The DSA, Dean Mitchell, and Prof. Karin Krause, Assistant Professor of Byzantine Theology and Visual Culture, have planned a special event, and you are invited! Join us for an afternoon trip to the Art Institute of Chicago, on Tuesday, December 9th, where we will view the Heaven and Earth: Art of Byzantium from Greek Collections Exhibition. Afterward we will head to Greektown for dinner.
The check is on us, but space is limited! If you are a Divinity student or faculty member and would like to attend, please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org ~This will be a small group and Spots will fill up quickly, please rsvp only if you know you can make it.~
**We plan to meet at the Art Institute’s Michigan Ave. entrance at 3:30 PM.**
Dinner Location: TBA; Want to travel with a group? Let’s gather at 2:15 PM in the lobby of Swift Hall and we’ll take the bus downtown together.
Richmond, Virginia just came out. On Richmondisout.com, the city writes to Atlanta, Boston, DC, and Ellen DeGeneres to say “I’m gay” with variations on common coming out themes: This isn’t a phase. I’ve known for awhile. Please visit, let’s talk.
The website is splashy, bright, and quippy; the ad campaign is well-designed, but the enterprise is built on the all-too-familiar foundation of gay marketability.
One of my friends and ministers speaks a lot about feminism and her experience in seminary during a time in which women just didn’t do that sort of thing. She speaks with clarity about the many experiences she has had throughout her life in which coming out as a feminist to the Christians and coming out to the Christians as a feminist was met with rage, confusion and misunderstanding.
“Feminists are angry men-haters. Christians are bigoted, patriarchal, and blind.”
I have recently watched a video clip of Jada Pinkett-Smith respond to a question her daughter, Willow, asked regarding being a wife, a mother… and so much more. Pinkett-Smith mentioned the challenges and rewards of fulfilling her numerous roles and spoke of the paradox that accompanies them. I have found her response moving and relevant to the topic at hand—National Coming Out Day.
This summer a video that recorded the experience of a young man coming out to his family went viral on YouTube. I encourage everyone to watch the video, recognizing that the material is tense and becomes violent. For some of us who are gender, sexual, and/or romantic minorities (GSRM) it might be too triggering to watch.
I very much appreciate the invitation to contribute a reflection in celebration of National Coming Out Day 2014, perhaps especially so since I followed last year’s series with both interest and benefit. For those who missed it, by dint of whatever genre of distance, I commend a (re-)reading; the total event—comprising reflections on the misuse of “rigor” as a silencing mechanism in academic discourse, the archives by which one negotiates the strictures of acceptable embodiment and sexuality, the lamentably anachronistic necessity of visibility politics in the Divinity School circa 2013, the echoes of trauma one can feel in even well-intentioned conversations, and the power that attends what one might name as a coming to self-knowledge and self-acceptance—is a sobering, prophetic, and yet hopeful portrait of the LGBTQIQA experience in Swift Hall.
In line with the Divinity School’s continued commitment to collaborative diversity, the offices of the Dean and Dean of Students, along with the Divinity School’s Diversity Committee (a sub-committee of the faculty’s Academic Policy Committee) are excited in our support of this year’s National Coming Out Day. NCOD is officially October 11. This observance reflects ongoing conversations the Diversity Committee is having with various student groups.
The thesis presentations are done in the final year of the MDiv program. As acts of public theology, they intend to foster creative communication and wider discussion of each student’s senior ministry thesis.