Depicted clockwise: Spirit of Maná, Spirit of Aloha, Poli’ahu, Pelé, Hina, NāMaka, Papahānoumoku
It started with Pelé, the Hawai’ian Volcano Goddess who governs fire, lightning, volcanoes, and the flow of lava. When my little family set off on a big adventure in June 2015, I knew I’d research and paint her as a Holy Woman Icon.
I was 13 and sitting in the basement of my childhood home in the Amish-laden countryside of Pennsylvania.
“...then their eyes were opened and they recognized him.” –Luke 24:31
Jesus will find us anywhere. As soon as we give him permission, his quest for our hearts is endless.
I remember when I first came out as queer—first to myself, next to my first girlfriend and friends, and lastly to family.
When puberty began, I assumed I was like everyone else. They got crushes on people, I got crushes on people. They wanted to hold hands and kiss their crushes, I wanted to hold hands and kiss my crushes.
When I was a kid my grandmother would rock back and forth on her green metallic rocking chair singing old Spirituals like, “We shall overcome, someday.” I still remember her tears. My grandmother, big and yellow, a proud Christian, guarded our South Dallas porch singing songs like, “I’m a solider in the Army of the Lord. I’m a solider in the Army.”
Last night was my dad’s memorial service. I delayed my coming out because of his illness. I knew that he was already struggling with his own mortality and that trying to reconcile the daughter he was so proud of and loved deeply with the ideas he had about LGBT people would be too much for him.
Growing up in an evangelical Christian home, my family was invested in maintaining certain Judeo-Christian holiday traditions. Easter Sunday was no exception; it was a day rooted in chocolate pastels, family dinner, and most notably for me: new accessories.
Trigger warning: discussion of suicide
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s comments about her understanding of what “transness” is set off a firestorm last month. In an interview, she said trans women live in the world with “privileges that the world accords to men” prior to transition.
I am not oppressed, I am not a victim—I thrive, I rise, I am.
A few months ago, I participated at an organization's Board of Directors meeting. It was an intense gathering where we were all challenged to stretch beyond our comfort zones and look at how each of us participates in anti-oppression work and in oppression (intentionally and unintentionally)—sometimes at the same time.
Editor's Note: Today, the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice made it clear that they will not uphold guidelines designed to help schools support transgender students. Our faith tells us trans students deserve to be treated with dignity and respect—this includes the ability to use bathrooms and locker rooms that correspond with who they are.
I was not always out as trans, but I was always uncomfortable in school bathrooms.