Lucas Wilson and Living Into the Questions (Live)
Out Loud: LGBT Stories of Faith
by Greg Thompson
2y ago
On a very special live episode from the 2022 Q Christian Fellowship Conference, we speak with Lucas Wilson. Lucas attended gay conversion therapy while studying at Liberty University and not only lived to tell the tale, but became an advocate for abolishing this practice altogether. A PhD Candidate at Florida Atlantic University, with a Master of Theological Studies from Vanderbilt University, Lucas has begun working in the field of critical evangelicalism studies. In our conversation, we learn about Lucas' conversion therapy experience and how inauthentic it made him feel. He also shares how ..read more
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Brian Falduto and Being as Present as Possible
Out Loud: LGBT Stories of Faith
by Greg Thompson
2y ago
Brian Falduto is an actor, singer-songwriter, life coach, and host of The Gay Life Coach Podcast. At age 11, he was cast in the film, School of Rock, and later performed in various Off-Broadway and Regional theater productions. Brian attended Catholic school growing and has gone to predominantly protestant churches on and off throughout his life. After finding a church that accepted his sexuality, he was inspired to write his single, "God Loves Me Too." In our discussion, we hear the story behind the music, as well as how Brian overcame the internalized homophobia he felt growing up. Bria ..read more
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Keegan Osinski and Queering Her Church
Out Loud: LGBT Stories of Faith
by Greg Thompson
2y ago
Keegan Osinski is the Librarian for Theological Studies and Ethics at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN. She holds a Master of Library and Information Science from the University of Washington and studied Philosophy and Theology at Point Loma Nazarene University. Her work is naturally informed by her faith. Keegan belongs to the Church of the Nazarene, which is a tradition informed by John Wesley, a well-known theologian from the 1700s. In Keegan's book, Queering Wesley, Queering the Church, she examines Wesley's sermons through a queer lens. Together we talk about her choice to stay in t ..read more
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Tucker Shelton and the Balance of Yin and Yang
Out Loud: LGBT Stories of Faith
by Greg Thompson
2y ago
Tucker Shelton has studied and taught yoga for over a decade. He has also studied 200 hours of Thai Yoga Massage in Chiang Mai, Thailand and has a Masters with Honors in Contemplative Religious Studies and Sanskrit Language from Naropa University in Boulder, CO. While Tucker has taught and studied throughout the United States and around the world, from New Zealand to India to Mexico, he currently lives in Asheville, NC. We talk about Tucker's upbringing in the Episcopal church and how he eventually found a deeper connection to ritual through practicing and teaching yoga. We compare the meaning ..read more
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Blake Haney and Writing His Way to Belief
Out Loud: LGBT Stories of Faith
by Greg Thompson
2y ago
Blake Haney is a musician in Nashville, TN. Born and raised in Chattanooga, he's lived in the South, and more specifically, the state of Tennessee his whole life. Blake went to school in Clarksville, studying english, and discovering a love of storytelling. That love blossomed into songwriting during his studies in seminary at Vanderbilt Divinity School. Nowadays, he writes music, while working full time, and continuing his theological studies at Iliff School of Theology. He released an EP in 2018 entitled, "Bottle Rockets, Booze, and Boys," and kicked off 2021 with a new single, "Call You Min ..read more
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Katie Pruitt and Finding Her Freedom
Out Loud: LGBT Stories of Faith
by Greg Thompson
2y ago
Katie Pruitt is a Nashville-based singer/songwriter and guitarist. She was born and raised in Georgia, grew up in the Catholic Church, went to Catholic school, and later attended Belmont University here in Nashville. She brings her whole self to her songwriting, tackling the shame of coming out in the south on her debut record, “Expectations.” In her own words, she calls it a record that's "really about letting go of what other people expect from you, and being free to just finally be yourself.” Katie identifies as gay or lesbian, with the gender pronouns she/her/hers In our conversation, we d ..read more
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Bliss Cortez and the Magic of Community
Out Loud: LGBT Stories of Faith
by Greg Thompson
2y ago
Bliss Cortez has lived in Nashville for over a decade; focusing on their passion of film and multimedia production, creative direction, local art spaces, and being the Nashville Regional Producer for The Moth. Most recently, Bliss started "Bliss and the Trash Plants," a mutual aid organization that collects food donations and overstock from local gardens, farms, and businesses to build grocery and supply kits for straight, queer, or trans black, indigenous, people of color struggling with food, housing, and finances. In our conversation, Bliss shares the quandary of never quite feeling like th ..read more
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Justin Hiltner and Giving Yourself Grace
Out Loud: LGBT Stories of Faith
by Greg Thompson
2y ago
Justin Hiltner is a queer banjo player, songwriter, journalist, and activist living here in Nashville. We talk about how his faith has been tested throughout his life so far, from coming out to his conservative evangelical family in rural Ohio to his fight against cancer more recently. His journey toward healing has been one of an evolving worldview starting with accepting those who have not accepted him along the way, and gradually learning how to accept himself. Despite these hardships, Justin is flourishing as a bluegrass musician here in Middle Tennessee. He writes for the Bluegrass Situat ..read more
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Cody Belew and Transcending Religion for Love
Out Loud: LGBT Stories of Faith
by Greg Thompson
2y ago
Cody is a singer/songwriter here in Nashville, living into his identity as a gay man while making country music. You might recognize his name from Season 3 of The Voice, and he is now working on his first full length album. Cody was raised southern baptist and identifies as gay. Together, we talk about growing up and praying to not be gay, and how he eventually came out to his parents. Cody's found his own way to be spiritual outside of going to church, identifying as a, "spiritual being having a human experience," which is a phrase coined by the French Philosopher and Jesuit, Pierres Teilhard ..read more
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Rachel Iacovone and Finding God During Such a Time as This
Out Loud: LGBT Stories of Faith
by Greg Thompson
2y ago
You may recognize Rachel's voice as one of the reporters on WPLN, Nashville’s NPR station. She's been in Nashville just a little over a year and is originally from Southwest Florida. Rachel was raised Roman Catholic by her parents who are Puerto Rican and Italian, and identifies as bi-sexual. And she currently attends West End United Methodist Church here in Nashville. In our conversation, we took a closer look at her family's history with faith, her own personal exploration of the Bible, and how the Book of Esther is particularly relevant for finding hope in a year as tumultuous as 2020. Find ..read more
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