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Faith forum - Shift hui (2016)

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[00:00:00] This podcast is brought to you in association with inside out in pride in [00:00:08] Hi, everybody, [00:00:10] this is my first workshop. [00:00:12] So bear with me. And it's just about the intersection analogy between people of faith or come from a background of faith. And I didn't find with a diverse range of sexuality sixes and genders. [00:00:30] So [00:00:32] yeah, [00:00:33] I'm, [00:00:34] as I said, I'm Christoph. I'm originally from Australia. [00:00:40] I'm part of the Roman Catholic Church because I was baptized and had my first communion and [00:00:47] confirmation, I think, yeah. [00:00:52] I don't feel part of the truth anymore. But in all states, the Catholic Church has a strong influence in everyday life. So it's part of my, my home culture and part of who I am and how I grew up. [00:01:12] Just an example system, going deep into politics, that part is listening to the bishop conference and getting advice from them. That we have lost that when you're part of the church, that part of your service that that that. So it's kind of, like, the whole lifestyle and also as be the dominant, Catholic. And that's how I grew up in Australia. [00:01:42] Also, work the long time for Catholic service organization. [00:01:50] Yeah, just work volunteering. [00:01:56] Under under the family Bishop in Austria, [00:02:01] who [00:02:01] has quite a strong stance against homosexuality. And so [00:02:08] yeah, that's the one part of my difficult story. [00:02:15] So I'll continue to to introduce him. [00:02:21] Yeah, faith and spirituality is hard to explain from the, as a set of work for the [00:02:28] Catholic organization. And in this setting, I was, I was out. So there was there were employees who got paid in the office, and they were volunteers. And they all knew that I didn't identify the escape back then. And they all knew that I was gay. [00:02:47] Just not [00:02:49] in the hierarchy high up so the bishop and and the priests, they didn't know that I'm gay, not because of them, tell them but just never came up. [00:03:00] And I'm on the other side of work, as well for [00:03:07] for gay and lesbian organization, and this kind of a School's Out project there was leading the project, and I had kind of those two worlds at the same time. And I think that's often the struggle with combining your faith with your sexuality or gender identity, that you have to get this balance, right. And for a long time, for me, the balance was okay. [00:03:33] And [00:03:36] in the setting of the Catholic Church, [00:03:42] I could say small things, but you can change the whole institution at once, just as an individual. And for me, it was more living my spirituality in this setting. And [00:04:01] yeah, and it was fine for a long time for me. But at some stage, I felt more like myself in the setting of the of the gay and lesbian organises not the volunteer work at it there. Because they accepted more of me, rather than the Catholic selling, we're working. [00:04:22] And in Australia, you can drop out of the turf, so you can decide you don't want to be part of the Roman Catholic Church anymore. And then you don't have to pay your fees from your salary anymore than what a lot of people do when they fed up with church problems than they just drop out of it. And at some stage, I did that, because I couldn't balance it anymore. Because I felt more like myself in one setting and less as a whole in the setting, because always had to. [00:04:57] Please and [00:05:00] just stretch myself into a direction I didn't want to. Yeah. [00:05:08] So I grew up in a boat, my mom is Christian. And we were going to church and sorry. [00:05:21] I was baptized as a child, I had my first communion at our family church, and [00:05:32] that sort of thing. And I think, [00:05:35] yeah, so like I did some youth work through some churches is I was sort of growing up. And [00:05:45] yeah, I guess that trying to find where you can fit when you don't know, people's views, and how you can sort of subtly slide that into a conversation and stuff like that. So I guess, like, I still identify [00:06:01] as Christian, although my values may be somewhat different to what others say, as Christian, I think, like I've sort of made my own definition to it because of what it is to me, if that makes sense. You know, so yeah. [00:06:20] heretofore know. And I was born and raised in the moment faith, and both my parents are strong Mormons, and my Great Grandma, grandma was part of the [00:06:35] push to get a [00:06:38] at his church and new way. A new in someone. And yeah, and I'll touch base on this story. Introduction. [00:06:52] Hi, everyone, I'm [00:06:54] moment is a bit complex. But yeah, I'll try to explain as much as I can, but feel free. After the session asked me questions. I was born. [00:07:03] In a family that didn't attend church, we didn't have [00:07:08] a religion as such, which is quite, we identify Pacific family. But when I did attend church and associate myself with religion was when my auntie came into picture. And it was with a Christian church. And, you know, [00:07:22] I mean about my journey, trying to find myself in a church, and things didn't work out as well as I wanted it to. [00:07:32] Eventually, I discovered a belief in the congregation that I'm currently with, and will quote, the scenes were a mixture of Christian practice as well as Jewish messianic practices as well. Just a bit of context for you guys there scenes existed. It's an Ancient Faith in it existed in the time of Jesus, or as we call them, Yeshua, and the Hebrew language. [00:07:59] Different been known for writing the Dead Sea Scrolls, and they practice spirituality, the practice healing, and they're quite accepting of diverse team does in sexualities as well, which was another reason why I was quite up until, like, Yeah, thank you. [00:08:17] Hi. Um, so when [00:08:18] I was little, I was like, two and my parents split up. And so when I was at dead, I was pretty much half raised by my Nana, her she would like, come to our house every like, two to three times a week. And every time she they would have like Bible time on Krishna, and have that mobile time entry me Bible stories, and when I never really went to church, but that was like, well, like God. And then. So that continued, and then July last year, she passed away. So then I started going to, like a youth group, and not even because I felt like I needed to her because like, that's what she wants me and but then as the I realized, I actually enjoy it. And I actually like, follow it and stuff. But yeah, like, I don't know, I don't really identify as a Christian but so go like, cuz, I don't know, I kind of like some of the messages are quite good. Like, because the youth group I go to not all but like, like, shoving like religion diner for and stuff. It's mainly like, like, some of them are really good, like life messages. Like respecting your body and stuff like that. So yeah. [00:09:38] So I you open about your faith and Christmases with queer people, and how has that been received? [00:09:46] I probably like I'm not as open about it as I'd actually like to be. And I think that's often because sometimes religion can be made into such a joke, as well, you know, specially in queer spaces. I think. So, [00:10:03] yeah. Not Not as much as I'd like to be. Yeah. [00:10:09] It depends here. Sometimes it's hard to be to talk about the listeners of faith in a queer setting, because a lot of people had problems in the past, that the church was not very accepting. A lot of people system benefit up above the whole institution itself, detect what it actually should be. And in mean, so there was a lot of hate going on. And [00:10:41] what the seminar stress and and you see them probably like 15 years ago, and [00:10:48] faith groups just raced a lot. And [00:10:54] yeah. [00:10:58] Well, at the moment, I'm trying to font I can find my spirituality again. But in the past, I would have liked to be more open about it. But yeah, as you said, chokes and [00:11:13] sunblock. And so like it's just fear of [00:11:19] patient being a missionary it kind of Yeah. [00:11:26] I didn't think religion or faith should be heading and climb into. [00:11:32] And I guess that's just how I've been raised. And then someone has a problem with it. Over. [00:11:39] Yeah, I agree with ready. I think a lot of my room reference. Know what faith bipolar. I do also agree that maybe there's an opportunity for more discussion around it. Because I see that there's some spaces where it's an and with is a need for. [00:11:58] Because, as well as homeschool, and in the community within the community, the church. [00:12:06] I guess, talking about the church has not talked about enough. [00:12:10] But yeah, I don't know. I think it's definitely needed. [00:12:14] Yeah, I'm not really like, open about my faith and my quest races and stuff. Because I feel like he makes some people uncomfortable. I they could feel like uncomfortable with me. Maybe they think like, I'll judge them or something. Yeah. [00:12:35] His requests, we feel accepted to show your identities. [00:12:42] I guess, at home, does that count? You know, like, [00:12:45] I think I've been really pleased with the family that I have. [00:12:52] My [00:12:54] mom is Christian and his similar values and sort of defines Christianity herself. With you know, different. Yeah, anyway. And [00:13:09] yeah, they really loving and accepting of, [00:13:13] I guess where [00:13:15] my sister and I [00:13:16] identify and how we [00:13:19] are just ourselves. So I guess homes pretty much the main thing for me. [00:13:25] My parents are not very religious. Never been. [00:13:32] The last time I felt except that. [00:13:36] Both things was when I went with my partner [00:13:42] to church last Christmas. Yeah, he was raised atheist, which is quite funny because he gets more [00:13:53] into faith, they will then you can send I'm going in the other direction, which is a little bit hard to balance. [00:14:02] But was when I felt I [00:14:06] felt okay with both things. [00:14:11] When I was 13 years old, I shifted my dad's brother, and who holds the [00:14:19] pieces pre service worker now family because he's the eldest brother. And I had my life planned out for me that our the Teachers College. [00:14:29] At this time, I was still within my safe space, trying to figure out who I was as a person. And I knew that I was different. And I knew that I was attracted to boys, I knew that I wanted to be a girl. And it was against the teachings of the gospel within the Mormon faith. And so I had to, like, quickly Think of how am I going to get out of the situation, because my life has already been planned for me. And so decided that I'm going to have a fight with my cousin and get kicked, shifted back to my parents. And that's exactly how it played out. [00:15:05] Yeah, so I got shifted back to my periods. And I knew that this was a set for me. Because if my life was planned out for me, I'll be doing everything for people, not for myself. And, and then at the age of 60, I continue to go to church, and within the Mormon faith is like tears of like the priest, then the priests and teachers, and I got up to the tier of priests. And I just knew it wasn't right for me. And even having the, you know, [00:15:46] having the, [00:15:49] the role of serving sacrament. And, you know, [00:15:54] I was a little bit too much for me, because I didn't want to wear a suit and tie I wanted to wear skirt lyrical about the girls. And so, one day, I had to plan like, what is this going to look like for me, because I'm so caught up with, you know, [00:16:13] the ironic priesthood, that if I was to rock up to church for the skirt, how are they going to approach the situation. [00:16:22] And so one day, I decided that's good church in a skirt. And I was actually going to speak to our Bishop and the bishop head and said to me that what I'm doing is really, really wrong. And I despairs, because I had worked up so much courage to, to be this way of the skirt, to church, and everyone was looking at me, like, I was a thing. No, I was a person, I was a thing. And, and, you know, I tried to hold my pride. And you're speaking to the bishop and the bishop telling me that what I was doing was wrong, was that clarification that maybe this is churches and the right church for me, and because there's like a sign that kind of our church that says, or welcome, and clearly that there was no welcome for people like myself, and still at this, at this age, are still trying to find my identity or unified myself as a person, knowing that I wanted to be a woman knowing that, you know, I'm trying to create a plan, safety plans for me to express that. [00:17:32] And then, yeah, and like this, all the relationships and the history, they'll be raised in the church, I was like, it was put to the side, like, I'm a big sister, then no one contacted me. And then I found out that, you know, excommunicated from the church, because, you know, when you look at where it's like abomination, it's there, where it actually means if you know, you're doing something wrong, it's an abomination, whether it's either against the Add values and principles, so [00:18:03] of your faith, for us that abomination, and apparently I was an abomination at a time. And within this time, I, I always gave the anger and frustration to God. Because I, I'm, I don't really understand why was I put on to this earth. And because everything just wasn't going according to my plan that I had set for myself. And, and yeah, then, if you familiar with the Bible, there's a story about Joe, and how job was tested. And because he had so much integrity for God, and, you know, and just finally, that love for God and your heart, that that's powerful, [00:18:49] powerful feeling that, regardless what people say, when they, you know, you're transgender, or you know, you'll find the raise space and your Christian, [00:19:00] it's not really valid to me, that doesn't really hurt me, because I found that place with God, you know, my heart to five and going back to, you know, job job was, you know, [00:19:16] he was he injured, so many challenges. And I feel like, you know, I can relate, because, you know, like, losing friends, and all these people so close to your people you fought, we're so close to you, just disappearing. And like, for me, I don't blame the you know, added blame them, because it came as a shock, hated an approach and say, Hey, guys, you know, because I didn't know myself, but [00:19:45] I really thought that out of all people, my own like, congregation will be the supporting me, and clearly or than what I had planned. But anyways, for me, when I look at was a Christian, although, you know, papers are religions moment. And I believe, like, the Christians are a follower of Christ, and an order for, [00:20:12] yeah, to live the teachings of, you know, God has paid for us, they need to be like open discussions around like, you know, faith and religion, and people get, like, you know, spirituality and stuff mixed up, like religion, and faith. And, for me, I'm not really clear, like, my principles and my being as a person. [00:20:42] I'm just passing out because [00:20:45] I am seeing a lot of similarities. And what my panelists have said, and I'm pretty sure the similarities within all of our stories when it comes to faith in church and religion. [00:20:57] Like Terry, nice, some of the people is that I have felt uncomfortable, being myself or expressing myself and my worship to God, husband when I was in the Christian church, and it's not a representative of the whole Christian church, but just that church in particular. [00:21:16] We're, at the time, I was a part of the worship team. And, you know, every Sunday, I'll be singing on that stage, my worship to God, and part of me felt a bit conflicted, because I didn't feel like I had a right to be on that stage, singing worship, because of who I was. And when things kind of unfolded, in the news broke out that I was the way that I was that I was gay. And at that time, I had a partner. [00:21:48] Like my sister, Terry, nice, I started to see that a lot of the people that I thought were my real friends [00:21:57] started to reveal themselves in nature and teachings. And, you know, [00:22:01] I can, I can definitely say, it's the most heartbreaking thing as a young person to go through. [00:22:07] But at the same time, there's always hope at the end of the tunnel. And I look back now on my journey, and I just think how fortunate I am to be in the space that I met, where I feel confident in myself and my faith. [00:22:22] And I'm in a place now that I feel comfortable, you know, the fact that I practice [00:22:29] you know, this accepting of gender and sexuality, diverse people that I remember, on the first day, I sit down with my first kind of worship decision. And my partner Alex, who I think a lot of you have made, but some of you haven't, he had been going to the space before, and had a lot of his family members in this life as well. And I remember the first time that I went to this congregation. [00:22:55] And the thing that kind of stood out for me then made me aware that I was accepted was when the belt, we call it a rabbi, or some of you call it your pastor. So tell teacher, he got up on the decision. And he said, I would just like to welcome Alex and his partner, Peter. And that was one of the most fulfilling things that have you ever felt in my life, because upon entering the building of the worship, that kind of I felt uncomfortable, really, because in my mind, I had already [00:23:26] built up situations in my mind of what was going to happen, people are not going to accept me, people were going to call me you know, all everything under the sun, that they when they happen to kind of opened my eyes to the fact that, yes, you can be remember, in us, you can worship God. And also the fact that we shouldn't be defined by what people say about us. So in a sense, it's an encouragement to myself into our soul. [00:23:52] That if you do want to practice a belief or faith, then continue on it. Don't Don't let the world to start do from following their path for yourself. discover for yourself, because I feel like we're all at the stage where I know for myself as well, where I'm still discovering new things every day, and it will always be a learning process. There's never a point where you'll get to that what you're saying, I definitely know who I am. You know, you're always discovering it. Yeah. Um, can you please repeat the question? Was? [00:24:25] Is there a? Is there a place where you feel accepted to show both of your identities? [00:24:31] Not really like, school, I kind of don't like Shabbat, because it's like, because my school is very, like, culturally diverse. So there's a lot of different religions and stuff. And like, maybe if I share my ideas and my thoughts and may offend someone, or I don't really want to make an argument or something. And about like, my sexual audience. [00:25:01] I don't, I'm not really out at school or in your house, but my parents, and last year like rumors go out about me. And then I found out like, what you're saying, like the true friends, [00:25:13] and my friends [00:25:14] are telling me to get out of the girls bathroom because I was going to pull on them or something. So that as soon as I went to the bathroom, they would leave or stuff like that. And yeah, church, I don't really like I'm not out. And yeah. [00:25:34] What are some things that you would like people to know about your face? [00:25:40] You can be religious, or Christian, or whatever. And you don't have to be a bad guy. You know, like, I think so often, people like are Christians are terrible people, like they're off doing protests and doing all these really terrible things all over the world. But actually like the, you know, [00:26:00] you've got to get to know the individual. You can't judge everyone. For that, my guess. That's one thing that it's sort of like a you're a Christian. And it's sort of like, have a Kudo with me about it, find out how I like why identifies that and, you know, sort of unpack it a bit, because there are so many different religions, even on this panel, you know, we say that this variety and, you know, [00:26:29] although we may have the same title to what we identify as we often have those different values and that sort of thing. So I guess, just acknowledging individuals within that title. Yeah. [00:26:44] The bad side tracking product on the question that following up on what you said, [00:26:52] I use spirituality more often. Because I'm very reluctant to use the term religion or religious because for me, it's always this whole institution that is against me better than what I should feel. With the turret and with my thing, that's why I'm, yeah, I wish I would have been braver to go the path along rather than to say, I had enough and I don't want to deal with it anymore. Yeah. And [00:27:29] yeah, I think that's something to be [00:27:34] to find halfway, and everyone [00:27:39] has to shave down faith, how it feels good for them. And I think that's one important part. It's always a there's no gold, you know, it's always a pathway, and you always learn new things. And, and I think that's, that's exciting, but also learning as well, because, yeah, I'm not sure where to go and [00:28:02] what comes along. [00:28:08] And [00:28:09] what are some things that you would like people to know that your face [00:28:17] I [00:28:17] think I've already shipped majority of [00:28:20] but I guess, [00:28:22] affected I followed we practice a lot of [00:28:26] it's hard to find a word for it, but I'll just be spirituality, yeah, we're less likely to use the term religion. We're more associated with the word spirituality, because we kind of see how we see. [00:28:42] We have this approach where we see all religions as a part of God. You know, [00:28:48] therefore, our study when we study every Sunday, so we have our, our worship on Saturdays, because in our belief, we believe that that original separate prisons edits and on Sundays, we have our studies and what we do is we, we study about every religion under the sun with recently event about Buddhism, and all the continuing to make our way around. So I believe we believe, like I said, that every religion represents our part of God. And as nature is represented in every single relative. [00:29:19] And I feel like for me, that's helped me see people for who they are, and see the ability for something really beautiful, rather than, you know, relying on the media or the people around me as a source for a label for certain religions. It's been really helpful for me. [00:29:40] I just that like, you don't have to follow everything in the Bible. Like you can take the book that cause us to, like, and, [00:29:53] but like, when people like use the Bible to and so people like, like homophobia and stuff, they just type the bits that are like, going to hurt people, but that aren't follow everything. And it's like, well, if you're going to follow something so strictly, then you're gonna, you should follow others like, but yeah, like, for me, I ignore the other parts of the Bible. Because I'm like, Oh, that's not relevant to me. So about other stuff, like, that's, like good teaching and stuff. [00:30:28] I fought for me, like, be raised. [00:30:32] In the church, it was more like, I think, like, a lot of like, our Pacific or, you know, like religion and culture is always mix. And they try and combine the two to like, dig the comfort or suitable everything. And [00:30:48] yeah, it's such a confusing. [00:30:52] It's confusing to get just have it. But um, yeah, I've been like, I do workshops, stuff in schools with him people and within the professional sitting as well. And like, people always come at me with like, religious surf. And, you know, for me, it's like, [00:31:11] if we're looking at, you know, trying to find a religion, and you're going to be okay with yourself, because, you know, if you're okay with yourself, like, what people say really isn't valid. [00:31:27] And [00:31:29] what would you say to people who might be stuck in the middle between their faith, their gender, sexuality, or six identity, feeling like they need to choose one or the other. [00:31:41] So [00:31:45] countries will [00:31:48] continue viewing you. And I know, [00:31:50] there may be some cases in situations where you feel like you have to, and sometimes you sometimes in situations where you might feel like you're in danger, or you might be putting yourself in a risky situation, it may just be the hefty for the meantime. [00:32:08] But for the long run, and I know, it's a continual process [00:32:12] that we each have to go through individually. But um, I think it's alerting that a lot of I don't speak on behalf of my panelists, but I'm pretty sure it's a learning that we've all taken that [00:32:26] along the way, you kind of find that both the identities merge. And then you know, it's a growing thing, we start to learn that, hey, I don't need to separate them, I can be both at the same time, and I can still be accepted. So yeah, I guess it's just knowing as well that there are people out there who accept people who did say, again, and a Christian at the same time, it's completely an all in there are people out there like that. So just be up until, like, [00:32:52] agree, like you shouldn't have to pay, you should like, find your middle ground. Like you don't have to follow everything that's not relevant to you. So say, if you're like queer, and you want to follow things from the Bible, you can just choose those things and just follow them. [00:33:10] And like Christians that say, pick one, or that it comes down to you individual, what works best for you. [00:33:21] Enjoy the journey. You know, it's easier said than done, I guess when you're at the end of it. But I think really valuing that actually your journey to figuring out where you're at, and [00:33:39] how you want to identify whether that's faith wise, or gender, sexuality. [00:33:46] I think just really embrace it and go with it. And yeah, you totally don't need to choose. I definitely agree with that. And there are supports out there too, though, as well, like, [00:34:00] we're spaces or [00:34:03] five spaces, or, you know, like, I think there are support fear. So I think you're also not alone. Because, you know, we've all been through similar things as far as the journey goes, you know, and I think lots of people go through that journey so differently. Yeah, keep going. And it does continue. Like it doesn't stop. But it just maybe gets a little easier after a while. So I think just differently. Yeah. [00:34:29] I think [00:34:29] find the right people, you will meet a lot of people who discouraged to let you choose one of for the other, and the thing that just don't get it and they don't get you into them understand where you are. And the thing. [00:34:48] If you search for other people, it will find your way easier. Yeah. And often. [00:34:55] Wisdom would have met people earlier on the different stage. But yeah, that's just part of the journey as well. I think that people make the to it. Because, yeah, [00:35:08] that's like when you have priests who [00:35:12] says, totally out of context, take, it's easy to discourage you to follow your faith. And then you meet others where you can be who we are what we want, and it's so easy to live, how you are. [00:35:29] I would also say find the right people. [00:35:34] And this is sort of a strange question, but [00:35:37] how does [00:35:39] faith make you feel or your faith, how's it benefited you [00:35:46] being connected to the church, it's a sense of belonging. And I know like, within my heart that God has a plan for me. And in order for me to, to get to where he wants me to be, there's going to be all these challenges that come. [00:36:04] They come on to this part of my journey. And I know that we're just like renters in this world, that there's a better world after this slide. But we need to live this life in order to get to that. [00:36:22] Like Tony's [00:36:24] I agree with the the sense of belonging. [00:36:29] And also, in the 2013, I was really fortunate. [00:36:34] Because there was a there was, you know, like a marriage or bonding ceremony helping me and my partner, which is really, really special. And it was the first of its kind that was done in our congregation. So that was that was like the, the stamp on the liver to say, yes, you are definitely accepted. So that's how it's made me feel. And its continued to build spaces where I can discuss more and educate the people in that congregation about who we are and what the other identities are in the rainbow space. [00:37:08] But yeah, I also feel like I'm [00:37:12] you know, with the whole well being thing, you know, when, when we're unwell mentally, spiritually, emotionally, having a faith really centers you. And I'm, you know, after a long week, you get to that place we [00:37:30] we get to worship, where we get to look things up. And it's an awesome place to be able to express who you are, and express your feelings. And I think that works right across the board with all faiths. Like it's such an awesome opportunity and platform for you to express who you are. [00:37:47] Whether it's in prayer, whether it's music, or [00:37:51] using any kind of medium, I think it's awesome. [00:37:56] I do kind of feel [00:37:59] I see legit, sometimes at church, because like some of the preachings like homophobic and stuff, and then you feel like it's targeted to you. Because you're sitting there and you're all these thoughts going through your head. And they're saying that like you're wrong and stuff like that. Because earlier this year, I went to like a Christian camp. And it's like a four day camp. And one of the nights the preaching was [00:38:29] this man he was telling a story about when he was driving home. He saw a billboard saying like this with or something. And he was saying how like, despicable it was at these things on billboards. And then he goes and talks about Cairo. And he said, that is like same sex couples on billboards and how it's so disgusting, and an abomination itself. And I was just sitting there thinking like, Am I an abomination? Is this targeted at me, sir? Yeah. [00:38:59] But I think you like it kind of has gotten stronger. Like, yeah. [00:39:08] I think this differently like that. [00:39:12] That isolation today, like I [00:39:14] think differently. [00:39:19] Yeah, trying to find the people that have those values that are similar or Same to you. And making those supports is really, really powerful. And having those [00:39:33] people to sort their encouragement as well. And, you know, reminding you, you're not alone, that sort of thing. I think that's been really great. But I think like I was doing youth work in a local church, and [00:39:53] one of the other youth workers, there was very clear on where his values life. And [00:40:02] I went and spoke to one of the pastors and said, actually, you know, where does the church values lie with around [00:40:16] non hatred or binary, that sort of thing? [00:40:20] And there was never a straight answer. I was never able to be told an exact answer. And I think that's when I was able to say, Well, you know, like, this, this isn't for me, like, this isn't the space I don't need to be. [00:40:40] I you said cut down and what I was doing because of the other person's values, and so I think, [00:40:46] yeah, definitely finding those people that are encouraging you about instantly, you know, being okay to stand up and acknowledge that you're worth so much. And you definitely don't. Yeah, I think just finding the people is so impressive. And I think, yeah, they definitely the people and that we will stick by you, and they were huge benefit, I guess of the whole journey. So [00:41:13] sorry. And then any sitting, you know, as you go by the fruits of that, you know, if you've gone to church, and you just feel that negative energy in it, some churches, you know, [00:41:24] preach [00:41:26] both, you know, preachings, and that's not teachings of god that's teachings of [00:41:33] manmade meeting. So yeah, just look at the fruits of their, [00:41:39] of the church or, yeah, and if it doesn't align with what you think God has created for us, go to another church. [00:41:52] Yeah, I think this sense of [00:41:56] so and to get being together and bringing people together, it's very strong. For me, and that's this, [00:42:07] the core most religions as [00:42:13] just to think about the others as well, no one is less important than you are about being showing empathy to two other centers having this [00:42:26] sense of, [00:42:30] of [00:42:30] being together on this earth and helping each other and standing up for each other. And I think [00:42:36] that's what makes me who I am. And that takes quite a bit of my personality as well. And I found it through through faith and religion. [00:42:49] And what do you think queer communities can do to be more inclusive of people will face? [00:43:00] Don't be afraid to question. You know, I think like, there are so many things that people just don't want to talk about, or find it awkward to talk about. But I think just sitting down, having accorded all is just so amazing, and having discussions and [00:43:17] you know, learning about things and asking about things and questioning yourself questioning others, and I think making queer spaces a safe space to do that, because I think there's just so many spaces where we already don't feel safe, and I think being able to make the queer spaces stronger and more supportive to everyone. [00:43:40] Yeah, I guess just making discussion times. Okay. And [00:43:46] yeah, I guess just that openness to, actually, we might not agree on things, but that's okay. As well, you know, like, that's respect and safe spaces, and that judgment free, and also sort of [00:44:01] the jokes, I guess, is a huge thing for me. [00:44:05] So I guess, just being careful of where other people's values lie, versus what you're saying, Yeah. You know, [00:44:14] talking about this, as I think a very important factor, just addressing the the elephant in the room, because we are providing spaces where we come together and have defended necessities of different cultures have different sexualities separately, and identities and resolved. But yes, this elephant in the corner, which nobody wants to talk about, and it's often the faith that there's the silence, because change topics because nobody, [00:44:48] everyone feels awkward talking about it. And I think we should overcome this feeling of awkwardness and [00:44:57] feeling uncomfortable. Yeah. And remember, you don't believe or don't [00:45:03] say, would say you have no faith, then that's ok. as well. You don't have to. There's no one who wants to. [00:45:14] Yeah, the one wants to put their their pay for you. So you don't have to take it all in. [00:45:24] Yeah, like, repellent? This? Is it. [00:45:29] Just normalizing the discussion. [00:45:33] Because like, if you don't know, [00:45:35] if you don't [00:45:38] know, [00:45:41] nothing to be ashamed. [00:45:43] I think just being more than about who you are and what faith you follow. I remember when I was younger, [00:45:51] I was probably the only person that I knew of that was gay and follow the faith. [00:45:58] But I know that the more and more that we have that people rise and say, Oh, yes, I'm gay or lesbian, or transgender, and identify with this way, the more there's discussions have become more and more other people will rise and be able to say yes, I philosophy as well. So I kind of feel like at the moment, that whole discussion is being swept underneath the carpet. [00:46:22] And people feel ashamed to come out and say, Oh, my gosh, I'm Christian, you know? Yeah. But yeah, just more people being open about who they are. I think it'll become more like my sister. See? [00:46:34] It's like it's coming out places. [00:46:36] Yeah. [00:46:40] Yeah. [00:46:44] Yeah, everything takes time. So [00:46:46] and I think discussions are good, because you shouldn't assume things assume that they like they have a phobic or that they follow everything in the Bible and stuff. But yeah, I feel like I really like the elephant in the room thing. Cuz like, say you're in a quest is the elephant in the room would be like you will face but then when you're in like, like a church or somewhere else in the room with me or sexuality? Yeah. So it's like trying to balance [00:47:16] is there anything else you'd like that before we open up? circle? [00:47:21] I just think that we're really fortunate to live in New Zealand because I've lived in Australia with so many Proteus where it says, like, Hey, you know, [00:47:32] messages of hate towards our community. And so fortunate that I live here and also at all we're able to that he can tell us if he knew it or not apply that in our settings of the in our daily lives. You know, [00:47:48] normalized like, within, you know, living here, we're able to that will correct. I think it seems anyway, I made when this lady said that's the T kinda. So we sit [00:48:03] before we, yeah, if we start anything. [00:48:09] Yeah, I wasn't on all day for like, a few days last year, last year, and then users on and they were discussing, like gay marriage and stuff, imagine quality. And they were calling like, being like gangs, and stuff a Fed. And it was making me like really mad that like, yeah, we like we've got like, gay marriage and stuff. And but the other dog and my kind of like, cousin countries. So shouldn't way like, and then I'm going but [00:48:42] what's my head? Yeah. [00:48:46] Okay, [00:48:46] so I'm gonna open up around for questions. Or if you have any experiences yourself as being a personal face or coming from the background, that's fine to [00:48:59] go two questions. There's the possibly Krista. And I'm not quite sure how the Roman Catholic system is [00:49:13] that in Austria, do they follow the pope? Yeah, yeah. So what's the kind of consensus of the current Pope and some of the more lenient [00:49:26] kind of changes that is advocating? [00:49:31] Well, I'm quite surprised with the new pope. And I think [00:49:38] what he, you have to you have to think about the Pope, as like this huge institution, he has to change. And I think what he does in his term, or what he did already, in his term is quite significant. Given when people to see one line, he says, I think it's very powerful, because it everything he does has such a huge impact. And like, all the bishops in Australia, before they are, they are set aside from the pope directly. So [00:50:13] in all the diocese in Australia, [00:50:17] the Bissell follow what what the Pope says, and when he reforms, things, and there was quite a significant change from last Pope Benedict to to Francisco's [00:50:31] offenses. [00:50:34] And I think you can see it in the politics as well, as I said, in Australian politics, especially from the National Party. [00:50:42] They get advice from the bishop conference. And if the Pope Francis, the line, politics sense, and also as well, we are, and also the marriage is not open yet. And there are things still to be done. And was just one of the Western. [00:51:02] Forward conference, and [00:51:06] but in the In this sense, we're quite backwards, as well. [00:51:11] Which is slowly moving forward. [00:51:13] Like since Pope Francis has come into our life, they're starting to acknowledge that life, homosexuality is real. And it didn't it spirit, like things put in place to protect their lives, the pipes, [00:51:26] given the ok for condos for us by gaining, which kind of by way gives permission for gaming. It exists for the church, which is a small state, but it's a basic for the challenge [00:51:38] for a lot of people seem CDs, it's like, oh, yeah, he said that. But it's, it's quite significant, because a lot of [00:51:46] like, aid organizations are based on, on on fake, and they come from a faith background, like the Red Cross or character. So all those organizations who work in this space, this artist, yeah, find the link to the two system. [00:52:09] So anyone on the panel? [00:52:14] How does your faith, consider the identity of God? And how is it like, the same is the sort of [00:52:29] most common idea of God's [00:52:34] grace as he and him? And yeah, like, does that [00:52:41] align with your beliefs? [00:52:48] And our belief, [00:52:51] he's not addressed as he or she, [00:52:55] we address them as other night. [00:52:58] We don't. And I believe it is forbidden for us to know the actual name of God. So we use terms that translate to [00:53:10] like, who, which translate pretty much got not his actual name, or her actual name. [00:53:17] That is, within our belief that even the angels have no six in either male or female. [00:53:25] But yeah, feel free to ask the questions afterwards, because it goes yeah, it's really nice. Yeah. [00:53:33] Once you [00:53:35] complete that, like, [00:53:40] how do you feel about the way God is? [00:53:46] Because [00:53:49] God, yeah, I think it's just that's what I've been told. is what will familiar with creativity [00:54:00] case for everyone? This like a consensus that is he [00:54:05] do you feel like it maybe [00:54:11] instead is less given or the is like the natural [00:54:18] creation? [00:54:22] Can [00:54:23] does it? Does it sort of prioritize, like, put masculinity? On the higher? Yeah, I [00:54:34] think patriarchal [00:54:36] Yeah, [00:54:36] yeah. Yeah. [00:54:41] Oh, um, so my understanding is like when when referring back to God is like a greater been to a point where the year it eventually turned into Hey, but actually, it says God is good with God was happy with it. So there was no a while actually, probably me, gang can't be sitting comes out of my [00:55:01] mouth. But [00:55:02] the thing is, like men was made in His image over the years, and as I mentioned, but we are so much so yeah, it's like, we are all of them. So that's my understanding of so into the behavior, it's [00:55:21] irrelevant to me, because [00:55:23] I like, if you were to believe that in, you are just a part of [00:55:28] God, I've heard some interesting perspective from an analytics person. [00:55:38] From the idea that Adam was made in God's image. And then Eve was created from the vine of Adam. Yeah, yeah. And then that's when the way this person took that was to say that. So God has both this male and female in transit for them. And that was kind of [00:56:10] this first human was made in God's image and in separated out into eliminated. [00:56:18] So yeah, that was a just a test Victor's as a playbook for [00:56:25] another thing around that as well. So it's important to take into account the fact that we're reading Holly books that come from so many different traditions, what we understand in western world, yeah, not only traditions, but for certain languages, the translators. [00:56:46] And so there are projects currently happening that how do we accurately translate, but Old Testament and New Testament, remembering that the Old Testament, the books of God, [00:57:01] and the new system and other books or Christianity? How do we accurately translate those things, so that they actually portraying that brought the actual meetings, for example, when you look at the grid, Adam in, [00:57:16] in Hebrew, it's hot. And what I'm is, was translated as Adam, because they lack I guess, is the item. But often that's translated as human. And so that kind of theory works. And as well. [00:57:32] The other thing I was gonna say around that as if you look at all the language, so for example, you look at the Pacific and all of our languages, we don't have gender pronouns. You know, [00:57:43] if you're talking about he, she or they, you're saying here, in some more in a second in the zone, and Bobby, it's the same kind of concept, where there's no gendering of our pronouns. And so when you were, you know, as a Pacific, Pacific person who grew up in the inner Pacific, and assemble language church, [00:58:08] we don't talk about, you know, give, it will be speaking, as someone was saying, ear, when referring to God, you know, and so all of that sort of language doesn't put Gina to it, the gene that comes in from a Western lens that's been imposed, Mom, you know, [00:58:29] early, early churches back in, like, [00:58:36] an ad, like really added, early, early time after Christ. And so that the concept of God is male, is a human layer concept. [00:58:51] And it does have a lot of political [00:58:54] politics that's impacted all of their ideology as well. So it's really good to deconstruct those ideas around what is the agenda of God. But also, I guess, at the same time, [00:59:08] doesn't have been, you know, this is my shoulder. Because in in those holy books is referred to as dark as gender, it's just referred to as God is thoughts. [00:59:20] In the early [00:59:24] on. [00:59:26] So they'll do this on the panel that was in [00:59:31] his name. And so I touched on a little bit. First of all, I just want to say thank you, to you guys, for creating the space for us. It's a very important area that needs to be discussed. And I know, about a year and a half ago, I attended my first sort of, again, similar to this one. And just before we [00:59:50] and I was always wondering, with with that come up, and every time I write in the comments, what would you like to see her [00:59:58] name that we have, it's a very nice that like us to talk about the blending of both. And I guess for me, it's actually what I noticed during the so it's actually quite scary. For me, as someone who grew up [01:00:13] in the background and forced by my parents, and raise a child, like, I really liked that space. Because, you know, that's what I grew up with a friend, you know, you're learning you got good stories color, the picture was fine. [01:00:26] And then you get to a point where, like, you know, [01:00:29] something is we like, it's where do I fit in now? Like, I know, like, and I had this complex where I was trying to do it, because my parents, you know, for them, not enforced x, I enjoyed it. But then they got to put once I find out who am I, and then I spend, like, a lot of my years trying to do everything else, right? Because I knew at the end, I'll probably disappointed because I don't do enough. And then you know, I went through the whole try to pray for it to go away. Like I went through all that was hard working out every [01:01:05] waking up every morning at it. So here, you know, [01:01:09] show me [01:01:12] and the top because when I [01:01:29] it's hard when you get to a point, like you try and you try really hard to find this place. And then when I came out to my parents, they reinforce my fears. back at me, like, you know, you should come to church, you know, you haven't been coming a lot, and you should have known better pray about it. My dad tried to tell me, don't tell anyone that's a face, you know. And this one is 23. Like, you know, [01:01:54] I'm a [01:01:56] grown woman. [01:02:00] Then when I came into this space, I would like PETA internees, like really good friends of mine and Brittany from last year. And you know, we get along really well. But it's still scary space for even me, check with my really close friends, because that's the up disappointment. [01:02:22] I'm very open with them. [01:02:25] To find out. [01:02:31] I'm very I'm very open with like, I'm expecting everyone's beliefs, like I said yesterday, like, there's no one way to do a journey. [01:02:39] But it's very hard for me to find that space. Where is it? Okay, for me to talk about that. I might not necessarily be in this basically more. But it's like, I kind of have this fear, but [01:02:51] they'll get rejected from a space again. [01:02:57] Say, [01:03:01] Thank you. [01:03:09] Hope we get to talk about more about these things in the stream. [01:03:15] This is for the whole panel. And I was just wondering if you guys have any advice for people who [01:03:21] have family members of go close to them that strictly for religion, and how to deal with [01:03:31] I guess, when those people get upset about you be who you are. [01:03:40] Would you [01:03:40] say it would be better to [01:03:43] try to work through things [01:03:45] with a person or to like go [01:03:47] your own way into kind of distance yourself. Versus [01:03:55] the whole of my death side of the family is like heavily a Christian. My uncle is even like a Baptist minister. So for that, I don't really want to be in that environment, where they like putting me down and stuff. So for me, I will try to distance myself. Yeah. [01:04:15] For me, [01:04:17] I think like, my family's really like comfortable, like, with me, and they really accepting now, but it's taking a really long time. And, and yeah, like for me, like if something comes that was I feel what's this transfer back up the flag, that's not Christian life. And you know, and I like to leave by my examples, and, you know, clearly if they feel like, like, for me, I am a Christian, but, you know, both sides of my family a strong moment. And, and, and if I feel like, you know, this, this, they're targeting me because they are uncomfortable stuff, how to say that's not Christian, like, you know, patient. [01:05:00] Okay, things like that, just to remind them, that this is the part that you're going and you have Christ in your life. This is Yeah, like, you know, he gave his only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to come to the surface and die for us, for our sins, for selected people, to everybody, you know, [01:05:23] I think, come to those who you can trust [01:05:26] in the people that you [01:05:29] can, you know, [01:05:29] we will be there for you. I mean, my dad was, yeah, he was, it took him like years one to accept me for who I am. And now he's in a totally different space. But my mom, on the other hand, was really, really supportive of me. And she would always have asked for me, United family members, we never wasn't there, and they'll complain about me bringing my partner or anything. So I'm, whoever that support person is for you cling on to them. And, you know, if you can name one person, around your networks, that will be there for you to support you to speak on your behalf. [01:06:06] And those times where you don't feel confident to speak for yourself, definitely claim on some people like that, because they will help you through your journey just like my mom did for me. [01:06:14] Yeah. I'm definitely also like, [01:06:19] although the your family and you know, that I think it's a really hard situation to be in. [01:06:27] I also sent like, totally don't change for people, you know, whether that's in a friend group or a family group, you know, like, you know, you're here You, you, and I think totally embracing that. And loving that. And I think it's all part of the journey is figuring out where you want to sit. And as cheesy that sounds totally Listen to your heart, you know, do what you feel is right. And, yeah, it's okay to ask for advice and stuff. But you know, it comes down to your decision. So definitely do what feels right for you. And in the moment, and yeah, I guess [01:07:03] it'd be patient. [01:07:06] Patients, [01:07:08] often situation seems so hard at the moment, but [01:07:12] if you're patient, it will see that after time, things change. And people just need [01:07:22] sometimes solar time and sometimes quite a long time to, to get things. Yeah. And it's a very emotional thing. And especially with faith, it's very emotional. And you can't put it down to just rational arguments, you know, and people argue with, with things to take out of the Bible, but behind a bit emotional messages. And I think what faith teaches is just loving someone else, like you love yourself. And that's one of the most important lessons for me. And [01:07:55] if it's a selfish interest, is this emotion with you? with your family? I think that's the way to go. Yeah. But be patient. Yeah. It's not soft like this, you know? Yeah. [01:08:13] We've asked to [01:08:14] do, [01:08:14] yeah. [01:08:16] So kind of similar. [01:08:19] I have like, quite a long history with grievances with the church. And I suppose my question for you guys that have been for it and hit that kind of feeling like you're forced out of the church for being who you are, how did you overcome it and overcome that pain, and it hurts the church. And no, tape it safe and to go back in? And like, going back into a place that has not been safety on the past? [01:08:45] Yeah, I think what we intend to do is we didn't realize the whole church. But for me, it comes down to like poor leadership, because that's the path of the you know, the past is not on board with who we are. And clearly the congregation itself, going to support the pastor because the pastor Bishop or, you know, he knows best. But for me, it's like, that says, for leadership, and, you know, if there's unconfirmed of you being in that church, and for whatever reason, out to say, go to another church, because you'll see, like, you know, and so many friends, like with them Pacific a space that would like even like some of my family, extended family, there, like a part of the church, and then everyone leaves. And they also have building their own churches, because they're all having arguments or whatnot of, like, you know, cuz have slept poor leadership, like, no, because I think this is the right way. And then someone's like, No, I think this is the right way. And, like, when you think about it, I think that's how churches are built. Because they all feel like the system, right teachings of the gospel. Yeah, so I would just recommend that you just go to try out child different religions, as well. Like I had the opportunity to, you know, like, for me, I say, atrocious church, and if they're not comfortable with me, that's fine. Because that's the problem. Yeah. Is that a that a, you know, you go, you go to a place or you attend sessions like this for your own reason. [01:10:21] I think [01:10:21] I'm a lot like during the summit, when I went through that whole transition and or finding out that I wasn't accepted, it's all church and at home [01:10:30] as a process for me, and you know, it's totally different for everyone at the early stages in their own path. But it was a realization for me that everyone in these different environments and the disapproval of me and my identity was a reflection more so in the end of myself. [01:10:49] And that once I realized that I began to, I had this huge 360, where I started to view myself differently. And I started to love who I was, I started to love my body, my mannerisms, the different things about me that I started takes it about myself. And then in turn, I found others who felt the same. So I kind of come from that place where like, how you feel on the inside, you attract to yourself, you attract what you feel, basically. [01:11:20] And you'll probably see, like, a lot of people that I really feel sorry for you guys. And that's like, I'm so sorry, for me for say for yourself, you know, your mentality is? Like, [01:11:36] I think I'm all about the journey, you know, yeah, I think just embracing that journey, you don't, you don't need to rush back into anything, either. [01:11:45] Because it is almost like a grieving courses, you know, like, [01:11:48] there is that lost to some sort of connection, if you've lost that connection with someone with congregation or whoever. And I think our [01:12:01] accepting that as part of your journey is part of what you need to go through. I think, personally, I haven't yet found a congregation that I'm, you know, connecting with. And I think I'm okay with it, you know, like, my values haven't changed and that sort of thing. And I think it's just been okay, that actually, when I find the place, I'll know. And I can be myself and that sort of thing. So I think it is all part of that learning and debt processing of what's right for you. And like, it's okay to be selfish, like this is for you. This is your values. This is [01:12:41] your congregation, if it's the right one, you know, and I think, yeah, just embrace it and enjoy it and be selfish. [01:12:50] Yeah. [01:12:52] One thing for me was very important to start the start the healing process for myself, I don't, you don't have to wait for someone else to start it for you. So [01:13:03] don't wait [01:13:05] until something started for yourself and saying, I want to see this as a challenge as hard as it is, and get out stronger and come out stronger. And so a different way to, to interact with other people. Yeah. And that's my goal to show people another way, a different way. And always think, why is this person attacking me? Now let's think where's this person coming from and farther than seeing myself as a victim? It's more like, I'm sorry that this person had to go through this, this pathway to to show their anger and fear by attacking me and yeah, but it's Yeah. [01:13:56] For me, the healing process starts with him. [01:14:03] So I think it's morning to time. So I just like to thank the panelists and remain as well for sharing such personal experiences coming here today, so everyone could give them a round of [01:14:24] I'd also like to [01:14:26] acknowledge that not all faiths were represented here today. So hopefully next year, there will be more wide range of people but also be posting up some relevant videos on to the shift page for people to have a look at. [01:14:43] And if anything has come up for you or you're feeling pretty good. We've got john here today, or men scattered around. [01:14:52] Yeah. [01:14:55] So just like sector close with the kind of film [01:15:04] Jimmy John's [01:15:05] going to tell you that I work with teams [01:15:09] around America. No matter [01:15:11] how you do how you do [01:15:13] have a few weekend we like it or [01:15:18] not giving them a method in order [01:15:23] to bring up a demo ready to go to a different way not only to the VIP, you know, could you tell me about 10am 10am [01:15:36] tomorrow, tonight to productivity Okay, now Ricky [01:15:41] Ricardo, Ricardo. Ricardo vacated by our [01:15:45] modern [01:15:46] UI widow out of my [01:15:49] temper for me

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