Queering Christianity: Finding a Place at the Table for LGBTQI Christians

By Robert E. Shore-Goss; Thomas Bohache et al. | Go to book overview

Part III
OPENING THE
TABLE PASTORALLY

Mona West

Over the years Queer theology has dealt with approaches to scripture and models for God and the church. What we find in the essays in this section is an expanding understanding of the ways in which queering Christianity weds theory to practice. Jesus’ radical table fellowship was not only a subversion of the purity laws of his day—but it also changed people’s lives.

Joe Shore-Goss in his chapter, Pastoral Care of Transgendered Youthand Joan Saniuk in her chapter, Putting on Wedding Dragqueer pastoral care by claiming that activism is core to our work as caregivers in LGBTQ community. Being present in this caring way means that we understand the unique stresses of being queer in a heteronormative culture and that we create safe places for people’s stories to be heard and valued. For Joe this has meant educating himself on the issues facing the transgender youth he works with in the Harm Reduction Program of the Trans Youth project of Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles, California. As a pastoral caregiver in this context, he is aware of the many layers of identity that transgender youth must navigate in the midst of adolescence: race, class, sexual identity, gender identity, and stages of transgender emergence. Their journey to wholeness also includes several paths to harm reduction which culminate in assessing their spiritual needs as well as medical needs. It is Joe’s understanding of the transgender journey of his clients, not his certification as a chaplain, that is the locus of his authority.

Joan Saniuk uses a trauma model to claim that Metropolitan Community Churche’s (MCC) congregations can be powerful places of healing

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