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Out in the Bay: Stereotypes: 'The Bishop & The Bulletproof Vest' and 'Lives Aligned'

by Eric Jansen

Evangelical Lutheran Church of America Bishop Megan Rohrer. Photo: Courtesy ELCA Sierra Pacific Synod
Evangelical Lutheran Church of America Bishop Megan Rohrer. Photo: Courtesy ELCA Sierra Pacific Synod  

"I want to explore this crazy conflict between Christianity and LGBTQIA folks," said Stereotypes podcaster Christopher Beale. "We'll open up the Bible and take a closer look at what it does and does not say about queerness."

This week's Out in the Bay — Queer Radio and Podcast features Stereotypes' third episode, "The Bishop & the Bulletproof Vest," which examines the relationship between religion and queer people. Beale gets into it with Lutheran Bishop Megan Rohrer, the U.S.'s first openly transgender bishop of a major denomination.

It's a richly produced, in-depth conversation augmented with music, sound from Rohrer's bishop installation at Grace Cathedral in September, and a smattering of homophobic, transphobic church officials' voices. Rohrer calmly explains, among other things, that:

"There's a lot more gender diversity in scripture than grumpy people might point out."

"Jesus talks about ... three different types of eunuchs, three different types of gender diverse people. ... And [says] people should accept them."

"You're mistaking people's feelings for rational arguments. You can't ever have a debate that's going to change someone's mind if what they have is a feeling."

"I've had more death threats from queer people than non-queer people. I've also experienced more hate from the LGBTQ community about being Christian than from the Christian community about being LGBTQ."

We finish our half hour with the title track of Bay Area musician Marilyn Mitchell's new album, "Lives Aligned." Mitchell was lead guitarist of — in her Bandcamp page's words — "all-transgender girl rock band Lipstick Conspiracy" for eight years. She's now lead guitarist of tribute band Nott the Hoople. We hope to have her on Out in the Bay for a full interview and more of her music soon.

Hear Mitchell's "Lives Aligned" and more from Beale and Rohrer on this week's Out in the Bay. The program airs at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, December 9, on KSFP, 102.5 FM San Francisco only, at 5 p.m. Friday, December 10, on KALW, 91.7 FM SF Bay Area-wide; and again at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, December 11, on KSFP. It is available anytime on Out in the Bay's website.

Eric Jansen is founding host of Out in the Bay — Queer Radio from San Francisco. Learn more and hear past episodes at https://www.outinthebay.org/

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