NeprocjenjivA

James Alison – Crkveni mehanizam upravljan je iz ormara

Being an openly gay priest wasn’t always a challenge like it became in the 80ies. The Church had changed as did the attitude towards the whole topic of LGBT people. But James didn’t back out. James talks about his journey to becoming a priest and what is happening within the church. This episode gives some insights into what happened, what is happening, an interesting story of an encounter with Pope Francis… More to come in the second part with James Alison next Monday.

Short Version:

Full Interview:

LINKS:
The Priceless Podcast
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The European Forum of LGBT Christian Groups
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James Alison:
Webpage: http://jamesalison.com/
Books: http://jamesalison.com/en/books/

Živjeti s HIVom – Još uvijek sam ljudsko biće

HIV has been around for a while. Though we came a long way in fighting this virus and having it is not a “death sentence” anymore, we still live with the images of suffering and people dying of AIDS. The stigma and judgement of people who are HIV positive remains. My guest dealt with the topic of HIV for 15 years. When he contracted HIV, he knew he wanted to live what he preached.

Short Version:

Full Interview:

Some excerpts from the interview:

I was diagnosed with HIV 5 years ago, which has been an interesting journey.
I teach at the university here in Leeds. I teach issues in relation to gender and sexuality.
The part of the Netherlands where I grew up was basically defined by conservative forms of Dutch Protestantism, Calvinism, the Dutch Reformed church. That defined my youth, my upbringing.

Being diagnosed with HIV was an interesting combination of different parts of my biography. I had been working on issues of HIV in my academic work in the past 15 years. While I studied, I was a visiting student in South Africa. I was a visiting student as part of a master program for Theology and HIV/AIDS. At that time the HIV epidemic was in South Africa at its top level. I did a lot of voluntary work for people with HIV. So that was my first exposure to the realities of the HIV epidemic. I ended up writing my masters dissertation on theology and HIV in South Africa. Somehow it was an irony that 10 years later I was diagnosed with HIV myself. This was the moment of truth for me. If I was really serious about fighting the stigma of HIV then it was now time to do that myself.

I had a wonderful social environment with my partner and a few friends with who I shared this news and who were really supportive. That helped me combined with the basic medical knowledge I had that HIV is not a life-threatening disease. When I started taking my medication, I realised that I had to take this medication for the rest of my life which was kind of weird to realise.

HIV made me much more aware of my body. Of having one and the vulnerability of my body. I realised that I wasn’t going to allow this virus to take over my body and to take over my well-being. The most difficult step was to disclose it to my immediate family, to my parents, to my siblings. I don’t really care what other people think about me having HIV or if they have issues with it, but I did care how my immediate family would take it.

I’m proud of deciding to stick to the principles, to the stuff I believe in. I do believe that living with HIV is not a problem medically speaking, but also kind of morally speaking. Living with HIV doesn’t say anything about who I am. But the way I decided how to live with HIV does say something about who I am.

In the end, I would love to see a world where no one is stigmatised for who they are or how they decide to live their lives. I want to see a world where no one is being judged for the decisions they made.

LINKS:
The Priceless Podcast
Support the podcast

The European Forum of LGBT Christian Groups
Support the EU Forum

LINKS ADRIAAN SUGGESTED:
Adriaan’s book: Kenyan, Christian, Queer https://www.psupress.org/books/titles/978-0-271-08380-3.html
– This website includes some good, helpful basic information about HIV and the medical issues around it: https://www.tht.org.uk/hiv-and-sexual-health
– This website offers lots of support to people living with HIV (it’s a UK based organisation, and of course there will be similar organisations in other countries): https://positivelyuk.org/
– This website is specifically about faith and living with HIV: http://www.positivefaith.net/church-community-and-hiv.html

LGBT u Armeniji – rušenje tabua o HIV-u i LGBT temama

The only LGBT organisation is giving its best to not only step up for LGBT+ rights, but also for other vulnerable groups. Armenia has been and remained a country deeply rooted in religion and influenced by the words of its leaders. In the midst of these challenges, New Generation is trying to break the taboos, educate the police, and informing the public about HIV, HIV prevention, and LGBT+ human rights. It seems like a long journey ahead, but one that some Armenians like Arman are willing to take.

Gay i Nigerijac – “Biti gay je bjelačka stvar!”

In a second interview with Ade Adeniji, we talk about his personal story. Living in London-Nigeria-London being gay and the challenge of growing up in a cultural and religious surrounding that says “Being gay is a white thing.”

When this gets to a point where you are even blamed for the death of a family member, how do you cope? How do you shake off the shame that other people are trying to put on you?

This conversation is an addition to our first interview about shame. Below you can find the link to the first interview where Ade talks about shame in more details and how to cope with it.

Istraživanje RICE 2020 – Cilj nije utjeha, već izazov

RICE 2020 Research has come to life. A lot of effort was put in. Among all the people that participated, Wielie Elhorst and Misza Czerniak were involved right from the beginning. We are taking a look at the process, but also at the impact this research could have on advocacy work in Europe. Though the research was published, it is not the end. The work has only begun and you can be part of it!

Istraživanje RICE 2020 – Bolna stvarnost od pomoći u brojkama

It has been an effort with many people involved. Still, the end product wouldn’t come to life without experts who know how to look at those numbers and make sense out of them for all of us. The first Rainbow Index of Churches is out with a Webpage to further explore and even add information. This is a major step to have a better insight into what is happening in European Churches when it comes to LGBTIQ+ inclusion. Researches talk about the challenges, about the research as well as their insights and hopes for the future of Churches.

Istraživanje RICE 2020 – Izazov crkvama, alat za aktivizam

We are celebrating the “finished” product of RICE 2020 – The Rainbow Index of Churches in Europe. For this occasion, the researchers and Forum representatives who were working on this research were interviewed. The whole interviews (there are two) will be published on Monday, May 10th. For now, you can see this overview. Join the live presentation on Saturday, May 8th from 11:30 to 12:45.

Nebinarna trans-muževna osoba – Izazov binarnom razmišljanju

Shanon is a life-long activist and advocate for LGBT rights. They share their process of discovering who they are in a time where Trans* wasn’t a known identity, let alone being nonbinary. They talk of their experience, blessing, and challenges of going into transition, the challenges for friends and family, but also of having fun while people try to put them into a binary context.

LINKS:
The Priceless Podcast
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The European Forum of LGBT Christian Groups
Support the EU Forum

If you have a question for Shanon, ask in the YouTube comment section and Shanon will answer as soon as possible.

Gay svečenik – živjeti pod progonstvom

Many of us living in Europe fight for the rights of LGBT+ people and we see the problems and discrimination, but we don’t really think about being prosecuted. Poland wasn’t a leading country in LGBT+ rights, but it wasn’t this bad either. A populist government made it possible to scapegoat a minority that managed to make progress. For many of them, it seems like it was for nothing. What does one do when the church and government turn against them? When they make use of a law that was intended to protect minority religions? How does someone keep their hopes up when they are threatened by being locked up in a prison or mental hospital for doing an LGBT+ mass (Chruch service)?

Biseksualnost – Spominje se ali i ne govori o tome

Whenever we talk about different sexualities, we use the abbreviation LGBT+. Yet we barely mention or talk about B, maybe a little bit more about T. Carol shepherd talks about her experience as a Bisexual person, how she started her journey of writing books on Bisexuality, and gives an interesting insight on misconceptions and prejudices about Bisexual people.