Thursday, July 31, 2014

Exploring the LGBTQ Experience and Faith through Art

My own ongoing journey of reconciling faith with a minority sexual orientation has been the defining struggle of my life. It's been deeply rewarding and transformative. Many times throughout the process, the only medium I've found adequate enough to express the complexity, nuance, and contradiction of it all has been poetry. When the thoughts and feelings became too much, they spilled out of my pen in an attempt to understand myself and my own experience.

The more I've come to know other LGBTQ/SSA Mormons, the more I've found many who have similarly turned to art to express their own experiences. Late last year, I had the idea of starting a community for people to share and explore the intersection of sexuality and faith through art. So many of the poems, songs, and stories shared in that group have touched me and resonated deeply with my own experience, and I think they deserve to be heard.

So in the upcoming weeks, I'd like to start a new blog dedicated to sharing the diverse artistic expressions of LGBTQ/SSA Mormons as they creatively explore their own experiences. In my experience, art has a unique capacity to express emotion and circumstance without judgement and inspire empathy and compassion in those who are exposed to it. My hope is that as we can build a community of empathy and creativity and find resonance and identification in the artistic work of fellow LGBTQ Mormons.

Anyone interested in sharing their poetry, stories, songs, or any other artwork that deals with themes of Mormonism, faith, and the LGBTQ/SSA experience, please contact me and join our Facebook community. I look forward to working together to release the artistic and creative potential of the LGBTQ/SSA Mormon community. I hope that this can be a place where everyone, no matter their perspective, current position with the church, or choices in regards to how to handle the LGBT experience in the Mormon context can feel safe to share their most intimate and creative expressions.

While the intersection of minority sexual orientation/gender expression and Mormonism is the main object of the community, everyone is invited to join the Facebook group, no matter how they identify in terms of sexual orientation, gender, or religion.