Presentation on theme: "Making Space for Queer Identifying Religious Youth Yvette Taylor and Ria Snowdon, Weeks Centre for Social and."— Presentation transcript:
Making Space for Queer Identifying Religious Youth Yvette Taylor and Ria Snowdon, Weeks Centre for Social and
Participants 38 participants (Newcastle, Manchester, London) 38 participants (Newcastle, Manchester, London) years old (mean age 24) years old (mean age 24) 19 participants identified as female, male (15), gender-queer (2), gender-queer and transgender (1), and transsexual female-to- male (1). 19 participants identified as female, male (15), gender-queer (2), gender-queer and transgender (1), and transsexual female-to- male (1). 15 participants identified as gay, lesbian (13), bisexual (5), queer (4), and asexual (1). 15 participants identified as gay, lesbian (13), bisexual (5), queer (4), and asexual (1). 2
Intersectionality A concern with sexuality is apparent within scholarly work on intersectionality as a spoke on the intersectional wheel, but these intersections are often minimally gestured towards rather than empirically substantiated, demonstrated and delivered; the formalistic addition and repetition of intersectionality leaves out the intimate interconnections, mutualconstitutions and messiness of everyday identifications and lived experiences (Taylor et al, 2010, Theorizing Intersectionality and Sexuality). understanding complexities posed by intersections of different axes of differentiation is as pressing today as it has always been (Brah and Phoenix, 2004: 75).
Intersectional Methods Individual interviews and social identities mapping exercises–Key themes include: the location of religion in their lives; changes in religiosity over time; management of religious and sexual identities; religious identities and family life; participation in community spaces; biographies, transitions and materialities. The interview process is supported through a social identities mapping exercise where participants construct A3 maps that represent important sites in their everyday lives and the ways in which their identities change across these spaces and times. This exercise is characteristic of the work within participatory research where participants are open to shape agendas (Kindon et al., 2008). Personal diaries–participants keep a diary over 1 month to reflect upon the multi-intersections of their religious and sexual identities, the ways that these are mediated by space and time and the strategies they adopt in the management of their identities (Taylor, 2007).
Diaries 5 Andrea, 24, Newcastle
Diaries 6 Rebecca, 22, Newcastle
Mapping Exercise 7 Tom, 20, Manchester
Intersecting Insider/Outsider Positions: Mapping Me? PI and RA keep interview diaries. Research reflexivity? … a matter of positioning and access to the means of telling. It is also about the ability to be heard (Skeggs, 2002: 352). … a mobile relation to identity on the side of the knower in relation to the known (Adkins, 2002: 340) Weeks Centre Blogs: roblematic-publics-making-space-at-the-academic-table/
Embodied positions our bodies are never silent or invisible to the interactions that we are involved in V. Kannen (2012) Pregnant, privileged and PhDing: Exploring embodiments in qualitative research, in Journal of Gender Studies, p. 12 R. Snowdon (2012) Making space for the straight talking/acting interviewer? Weeks Centre Blog, making-space-for-the-straight-talkingacting-interviewer/ 9
Initial Findings Negotiating Christian and Queer identities … I have often thought about thinking, Well what would it be like if I attended a church that was completely inclusive? and I think I would really enjoy it and I think it would be a load off my mind, but at the same time, because Im quite attached to my own church as it is and I have friends, a lot of support there, I find it really… It meets my needs in terms of sort of prayer and worship, so Id much rather feel that, as part of that community… (Helen, 20)
Making Space for Queer Identifying Religious Youth Yvette Taylor and Ria Snowdon, Weeks Centre for Social and Policy Research
Initial Findings Church Hopping The reason I am MCC in some ways is because I have a friend who really wanted to go and he did want someone to go with him and he knew that I was a church-hopper, and he asked if Id like to go with him and I said yes, and I do enjoy it… (Rebecca, 22). …we went church hopping to find … church to fit in and its like, Right, were going to go to the gay church but we cant tell that its a gay church because if she tells her Dad he wont let her go and so they just said, Oh well go to a church thats near here, the City Hall and we were walking along and theyre like, Oh go to the gay church! and I thought Id misheard them and I was like…, Nicola, 21
Initial Findings Negotiating Christian and Queer identities Probably gay dominates Christian quite a bit but thats just because its easier to be gay than it is to be Christian, on an outwards appearance. I can walk round with a cross round my neck and if anyone asks me Ill say Im a Christian, but you can kind of tell, people dont really need to ask that, you can tell, especially if youre holding hands with a girl, its not like I can walk round holding hands with Jesus, Nicola, 21.
Initial Findings Queering Religion? …so that there wasnt this insistence on God being he… (Claire, 24), …really eclectic mix… (Nicola, 21) …really eclectic mix… (Nicola, 21) …So I think sometimes theres potentially, its unintentional but because the group is so close and they all know each other so well, I think sometimes for newcomers theres kind of a sense of forced into action sometimes, and then the obvious problem with Communion the other day where I said No and then someone did come up to me and ask why I didnt take it and I found that uncomfortable. (Rebecca, 22).
Research Questions 1) How do MCC youth perceive their religiosity? Do they see is as part of the rise of progressive spirituality ? What motivates their involvement and commitment? Is this experienced as a contradiction in terms of youthfulness and/or in terms of sexuality? When do such contradictions – or intersections – become ir/relevant? 2) How is identity negotiated within different (religious and/or sexual) spaces? Do different spaces/sites generate various dis/identifications? What facilitates or impedes access to and comfort within community spaces? 3) What material and subjective (im)possibilities are fostered or negated in occupying marked religious and sexual positions? How do these intersect with, for example, gender and class?