Erin McKeown is a fantastic, boundary crossing musician, writer, producer and queer faith storyteller and fan! She shares her perspective of being in the audience and being a storyteller at Queer Faith.
erinmckeown.com / @erinxmckeown
#queerfaithconnects #queerfaithcommunity #queerfaith #loveintheroom
Welcome to Queer Faith
April 18th, 2019
Just checking in.
Always good to remember where and when we are.
April 18th 2019
At the Parlor Room Northampton.
The Mueller Report is out, or not.
The climate is in crisis
and so are we.
so are we.
Black bodies, brown, native are hated and hurt and disappeared and still yet they are generously – somehow
white bodies, we are trying to love –
but there is so much so much past
we are all in some way cut off from
a beating heart that would heal us.
O, we are here
April 18th 2019
and the Cathedral of Notre Dame has burned – but the organ still stands.
and black churches have burned – and white supremacy still stands.
and cathedrals of forest, sky, ocean crumble and
even still, out of a generosity we did not earn,
give us life –
And we are here –
at Queer Faith!
We are here. at Queer Faith!
Thank god. Or goddess
Or whatever the name of the queer divinity or humanity is to which you pray, in which you trust, inside of which you can live and move and can be…
What is Queer Faith?
It’s you all. It’s all the reasons you showed up here tonight.
For too long, “faith” has been allowed to be defined only but institutions of religion.
And for almost as long, those institutions have ejected “queer” bodies, lives, loves from the welcome of that faith.
I know there are many wings of denominations that welcome queers – my own denomination the UCC, for example. But even inside those welcoming spaces, faith sometimes seems to small for the robustness of queer; there is just so much queerness has to offer into faith.
Queer Faith —
I think of it as a small act of radical resistance.
It is queerness and faith in the same conversation, lovingly held there. Queer Faith resists the reduction of faith to that which is not queer
and the reduction of queer to that which does not hold faith.
It is an act of resistance by way of integration.
It is queerness and faithyness in the same space, insisting they belong to one another.
We hold queer and faith in the same space tonight. Unapologetically. Queerly. Whole-heartedly. Playfully. Hopefully.
I gave that rather sobering set up not to be a downer, but because I think there is something rather urgent and needed for the bigger picture ing what we are celebrating tonight. I think queer faith is a force that is needed as part of the healing of our society, our economy, our way of interacting with very ground of our being – the water, earth and with one another. Queer people, people who reside on any edge of society, know the struggle of any kind of belonging. The struggle of queer faith – to be embraced in love and to be called to act out that love in community … it’s a struggle we need and which, I think our society needs.
We have an amazing line up storytellers tonight! And depending on the flow of things, the timing of things, there will be a chance for one or two of you to put your name in a hat and tell a story tonight. If you want…maybe.
It takes courage to tell your story – any part of it. And that courage is so appreciated, because hearing the stories of others helps us free our own. I extend a depth of gratitude for each of the storytellers you will hear from tonight. Let’s give them a round of applause!
Also, we want this to be an encouraging space. You know. It’s freaking nerve wracking to tell a story on stage. Let’s practice. Applause, a-men’s, hmm, other encouraging sounds, tears with, stomping feet, wootwoot. When some encouragement is needed – you know when the nerves take over how are we going to let the storytellers we want to hear their story? ….