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Being Queer is The Holiest Thing I've Ever Done: A Reflection on Spirituality, Honesty, Vulnerability, and Divinity

by Tamice Spencer-Helms

Stairs going to heaven.

Throughout my journey within the realm of white evangelicalism, the overarching theme was always the holiness of God—a concept that, for a long time, seemed to breed more shame within me than anything else. This shame wasn't just about what I did or didn't do; sometimes, it was about not feeling guilty enough. As I've embarked on a process queer spirituality and "unleavening," my perspective has shifted radically. I've come to understand that holiness is less about proximity to some divine standard and more about the posture of honesty and vulnerability. This revelation has profoundly changed my understanding of what it means to live a holy life, especially as it intersects with my queer identity.

The Essence of Queer Holiness: Spirituality, Honesty, and Vulnerability

The realization that holiness is synonymous with honesty was a groundbreaking moment for me. Holiness, I've come to see, is not about adhering to a set of rigid standards but about being true to oneself and, by extension, true in one's relationship with the divine. It's about vulnerability—laying oneself bare before God and the world, not as a performance of piety but as an authentic expression of one's being. This vulnerability, akin to humility, is rooted in truth and honesty, starkly contrasting the shame that stems from societal and internalized judgments about our "nakedness" or true selves.

In the biblical narrative, sin is not introduced with Adam and Eve's nakedness but with Cain's murder of Abel, motivated by jealousy of Abel's honest offering to God. This story highlights that divinity favors honesty over superficial offerings. Today, I recognize the power in aligning honesty with holiness, seeing them as one and the same. To be holy is to be vulnerably honest, offering our true selves as a sacrifice on the altar of life.

Queer Spirituality as a Testament to Holiness

My journey into embracing my queerness has been the most honest and therefore the holiest endeavor of my life. Queerness, by its very nature, dwells in the tension between vulnerability and joy, the precariousness of authentic living, and the celebration of one's true identity. In choosing to be vulnerable, to tell our stories despite the risks, we engage in an act of profound bravery and sanctity. Queerness, with its inherent honesty and refusal to hide even in the face of potential harm, embodies a radical form of holiness that mirrors the divine.

In this light, I've come to see God's holiness not as a demand for perfection but as an invitation to honesty and vulnerability. This understanding has transformed my approach to worship and my relationship with the divine. No longer do I worship a god of perfection but one of radical openness and truth, which queerness epitomizes in its refusal to conform to societal norms and expectations.

The Symbiosis of Scars and Resurrection

The narrative of scars and resurrection resonates deeply with the queer experience. It speaks to a transcendence grounded in the harsh realities of life, the acceptance of death and suffering, and the profound hope that life can emerge anew from the depths of despair. This cycle of death and rebirth is a testament to the strength and holiness found in embracing one's full identity, scars and all.

A Divine Reflection: Honesty, Vulnerability, and Queerness

In reimagining holiness through the lens of honesty and vulnerability, queerness offers a divine reflection of what it means to live truthfully. It challenges us to reconsider our definitions of spiritual maturity, suggesting that true holiness is found in the courage to be oneself, fully and unapologetically. It's a call to embrace our identities, with all their complexities and beauties, as sacred offerings of honesty to the world.


Being queer has taught me that the holiest thing we can do is to live authentically, embracing our vulnerabilities as strengths. This journey of honesty, of daring to be true in a world that often demands conformity, is not just an act of personal bravery but a profound spiritual practice. It's a declaration that honesty and vulnerability are not just components of holiness but its very essence. In living out our queerness, we embody the divine, turning our lives into living testimonies of what it means to be holy: wholly ourselves, in the truest sense.


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