Exploring Uniquely LGBTQIA+ Theology
Review: Queerology Podcast
Queerology is a podcast on “belief and being” hosted by Matthias Roberts, a psychotherapist who supports LGBTQIA+ people to embrace both their faith and sexuality. His guests are theologians and pastors, poets and activists, musicians and psychologists. Each has something to offer about the nature of faith and of God, and each is a member of or ally to the LGBTQIA+ community.
The title is more than wordplay. Queerology is a space for LGBTQIA+ people to reimagine theology, justice, and community by drawing on their own lived experiences. From asexual pastor Bailey Brawner to non-binary sociologist Kyl Myers to late writer and ally Rachel Held Evans, each guest Matthias interviews has something vital to say about how we do church. What emerges are deep conversations and uniquely queer theologies.
Rev. Elizabeth Edman argues that Christian faith is “inherently queer” in the way that it disrupts “false binaries” and oppressive power structures. She describes life and death as one such binary, which Jesus “shatter[s] in the events of those last three days of His execution and death, and then the resurrection.”
Alyson Stoner, an actor and dancer, advocates for leaning into the mystery of faith: “we get hung up on words and… who’s in and out of the faith… We forget that there have been hundreds of translations and iterations of the Bible, and we’re not necessarily even practicing the same thing they were back in the day anyway. So, yes, we’ve got to respect that mystery is wonderful, and beautiful, and transformative.”
Other guests talk about the exclusion they have experienced in church spaces that are not welcoming to LGBTQIA+ people. Pastor Brit Barron says, “I know what it feels like to have to defend my existence in a space, while also trying to excel in a space, while also trying to be a representative in a space.”
Likewise, Grace Semler Baldridge drew on her own experience growing up as the queer child of a minister to craft the lyrics for her EP Preacher’s Kid. The chorus of her first track Bethlehem heartbreakingly captures the hurt she has experienced in exclusionary church spaces alongside the desire to follow Jesus: “Oh what I’d give for just an inch of your peace / ‘Cause I wanna fall but I’ve got bruises on my knees.”
Matthias often interviews fellow therapists about mental health practices for LGBTQIA+ people of faith, and discusses the relationship between healing and faith. Poet and educator Chavonn Williams Shen also describes how poetry can heal, both in her own creative practice by delving into her family’s stories and in teaching writing.
On Queerology, Matthias Roberts guides his listeners and guests through transformative conversations that explore the vulnerability and strength of queer people in the church. Ear-opening and mind-widening, this podcast is essential listening for LGBTQIA+ people of faith and their allies.
Queerology is available on your podcast platform of choice.
Gabrielle Cadenhead is Insights’ Intern