenticity. To “lop off any part of ourselves that falls outside the lines,” as Taylor says in her talk. We try to force belonging and it becomes fitting in, fitting into the box at any cost, even when we have to leave some parts behind.

Of course, there will always be some parts of ourselves that get more airtime in certain spaces or relationships. But what is it costing us when we have to hide entire parts of who we are in our churches, homes, families, friendships, workplaces, and communities because the standard of goodness is a different shape than the shape we occupy?

We are tired. So tired. It’s not always our choice, and for that, we grieve. We grieve for when it is the only choice, and for when it is the best bad option available to us. We grieve for when others can’t see our belovedness and for when we can’t bring ourselves to face it in the mirror.

Taylor says grief sets us on a path to “embrace the full terrain of living.” Fullness beyond goodness. Fullness beyond looking around for confirmation we’re doing it right. Fullness beyond holding back in fear and inauthenticity for the sake of fitting a hole in a box like a child’s toy, made for simple shapes to be granted entry. Stars in the star spot, big hearts in the big heart spot, even ordinary squares in the spot for ordinary squares. And perhaps we’re something else entirely, not simple or familiar to those making the rules of the box.

Or, for a more lively metaphor: Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could thrive like wildflowers, decadently ourselves in whatever ways we have the capacity, instead of pruning ourselves back into neat little rows of acceptability and shame and control and the kind of goodness set by those trying to sell us our belovedness in numbers?

There are the numbers of control all around us, from our bodies to our bank accounts, from our square footage to our rank on the ladder, from follower count to test scores. No wonder we are so, so tired. Measuring tape at every turn, held up to determine the size of our lives, whether our shape fits the box’s hole, whether the dimensions we are growing in are acceptable.

You’re not crazy. It’s not just in your head. It’s not all your fault. And sometimes you may not have a choice. But together we can dream of the fields across the terrain where we can throw on our brightest colors, grow in abundance, thrive, and put our energies into being our full selves, fully alive and free.

wildflowers
Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com
essays, faith, Mental health, queer

For those whose bodies are policy issues

Today, there is much discussion on embodiment, what it means to show up in a space as your full self, and to be present in your body wherever you are. The topic du jour, in particular, is church attendance. Can we experience the “real” church online?

This got me thinking about how if you’re going to talk about embodied presence, you need to be aware of what it means for someone to show up in their marginalized body, whether in a physical or online space. The risks it takes and the emotional cost it demands.

Continue reading “For those whose bodies are policy issues”