Category Archives: Bookshelf

A Jennifer Knapp Concert and Hello Sarah Peacock!

Sarah Peacock

Sarah Peacock

So. This post is a bit overdue. I’ve been busy.
One morning in March, I opened my eyes in my brand new (to me) house and pulled up my twitter feed. Jennifer Knapp happened to tweet about a concert in a city not super far from me that night. I looked at my calendar. I considered my to do list. And I hopped on the internet to order myself a ticket. There would be no friends at this concert. The one friend I would be comfortable attending a Jennifer Knapp concert with was way too busy for a last minute concert.

I made the trip to the concert venue. There was a pit stop at IKEA and fast food for dinner, but finally I arrived. At a small low-tech venue. I purchased a beer from the bar and settled into my 2nd row center seat. As I waited for the show to start, I observed my peers. Let’s just say the women outnumbered the men by a lot. I noted that the opening act was listed on some posters of other concerts so I figured she must be some local fil-in when they couldn’t get anyone else to open a show. Hopefully she wouldn’t suck too bad and Jennifer would be on stage soon.

Finally the lights dimmed and my jaw dropped. To understand my shock, you have to understand that I have fallen into a serious style rut. I wear a plaid flannel shirt and corduroy pants every day. During the winter I topped it off with a puffy black vest. I also have been debating chopping off my curly brown hair. Well, Sarah Peacock walked out to the stage in corduroy pants, a plaid shirt, and a black leather vest with short curls flopping around on her head. She’s way prettier than I am, but she was totally in my style range. My gaydar began pinging.

One of the highlights of her show was when she mentioned that she is in recovery – she’s a recovering Southern Baptist. “Still a Christian, unapologetically, but a recovering Southern Baptist.” Omg YES. And the 50 or so of us in the audience cheered. I am not the only one who understands that. In that moment I had hope that perhaps I might actually find others who understand that faith is really important to me, usually, but faith people are really hard sometimes.

Jennifer Knapp was great. As always. I think I might like her better without the polished CCM band behind her.

I think what I liked best about the whole evening was that for the first time I was in a space with other lesbians and it didn’t matter if they knew it. Sure I was sitting by myself. But if I want to take a girl next time Sarah Peacock is playing, I could. And no one would judge.

I now own every Sarah Peacock song available on iTunes, follow her eagerly on twitter, and plan to attend another show soon. She’s got songs that make sense to this former conservative, songs that I’d sing to a girl to express my love, songs that talk about how frustrating life can be. Just like with Jennifer Knapp, I feel like I can put on Sarah Peacock and know that there’s not going to be a song that’s makes me feel excluded because I’m not straight.  I’ve googled her quite a bit, and she seems like the kind of person I’d get along with.  She never talks about a girlfriend or a partner, but she’s definitely got a lesbian fan base for a reason!

Go listen and buy her stuff. Please. She’s awesome.


The Imitation Game

Poster for the movie, the Imitation Game

History of computers, LGBT issues, and World War II.  Obviously, the Imitation Game is a movie that is near and dear to my heart.  I’ve seen it three times by now, but of course, I can’t share my love for this movie with just anyone in my real life.

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Thank God Jennifer Knapp Faced the Music

71sIhSWMaqL._SL1500_Jennifer Knapps’ personal memoir, Facing the Music, was released this week.  And I’ve read it cover to cover in 2 days.  Knapp is perhaps best known these days as the Christian rock star who left Christian music to be a lesbian.  Despite much googling on my part, the details of her personal life have remained rather quiet.  Much to the disappointment of scores of Christian lesbians (okay just me) who were desperate to hear exactly what that process was like for her and perhaps find in her someone like us.  Perhaps that pressure was why she kept those details to herself for so long.  Perhaps she was waiting until she had the story fully ready rather than share it in disjointed segments as songwriters so often do.  Anyway, she’s ready now, and the story was well worth the wait.

“From glass alabaster she poured out the depths of her soul. Oh foot of Christ would you wait if her harlotries known…”  “Hold Me Now”  Kansas. 

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Daring Greatly: Shame and the Gay Christian

It’s difficult to say very much about the experience of LGBTQ people in the church without bumping up against this idea called shame.  In fact, even LGBTQ individuals who have never set foot in church have likely come up against people who caused them to feel as though there was something inadequate about their sexual identity.  These people hang out at school, the gym, a restaurant, a sports field, really anywhere people interact meaningfully with other people.  Often in my experience the shaming happened without ever being acknowledged.  It can be as simple as sharing an opinion that gay people are <insert negative adjective here>.  Often they don’t even know there is a LGBTQ person in the room.  That’s when I have felt shame.  Based on what they just said, if they knew the truth about me, they would give me that negative adjective.  At best they would reject me, at worst lash out against me in anger.

For me the shame is worse in church.   When a pastor alludes to the fact that people like me are somehow more flawed than the average church attender.  When people who seem to be good Christian people express serious concern over the fate of my soul.  These are times when shame is quickly linked to hopelessness, isolation, despair.   Continue reading

Blue Birds and a Bible Challenge

The Blue Parakeet: Rethinking How You Read the Bible, Scott McKnight

A friend I respect kind of a lot encouraged me to read The Blue Parakeet, a book by Scott McKnight.  It blew my mind wide open.  In a really good way.  (No, it’s not an affiliate link, so no money to me if you buy it).  Refreshingly, it has nothing to do with Gay anything.  Whew.  But I think it would be the first book I would hand to a straight Christian who wants to have a more open mind.  Play number one in the Fundamentalist playbook for challenging a gay-affirming Christian is accusing them of de-valuing scripture, or ignoring the Bible.  Actually, that comes up pretty quickly any time Christians are arguing about anything. Continue reading