My first visit to a freedom2be event, their mission is:

To save lives, prevent harm and empower LGBTI people from Christian backgrounds through reconciliation of their sexuality and/or gender identity, and their faith.



Guest speaker tonight is Padraig O Tuama – poet, theologian and group worker…

“Gay people are told structurally and personally they are less,
it’s an abomination to be told that or to believe it.”

Question: What’s a lovely thing someone said about you once?
Storytelling  creates safe space – curiosity moves people/creates space…

“Small gestures of human kindness are the beginning point of something nice”

Poem – The visit of the queen of the lesbians to the prayer group of men
who happen to be gay

When she came to visit
she said:
Don’t ask me.
I’m just the driver.
When she came to visit
she said:
Questions reveal much
about the secrets of the questioner.
When she came to visit she said:
Ask a better question lads.
She said: Misogyny is no respecter of your homo-andro-centric
little worldwinds.
When she came to visit
she said:
Just because you don’t want to screw us
Doesn’t mean you don’t screw us.
Don’t ask me to visit you.
Answer your own queries, queries.
When she came to visit she said:
Cook for us instead.
That’s what the queen of the lesbians said.

A friend of mine pointed out to me that of all the titles that the chief lesbian might choose for herself the word ‘queen’ would be one that she would leave for the boys…

Poem – day of the living

She entered a room full of the deviant queers
Everything from her ears
to feet was burning.

She looked around the slew of sinners
and everything that was in her said:
Just leave.

And she heard all the years of teaching
that participation
in this kind of congregation
is a degradation
a journey away from salvation.

And she sat on a plain brown chair
She sat, twisted her hat in nervous fingers
And she sat,
even though her history was screaming at her:

Leave. Leave. Leave.
Leave now.
Leave quickly.
Leave. Leave. Leave.

And at the introduction
she breathed when it came to be her turn.

She breathed and she said:
This is my first time in a room full of…….us.
She breathed.

Poem – what I needed to hear – “the wonder of God is where your journey begins”

“If a God could exist  that loved me,
what might that God say to me?”

“It has taken years to continue to live into the truth that if I believe we are from God and for God, then we are from Goodness and for Goodness. To greet sorrow today does not mean that sorrow will be there tomorrow. Happiness comes too, and grief, and tiredness, disappointment, surprise and energy. Chaos and fulfilment will be named as well as delight and despair. This is the truth of being here, wherever here is today. It may not be permanent but it is here. I will probably leave here, and I will probably return. To deny here is to harrow the heart. Hello to here.”

― Pádraig Ó Tuama, In the Shelter: Finding a Home in the World

Poem – returning “I hear you’re gay now, are you still Christian?”



“I need to be forgiven for a lot of things
but not my love”

Poem – Intercession for Lesbian and Gay Ugandans

This is not a liberal agenda.
Think about the people sleeping in the prison in

These are bodies like yours and mine.
Close your eyes. Please, close them.
Put the fingers of your one hand
to the wrist of the other
and keep your pulse a moment.

Are you calm?
Are you content, in touching your own skin
with your own safe and holy skin?

Think about the people sleeping in the prison in

This is not a liberal agenda.
These are people.
Not quite corpses…..yet.
And it’s not about forgetting all your morals
with some rationalist adjustment
or some sad subjective judgment.

The Samaritan did not sin,
yet still was hated,
judged and deemed a lesser kind of human.

Think about the people sleeping in the prison in

This is not a liberal agenda.

“There are serious things to pay attention to.
We need to name our marginalisation and our privilege.
We learn our own dignity by naming our complicity.”

poem – who do you say that I am?

You say it’s unnatural,
hoping I might speak of boybirds loving boybirds
or girlbirds loving girlbirds,
so that you can then say:
Why are you speaking about animals?
Is that how you see yourself?
And as for Sodom,
you speak with no regard for Lot’s daughters,
or all those other lost voices
in the unreported Abu Grahibs of our most recent century.
So how are we to talk
while we travel with each other?
I, for one, will carve my own fury into a pencil
and scribble midrash on the map of our shared future
hoping you might learn the names
of places you’ve never seen.
So listen!
Sex and the text
are strange things surely.
What we read
and the way we read
are two different things.
Let us hope that
lies be undone
and untruth be told out loud
so that a path may be revealed
before us

poem – the facts of life