Envisioning Care: Responses to the Traumas of “Truth” in an Online Queer Christian Community

Clayton Jarrard

Abstract


In light of the antagonistic histories of Christianity and the LGBTQ+ community in the U.S., a common hardship experienced by queer Christians is the shame of isolation. Many queer Christians are steeped in queerphobic faith communities, lacking resources to help themselves. Digital spaces have become an innovative way to forge connections around this distinct point of tension between faith and lived experience. In this digital ethnography of an online queer Christian community, care is witnessed to be formative for many, and vital for some. Community members adapt approaches to care in the online domain of Reddit to produce support, belonging, and solidarity for those like themselves who are suffering. Yet this care is also bound by social and political norms, which limit its scope to address the entrenched problems queer Christians face. Central to this experience is the role of “Truth” and how it has been wielded against queer Christians, used to marginalize populations, and exploited to shape American culture.

Keywords


Christianity; queer communities; LGBTQ+; digital ethnography; care

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.15273/jue.v12i2.11407

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The JUE is a peer-reviewed online journal that publishes original ethnographic research by undergraduates working in a variety of disciplines. Submissions are welcomed. Contact the Editor, Karen McGarry.

ISSN 2369-8721