Can you introduce yourself to our readers and give us an idea of what you do?
I am what many people believe is impossible: a lesbian Christian. I bring together two realities that appear to be opposites. I am too queer for most of the church — and too religious for most of the LGBT community. I am also an author, art historian, and retired minister in Metropolitan Community Churches (MCC). My specialty is writing about LGBT spirituality and art, including the queer Christ and LGBT saints. My books include “Art That Dares” and I write regularly for the Jesus in Love Blog.
Do you have a personal story about LGBT and Religion/The Bible?
My Christian faith gave me the strength to come out as a lesbian almost 30 years ago. I grew up mostly secular and did not believe in God. I hid my sexual orientation in the closet and lived a lie because I was afraid of the stigma and discrimination against homosexuality. My father’s death in 1983 led me to go an interdenominational church, where I experienced the reality of God reaching out personally to me with love. I got baptized and Christianity gave me a whole new way of looking at the world: I knew God loved me and created me as I am, so I could stop worrying about other people’s disapproval. Later I learned that my journey was unusual. Many LGBT people start out feeling condemned as sinners by the church, and find liberation by rejecting religion. But I felt condemned by society and found liberation through the church. I could never imagine a God that didn’t totally love LGBT people.