Connecting the Seemingly Unconnected

My partner in love and art, Glen Retief, reminds me I need to help my audiences understand where I am going when I present one of my performance lectures. I make connections between things that are not apparent even after a short explanation. For instant, I see climate change as a queer issue. I told Glen I was sitting with the question: What is a Queer Response to Climate Change?

“Queer as in odd, out of the ordinary?” he asked. “Well, yes,” I replied,”but also lesbian, transgender gay, bisexual, and gender non-binary. I think climate change affects us differently, and we have unique perspectives and skills to offer in addressing it.” I took a year off to study climate change and the connections to LGBTQ people and history. Four years ago I wrote this piece which includes some my initial musings on the topic of climate change as a global LGBTQ human rights issue.

The word intersectionality is very big right now. Since my work has always been interdisciplinary as it has looked at LGBTQ oppression/liberation, faith, and society, it has been intersectional for a long time. I also benefited from reading Audre Lorde and Doris Lessing after I came out.

I couldn’t help looking at gay conversion therapies (pray-away-the-gay, etc) without seeing how it was tied to white Protestant male power and privilege in the USA. Many of us white guys in this program were not just trying to be straight for Jesus; we were desperately trying to regain lost power and privilege in Evangelical churches that saw us as feminized men and therefore blocked to serve very much like the women were treated, except we were not encouraged to watch the children.

If you want to hear how my brain processes this sort of stuff, check out this short radio interview conducted by Lori Walsh as South Dakota Public Radio. We cover a lot of ground! Conversion therapy, LGBTQ friendly Bible stories, extreme weather, and much more.

Click here to listen.



Leave a Comment