22 July 2011

Queer Youth and Religious Debates Over Sexuality

While conducting independent research to better articulate comfort to a grieving family on the anniversary of their lesbian daughter's suicide and to critically engage the Presbyterian Church to acknowledge that the passing of 10-A does not mean that a magic wand has been waved thereby eradicating deep religious convictions apologetically expressed as homo-misanthropy, Spirit delivered this video panel moderated by Dr. Cheryl A. Giles, Francis Greenwood Peabody Professor of the Practice in Pastoral Care and Counseling at Harvard Divinity School, "Queer Youth and Religious Debates Over Sexuality" to my bailiwick. None comparable, this has been the absolutely most encouraging, humorous, intentional, insightful, and comforting 1:16:27 hour/minutes/seconds that I have spent at the feet of Love in Action around queer religious discourse and reclamation of wholeness of young folk in church and society.
So complete was the breadth of anecdotal experiences and depth of theo-spiritual reflections that I penned no further notes to this grieving family, opting to send the link to the panel directly to her parents, grandparents, Godparents, kin, former lover and friends -- all who still ask, ‘Why?’ both of the gay question and the suicide dilemma. So compelling the voices on the panel that I too forwarded it to my teen gay son, confidential group for queer PC(USA) clergy, and my network of social networks. So comforting a requiem for my peers and playmates who succumbed to the hetero-as-normative, AIDS and suicide from growing up queer in the 60s, 70s and 80s. Because of her/their* work, this afternoon I did not have to work, I had only to witness and shout, often and much, “Amen!”

*Panelists are: Harry Knox, director of Religion and Faith Program, Human Rights Campaign; Grace Sterling Stowell, executive director of Boston Alliance of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Youth; Irene Monroe, public theologian, writer, and activist; Pam Garramone, executive directory of Greater Boston Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender People; and Mark D. Jordan, Richard Reinhold Niebuhr Professor of Divinity at HDS.

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