Melissa “Malky” Weisz grew up in a New York Hasidic family. She married according to her tradition, but could not continue that path. She ultimately accepted her sexual identity as a gay woman.
Clay Cane has written a compelling memoir, Live Through This: Surviving the Intersections of Sexuality, God, and Race. An article from Vibe states, “The book is compiled of 27 separate essays dealing with Clay’s experience coming into his own as a young gay man of color growing up with limited resources in Washington state and Philadelphia. In efforts to highlight some of his most life altering vignettes, he divides the book up into one-word sections—Sexuality, Love, Race, God, Intersections—that target different facets of his existence and form part of his story. But this isn’t just a story about Cane. Within the collection of stories, he interpolates all types of issues that affect the LGBT community and marginalized communities as a whole.”
Watch this video clip of Clay discussing his book:
“You are loved, you are lovely, and your future is incredibly bright.” This is the affirmation that Brett came to believe after a life growing up in the conservative Christian south. He blogged his amazing page-turning story at Blue Babies Pink (do read it!), as well as shared a short version with TEDx (see below).
Julie Rodgers shares her story of being a homeschool kid in a conservative Christian world who realizes she is gay. After living celibate for several years, she eventually came to believe that God can bless gay marriage. She recently became engaged to Amanda Hite.
Samra Habib is a photographer who launched Just Me and Allah: A Queer Muslim Photo Project. She has traveled across North America collecting stories and taking photos of LGBTQ Muslims. In an article for the Guardian she writes:
“But for most of my 20s, Islam felt like a parent dishing out conditional love: I had no right to call myself Muslim because I’m queer and didn’t wear the hijab. There was no denying that the sense of shame I carried deeply impacted my relationship with my faith. After over a decade of not stepping inside a mosque, I was spiritually hungry. Although I maintained a private relationship with Allah, I longed for a nonjudgmental spiritual community where I could meet others like myself.” Read the whole article at the Guardian.
Also watch a video interview with Samra:
In the late 1990s, Jennifer Knapp became a Christian music sensation. A brand new Christian, having converted in college, she had a fresh, edgy style to her music. For the next decade she toured before suddenly disappearing from the scene. Burned out by the Christian music industry and coming to terms with her sexuality, she and her partner lived in Australia for several years before she finally returned to the US to resume singing and songwriting. This time as an openly gay Christian. Below she gives a TEDx talk.
See also her appearance at Vanderbilt:
Country western singer Chely Wright tells her story.