My Prayer

god, jesus, dude in the sky, do I even care?,

We don’t talk anymore. I don’t know how I feel about you, and your followers seem to think you don’t feel too good about me. I’m pretty good at ignoring them, though.

I’ll make an exception to my vow of silence this morning for sweet baby Opal as she goes into surgery to heal her heart. I’m so glad she has parents like Deanna and Matt who will give her all the best support and love she could ever need. I know William is one of the most important people to me—Opal has and will continue to be a huge blessing, too.

Now that we’re talking again, I’m frustrated. I fight for the right to be treated equally and fairly and each time I think I see real, tangible progress, I’m reminded that the people here have no intention of treating me and my family fairly. It pisses me off. And they do this in your name.

What the fuck is their problem?

I treat them with respect, I work for them, I give them my time and resources. This institution has been my home now for over three years, but I continue to feel like I will not be allowed to belong. Friends offer support and community, but staff seem intent on reminding me that there’s something not quite right about me.

I didn’t choose this. I tried, under the leadership of a school professing to follow you, to rid myself of this issue. You know how hard I tried—to the point of compromising my physical and mental health. Yet somehow these people can’t get it into their heads that I’m just the same as them. I crave companionship, friendship, community, and belonging just like they do. So why do some of them want to see to it that I cannot have that?

This fight isn’t over. I have a lot more strength and I’m nowhere near close to giving up. I have strength in the knowledge that I don’t need someone else’s permission to be as I am. I hope you’re watching.

Oh, and before I hang up again, I think of Maddy in Denver. That overflowing source of healing and love you claim to be? Maybe you could spare some for her.


The Exciting Future of Gender

The Exciting Future of Gender

fateofgendercoverI recently finished The Fate of Gender: Nature, Nurture, and the Human Future by Frank Browning, a former NPR reporter and writer for several other publicatins. There’s been a strong buildup to this book for me and it came at the perfect moment in my life. I spent the last spring from January – April studying gender and sexuality at Oxford through the lens of western european medieval literature which introduced me to both new ideas and ways of processing more complex sociological information, something I’ve had close to no training in besides my independent reading. My spring semester at Oxford in connection with new levels of maturity that enable to me see more clearly how I perceive and interact with my own gender identity provided the perfect time for me to read The Fate of Gender and it was not a disappointment.

I don’t want to diminish the value of my time at Oxford because it taught me important research skills, but I learned much more about how we as humans perceive sex and gender while reading this book than in all of my tutorials. And all it cost me was $10. The book clearly demonstrated to me how the biological and social sides of gender have affected us as a society and how the changing landscape of how we see gender is directly linked to many current world events in both politics and culture. (One brief passage of the book even explains Trump’s success as a backlash against changing gender politics.) And the language of the books is pretty accessible.

Since the beginning of history (/documented civilization), humans have almost entirely lived within masculine societies. As far as I can tell, this status quo is protected through monotheistic religions that use masculine gods to enforce a male superiority that has gone unquestioned for thousands of years. Though we are far from removing the masculine bias from human culture, we’re beginning to see a shift and it is causing a mix of fear and excitement. Early on Browning states:

“To the traditional pinstriped executive in his smoking room or to the laid-off line workers at U.S. Steel, or to the evangelical ministers in Alabama, Kentucky, and Arkansas, these arguments for “equity” constituted nothing less than a full-fledged assault on the natural order of the universe as designed by a singular and unmistakably male god leading to the current unwinding of strict masculine and feminine roles.” p. 10

I see a gray area here that I know will scare many people: how are these changing gender norms not natural? Nature is not constant. Even strict creationists must admit that nature is constantly undergoing an evolutionary process. What is “natural” one moment may not be natural the next. Furthermore, people who argue against the changing face of gender assume that what is natural is good. Is it? (Though this argument can go either way.)

The gender norms that we have developed as a society, though perceived as “natural” by some, may not therefore be good. This can be applied to my previous thought as well. More gray area, but that is barely the beginning of why this excites me.

“You cannot invoke Nature as the basis of human behavior. For if you do, then you might as well legalize infanticide too since certain animal species practice that! But seriously, these days when we very often hear references to what is supposed to be ‘natural’ it’s very often a cover for people who oppose marriage and adoption for everybody.” p. 114, quoting Frank Cézilly


Though gender is far from over, it’s changing. I suggest you pick up a book and figure out your own feelings about the changing face of sex and gender in our society. It excites me, and I hope it excites you as well.

A Note on Growing up Gay in the Christian Church

A Note on Growing up Gay in the Christian Church
(This post was originally published on Facebook. Please like/share/comment on it here.)
I’m really encouraged by Trey Pearson and the positive reaction to his coming out. I see this as an important opportunity to learn from his story.
Similar to Pearson, I grew up believing that being gay was wrong and, more importantly, a choice. I saw my church ask LGBTQ members to leave, and I accepted this as normal and the will of God. Though people in my community had the wisdom to not run around like some infamous churches (WBC), their actions were not lost on my young mind and I absorbed the same homophobic beliefs of those around me.
I assumed that my lack of attraction to women was normal. I even thought I was an extra nice person for not struggling with the horrible lust for women all my high school teachers wouldn’t stop talking about. Sure, I was attracted to men, but growing up in a community that ignored LGBTQ people taught me to believe that my feelings were not legitimate—causing me to sweep my feelings under the carpet and live as someone I was not. Though many are able to sustain this for a long time (like Pearson), it is unhealthy and I am still dealing with the mental repercussions of living a lie.
Luckily, much of the homophobic rhetoric that I was exposed to is beginning to fade away. Maybe it’s because I’ve found better friends to hang out with, but I’m seeing less and less of the heteronormative behavior that taught me to hate my sexual orientation.
However, our work is not done.
At my school I am one of few openly gay individuals. It’s not a joyride, but it is necessary. I recognize that much of what made my coming out process so arduous was the lack of gay role models. Up until my time at Walla Walla University, I had met few (if any) out gay men. They simply did not exist in my world. Though it is not my first choice to submit myself to the public eye as a gay man, I know having visible LGBTQ individuals is important to our next generations, especially within the church. And to church leaders: your actions that continually marginalize and exclude LGBTQ churchgoers are only preserving the lack of visibility and encouraging more bigotry. The less visible gay people are, the easier it is to teach our children to be prejudiced against them.
My point for you, people of the church who read this, is simple: it is extremely important to affirm to your children and peers that you support and accept LGBTQ individuals. Though you may already be supportive in your heart, your silence will be taken as affirmation of the hate that some churches choose to spread.
Please, speak up. I cannot do this alone. I am excited to be seeing some changes, but we still have a long ways to go.

The Conscientious Eater

The Conscientious Eater

I recently found myself at a small restaurant that marketed itself as an eco-friendly establishment. Their ingredients were locally sourced, their water glasses devoid of straws, they used small rags instead of napkins, and so on. I love seeing examples like this of how the environmental movement has made an impact on mainstream businesses. As I began to explore the menu it came as no surprise to me that most of their dishes relied heavily on eggs, meat, and other dairy products. This isn’t unusual, yet when you consider that this is an establishment which values its environmental friendliness, there seems to be a paradox of marketing and product.

Many who brag about being hyper environmentally aware fail to realize (or accept) that what we eat has the potential to have the largest environmental effect of any part of our lifestyle. I question the motives of those who choose to forgo personal transportation or other modern amenities for the sake of the environment but continue to eat normal amounts of meat, when in reality cutting out beef from your diet alone can be much more effective at reducing your carbon footprint than giving up cars altogether.

I could go on about this for days, throwing all sorts of statistics and depressing articles at you, or could even go as far as one UK Green Party representative who advocated for treating all meat-eaters like smokers, campaigning for rehab programs meant to help omnivores transition to an herbivore diet. Instead, I’ll leave you with this simple, cruelty-free recipe for the beginning of summer. 


Processed with VSCO with c1 presetA Simple, Guilt-free Summer Treat

1 qt. Strawberries

1 c. Vanilla Yogurt (Dairy or soy)

½ c. Coconut Shavings (Sweetened, because why not)


This one is a doozy. Simply dip, dip, and kick back.



This article is the first of many that I will be writing for my school’s newspaper The Collegian for the upcoming school year. All issues can be read online at