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  • Blogging in Shadows 5:32 pm on April 20, 2016 Permalink  



    Three great African science fiction and fantasy writers at EasterCon 2016


    MancuniCon - EasterCon 2016


    EasterCon 2016 took place at the Hilton hotel Deansgate, Manchester.  It was my second time attending this event.  I was able to get a free membership through Con or Bust, but I didn’t receive any other financial assistance.  I was lucky though - Virgin had a train ticket sale, so I got really cheap travel to the event.  I was asked to be on a few panels - Poetry, Diversity in UK Science fiction and fantasy, and an interestingly named panel: Are we heading for a superhero crash?

    I knew that I would be in the minority, as a black bisexual, nonbinary person at EasterCon, but I was determined to have a good time regardless.  This intent didn’t last long however, as I was subject to a lot of micro and macro aggressions throughout the four-day event.  There were some good parts: free books, interesting writing sessions, and meeting up with friends.  I was really pleased when I raised concerns over the timing of the Diversity session which had been placed last thing on a Sunday - the organisers moved it to Friday afternoon instead.  The session on maths explained by juggling was a blast, and the session on putting twists into your stories was enlightening.  Meeting three African Science Fiction writers was like a dream come true.   But unfortunately the bad parts of EasterCon made me wish I’d never gone, and that’s really sad.

    The first negative thing happened in the Poetry session.  I read a poem I’d written about Game of Thrones, and the racism, misogyny and bigotry that made it difficult for me to watch.  Another poet, who said she only had a single poem to read, was very upset by my work.  She stated that she knew someone involved in Game of Thrones, who would be very angry if he had heard my poem.  I started to get worried: what if that guy was at EasterCon?  Would I be in physical danger because of what I’d written?  Sadly, the moderator seemed to take it as a joke - she even said the session was turning into a rap battle.  

    The angry poet went to the toilet later in the session.  When she returned, she announced that she’d written a poem whilst away.  She proceeded to read her rebuttal to my poem, which likened my rejection of Game of Thrones, to being sexually assaulted.  I was absolutely gobsmacked by this.  The moderator looked ill at ease too but she didn’t intervene or do anything.  I wondered if a white person had written my work, would they have been subject to this?  Would they be afraid as I was?  I felt very upset by the whole thing, and even though I had two friends in the audience, I felt alone with the feelings.

    The second negative thing at EasterCon happened after the Superhero Crash session.  I mentioned to the moderator that I had received a free membership from Con or Bust.  The moderator looked me up and down, and stated, “Yes, of course you’d have to.”  I was pretty taken aback by this.  She continued in a condescending tone, “I think we need to put conditions on the free memberships to Con or Bust, to ensure that new coloured people can attend.”  I was disgusted by her use of the term ‘coloured’ and appalled that she would wield her power in saying which people of colour could use Con or Bust’s service.  This was the moment when I promised myself to never come back to EasterCon.  It didn’t seem to matter how inclusive they tried to be, if there was no back-up to their intentions.  When I looked at the Code of Conduct, there was no acknowledgment of the bigotry and bad behaviour that could be inflicted: instead they used an example of someone being upset about meals at the hotel.  I didn’t want to talk to anyone in charge about what I’d experienced, because I thought they wouldn’t really listen - this wasn’t a random attendee saying horrible things to me, it was moderators and other panellists.  

    Speaking of Moderators, many of the ones I saw at EasterCon seemed unprepared, ineffective, and on two occasions quite drunk.  Moderators hold a lot of power; but if they’re not briefed adequately, then it means nothing.

    It has taken me a long time to write up this report; partly because I didn’t want to portray the event as negative.  But it was very negative for me.  I don’t want any other people of colour to be treated this poorly when they take part in SFF events, but time and again I see things like this happening, with very little change. Science fiction and fantasy is an escape for me, but EasterCon wasn’t an escape from the bigotry I experience almost daily.  Even though this event is run by volunteers, that doesn’t excuse this behaviour.  We all deserve better than this.

     
  • jen

    jen 6:08 pm on April 9, 2016 Permalink  

    Bi, Poly: Overlapping challenges? 

    I did some public speaking recently, at a Man Met Uni polyamory conference: here's what I said...


    Hello. My name is Jen Yockney, I’m not an academic, I’m here because of my work with the bisexual project BiPhoria. My pronouns are she/her or ze/hir – I’m easy either way, and beware there’s going to be a lot of bad bisexual punning like that to come.

    BiPhoria is 21 and a half years old – the oldest extant bisexual community project in the UK – the previous group to hold that title closed down when it was 21 so this might be a crunch year. I’m also involved with Bi Community News magazine and have organised a number of events like today’s but about bisexuality, called BiFests, and longer things lasting a few days to a week called BiCon.

    And I want to start with BiCon because one of the things we do there is an annual survey of who attends, which about a third of attendees return. In 2004 the survey found 40% of attendees described their relationships as poly; in 2014, 42% - and that’s current status, so there are likely more people who might be poly minded but single at the time or what have you.

    So you might get the impression that bisexuals are all poly.

    And in the other direction that the bis you notice are in multiple relationships, or open to them.

    I don’t think that equivalence is quite the case, but I think there are some overlaps between the challenges of bi and poly invisibility and that’s what I’m going to talk about today.

    Bisexual invisibility – the way that we are trained to assume people to be gay or straight – is a handy phrase growing in currency. It’s something all of us do – even after 20 odd years of bi activism and volunteering I do. You see two people holding hands in front of you in the street, you make a best guess as to their gender, and a bit of your brain puts them in a box as gay or straight accordingly.  No ill intent, just how we're programmed, most of us.  Two boxes.

    Let’s think about that invisibility's effects. In 2012 the European Union Fundamental Rights Agency published research including looking at how many people felt they could be out at work. For gay men and lesbians 50% now say this is the case. I grew up back when you could be summarily dismissed from work because your employer didn’t like gays or didn’t like bisexuals, so this is a brilliant figure and sign of change. Except once you think that if 50% feel they can be out, another 50% don’t feel they can. For bi women in the work place that sinks to 27% feeling they can be out, and for bi men, 14%. Seven out of eight men in my community can’t be honest about who they are at work for fear of social and career repercussions. Ten years after the law supposedly prevented discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation at work, that’s a frightening figure.

    And not just at work. Last year’s “Beyond Babies” research from LGBT Foundation noted that 4% of straight women experience mental health issues; 12% of lesbians, yet 21% of bi women. When I was growing up we talked about bisexuality as being kind of “gay lite”, that you experienced half the problems and discrimination, when you were queerbashed you were only beaten up down the left hand side of your body. Turns out, it’s not like that at all.

    And the root of these problems is bisexual invisibility. If we aren’t telling one other, we don’t spot each other. Because we only see the tip of the iceberg of who is bi, and of who is poly, we don’t have secret signals like haircuts or dress codes. We have to speak to be seen and then fight being policed down in our identity.

    We’re told as bisexuals we are sexually greedy. Which is bad, apparently. Perhaps there’s only so much sex to go around, and we are hogging it. Whenever this one starts people seem to go for the same line too – “Woody Allen says”, they declare as if it were new, “that being bisexual doubles your chance of a date on a Friday night”. I have a few problems with that. The first is the maths doesn’t work. For a date on Friday night as well as you being attracted to them, they have to be attracted to you. We don’t – and I am outraged at this – we don't get twice as many Friday nights as non bi people. And there have been times in my life where the chance of a date on a Friday night was zero, and double that is – well, I can tell you’re ahead of me on that bit of maths.

    We’re told we are sexually voracious; a couple of years back there was scientific research, and it must have been true because I read it in the Daily Mail, showing the reason women are bisexual is they just have far too much sex hormone sloshing around in them and it makes them prepared to have sex with absolutely anything. Um. No.

    We are – and unusually in modern use this is a bad thing – indiscriminate. At my old job, as the token bisexual I would be called on to adjudicate in discussions of how attractive members of pop bands were. The people who fancied men would agree this one was the cutest, those who fancied women would agree this one was the hottest, but I would be called on as the bisexual to rule which was the hottest of all. Because of course I have no personal biases, tastes or preference.

    And we are suffering from two mental problems – indecision or confusion, and the delusion that you really can be bisexual at all

    And these remind me a lot of what they tell me about being poly. I hope I’ve layered them on with a thick enough trowel for it to be clear already. Greedy. Sexually voracious. At some point this whole delusional state of many attractions, many loves, is going to resolve itself down to a decision and understanding of the real truth, which gender we actually fancied all along, which one we were really in love with.

    How do we develop ways to challenge these and the issues of invisibility?

    First language. Poly seems to do quite well on this – useful words like metamour or compersion. A positive, even if not universal, language. Bisexuals are doing much worse: we don’t have a good word without the “sexual” in it akin to gay or lesbian, and Yougov’s recent research showed that while anything up to 43% of the population are attracted to more than one gender, only two percent would own the B word as a label.

    Then there’s symbols. We used, going back to BiCon which I spoke about earlier, it’s been going for some 30 years and for a long time there was a new logo, new symbol, new slogan every year. Even if you saw someone who was at a BiCon five years earlier in their BiCon teeshirt you might not recognise its symbol. Then in 1998 Michael Page helped us hugely by inventing a flag. I know flags have, let us call it a mixed record when it comes to colonialism, but thanks to the bi flag there is now on ebay a wide range of pink, purple and blue - bisexual flag coloured - tat that you can buy to subtly communicate that you’re bisexual to others in the know.

    And third, connecting regardless through the web and finding one another that way. The web is wonderful but there are problems with self-policing ourselves on facebook and whether your profile can identify your sexuality and partners without causing issues for them: information spreading easily can be good and bad.

    So in conclusion, bisexual and polyamory: we are not the same set of people as the visible section of the bi community might make you think, but I think we do have a significant set of shared challenges and stereotypes and a common need to challenge our invisibility in everyday life.
     
  • biphoria

    biphoria 4:36 pm on April 6, 2016 Permalink  

    April’s Manchester Bi News 

    Our April bulletin has been landing in people's email inboxes and here it is on a web page. With news of the Bi Book Awards, bi songs, bisexual meetups in Manchester and more

    http://eepurl.com/bWKdgz
     
  • Blogging in Shadows 4:34 pm on March 27, 2016 Permalink  



    I wrote the poem below for MancuniCon, the U.K. Easter sci fi convention.  I sadly experienced a few racist incidents whilst at this event, as I do most places I go.  However, when I wrote this poem, I thought about how white science fiction and fantasy is in general, and how the possibility of people of colour inhabiting a fictional space makes so many defensive unless we are subservient to white folks.  The poem is inspired by my all time fave episode of any Star Trek series, Far Beyond the Stars, on Deep Space Nine.


    Jake Sisko


    I don’t want to be the only black soul in space

    I don’t want to break through the atmosphere
    I don’t wanna blast off to an unknown place
    I want to stay right here

    Cos if black folks board those rocket ships
    Ain’t nothing new it gonna prove
    Cos all they really want us for
    Is to shine those white folks shoes

    You may say a brave new world’s waiting
    Where a man can truly be free
    But this black soul be contemplating
    This here world and the racist cruelty I’ve seen

    Freedom don’t come beyond the stars
    I won’t find it way up there
    Freedom means stories of my own
    Where black folks sit in the captain’s chair

    And ain’t it sweet you imagine aliens
    Being red and blue and green
    But black folks in sci-fi are impossible
    Too unbelievable to be seen

    That’s why I choose to write what I do
    Black fantasy is why I’m here
    Far beyond the stars may look good to you
    But son, I ain’t got the fare

     
  • Blogging in Shadows 5:56 pm on March 11, 2016 Permalink  



    TW: Mentions of sexual assault and street harrassment



    A Poem: What was she wearing when she was raped and killed?

    Hey, baby. Why aren’t you smiling?
    Hey, baby. Can I walk you home?
    Hey, baby. I’m just being friendly!
    Fuck you, bitch. Hope you die alone.

    Hey, sis. I know it’s late
    What you mean, you’ve got a man?
    I just wanna ask you out on a date.
    See this type of bitch is the kind I can’t stand.

    Hey, darling. Give me your number
    Now let me check to see if it’s real
    You’d be surprised at all the bitches trying to put one over
    Fuck you, bitch. You ain’t got the body I wanna feel.

    What do you mean, I can’t buy you a drink?
    What do you mean, You won’t let me pay?
    How else am I supposed to meet hot girls like you?
    Fuck you, bitch. You’re too fat anyway.

    You think you’re better than me, don’t you?
    You think you’re smarter.  Think you’re wise
    Fuck you, bitch.  I’ve gotta gun
    Fuck you, bitch.  Take a look at my knife.
    All they’ll ask is why you led me on.
    Fuck you bitch. I got the law on my side.
    Fuck you, bitch.  If you leave the car door unlocked
    Don’t act surprised when men take it & drive.

    Fuck that bitch.  She wouldn’t give me a chance
    Fuck that bitch.  She wasn’t exactly a prize.
    Fuck that bitch.  It was the heat of the moment.
    Fuck you all.  It’s not my fault she died.

     
  • Blogging in Shadows 1:13 pm on March 11, 2016 Permalink  



    Loneliness and Bisexuality

    Image Artist: Kinuko Craft

    This is how the journey goes for me: loneliness, isolation and desperation.  It happens in that order, although it should never have to happen at all.  As a bisexual person of colour, my chances for socialising are not that high.  Racism, biphobia and misogynoir is an awfully powerful mixture to deal with.  I cannot separate myself into palatable pieces others find easier to digest.  I cannot and should not even be thinking of myself like that.  This is the first part of the journey.  I start to make compromises; hell we al do in some ways.  But for bisexual people, we compromise when we hide parts of ourselves - our sexual orientation from others just to feel closer,to feel accepted and less of a freak.  That trick may work for a while, but to have any kind of self respect means that sooner or later, it will become a stone in our mouth.  The truth will out, and even if it only comes out to ourselves, it will still feel like a betrayal.

    I am a social person; as much as I need time alone, I still want to be with others.  Spending half my life with an immediate family whose numbers were more than twenty people, doesn’t make it easy for me to cook for one, to talk to no one, to always be alone.  Rejection is a thing I’ve known; from my abusive family, from lesbians and gays, and white bisexuals too.  Loneliness is a thing I’ve had to deal with for so long.  Loneliness isn’t just the absence of others, but for me, it’s the thing that leads to isolation and desperation.  Loneliness is me sitting in a gay bar and feeling like I have the word ‘Bisexual’ stamped on my forehead, as folks ignore me.  Loneliness is me having no reflection of my life when I look in the Voice newspaper, or Ebony and Essence magazine.

    Isolation is a structural result of biphobia, racism and misogynoir in LGBT and straight communities.  It is a process that makes me actively alone.  Isolation silences and squashes my attempts to be a member of communities where I could belong.  Now don’t get me wrong - I give a lot of talks on bisexuality, mental health and racism.  I write a lot of blog posts, articles and pieces too.  But as soon as I switch off my computer, I disappear.  When I end my talk, I become an unwanted guest in someone else’s space.  Isolation gives more power to biphobia, racism and misogynoir that is directed at me constantly.  Isolation is LGBT events that are too expensive for me to ever afford to attend.  Isolation is having community events in pubs, when I sometimes cannot bear to be around alcohol or drunk people.  The feeling that I will be alone forever is what makes isolation so cruel; it takes away any vision of a future I may have dreamed of, and leaves nothing but silence in its wake.

    Desperation is the cold side of the bed when my abusive ex-boyfriend finally left.  Desperation is the fact that I stayed with him so long, despite the fact that he said I was no better than a whore.  The loss of self respect; the journey I’d been on since loneliness became my partner, led me to that place.  There are worse things than being alone - I know that, but I am ashamed at what loneliness and isolation has made me do.  I’m not making excuses either.  I know that isolation is a tactic many abusive people use to separate their victims from possible sources of help and support.  But when I face so any types of oppression on a daily basis, I am often afraid to face the alternatives of an empty room, an empty bed and an empty life.

    Another tactic abusive people use is to make you feel grateful for any crumbs of affection and attention they toss your way.  It is not easy for me to write this, but I have been there, scrabbling around on the floor, searching for anything to feed my starving heart, even when I knew there was a high probability it would only men a boot on my back.  Loneliness, isolation and desperation are weapons in the wrong hands.  There is no need for these states to be mis-used, but so often I find that they are.  When I exist as an already marginalised person, unwilling to be accepted by the communities I could be part of, I am at risk of being treated poorly.  The stone in my mouth; the silence in my home; the distance I have travelled on this journey, are all symptoms of how broken this society is.  This is the world where women are devalued, racism is excused, nonbinary  folks are ignored and bisexuals are never believed to even exist.  This is my world and I am a part of it, clinging to the edge of the flattened globe, trying not to tumble into the dark unknown as I make my way to something more.  Something better.

     
  • Blogging in Shadows 5:49 pm on March 8, 2016 Permalink  

    Multiple Oppressions in the UK Bi Scenes 

    When a very brief exchange reminds you why you don’t miss the white middle class bicon world that much any more. (by extension all the other white and middlecass ‘alt’ worlds: lgbtq, kink, geek etc etc)

    so so much emotional labour of explaining racism (and you know you’ve got problems if IM explaining classism too coz i am one of the people who gets it) of being expected to explain/educate, because an 'activist’. (activist, not masochist doormat/your personal/community resource)

    I had to cut off completely from a scene that I’d worked/loved/fucked/found myself in over ten years.

    It became no longer possible to be in that scene without being shut down/told off for being 'unreasonable’ /angry or being a version of me that fanned my internalised racism.

    But there are so few spaces which are not shit for bi people. Basically are there any that aren’t organised primarily by bi people?

    That’s part of why I stayed so long, and it was a huge huge loss stepping away.

    That’s why bi’s of colour, which Jacq Applebee and I founded, has been a fucking lifeline.

    http://bisofcolour.tumblr.com/

     
  • biphoria

    biphoria 10:28 am on March 2, 2016 Permalink  

    Here’s March! 

    A new month, a new BiPhoria Bulletin with bi news from Manchester and further afield.

    Here's the new edition, with news of bi meets, BiCon, Big Bi Fun Day, and more.

    Somehow in putting it together our next outreach stall got missed off. Ooops!
     
  • Blogging in Shadows 5:20 pm on March 1, 2016 Permalink  







    bisofcolour:

    UK LGBT History Month is now over.  It was a mixed month for us at Bi’s of Colour.  Stage 3 of our history project saw us sending over 30 sets of our posters all over the country, from the Highlands of Scotland, to lush Devon.  Thanks to many kind and generous donations, the costs of postage and packing was covered.  UNISON were also incredibly generous in printing the posters for us. Jacq Applebee gave talks about bisexual history and people of colour in London, Bristol and Manchester.  

    However there were some less positive things about LGBT History Month that made us disappointed: the Bisexual erasure from so called LGBT groups and organisations was even worse than usual.  Camden LGBT Forum refused to host any bisexual events, and called them “Flops.”  School’s Out, the official organisers of LGBT History Month and the LGBT Festival, refused to acknowledge the many queries they received about the lack of bisexual content during the month (until a day before the month ended).  They also never answered any queries about the lack of bisexual content and speakers.

    The bi communities came out in force, as did the queer, trans and intersex people of colour communities, to support their members during February.  This was in stark contrast to the large funded organisations who say they’re LGBT, but are often only for lesbians and gays only.  For many bisexual people of colour, this type of poor behaviour is nothing new.

    We still have many sets of posters available: if your library, community centre or organisation would like a set, please contact us at bis.of.colour@gmail.com  If you would prefer to receive a PDF of the posters, please let us know – this may be especially useful if you live outside of the UK.

    Here’s hoping the rest of the year is more positive to both people of colour, and to bisexuals too.

     
  • EsmeT

    EsmeT 12:05 am on February 26, 2016 Permalink  

    Bisexual Priest 

    I've never really had any problems in my life crop up because I'm bisexual. I've been tremendously lucky, I know that, and I'm very grateful. My parents haven't disowned me, friends haven't abandoned me, I've haven't feared for my safety, or been mistreated by lovers, I can be out at work, in church, on the internet, with most family (no need as I see it to trouble my grandparents though). I've flirted, loved and lost like anyone my age really, maybe not as proactively as I could do, but I'm with someone, a guy, we've been going together since the summer, so that's evened out alright.

    So what's going on? For years, I've had a niggling in the back of my head that said some day I would be a priest, but I thought nothing of it until in September, five months ago, when it reared to the forefront and suddenly 'some day' was right now. So since then I've embarked on what is known as the discernment process, where the church and I - the Church of England - discern whether what I think I feel is correct. You can read about how I've getting on at thewayishouldwalkin.blogspot.co.uk.

    I haven't posted on this blog for a while because nothing really relevant has cropped up; you can see how sporadic things have been over the last few posts. But this issue, the process by which the church will seek to know me inside out, my bisexuality and general stance on sex/gender suddenly becomes quite, quite relevant.

    If you're in the UK, you've probably seen the tumultuous goings-on about same-sex relations within the Church of England, and you might have heard about them abroad too, as the ripples reach the rest of the Anglican Communion. The most recent epicentre was the meeting of Primates in Lambeth that resulted in the Episcopal Church in America being sanctioned for embracing same-sex marriage.

    What's official comes from three things: Issues in Human Sexuality, a report from 1991; a Synod motion from 1987, below; and to a lesser extent, this resolution of the Anglican Communion. (For more click here.)

    1987 motion:

    "This Synod affirms that the biblical and traditional teaching on chastity [refraining from extramarital/all sexual intercourse] and fidelity in personal relationships is a response to, and expression of, God’s love for each one of us, and in particular affirms;
    (1) that sexual intercourse is an act of total commitment which belongs properly within a permanent married relationship.
    (2) that fornication [sexual intercourse between people not married to each other] and adultery are sins against this ideal, and are to be met by a call to repentance and the exercise of compassion.
    (3) that homosexual genital acts also fall short of this ideal, and are likewise to be met with a call to repentance and the exercise of compassion
     (4) that all Christians are called to be exemplary in all spheres of morality, and that holiness of life is particularly required of Christian leaders."

    So to summarise the official stance of the CofE on bisexuality in 2016 is that ideally I should be celibate until I marry a man, and further, being with women isn't best practice, but they aren't going to burn me at the stake if I date or even get a civil partnership with a woman.

    But not if I'm a priest.

    I've been re-reading the Pilling Report; it refers Issues in Human Sexuality which distinguishes "between the clergy and lay Christians in that, whilst the good conscience of lay people who chose to enter a sexually active same sex relationship should be respected, the clergy cannot claim the liberty to enter into sexually active homophile relationships...[also] clergy cannot claim the liberty to enter into pre- or extra-marital sexual relationships, however ‘normal’ or trivial such relationships may be to the surrounding culture."

    It was encouraging to read in the PR: "Rather than thinking about the human population in terms of a fixed binary division between two sets of people, those who are straight and those who are gay, it seems that we need to accept that while there is a large majority of people who only ever experience heterosexual attraction and a smaller number who only experience homosexual attraction, there is also a significant minority of people who either experience some form of bisexual attraction or who move between heterosexual and homosexual attraction at some point or points in their life."

    So there is an institutional awareness of bisexuality, and things have VERY SLOWLY been going the right way for a while. There's certainly condemnation of treating LGB people negatively.

    I am scared however. There is anecdotal evidence that anyone who openly has same sex attraction is grilled harder when they put themselves forward for discernment, because they are a bigger potential scandal risk. I fear not just my openness about my sexuality will be a barrier, but my general liberal attitudes to all things sex and gender, which I am not willing to either change my mind or be silent about, because silence means people continue to suffer.

    It's not definite that it'll be a problem: "As the 2005 Pastoral Statement from the House of Bishops acknowledges that clergy are fully entitled to argue for a change to the Church of England’s teaching on human sexuality, it would not be appropriate for candidates to be questioned in ways which imply that they may not so argue in the course of their ministries."

    I do already argue for change and I will not stop. Official statements about sex are so inaccurate to the human condition, which has finally found a voice in the 21st century, that it's laughable. Just look at those 4 points above, I can agree with hardly anything there! Liberal ideas about sex ie. sex is not just one thing, it is a vast number of possible things depending not just on gender but context, relationships, abilities, time and place, pleasure, love, necessity, boundaries, desires; it's emotional, social, physical, psychological; it's SO MANY THINGS - these ideas are not new, and the current attitudes and policies are so restricted now that it's becoming clearer. And don't get me started on gender.

    This isn't a generation making stuff up, it's a generation that has FINALLY broken down taboo and been able to express and discuss sex in a mature and compassionate fashion; we can now actually be truthful about sex, and not be ashamed of the truth. It's the same with everything, shame generally comes from ignorance, and once educated, the shame disappears and acceptance of the full scope of truth leads to happier people, fruitful societies, good all round. Surely it is right, and good, and proper to live our lives truthfully? I can't understand how anyone can still think so narrowly, and use it to judge and condemn people living their truth without negative impact on the world.

    The question remains how detailed are the questions going to be about my conduct and what I'll be asked to promise to do or not do. For I very much plan on living my love life with integrity, respect, love, honouring myself and others, in line with my personal faith, my relationship with God; and being leader in the Church who doesn't disregard it's teaching outright, who engages in dialogue and seeks to live a life centred on the Great Commandment, love God and love neighbour. But I don't know if that's enough.

    Looking at the details, the criteria for selection simply says "Candidates must be willing to live within the discipline of Issues in Human Sexuality."; and there are two relevant questions in the ordination service:
    • Will you endeavour to fashion your own life and that of your household according to the way of Christ, that you may be a pattern and example to Christ's people?
    • Will you accept and minister the discipline of this Church, and respect authority duly exercised within it?
    I think 'the way of Christ' is found in my above declaration of integrity etc, and 'respecting authority' has room for interpretation. The criteria bit is a tad tricky, but I'll get to that when it comes to it, and I'll seek advice as well. I maintain that I have a right to privacy, regardless of how the CofE wants to get to know me. We'll see how that flies. I may have to take a good long hard look at whether I want to work for an institution who might reject me because we don't see entirely eye to eye on one matter within my private life. But I've always said, with the beginning of this blog, I am willing to be a flag waver, I will step up and speak out for a better world, and to be honest that's partly come from my faith; I follow a political rebel after all. So maybe it's worth it.

    I just hope I don't get crucified.
     
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