Your email address:

Powered by FeedBlitz

Blog powered by Typepad
AddThis Social Bookmark Button
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Header image by Mieszko Gorski

« And Now for Something Completely Different.... | Main | Rise Up, Don't Act Up »

May 31, 2005


Joe Perez

Sure, he's cute, Ko, but he's *married*. If gays are gonna go for a hottie savior, he's gotta be *available*. That's half the allure. ;-)

John G

Why are we so set on using a pretty-boy to begin the return of religion to gay America? There is a lot more to gay America than the rich white business men of the HRC and the young white ciruit boys that appear on the cover of the Advocate.

When hoping for a return of religion to gay culture, shouldn't we be reaching out with substance, not style? Think of Tammy Faye. Did her high profile in the gay community do anything positive for religion?

What if we instead were to focus on things like social justice, community building, and inner contentedness within the religious context? What if instead of trying to lure people into religions dialouge with attractive young white men (the appeal of which would be the desire to "corrupt" these "pure" bois), we reached out with those things that religion is actually about?

Ko Imani

I agree and disagree, John G, but that comes along with attempting to help birth an integral movement.

No one is advocating style over substance. I, at least, am just acknowledging the power of style in mainstream queer culture and suggesting that we explore every "port of entry" into the lives of LGBT people.

Of course, you're right that we (as a spiritual queer movement) should focus on cultivating social justice, community building and inner peace (I might add mindfulness, service, awareness, courage and other helpful concerns).

At the same time, I believe we must attempt to make these pursuits appealing. Nothing we do is much help growing the movement if we are unable to appeal to those who do not currently participate in the movement. This requires us to use language, images, channels and messengers that are accessible by LGBT people ~unlike~ us. (Of course, we're a diverse bunch, and I don't really like this "us" and "them" language. You'll have to excuse me!)

The messengers don't have to be male or caucasian, but they do have to appeal to queers outside the movement and they do have to have genuine spiritual wisdom to communicate.

This is an interesting discussion!

John G

I agree wholeheartedly that we need messengers who have appeal to queers outside of the movement and who have genuine spiritual wisdom to communicate.

I also believe that if we play into parts of mainstream queer culture, especially the materialism, body-image obsessions, and affluence, then we are only shooting ourselves in the foot. All queer people, and especially queer people of faith, should feel strongly about breaking down materialist and classist constructions in society in general and especially in queer culture. Having "a hot young man who'll turn everybody's head with his good looks, who'll appear on the cover of 'The Advocate' barechested to proclaim a new Gay religion that has no connection with anything in the past and who gets his start through some kind of media event/news crisis that brings massive publicity" is a huge step in the wrong direction.

If holding our ground and not playing into the culture of affluent white gay men means that less people will want to be involved, then thats fine with me. Religion is something people have to want to come to. Selling it with a glossy cover only cheapens it and detracts from all it has to offer. If we make it "hip" to be religious, then we'll be taking away from the substance.


Christian Pankhurst is not gay, but simply uses the word "partner" intentionally not to exclude anyone or their sexual orientations. I just returned from Ashland where I participated in Embracing Change's three day retreat and it was an incredible experience. I just wanted to let you know that yes, he's cute, but no, he's not gay. I appreciate your site! - Nafeesa


Hello everyone, Christian Pankhurst here. I enjoyed reading your posts and was quite amused by how close you actually are to the truth. Even though I am not gay (although I feel as if my bisexual love for both sexes seems to amplify as I open my heart and develop myself as a spiritual being) my friend and business partner to whom you refer, actually is. You were right, you just got the wrong partner. I am not married either, although I was engaged once, when I was 19 years old. I am in a wonderful relationship with a women from the US at the moment and currently live in Australia. If you want to know anything else, my new website will be launched next week and it will have an abundance of fascinating facts about my work. Check it out after the 16th July.


Laugh, how I laughed,Christian as a poster boy!
Despite his good looks, (if you happen to like blondes) there is much more to Christian and his work than the term "poster boy" would suggest. Poster boy implies pretty but no substance. And there is plenty of substance in the work Christian and his team at Embracing Change are performing. The essence of Embracing Change is about the community building John G referred to in his post. It is also about breaking down barriers between people and allowing the person behind the initial perceptions to be revealed. In that sense work by people like Christian, irrespective of their own sexuality, has the substance of "spiritual wisdom" that will appeal to gay men and women, just as it appeals to straight men and women, old men and women, young people, mature folk, and people of any class or wealth.
Participating in an Embracing Change retreat is, as Nafeesa suggested, an incredible experience although I would prefer to use the term profound. And safe, for in the retreat it seemed to me that a space of safety was created so that anyone, including me as a gay man, could simply be present. What I loved about that was the diversity of folk present who, perhaps for the first time, were able to recognise that our sexuality is not the only describer of who we are as spiritual humans. It's my view that the best way to grow the gay spiritual movement is through involvement and particpation in events such as Embracing Change where the incredible diversity of people is experienced. Such participation has a pay off for us in the 'gay community". In a time where negative judgement of who we are as gay men and women by conservative church groups is increasingly aligned with political power, being present in retreats and at events where there is a range of humanity present can truly change perceptions.
So in the end does it matter at all what Christian's sexuality is? Or is it more important that his work and the spaces created in the Embracing Change retreats allows us to knock down preconceived notions of difference, and thus remove the notion of "other".
This is all getting way serious, particularly when I think about how it started... with Christian being nominated as a poster boy for gay spirituality. So to end on a light note, Christian has outed his partner and friend. Having met them both could I say just this...Christian was right in saying the original post got the wrong one. I agree, but not on the gay bit. No No No, Ko Imani, you were wrong on the poster boy bit...the partner is the poster boy material...tall, dark, handsome and intelligent...but then I always fancied Mr Darcy types.
(And I'm not the partner though we share the name)


Dies ist ein großer Ort. Ich möchte hier noch einmal.


Christian himself has spoken and he is not gay. Now the balance of his Changing Emotions can be appreciated for the dynamic work it is. Now that LGBT people are welcome with everyone else whomever they may be, the concentration can leave the Orientation arena.
Jesus did not pan homosexuality and I don't believe Jesus had things he thought were significant but forgot to mention them.
The LGBT community is so accustomed to having to check to see if there is inclusion, it has become the focus above the message. There are paradigms to change, heart intelligence to develop more fully and connecting with our feelings. It is called balance when you can participate in an activity or group and all are equally welcomed based alone on your resonating with the subject.
After all the times sexuality or orientation has been a deciding factor of participation has the LGBT community adapted to it?
Can orientation just be? It feels like the elephant chained for years who adapted to waling in a circle. When the chain was cut he still did not move outside that circle for though free, the years of captivity had created the repetitious behavior. Years of rejection based on a different orientation has caused a lot of pain as well as lots of limiting beliefs. It is those beliefs that solicit so much energy be spent on Christian's orientation rather than his dynamic message.

The comments to this entry are closed.