On February 26, 2019, the United Methodist Church voted to ban clergy from marrying their same-sex/gender partners and performing wedding services for same-sex/gender couples. This was the latest in a long line of homo/transphobic decisions made by Churches. I’m no longer surprised to be told in this church I can’t marry, in this church I can’t lead, in this church you’ll try to perform an exorcism on me. Not surprised, but still hurt. Homo/transphobia by the religious groups we call home is devastating and deadly. Knowing we are unwelcome second class citizens is killing people, killing children. And it has to stop.
I don’t know what the answer is. I do know there are so many LGBTQIA+ Christians out there fighting this same fight. The following books are a small sampling of the own voices out there. Books that open up a whole rainbow of affirming queer theology. There are many more books, and podcasts, and social media accounts to delve into. Yet, as with everything, it can be difficult to find diverse voices here. There seem to be few books by transgender folx or people of colour. Almost none by trans people of colour or nonbinary folx. There are so many more affirming LGBTQIA+ Christian voices out there that need lifting up.
Our Strangely Warmed Hearts: Coming Out Into God’s Call by Bishop Karen P. Oliveto
Our Strangely Warmed Hearts traces the history of homophobia in the Methodist Church and talks with LGBTQIA+ Christians faithfully serving within denominations that deny their callings. Bishop Karen. P. Oliveto was the first openly lesbian bishop in the United Methodist Church
Faith Beyond Resentment: Fragments Catholic and Gay by James Alison
I bought Faith Beyond Resentment after opening to a sentence describing gay priests as “lace by day, leather by night”. It did not disappoint. A gay theologian moves away from resentment of homophobia by radically reimagining the Gospel message of God’s love for all.
The Queer God by Marcella Althaus-Reid
Only theology that dares be radical can show us God. This is the search for a God who challenges cisheteronormativity, white supremacy, capitalism. Including chapters on Bisexual theology, Sadean holiness, Gay worship in Brazil, and Queer Saints.
By the same author: Indecent Theology: Theological Perversions in Sex, Gender, and Politics.
This is my Body: Hearing the Theology of Transgender Christians edited by Christina Beardsley*
There is too much said about trans folx without actually hearing from us. Here, transgender Christians offer reflections on their experiences of navigating gender and faith.
By the same author: Transfaith: A Transgender Pastoral Resource.
Undivided: Coming Out, Becoming Whole, and Living Free From Shame by Vicky Beeching*
Worship song writer and evangelical poster girl Beeching kept her sexuality secret for decades. When she came out in national newspapers she lost her career. Yet coming out and breaking free of shame brings much more: wholeness, peace. A memoir that will resonate with many.
A collection of essays on the journey to self-acceptance of your sexuality, race, and faith. With police brutality, murder of transgender women of colour, and church homophobia, this is a call for compassion.
Radical Love: An Introduction to Queer Theology by Patrick Cheng
An excellent introductory textbook on Queer theology. Part One looks at the history of Queer theology. Part Two delves into theological topics as seen through the lens of LGBTQIA+ existence.
Forever and Yesterday: Essays on Faith, Sexuality, and Figuring it out Along the Way by Kevin Garcia*
A collection of personal essays on faith, sexuality, dating, sexual ethics and more. Available as a free ebook.
Also check out their podcast featuring conversations on similar themes: A Tiny Revolution.
Transforming: The Bible & the Lives of Transgender Christians by Austen Hartke
Visualising a more inclusive Christianity to give us the tools to help change the church and the world. Introduces transgender issues and language, narratives of transgender Christians, and Biblical characters.
A Guide to Recovering from Fundamentalism by Fr Shannon T.L. Kearns*
A story of recovering from conservative fundamentalism and rebuilding faith along the way. Full of resources and tips that got the author through. Available as a free ebook.
The Queer Theology podcast offers a Queer perspective on the week’s Lectionary reading.
By the same author: Walking Towards Resurrection: A Transgender Passion Narrative.
Outside the Lines: How Embracing Queerness will Enhance your Faith by Mihee Kim-Kort
Can our queerness draw us closer to God and give us special insight into God’s love? With personal story and Biblical analysis, Outside the Lines shows the queerness of Christian spirituality.
Our Lives Matter: A Womanist Queer Theology by Pamela R. Lightsey
Our Lives Matter explores the impact of multiple oppressions experienced by Black Queer women. Drawing on liberation theologies to reflect on LGBTQIA+ issues in the Church such as marriage and ordination rights.
Disclaimer: Authors denoted [*] are people I know personally.