The Queerituality Project (rhymes with "spirituality") is a collection of portraits and stories from LGBTQ people about their religious journeys and their spiritual lives. The Project shares the stories of people who:
Mainstream stories about LGBTQ folks tend to portray us as either secular or, if we are religious, celibate. In nearly 90 recordings The Queerituality Project documents the many folks who are seeking religious belonging while also affirming their gender expression and/or sexuality.
I began the project in 2013 and particularly sought to include the stories of people of color; people who are trans or gender non-conforming; people who live in rural areas and the U.S. South as well as big cities in the North; and those who come from non-Christian backgrounds.
Each Queerituality Project conversation offered a chance for the participant to reflect on the important ways that queerness and spirituality have interacted in their life. A Queerituality conversation is not an interview with a specific list of questions. With subject matter that runs so deep, and where our cultural conversation is so divisive, set questions can actually limit the possible conversation.
For each session I brought an audio recorder and helped to create an open space. Then the magic happens: Participants decide where to start, what topics to cover in the middle, and when they've come to an end. The strength of this process is reflected in the tremendous range of stories that have been told during the Project. Some people spoke to joyful spiritual awakenings, while others spoke of sexual violence or suicide attempts. The Queerituality Project has tried to make room for all of those truths.
After the conversation, I type up a transcript of the participants' reflections. (Wonderful volunteers help with this process as well!) If any edits need to made for clarity, the participant approves them before we finalize the story.
The individuals who participated in this project continue to evolve in their thinking and in their experiences, as we all do. For that reason, the conversations are marked with the date of the recording. Moreover, the narratives online here capture just a part of their many multi-faceted identities and stories. I am grateful to them for sharing what they did, and for being mindful of their privacy and safety with any aspects that they chose not to discuss in such a public way.