Surprise! We couldn't wait either so we dropped the first episode of Plain Rainbows: LGBTQ Amish & Anabaptist Stories tonight! Also on FB LIVE!
At the 3rd annual Amish Heritage Foundation (virtual conference)
Are you of Amish heritage and an artist?
It was an honor to serve as the first Artist Ambassador for the AMISH HERITAGE FOUNDATION. During the 3 month progam I gave a talk on LGBTQ Amish issues for AHF's 3rd annual (virtual) conference.
This gave me an oppurtinity to address LGBTQ+ Amish issues in an academic space for which I am grateful. Thank you TORAH BONTRAGER and to Lars for participating. I remain a supporter moving forward, now accepting applicants for new Artist Ambassadors, see AmishHeritage.org for details!
Check out the podcast below for more on AHF and Torah Bontrager's writing tips!
My co-host Mary Byler and I are currently filming episodes of Plain Rainbows: LGBTQ Amish & Anabaptist Stories. We have some great guests lined up for a season of LGBTQ+ Amish / Anabaptist / Plain discussions! Debuts in June on YouTube!
Check out more of Mary's Coffee with Elam series, Drinks with Disobedient Women etc. on her YouTube channel.
Ross Murray from GLAAD, Yass, Jesus! podcast and the Naming Project is back on the pod! His new book ”Made, Known, Loved” shows congregations how to create a program that affirms LGBTQ youth. How can we transform religious spaces into more welcoming environments and guide future leaders?
Hello / goodbye #NationalPoetryMonth!
I have teamed up with THE FORBIDDEN APPLE PODCAST to celebrate! Above: "Satan's Inches" was originally published in "Michiana's Rainbow Gazzette" (2007) & below: "Slundered" from "The Literary Party: Growing Up Gay and Amish in America" (2011).
Weekend vibes. For #NationalPoetryMonth I was going through some early poetry I had written & found this previously unpublished poem:
"Love Letter (Fragment)"
Thinking about the men throughout my life: they always left. Dear Brother, Dear Father, Dear Man in the shadows outside the disco...
Thinking about letters unsent and dreams undreamt. Blame everyone or no one.
They left to find God, to run the streets, to go to war with themselves.
The cityscape at nightfall in his muscular arms...
The way the moonlight could be mistaken for tears...
Men leaving in cars for new lives,
Beginning with my absence.
The city shines in his eyes.
Always the years go by and shadows call...
The Amish are a closed community: not just a religion but a lifestyle, culture and people, descendants of Medieval radical heretics fleeing persecution from the Catholic church and yes, other Protestant Christians during the Reformation era before colonizing ceded Native lands.
Happy birthday to Harry Jim!
During my time in Puna I was honored to meet HARRY UHANE JIM, author, teacher and healer. A mutual friend introduced me to Harry and his wife one morning at the park in Kapoho. I will always treasure that memory!
A PODCAST INTRODUCTION:
"Of Bergholz Bondage"
April is my 5 year anniversary of attending Centers for Spiritual Living! Grateful for all of my friends made along the way! A lovely reading of Robert Frost's poem "The Road Not Taken" (15:12 mark) at today's East Hawaii Center for Spiritual Living service:
April is National Poetry Month! Join the celebration here!
Here are several recent works of mine:
MARCH 2020 / JUNE 2020 available as free e-books!
IceFloe Press: MOTHER / SERVICE / VOICE Series THE NINTH GARDEN with a painting by Moira J. Saucer
#MARTYRMIRRORS: A VISUAL POETRY SERIES
Every day I ask myself How am I feeling
This life hack is a way to find my balance and stay grounded. Spring is here again, I am currently planting intentions and investing in myself as an artist. Traveling for the last few years has left me wanting to "settle down" for a period of time, write and surround myself with art and creativity.
There is no place in the world like Detroit, one of the most inspiring creative hot spots on the planet. There are so many brilliant artists, writers, musicians in this city. (Thank you to everyone at U.I.O. for your investment in me!)
I have been attending the DETROIT CSL (Zoom) service since arriving here, thank you everyone at Detroit CSL for your welcome! I am hoping to guest on a spiritual themed podcast next month, details TBA.
Attending CSL for 5 years now, I never imagined I would be a part of any church after leaving the Amish in my teens! Yet... so it is!
I have always considered myself to be a spiritual seeker, one of the most beautiful and profound books I have ever read was The Bowl of Light, which changed my life as did studying at Pu'uhonua o Pu'uhuluhulu. I have studied Buddhism and Taizé faith as well as connecting with my ancestors' Anabaptist heritage. No matter where you are on your spiritual path you are welcome at CSL.
To any Amish out there wanting a better understanding, please read Christianity, Social Tolerance and Homosexuality by John Boswell. I do not have any patience for ignorance but I, once upon a time, was an ignorant Amish kid myself and I know how important it is to educate yourself. When you grow up Amish you do not have any LGBTQ+ role models to look up to. You probably don't even know any out, gay people!
Please support LGBT Amish.com, The Trevor Project both life saving support groups, with resources & outreach to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Amish. The last few years have not been easy for gay Amish, numerous right wing churches are pushing their own agendas on the Amish. Our voices are being heard, regardless of hatemongers with YouTube channels. Don't miss two literary letters by gay Amish men published in Serpent in the Garden and Sweeter Voices Still! Love is stronger than hate!
Happy publication day to SWEETER VOICES STILL ! I am so happy for all the buzz and great reviews it has been receiving, updates to come: ...