February 8, 2009 by Alex Patchin McNeill
I’ve been meaning to start this blog for nearly 5 years—ever since I began the process towards ordination with the Presbyterian Church. I wanted something that would chronicle my experience. I needed a witness—because I knew what lay ahead of me was going to be rocky, a tricky pass I wasn’t quite sure how to navigate alone. But then I began seminary and well, as those of you who have been there know, it tends to get in the way.
But I’m here now, and its time. I’ve spent four years under-care with the Presbyterian church that have largely gone undocumented. Meetings in rooms where I’ve faced questions about my beliefs, my scholarship, and the very nature of my being—where terrible things have been said, and where I’ve experienced the most extraordinary moments of the holy spirit at work. There have been times after those meetings I wished I already had something in place somewhere to speak (write) the truths of those experiences so they didn’t pass unknown. So that what happened in that room wasn’t the final resting place for it. My journey isn’t over; but it’s time to speak up.
When I first started seminary three and a half years ago, I remember feeling SO excited. I started my first day with my eyes wide open; I was looking around and waiting, watching, I wanted to find the person I felt like I had been seeking a long time. I thought that around every corner she might be there. I came to seminary hoping to find someone who was dykey and into gender theory and spiritual, someone who wanted to write and study theology from a queer lens, someone who was sex positive and a little genderqueer.
To be honest, I was waiting to meet this person for nearly a year and a half into my seminary studies, until one day it dawned on me; I am her. I kept looking around to find some one like who I wanted to be, that it never occurred to me that I might just be who I was looking for. I kept waiting for someone else to speak up, to be an example, to be a new kind of Christian minister. I failed to realize that I was who I needed someone to be.
I’m starting this blog because I cannot keep silent, I can’t keep waiting for someone else to talk about the intersections of feminism, queer theory, religion, and sexuality. I cannot keep waiting for someone else to tell the truths about their experience into ministry as an openly queer, sex positive, feminist Christian. So if you’re like me, or looking for someone like me, or want to read things that someone like me might write, then welcome, I’m glad we’re here.