reclaiming worship music for the queers

reclaiming worship music for the queers

If there's one common thread that's been running through this entire year of 2018, it has to be the fact that everything about this year feels incredibly different and new than any other and in a different way than any other, something I've already talked a little about

Something that's been a big part of this unfamiliarity is perhaps how I finally found my way back to church and how it's finally become something meaningful again. I write a lot about being queer, and if you follow me at all on Twitter, you'll notice that I tend to float around the queer, progressive, #exvangelical circles. Those places have provided me virtual community I've never been able to find before, and at the same time, I know that my faith is still an integral part of my life and who I am. And for all the ways and times I've been burned by Christians and the church, there's something deep inside of me that reminds me that isn't who God is. And so I'm still here. I still call myself a Christian, albeit hesitantly sometimes, just because I know of all the different connotations and pictures people will get in their head associated with that word. But if there's been anything about organized Christianity that's been particularly sticky for me (anti-queer theology and the like aside), it's worship music and the often problematic relationship Christians have with it.

hard reset: some thoughts on summer

hard reset: some thoughts on summer

Hi, hello, blogosphere! I'm back after a month long hiatus, thanks to first year grad school finals and all other chaotic things flying through life the second half of May. I'm not exactly sure what I'm back to say in this post exactly. All I know is a lot has been whirling through my head over the last month or so and I've been wanting to write again. So, here I am.

As I've seen a lot of friends I hadn't seen for a while over the last couple weeks (since OBVIOUSLY my social life also suffered in the midst of writing all my final papers and then just wanting to be a hermit for several days immediately after), people have been asking me how I've been doing and what my plans are for the summer since I don't have class. After doing that classic Minnesota (and Asian thing) where I mitigate the effect of having a free summer by saying that this will be my only class-free summer because I'll have class every summer after this one until I graduate, I've found myself at a slight loss for words. This isn't necessarily because I don't know what I want to do with this stretch of three months or because I don't have any definite goals, but it's more because I'm entering this summer in a completely different state of mind, emotions, a completely different state of everything than before, a hard reset if you will. (I've also been using the phrase "if you will" quite a bit, and I can't tell if it makes me sound pretentious or not...oh well.)

queer fashion & gender bending

queer fashion & gender bending

A few weeks ago, I wrote this post about why I use the word "queer" to describe myself these days rather than "gay," and I've been thinking about a lot of related things over the last few days. Specifically, I was thinking about the role fashion plays in how we construct our own notions of self, and I was going to do a Twitter thread on it (lol), but I decided that it was going to end up being hella long and went for a blog post instead. So, no, that header quote isn't supposed to be making any philosophical statements. It's more a joke at myself that I tend to wear mostly black, white, gray, and navy. But also I suppose you could say it's a double entendre, because it's also to say that things aren't always (and I'd venture to say usually not) binary.

on the last four months

on the last four months

If you had asked me at any point in the past what I thought my life would look like today, I never would've been able to predict it. Truthfully, if I was able to go back in time and tell myself a year ago what my life was like in the present, I'm not sure I would believe myself. Even just four months ago, I don't think I would be able to believe that everything that's happened in the last four months would be possible. And my suicidal 15-year old self who had just come out to himself  and was terrified at the prospect of being queer certainly wouldn't be able to believe it. The life I'm living is one my 15-year old self didn't believe he would live to see.

why I use queer as my identifier

why I use queer as my identifier

I'm not sure exactly when it happened, but somewhere along the way over the last two years or so, I've gradually shifted away from using the term 'gay' to describe myself and towards the term 'queer' as my new preferred self-identifier. This is something that everyone has probably started to pick up on, but for me, it was such a gradual transition that I didn't even realize it had happened until one of my good friends/mentors pointed it out while we were having lunch the other day.

We were sitting in the dining hall of my old university where she works, catching up on all the different life happenings that had transpired since the last time we had seen each other, and she mentioned there was something she wanted to ask me. She noted that I had been referring to myself and many of my friends as 'queer' rather than as 'gay,' 'lesbian,' or even just 'LGBTQ' as I had in the past and was curious about that shift in language. The question took me a little by surprise, not because it struck any particular sensitivities, but because I hadn't been fully aware that I had changed the way I referred to myself until that very moment.