Out Loud: LGBT Stories of Faith
205: Damien-Pascal Domenack and Hope Outside Christianity

205: Damien-Pascal Domenack and Hope Outside Christianity

June 13, 2019

Damien-Pascal Domenack is originally from Peru, and grew up in Southern CA raised in the Foursquare evangelical faith tradition. He eventually found himself in Nashville for his Masters of Divinity at Vanderbilt Divinity School concentrating in Latin American Studies, Religion and the Arts, as well as Gender and Sexuality studies. Damien is a founding member of The Audre Lorde Project’s TransJustice in New York City, and collectively organized the first ever Trans Day of Action for Social and Economic Justice in New York. Damien has also worked in the Hospitality Industry for 15 years, from the Gramercy Park hotel restaurant in New York to a spot I love to visit called Pinewood Social here in Nashville. Damien identifies as queer and his gender pronouns are he/him/his.

From helping form a church as a child, to finding church in queer activist spaces as an adult, Damien finds hope in places both religious and secular. He reflects on his Afro-Peruvian heritage and embodied memory which has become the focus of his studies of Peruvian culture  and how dance has been a form of worship for centuries and continues to be today.

Connect with Damien on Instagram @damienpascal.

We discuss the difference between "queer" and "bi/pan/fluid" at the top of the show. Here are some definitions to help from the Human Rights Campaign. Queer: A term people often use to express fluid identities and orientations. Often used interchangeably with "LGBTQ." Bi: Emotionally, romantically or sexually attracted to more than one sex, gender or gender identity though not necessarily simultaneously, in the same way or to the same degree. Pan: Describes someone who has the potential for emotional, romantic or sexual attraction to people of any gender though not necessarily simultaneously, in the same way or to the same degree. And being "fluid" recognizes that your attractions and orientation may change.

We also discuss different religious practices, like Santería, an originally African religion, and the Foursquare Church which developed out of mission-work abroad and evangelism in the US.

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Connect with Out Loud! For more info about the show visit outloudstories.com. Follow @outloudstories on Facebook and Instagram. Join our mailing list for updates when new episodes drop. Or become a Patron to help offset production costs for this season.

Music: Acoustic Meditation 2 by Audionautix is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) Artist: http://audionautix.com/

204: Live at Vanderbilt

204: Live at Vanderbilt

May 9, 2019

Recorded live at Vanderbilt Divinity School in Nashville, TN, just last month, we reconnect with season 1 guests, Zack Eccleston, Maria Michonski, and Lee Catoe, about the importance of storytelling for LGBTQIA+ people of faith. Hearing their voices again was a reminder that our stories are never completely finished. We catch up with where they have been since their episodes from 2018, how telling their story on the show impacted them, and how they view their faith and their communities today.

Connect with the panel and listen to their original episodes: Zack Eccleston (@zackleston), Episode 101 / Maria Michonski (@mini_michonski), Episode 102 / Lee Catoe (@locatoe), Episode 105

We mentioned a few resources throughout the episode, including Unashamed: A Coming Out Guide for LGBTQ Christians by Amber Cantorna and The Reformation Project by Matthew Vines. Also mentioned was the story of Jesus healing the Gerasene Demoniac (Mark 5:1-20).

Connect with Out Loud! For more info about the show visit outloudstories.com. Follow @outloudstories on Facebook and Instagram. Join our mailing list for updates when new episodes drop. Or become a Patron to help offset production costs for this season.

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Recorded Live at the Vanderbilt Divinity School Arts Room: Sound Assistance (Dave Perkins, Will Potter, Vanderbilt Institute for Digital Learning) Event Setup (Katie Minnis, Nate Partee), Food & Drink (Al's Pub)

Narrative Theology #1 used with permission of Pádraig Ó Tuama. Found in Readings from the Book of Exile, Pádraig Ó Tuama (Canterbury Press, 2012). 

Acoustic Meditation 2 by Audionautix is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) Artist: http://audionautix.com/

203: Lina Landström and Committing to the United Methodist Church

203: Lina Landström and Committing to the United Methodist Church

April 25, 2019

Lina is currently a Master of Theological Studies student at Vanderbilt Divinity School. Her gender pronouns are she/her/hers, identifying both as lesbian and queer. She is originally from Sweden where the Swedish Lutheran Church is the state church, and has become a member in the United Methodist Church since moving to the US.

Throughout our conversation, Lina demonstrates a resilience in her reaction to the recent General Conference vote by the Methodist Church that affirmed the church's doctrine against full LGBTQIA+ inclusion. We also discuss her hopes for marriage someday in the church, misconceptions about marriage for LGBTQIA+ people of faith, and her upcoming research trip to Eurovision, held in Israel this May.

Connect with Lina on Twitter and Instagram, @landstromlina. And feel to reach out if you have opinions about Eurovision, religion, and LGBTQ culture. She'll be doing interviews on the ground in Israel in May, as well as via Skype.

We discussed several items regarding the United Methodist Church. For an explanation on the outcomes of the 2019 General Conference vote regarding matters of LGBTQIA+ inclusion, visit umc.org. For ongoing updates regarding inclusion and churches that are stepping up as affirming despite the vote, follow the Reconciling Ministries Network. They have a long history of sustaining this conversation over the past four decades in the UMC. While you're there, you can also learn more about Bishop Karen Oliveto, who we mentioned on the show.

Also mentioned on the show was the Q Christian Fellowship. Learn more at qchristian.org. And if you've never heard of the Eurovision song contest, educate yourself at eurovision.tv

Connect with Out Loud: For more info about the show visit outloudstories.com. Follow @outloudstories on Facebook and Instagram. Join our mailing list for updates when new episodes drop. Or become a Patron to help offset production costs for this season.

Music: Acoustic Meditation 2 by Audionautix is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) Artist: http://audionautix.com/

202: Amber Cantorna and Coming Out Well into Christianity

202: Amber Cantorna and Coming Out Well into Christianity

April 11, 2019

Amber Cantorna is a national speaker and author dedicated to supporting LGBTQ people throughout their coming-out process. In her new book Unashamed: A Coming Out Guide for LGBTQ Christians, Amber tackles topics like finding an affirming faith community, deciding when and how to come out, and how to re-establish a relationship with God. She uses her platform to inspire others and works to dissolve shame, foster self-acceptance, and generate a message of love and inclusion for all. 

Our conversation covers resources for coming out, understanding how loss and grief are incorporated in the coming out process, and a new-self care tip that you probably haven't heard of before!

Learn more about Amber Cantorna at ambercantorna.com and @amberncantorna. Get her new book, Unashamed: A Coming-Out Guide for LGBTQ Christians, now on Amazon. Amber also recommended Unclobber by Colby MartinChanging Our Mind by David Gushee. And check out Q Christian Fellowship (QCF), which is a great place to get connected with LGBTQIA+ Christians online and in person. Visit qchristian.org

This week's definition is "Clobber Passages," which are passages in the Bible that refer to homosexuality and have become the subject for debate between Christians for many years. Learn more at believeoutloud.com.

Music: Acoustic Meditation 2 by Audionautix is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) Artist: http://audionautix.com/

Connect with Out Loud: Come on out to the live show and panel in Nashville, TN on April 16. Follow @outloudstories on Facebook and Instagram, join our mailing list, and become a Patron. For everything else, visit outloudstories.com.

201: Rj Robles and Searching for a Home Church

201: Rj Robles and Searching for a Home Church

March 28, 2019

Rj discusses their journey finding an affirming home church. Communities that seem to be inclusive and loving, sometimes do not live up to those statements. But Rj demonstrate for us a resilience, and an ongoing curiosity about how to honor trans lives in our churches. They identify as queer and transgender with the gender pronouns they/them/theirs.

International Transgender Day of Visibility is March 31. Learn more.

Join me for my Storytelling Mini-Tour in April: April 5-6 in Fulton, MO and April 16 in Nashville, TN. For more info, visit outloudstories.com

Connect with Out Loud: Follow us @outloudstories on Facebook and Instagramjoin our mailing list, and become a Patron.

Faith Denominations Mentioned: Morelight PresbyteriansNew Covenant Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Nashville, TN

Trans Resources Mentioned in Nashville: Middle TN Transgender Support Group (TVALS)Southerners on New Ground (SONG), Transbuddy at Vanderbilt Medical Center

Definitions from this Episode, Courtesy of the Human Rights Campaign

-- Queer - A term people often use to express fluid identities and orientations. Often used interchangeably with "LGBTQ."

-- Genderqueer - Genderqueer people typically reject notions of static categories of gender and embrace a fluidity of gender identity and often, though not always, sexual orientation. People who identify as "genderqueer" may see themselves as being both male and female, neither male nor female or as falling completely outside these categories.

-- Pansexual - Describes someone who has the potential for emotional, romantic or sexual attraction to people of any gender though not necessarily simultaneously, in the same way or to the same degree.

Music: Acoustic Meditation 2 by Audionautix is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) Artist: http://audionautix.com/

Help Make Season 2 Happen

Help Make Season 2 Happen

March 14, 2019

Out Loud is on its way back for a second season in 2019, but we need your help to make it happen. If you've been a fan of the show so far, I'd love to have your support on Patreon, a website dedicated to funding the lives of creators and artists.

106: Greg Thompson on Listening and Understanding

106: Greg Thompson on Listening and Understanding

October 25, 2018

On our Season 1 Finale, Greg Thompson talks with his sister Meg McEllen, about coming out to himself, to his family, and to the Catholic Church. The issue of identity arises, and whether faith or sexuality can fully define us. We also discuss the prospect of talking to people of other faiths, and forging conversation past differences to commonalities.

Greg Thompson is a student at Vanderbilt Divinity School pursuing his Masters in Theological Studies with a focus on Religion and the Arts. He studies LGBT issues in the Catholic Church through a lens of storytelling and new media. Greg's gender pronouns are he/him/his, and he identifies as gay and Roman Catholic.

Find Greg online at gregthompsonmedia.com.

This episode's interview was recorded at Full Circle Recording, in Chester, VA.

Music for this episode: Acoustic Meditation 2 by Audionautix is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) Artist: http://audionautix.com/

Learn more about the show at outloudstories.com and on Facebook and Instagram.

105: Lee Catoe Gets Real About Body Image

105: Lee Catoe Gets Real About Body Image

October 11, 2018

Lee Catoe offers his reflections on the role body image plays in the LGBTQI community, and how we can begin to seek out the divine in one another. While studying Pre-Med at Presbyterian College in Clinton, SC, Lee began to realize that his call to helping others had less to do with medicine, and more to do with ordained ministry. As a gay man now seeking ordination in the Presbyterian Church USA, Lee currently serves as a supply pastor for local congregations in Middle TN. He's also in his final year at Vanderbilt Divinity School pursuing a Masters of Divinity, and his gender pronouns are he/him/his.

Until somewhat recently, the Presbyterian Church did not ordain LGBTQI-identifying folks. Lee's role as a minister opens up a conversation of how to serve people in your community who may disagree with you, or may disagree with your entire identity.

Find Lee online:

 Learn more about the show at outloudstories.com.

Music for this episode: Acoustic Meditation 2 by Audionautix is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) Artist: http://audionautix.com/

104: Luther Young and Sexuality as a Spiritual Gift

104: Luther Young and Sexuality as a Spiritual Gift

September 27, 2018

Luther and I discuss black liberation theology and reimagining scripture, as well as the difficulties in coming out to his family, and being seen as a fully participating member of his church.

Luther grew up in South Carolina with a love of music that brought him to Nashville, to study Audio Engineering at Belmont University. While he has continued to perform, sing, and play, he is also a recent graduate of Vanderbilt Divinity School with his Masters in Divinity. Luther was raised Pentecostal, and is now part of the Disciples of Christ. He identifies as bisexual, and goes by gender pronouns he/him/his.

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Follow Luther at lutheryoung.com

Recommended Titles:

Defined Terms:

  • Gender Binaries: Defining gender in a binary of male and female exclusively. (More queer terminology at the Human Rights Campaign.)

  • Biblical Exegesis: Just a fancy term for interpreting the Bible, and examining it through various scholarly lenses.

Learn more about the show at outloudstories.com.

Music for this episode: Acoustic Meditation 2 by Audionautix is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) Artist: http://audionautix.com/

103: Kelsey Davis and Showing Up to our Community

103: Kelsey Davis and Showing Up to our Community

June 21, 2018

Kelsey shares her perspective as being both queer and Episcopalian. Fresh off of graduating from Vanderbilt Divinity School with her Masters in Divinity, she's about to begin a new role as "Curator for Emerging Communities" for the Episcopal Diocese of El Camino Real in CA. She shares with us her journey of coming out into Christianity which came only shortly after coming out to herself and beginning to date girls. After a career in pro soccer, her values of teamwork continue to inform how she commits herself to her communities.

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If you'd like to unpack a few terms mentioned, check out these links:

- Spiritual Direction: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spiritual_direction

- Pub Churches: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pub_church, https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2013/11/03/242301642/to-stave-off-decline-churches-attract-new-members-with-beer

- Contemplative Eucharist:  http://www.staugustineschapel.org/worship-schedule/

And for more info on LGBTQIA Ministry and Sexual Education for youth, Kelsey recommends:

- "These Are Our Bodies": https://www.churchpublishing.org/these-are-our-bodies

- "A Brief Guide to Ministry with LGBTQIA Youth," by Cody J. Sanders: https://www.amazon.com/Brief-Guide-Ministry-LGBTQIA-Youth/dp/0664262503

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Thanks for listening to Out Loud! Learn more about the show at outloudstories.com. And be sure to follow us on Instagram and on Facebook.

Music for this episode: Acoustic Meditation 2 by Audionautix is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) Artist: http://audionautix.com/