Heaven Bent, a new book edited by Bouverie PhD candidate Luke Gahan and previous ARCHS PhD student Dr Tiffany Jones was launched in Melbourne last month.
This anthology offers a fascinating look into the often taboo subject of past, present and future of faith, religion and spirituality of LGBTI people in Australia.
It is a unique collection of essays, reflections and poetry which brings together academics, religious leaders, activists, politicians, theologians and everyday people, who explore a diverse range of spiritual expressions.
Contributors were found from all walks of life.
Labor senator for Western Australia, Louise wrote the forward to the book. She was the youngest woman ever elected to the Legislative Council at the time of her election, and the second openly lesbian woman to be elected to an Australian parliament. Louise has a long history of queer rights activism.
David grew up in a Jewish Orthodox community in Sydney and currently lives in close to his family in the prominent Jewish neighbourhood of Bondi Junction. When his community discovered his same-sex attraction, Rosenberg was sent to New Jersey USA to attend a Jewish ex-gay program known as 'JONAH' - Jews Offering New Alternatives to Homosexuality.
Catherine, 53-year-old Greek Australian lesbian and practising Greek Orthodox, has been living in Australia for almost 50 years. She is divorced with two grown up children, a 28-year-old daughter and a 24-year-old son. Neither of her children has come to terms with their mother's sexuality.
'This is the first book of its kind in Australia and is particularly important to the community as faith and religion are rarely discussed in relation to LGBTI people. It is often a very important part of their lives so it needs to be discussed more broadly,' said Luke.
'By gathering the stories in this book we confirmed that there is a wide spectrum of experiences by LGBTI people.'
'We spoke to people across a wide range of religions and faiths including Catholic, Muslim, Mormon, Christian, Buddhist and Wicken.'
More about all of the contributors can be found on the Heaven Bent website.
More about Luke Gahan
Luke's research at the Bouverie Centre is focused on children that have separated same sex parents. Luke was the founding convenor of Australian Marriage Equality and has sat on the boards of the New South Wales Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby, the Victorian Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby, and the Australian Lesbian and Gay Archives.
Where can I purchase Heaven Bent?
There are a number of places where you can purchase Heaven Bent.