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Showing posts from November, 2015

Q&A: 8 questions with a trans Christian (who's been to seminary)

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So I recently got connected with Austen on Twitter and thought I'd feature him here on my blog so all you loyal readers can get educated on what it means to be trans and Christian.
Here we go!


1) Tell us a bit about yourself.
Well, my name is Austen, and I'm many things--a brother, a son, a boyfriend, a lifelong student, a lover of herbal tea--but lately my two definitive qualities have been my faith and my gender identity. I'm transgender, and I'm also a Christian, and even though some people think those two labels don't mix, I find that my faith journey and my experience as a trans man are intricately connected. I graduated from seminary with a Master's degree in Biblical Studies about two years ago (specializing in the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament), and for the past year I've been using much of what I learned to create YouTube videos on being trans and Christian.

2) How and at what age did you meet Jesus?
I was raised Christian, and my parents took me and m…

Q&A: Growing up gay in a Christian household

Benjamin* is a gay Christian who agreed to be interviewed on the condition of anonymity. 

1. What was your introduction to Christianity like?

I come from a Christian household and grew up in Sunday school. In secondary school, I was exposed to philosophy and started reading up on other religions. This was an important point in my life. Some people might use the term “backsliding” to describe me at that point. But after some exploration, Christianity made the most sense to me. Faith to me isn’t just intellectual, it is an emotional experience as well.

2. At what age did you realise you were gay?
Naturally at around 10 - 13. There was no eureka moment, it was a gradual process.

3. How did you deal with it?
I was tormented by it. Being Christian. It was arduous. But I’m much more comfortable with myself right now and am still a Christian.

4. How did you decide to come out to your parents?
(As this was a rather sensitive question, Benjamin declined to answer this question.)

5. How do you integrat…

Second empat perkataan

I am crying. Reading. Weeping. Relinquishing, I am grieving. 
Right now, calmer; writing, typing.  Breathing slowly, tears stop, thinking. 
How strange to be reading, weeping; Brené Brown's book simply stunning. 
Now I'm sleepy, headed to bed Lying down now, what's left unsaid?

My first empat perkataan

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Transgender Day of Remembrance at FCC

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So I attended the Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) Special Service at Free Community Church yesterday. To my knowledge, it is the only church in Singapore that observed TDOR and I went in the hope of gaining a better understanding of my trans brothers and sisters in Christ, and just to learn more about the experience of being trans in general.

The service started by us singing a couple of songs, and then Pastor Miak led us to observe a minute of silence for the 90 trans people that were killed worldwide. Seemed like the bulk of them were living in America and Brazil.

Then they collected an offering and showed a video on the life of an intersex person living in Hong Kong. At this point in time I was feeling rather confused because an intersex person is very much different from a trans person and there wasn't much of an explanation for that video. Nevertheless, it proved to be interesting and I just assumed they just wanted to raise awareness of those born intersex.

(On a sepa…

Romans 1, Psalm 37, and a blog post

Been reading Romans 1 quite a bit as I spent time with God and I felt Him urge me to read it. As a result, I feel like I'm gravitating toward Side B more than ever before.

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Today at church, I felt very strongly that God was telling me to stay in this church, in this spiritual family I was planted in regardless of whatever happened and whoever wanted to push me out.

All this as the preacher (Phil Pringle) was talking about Psalm 37:3-5 which is reproduced below:

Trust in the Lord, and do good;
Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.

Delight yourself also in the LORD,
And He shall give you the desires of your heart.

Commit your way to the LORD,
Trust also in Him,
And He shall bring it to pass.

Which is great advice. Thank you Lord. But it made me wonder if I was imagining things or if it was truly the voice of God. Which you will find is a running theme in my blog. Anyway, I'm prepared, so I'll try to stay rooted in thi…

Coming full circle

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I first heard Vicky Beeching speak this January and it seems appropriate that after going through a whirlwind of a year where I've felt disordered, had a crisis of faith, developed a new crush (which has since largely died down), that I would come back and listen to Vicky Beeching speak again at a keynote at The Reformation Project conference held recently at Kansas.

I listened to the one hour talk last night when I had a bout of insomnia and was encouraged and inspired once again.

She shared her life story yet again, and then talked about Tribes, Trauma and Trust and that's what I'd like to dwell upon here.

1. Tribes

Vicky mentioned that for many of us, we might have been pushed out of our church family or ministry but that there is a new tribe forming that are for us and with us - LGBT+ Christians and their allies.

We all yearn to belong and it is difficult when one's tribe rejects you.

I know that first hand. And yet, it is not the end of the world. There are people…

Beef lovers, chicken lovers and vegetarians

On Planet E, there were some beef lovers and chicken lovers.
The chicken lovers were in the majority and they sure enjoyed their chicken. They had quite a variety of them - organic, kampong, free-range, factory-farmed and so on. Prepared in a variety of ways, the chicken lovers had them grilled, barbecued, fried, steamed, stewed, stir-fried and more. They loved their chicken and made sure everyone knew it. Breakfast, lunch and dinner all featured chicken. Chicken was advertised in media of every sort - newspapers, magazines, on billboards and even in irritating embedded ads in Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Then there were a minority who were beef lovers. Like the chicken lovers, they had them grilled, barbecued, fried, steamed, stewed, stir-fried and more. They loved the taste of beef and couldn’t get enough of it. Some of them, for religious reasons, ate chicken instead. They were beef lovers but could not bear to eat the meat of a cow. So instead, they consumed chicken. But they’d …

Perhaps

Had cell group meeting today and had so many thoughts. I'll just randomly ramble on one of them...

As Pauline mentioned how as a young Christian she'd be struck be certain verses and would meditate on them, I found myself coming back to 4 words in Romans 1, The Message translation.
"All lust, no love."
When I read that a couple of months ago, I pondered upon it for a long while before texting a couple of my friends this:
"What is lust?"
And had a variety of responses, some of which were rather thought-provoking (that shall be a blog post for another day).
Perhaps the people Paul were referring to were consumed with lust. Perhaps their problem wasn't sex with people of the same gender, but that it was devoid of love. That may sound a bit far out for some conservative Christians, but I think it's a very valid interpretation.
And so I wondered...