What is your agenda?
1. To represent the broadest number of voices and perspectives, all reflecting on the deeply personal and meaningful intersection of sexuality, gender and spirituality.
2. To make those reflections available to the wider world through queerituality.com and other media platforms.
Can I suggest someone for you to talk with?
Yes, please! Suggest a stop, either yourself or someone else. You can also use that link to suggest a helpful organization, or another person who should be spreading the word.
What do you mean by Queer, LGBT..?
People outside the mainstream of sexuality and gender use a lot of words to describe themselves. Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender are some of the most common, hence the acronym LGBT.
Though queer used to be a derogatory word -- and still is if someone shouts it out of a car window when they drive by you -- it has been reclaimed as a positive identity by many people who don't fit cultural norms of sexuality and/or gender. I use queer as an umbrella term for LGBT people; it's also the word I use to describe my own sexuality.
Why aren't you including straight and cis-gender allies in this project?
Right now The Queerituality Project focuses exclusively on queer- and LGBTQ-identified people, because our stories of faith and spirituality are so rarely told.
Straight & cis-gender allies are a powerful, welcoming force in many religious communities; others have reconsidered their affiliations or beliefs because of their relationships with queer people. I think they rock, and I may one day collect their stories as an extension of The Queerituality Project. Heterosexual and cis-gender people who are religiously opposed to homosexuality or gender non-conformity get a lot of press already, and while I'm willing to talk with them personally, they aren't the focus of the project.
Who is behind this project?
Mandi Rice -- a queer-identified person with a Catholic dad, a Presbyterian/Methodist mom, a Jewish step-dad, and a Quaker education.
Mandi decided to drive across the country, recording stories of queer people of faith, more than a decade after she came out as a middle school student. In high school she traveled on church choir trips, served as an acolyte, but refused to be confirmed into the Methodist church because of its stance on homosexuality. She also lobbied the Missouri legislature and her district's school board for greater protections for LGBT people, and received her high school's Ernest Jones Humanitarian Award.
Mandi is the kind of person who just can't help talking to you in line at the grocery store. She has reported for Saint Louis Public Radio, served as news director for WECI-FM, and held online positions with newspapers and non-profits. She studied journalism and linguistics at Earlham College, focusing on new media and romance languages. She has reported in Montréal, Canada; St. Louis, Mo.; and Richmond, Ind.
When she's not driving around the country, Mandi lives with her partner in the greater Boston area.
How can I support your work?
Read it. Share it. Suggest a participant. Call your local news and tell them I'll be in town.
If you would like to financially support The Queerituality Project, I am working on a method for that. Right now you can email me to let me know you're interested. Thank you.