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Zack talked about atheism with Marvin back in Episode 6, and now it’s Peterson’s turn to talk about faith as a Christian and a Quaker. Then, the two delve into the muck in this extended episode! The Zack-Peterson rapport’s gotten particularly spicy! In this exciting discussion, Zack challenges Peterson about faith and Peterson challenges Zack about his (lack of) faith. Of course it goes unresolved… to be continued another day. Share your own thoughts about faith on the Queer and Queerer post or on the Queer and Queerer Facebook page!

The Queer and Queerer Podcast!

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After watching my YouTube video Transgender Rights? A Christian Speaks Out, a viewer sent me the following message.

hi my name is craig, im a male that feels traped in the wrong body,i watched your video and was comforted and inspired, i just wanted to know having the feelings that i do, would god allow me to get a sex chage? would he still love me? is it wrong?

also once you recieve this and i get your answer i would love for you to help me choose my new name.

also are eunuchs in the bible really transgendered people?

I felt honored to receive this message (I change the name above) but also uncertain of how to answer or if I could answer. I do come from a religious background and I realize that “craig” is looking for understanding of transgender issues from a religious perspective. I know that when I struggled with being gay, it was within a religious context, and I needed help from people who could communicate within that context at least initially. It was important for me to understand God’s will for my life in order to move ahead. Ultimately I found my answers within–that still small voice–but at the time so many voices vied for my attention.

Here’s my response:

HI there. Thanks for writing. I am glad you found my video helpful. It sounds like you have many important questions. I am not transgender myself, but I will answer you as best as I can. A wonderful resource for you may be the Trans-Ponder podcast.  It’s done by two women who transitioned from male. They speak about the transition process. They also interviewed me about my work with gender-variant Bible characters.

In regards to God, we need to remember that according to scripture, humans look on the outside, but God looks on the heart. We are told in Paul’s writings that in Christ there is neither male nor female. Not that our gender doesn’t matter, but God sees our spirits. God sees beyond what others see. God sees us people not fixed genders. I have met MANY people who might agree that their insides didn’t match their outsides. There are all types of males and females and some people who are a little of both or something altogether different. As believers we understand that God desires truth from within to without. There is no reason why God would not want you to be authentic in regards to who you are and your gender. God will not have trouble with if this is someone’s sense of self. Others might, but they are not God. My personal belief is that we can have faith that God trusts us to make these important decisions about ourselves.

It will be important that you continue to spend time thinking about this, getting more information, and perhaps even seeing a trained professional about this topic to answer your questions. It will most likely help for you to connect with transgender people too if you haven’t already. You sound like you have a leading to seek out more information about sex reassignment surgery. But even without surgery, you know who you are on the inside, and you can begin to affirm that for yourself. For some surgery is a necessary step, but not for all.

The eunuchs who appear in the Bible did not have the word “transgender” to apply to themselves. Many were forced to be eunuchs against their will. Some chose to be eunuch. In some cultures they were respected as eunuchs while in others they were not. We do not know much about how they came to be eunuch, but the important lesson is that they became a different sex physically than they were at birth. They became sexual minorities in a very visible way within their cultures. In some places they were considered a “third sex.” God did not simply tolerate people being different, but in the Bible stories with eunuchs, God literally reached out to them and in some cases desperately needed them in order to do the work that needed to be done. The eunuchs in the Bible provide a wonderful example of someone who is surgically altered and gender-different yet smack in the palm of God’s loving hand and purposes. For those of us who are people of faith, this can give us guidance and great comfort.

In regards to your name, that is a great honor to ask me for help, and I would love to hear about the process as you begin to consider new names. It is a very spiritual process for some with many examples in the Bible of people who changed their names to recognize a life change. I have faith that you will find the right name–or it will find you–as you go along in the process.

Many blessings to you!
Peterson

What about you? What would you add? What would you say? What could I have said differently? I realize that not everyone who reads this blog is a person of faith, so maybe all the “God language” is a turn-off or not your style. I can forward your remarks to “craig” for you or provide a link to your comments here.

Now I am off to TransForm New Hampshire, an event in Concord, NH that seeks to unite the LGB with the T and help non-transgender people better understand transgender issues.

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Zack and Peterson come to you with travel advice! First up: An in-depth analysis of the reactions from church groups to pro-LGBT policies in Ft. Worth, TX. Where are they coming from and how should we feel about their complaints? Then, it’s the listeners’ turn to chime in! See where Queer and Queerer listeners think are the best places to be gay, lesbian, trans, and/or queer. As episode 15 rolls on past, we still leave you with the lingering question of who is queer and who is queerer?

The Queer and Queerer Podcast!

Listen to this week’s episode HERE

// Here’s some more information about what we talked about this week:

Quotes from the Facebook friends about best LGBTQ places to live and visit:

Michael Trey says:

As a previous lesbian and a current trans man, I have really only lived one place – Tampa Bay – I have survived as both! I haven’t traveled since transition except to Disney for a weekend and as a trans man it was the most comfortable experience I have ever had in regard to bathrooms. Sounds weird but being around so many other cultures, confident in my own identity for once – I realized that the US is much more concerned with bathrooms and who uses them, than the rest of the world!

Sarah says:

I guess for me it has more to do with the sense of community and less with queer-kindness of a place. Ability to walk down the street holding another woman’s hand without turning heads means less if I don’t feel like I can authentically connect … See Morewith the community. I certainly want both, but for “best” places to live, it has to be the place where I can be real without hesitation and be deeply known.

» Coverage related to Ft. Worth LGBT policies:

» News report from last night’s Town Council meeting.

» Minutes and video from last night’s meeting. (Comments start at1:55:30)

» TransForm New Hampshire

» Netroots Nation

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Mmmm, carrot juice

Zack and Peterson are back this week to talk about the Supreme Court ruling in Christian Legal Society v. Martinez and the good-intentioned but not always effective efforts of allies. Zack outlines the details of the case and the importance of nondiscrimination policies in higher education and highlights, in particular the dissent in the case. Marvin Bloom makes a cameo to help connect Leon Festinger’s theories of cognitive dissonance to the argument. Then, Peterson shares some experiences of allies gone wild, including a recent pride event he attended that left him feeling anything but proud. In preparation for next week, send us more feedback about our body image episode!

The Queer and Queerer Podcast Episode 13!

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// Here’s some more information about what we talked about this week:

» Zack’s detailed analysis of the Christian Legal Society v. Martinez decision.

» Pam’s House Blend: Guest column by Chris Neff of the Palm Center – Advice to the Gays: its time to thank the President

»  Bilerico: An Elephant Doesn’t Fit in a Closet

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Three years ago I began to talk about gender variant and transgender Bible characters. The almost universal response from all was Wait! What?

Transgressing Gender in the Bible

After doing lots of research and talking to all sorts of scholars and trans folks, I created a play, Transfigurations–Transgressing Gender in the Bible, a play that explores these amazing characters–most of whom turn out to be the MOST important people in the MOST important stories. The play is being turned into a graphic novel and quite possibly a musical!

I recently attended the Philadelphia Trans Health Summit, where I mostly attended sessions so that I could learn more about transgender issues from trans people. You cannot imagine how thrilled I was to discover that J. Mason, an engaging Black/Gay/Trans/Queer facilitator and performer, who after seeing my performance of Transfigurations two years ago in Connecticut, put together a workshop with Michele Kline the topic of trans Bible Characters.


Bearing the Cross: Trans Presence in the Bible
(Interactive Lecture)
J. Mason, Michelle Kline

The Bible is often used as a tool to defame LGBTQ people. We all know what we’ve been told about biblical texts around gender and sexuality, but what does the Bible actually say about transgender/gender variant people? This experiential and interactive workshop will give participants a working knowledge of biblical texts often used against and for the inclusion of transpeople as well as being a dialogue about the various interpretations that exist.

How thrilling to see trans folks sharing the material from the play. I know that as a non-trans ally, I can and do speak to others about this topic, but I feel like a contented gardener who has planted some seeds and see fresh green sprouts and buds and fruit!

During the conference I got to hang out with my buddies Micah and Brian from the Sanctuary Collective. I especially enjoy our long talks about a variety of topics from Bible interpretation to polyamory (seems lots of important Bible dudes had multiple partners.)

Micah has put together a video about trans people in the Bible. I love his jaunty style and that playful presentation of his. Enjoy.

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Zack has never heard Peterson’s “From Soup to Nuts” expression, but it apparently defines our tenth episode well! After several mono-topical episodes, we dramatically over-compensate by limiting discussion on any topic to three minutes. We have a big pile of topics in a hat. Some were submitted by listeners, but we each contributed some of our without the other knowing what they are. We don’t get to them all, but we do address a total of 19 topics! Tune in to hear about Muslims, Catholics, Country Music, Goth, Glee, pansexuality, hats, and more! Special thanks to Gavin, Christopher, Peter, Scott, and everyone else who submitted topic ideas this week!

The Queer and Queerer Podcast!

Listen to episode 10

Here’s some more information about what we talked about this week:

» Study shows gay men are thinner and lesbians are more obese.

» Zack’s Recent Post: Why Celebrate a Conservative Gay Catholic?

» Documentary on coming out older: Latecomers.

» Towleroad: The Fate of I Love You Phillip Morris

» Learn more about Poe’s Law.

» Watch the Glee season finale on hulu!

» Just Fucking Google It.

Last week Zack and I recorded Episode 9 but I took to the Philadelphia Trans Health Conference before I could post it. So here it is!

Fetishes, Kinks, and Masturbation, Oh My! This week, Zack and Peterson delve into the topic of the sexually taboo! Why are kinks and fetishes taboo? What role does religion play in sexual repression and how can one’s faith intersect with the exploration of one’s sexuality? In what ways is the progress of the queer community impacted (for better or worse) by the kink, leather, and BDSM communities? The goal of today’s episode is not to be a tell-all about kink, but to open the door to having conversations about the taboo and showing support for the safe and consensual exploration of sexuality. (And it makes perfect sense to talk about sex when all the school buses are going by!)

Also, we need your help for next week’s episode. It’s going to be our “Topics out of a hat” episode, and we need you to suggest topics! They can be deep, shallow, serious, silly, political, social, or whatever. We’ll pick ten and talk for 3 minutes about each! Share them with us on Facebook or Twitter (@zackford and @p2son)!

The Queer and Queerer Podcast!

Listen to episode 9

Here’s some more information about what we talked about this week:

» Looking to connect with the kink community? Check out FetLife.com! (NSFW)

» Tyler McCormick wins the 32nd Annual International Mr. Leather.

» Philadelphia Trans-Health Conference (June 3-5)

» Extra reading: Greta Christina explores how Lady Gaga implements porn and kink into her artistry.

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We made you wait a FULL week, but Peterson and Zack are back with a British episode of Queer and Queerer! Zack has been watching Doctor Who and Torchwood, but that’s not why we’re doing a British episode. There have been a lot of stories coming out of the UK about Bed & Breakfasts discrimination, employment discrimination, and freedom of speech in regards to religion, so we tackle it all! Also, prompted by a comment from a listener, we address the word “lame” and the fact that it has creeped into our vernacular despite being an offensive term. And yes, Torchwood is hot.

The Queer and Queerer Podcast! The British Episode

Listen to this week’s episode:

// If you like or don’t like what you hear, leave your comments on the post! We welcome all feedback!

Here’s some more information about what we talked about this week:

» BBC: Grayling suggests B&Bs should be able to bar gay guests

» Religion Clause: British Appeals Court Rejects Plea For Special Panel To Adjudicate Religious Rights Cases

» Telegraph: Christian preacher arrested for saying homosexuality is a sin

» Zack’s post on the May Day Repentance Rally

» Peter Leeson’s Blog

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