Welcome to Q Chats, a way for members of the Q Christian community to engage with prompts, concepts, and thoughts! Want to learn more about the contributors? Read on to learn more about the people behind the perspectives you will hear this month.
Matthias Roberts is a writer, therapist, and host of Queerology: A Podcast on Belief and Being. His work has been featured in HuffPost Religion, Believe Out Loud, OnFaith, and The Seattle Times. He holds an MA in Theology and Culture and an MA in Counseling Psychology from The Seattle School of Theology and Psychology. Matthias is currently finishing his first book, an exploration of sexual shame and sexual ethics which is set to release on Fortress Press in early 2020. He lives in Seattle and spends his time helping LGBTQ people of faith and allies live confidently.
Dr. Tina Schermer Sellers
Dr. Tina Schermer Sellers is a nationally known speaker on religious sexual shame. She is associate professor of sexuality and director of medical family therapy in the Department of Psychology, Family and Community at Seattle Pacific University, in Seattle, Washington. Tina serves on the board of The American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors, and Therapists, and is a Co-Creator of She Is Called – a Leadership Collective for Women. As a preeminent voice on purity culture and Hebrew Mystic Sexuality, Dr. Sellers is frequently featured on podcasts, TV, documentaries, articles and radio, including Spirituality & Health magazine, and NPR’s All Things Considered. In her acclaimed 2017 book, Sex, God and the Conservative Church – Erasing Shame from Sexual Intimacy, Dr. Sellers reveals how the western conservative church in collusion with consumer driven culture and politics, has infiltrated our core ability to attach to our partners, and instruct our children to attach to theirs. Similar to the ItGetsBetter Project, Tina developed the website, ThankGodForSex.org, where people can find videos of individuals who were effected by abstinence education and the purity movement who have found healing through therapy and other forms of emotional care. Professionals and the public will find free resources on both her personal and the institute websites. www.TinaSchermerSellers.com, www.InstituteOnIntimacy.com. She can also be followed on Instagram @DrTinaShamelessSex or Twitter @TinaSSellers.
Although he grew up in a Christian household in Southern California, David truly came to know Christ only sometime after college. After searching for truth during years of reparative therapy, David came to understand God's love and grace as something even more radical than he had ever imagined. Years more of study, prayer, and discussion softened his heart for relationship. It was around that time that Constantino came along. David likes to think he's come a long way, but God annoyingly reminds him that he still has lots of growth to do.
David studied journalism and creative writing in college, and is currently writing a fantasy series based in 1930s Hollywood. He loves his family and is utterly obsessed with his dog.
Nineteen-year-olds are impressionable, and it's at that age that Constantino first read Ayn Rand. By 20, he was a staunch atheist. He came out of the closet at around the same time, and made a life on the East Coast. In the summer of 2011 he left his home in Manhattan, and walked to Alabama. He spent the following year traveling across the United States, and somewhere along the way, he began to pray. He fell in love with the 33-year-old carpenter who died for our salvation, and he is surprised every day by the grace the Lord has shown him. He is grateful for meeting David, a man who reminded him what it feels like to have kin.
Constantino studied philosophy, classics, and all things American. He practiced journalism for a decade and half before joining the world of LGBTQ Christian advocacy.
Tonetta is a graduate of Wesley Theological Seminary and is ordained as a pastor in the American Baptist Churches USA. Currently, she is on the exciting journey of starting a progressive, multiracial church in Washington DC where she lives. Prior to pursuing full-time ministry, taught literature and composition at the high school level. Her own writing has been featured in Prism magazine and Raw: Finding a Way from Conflict to Revelation. In her free time, Tonetta enjoys porch-sitting and sweet tea like any good southerner, is an avid reader, and can’t get enough of bumming around the Middle East.
Melinda Melone is one of several queer members of the Church of the Sojourners, an intentional Christian community in San Francisco. She is also a mom, a Montessori administrator and teacher, and a children's/youth ministry veteran. After a 25-year mixed-orientation marriage, she came out more publicly as gay and is committed to celibacy. Recently she has spoken at Revoice and QCF conferences and served on the QCF Side B Advisory. She is the author of "Welcoming Rainbow Kids" in Faith Forward: Children, Youth, and a New Kind of Christianity.
Brian G. Murphy is a co-founder of QueerTheology.com, a resource hub and online community for LGBTQ Christians and straight, cisgender supporters which takes “It’s ok to be queer” as the starting point, rather than the finish line of the conversation on faith, sexuality, and gender and explores how queerness can enrich our Christian faith. Brian is also a certified relationship coach, helping folks navigate and build healthy, faithful open or polyamorous relationships. He studied film production and religion at the University of Southern California, received nonviolence training from civil rights leaders including Rev. Phil Lawson as part of the Soulforce Equality Ride, and has spoken at churches, colleges, and conferences across the country.
Bukola is a first generation Nigerian-American who was born and raised in Philadelphia, PA. She grew up attending youth group and Pioneer girls in Baptist and nondenominational churches. As a young adult, she was also a member at Pentecostal and Presbyterian churches. Denomination was never a focus for her. Just Jesus. Bukola is a patent attorney, having studied Chemical Engineering at MIT and law at NYU. She was very active in Intervarsity at both schools. She is ordained as a deacon in her church, Riverside Baptist, where she leads the fellowship and social events team.
Joining the organization in 2012, she found a rainbow-hued oasis that reflected the fullness and diversity of the Gospel. Bukola can often be found playing tackle football, skiing, mentoring high-school students, bringing people together, eating skittles, hosting weary travelers and planning her next getaway. She lives in Washington, D.C. with her wife, Tonetta, and their son, Temitayo.
Shane Bauman has been a part of the GCN/QCF community for 11 years. Soon after connecting with GCN he joined the "Waiting Until Marriage" group and through this group he met his husband David to whom he has been married to for 8 years. For the last 6 years he has been the leader of this group which now operates mainly as a Facebook group with almost 450 members. He is passionate about supporting people as they make decisions about their sexual ethic. He opposes the shame and coercion that are common in purity culture and aims to facilitate discussions about sexual ethics that give people agency and freedom. He is also a leader in Generous Space, a Canadian organization which is quite similar to QCF and an active member of The Living Room, a small independent church in Kitchener, Ontario.
Sam re-connected with his faith while in the midst of coming-out, finding strength in Christ’s message of radical love at a time when many find themselves struggling to find a place for God. Working as a fundraising and marketing executive at the Presbyterian Church (USA) at the time, he was drawn into the reformed theology premise that we are chosen by God to be the recipients of unending grace. Since then he has entered the Presbyterian ordination process and is wrapping up his studies at Christian Theological Seminary while continuing to work as a fundraiser.
Sam is a graduate of Indiana University - Bloomington and the University of Wyoming. As a fundraiser, he has raised over $400 million for a variety of faith-based ministries, civil legal aid and political candidates. Sam is a former Air Force officer and was an active Hoosier politician, seeking statewide and congressional offices in the early 2010s.
Isaac has spent time as a seminary professor and now owns a counseling practice devoted to the LGBTQIA community and their religious families, specifically to help those navigating the road he’s journeyed.
Isaac’s work focuses precisely on our relational repair – whether that be establishing wholeness within one’s relationship with their self, another, or God. Isaac has a Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. He is invited to speak at conferences, churches, and forums across the nation, contributes to The Huffington Post, and hosts weekend seminars for couples, individuals, and religious parents of children in the LGBTQIA community. He has been featured on National Public Radio (NPR) and comes to Q Christian with a wealth of knowledge. Isaac’s pronouns are he/him/his.
Nathanial was raised in Assemblies of God and nondenominational congregations while attending Lutheran schools in Michigan’s Great Lakes Bay Region. The multiplicity of Protestant perspectives he internalized throughout his childhood gave him respect for the variances in tradition within his own faith. Pursuing a degree in ecclesial music, Nathanial attended and recently graduated from Liberty University, founded by the late Rev. Jerry Falwell, Sr. Between his sophomore and junior years, he realized he couldn’t put the subject off anymore, and through a painful process of growth and discovery, he became affirming of his own sexuality. From that point forward, he began coming out and deconstructing, eventually publicly writing about his experiences while at Liberty from 2017 to 2018.
Nathanial now lives in Nashville, Tennessee, working as the Communications and Operations Specialist for GracePointe Church, a beautiful Progressive Christian community, and as part of the Q Christian team. He and his husband Elliot, a Liberty graduate from the same hall, live just south of the city with their dog and cat.