Yours Queerly – Through the story of my conversion and marriage, I explore the issues surrounding gender, sex, attraction and identity. This talk contrasts the stereotypes of “ex-gays” that appear both in Christian propaganda and in LGBTQ discourse in order to understand how someone with same-sex attractions or a queer gender identity can be a faithful Catholic without ceasing to be herself.
(Ideal for youth groups and parishes.)
Loneliness and Gender – By examining of the role that socialization plays in forming sexual identities, and the advantages and disadvantages that befall the “outsider,” I discuss how Catholics can more effectively understand LGBTQ people, and how we can provide the sort of environment that supports the genuine interior freedom of people with same-sex attractions.
(Ideal for high-school classes or other venues where the audience may not be sympathetic to Catholic teaching)
Somewhat Over the Rainbow – Catholic teaching provides both a unique form of hope, and also a unique form of challenge for people who have same-sex attractions or unusual gender characteristics. This talk looks deeply at the difficulties involved in living chastely, preserving the positive aspects of an LGBTQ identity, avoiding the repression trap, and coming to love and accept oneself while living in accord with magisterial teaching.
(Ideal for same-sex attracted Catholics, their families and friends.)
Objects of Scorn, Subjects of Love – The Church is losing the culture war on the homosexual front because our efforts are directed towards homosexual issues rather than towards homosexual persons. Our hatred for the sin is palpable, our love for the sinner is mostly abstract. In this talk, I look at the ways that Catholics can avoid alienating and demonizing the homosexual person, I examine the reasons why we should want more gays and lesbians in our Churches, and I ask how we can more effectively minister to our LGBTQ sisters and brothers.
(Ideal for educators, priests, counselors and others involved in ministry to homosexual persons.)
Queers in Heaven – Homosexual tendencies and queer genders are not sinful, and are not incompatible with sanctity or wisdom. Men and women from Socrates to Joan of Arc have found unique paths to virtue, not by repressing or denying their atypical sexual identities, but rather by finding a way to incorporate their “queer” personalities into the search for truth, beauty and goodness. This talk looks at role-models for LGBTQ people that both affirm their fundamental human dignity, and at the same time provide models for chaste spirituality.
(Ideal for highly polarized audiences in which both sides of the “culture war” are well represented.)
Language of the Body – We examine the meaning of sexuality and the role which language plays in shaping the discourse surrounding sex. How can Catholics use the queer language of the postmodern world in order to convey truths about human sexuality in a way that will reach the heart of contemporary men and women? We will also look at the meanings which are inherent in the body itself, in order to understand the profound underlying logic of Catholic teaching on homosexuality.
(Ideal for a more educated, academic audience.)