Saturday, October 20, 2012

“a death of fabricated personhood”

For Laci Lee Adams being called to ministry and coming out as bisexual are intertwined stories. In one of her sermons she uses death as a metaphor in a way that is exciting, transformative, and kind of creepy:

There can be no new life without a death of an old life. Coming out is a death. It is a death of an old way of living! It is a death of a life of lies! It is a death of unhealthy expectations! It is a death of fabricated personhood! And let me tell you, death is difficult! And we need to be able to sit with death because when we can really embrace death, we can more fully appreciate resurrection.
Lies do not die a quiet death.

I can imagine being stirred as this sermon is delivered. But there’s something about the metaphor that disturbs me. We do not die every day. We do not die, only to be reborn every year like a crop of barley. “When we … embrace death,” Adams says, “we … appreciate resurrection.” Are we really talking about death here? Death is permanent. Except when negated by resurrection. In which case death is not death. For death is permanent. Death-with-resurrection is death-as-temporary-thing. “What happened to you?” “Oh, I died.” “You died!” “Yeah, but I got better.”

The paragraph quoted is from “A Quietly Queer Revolution” by Laci Lee Adams in the anthology The Full Spectrum: a new generation of writing about gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, questioning, and other identities edited by David Levithan and Billy Merrell

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