A few months ago I started a new part time job with Our Bible app, the first LGBTQ-affirming, progressive Bible reader app for mobile devices, as their social media manager. My day-to-day routine involves designing social media posts, reaching out to potential devotional writers, and engaging with users via Twitter. But another aspect of my position that isn’t in my job description is pastoral care. Almost every day I hear from someone on Twitter or through email how they’re so excited to be able to engage with the Bible and read devotional material written by and for LGBTQ folks. Often coupled with these wonderful testimonials from other LGBTQ folks are stories of how the Bible was weaponized against them, how alienated they feel in church, or how they’re learning to trust family members again after coming out and being ostracized. I treat these stories with care, as holy things to be held. It’s something I didn’t really expect to be doing when I took the job, but I enjoy it immensely. My experiences with Life Together, both good and bad, have really prepared me to do this work.
One of the memories about my Life Together experience that I continue to cherish was living in a house where most of my housemates identified as queer. It was immensely healing to be able to not have to worry about what my housemates would think of me. I could bring my entire self into every room of our big, queer house. We stayed up long nights talking about dating, we supported each other through breakups, we threw a big queer dance party, we marched in Boston Pride together. And all of this is to say that there wasn’t difficulties or disagreements among us - but that doesn’t take away what the experience of living in 2 Garden Street gave me.
There is a temptation to believe that because we have marriage equality that LGBTQ folks are doing just fine. Cis-straight people (and other queer people alike) often ask, “Why do you still need LGBTQ specific spaces?” The reality is that we are still hurting, still reeling, still very much oppressed, and a large part of that oppression is rooted in queerphobic theology and Biblical interpretation. Reminiscing about my LT experiences reminds me that having queer spaces of our own - whether it’s a house or an online space - leads to our collective healing and liberation.