Are you LGBTQ+? Not sure? Whether you're queer or questioning, understanding sexuality and gender identity can be confusing. And if you're a Christian, questions of identity can be even scarier. Is there something wrong with you? Will your friends accept you? When should you tell your family? What about church?
Queerfully and Wonderfully Made: A Guide for LGBTQ+ Christian Teens has answers to all these questions and more. You'll get insight and support from an amazing group of LGBTQ+ professionals, as well as testimonies from young adult queer Christians who've recently been exactly where you are. You'll walk away with a lot of answers, prepared with tools to help. But most importantly, you'll hear the good news: God loves you exactly as you are. No matter your identity or where in your journey of self-discovery you find yourself, you got this.
Gr 7 Up—This indispensable and compassionate guide for queer Christians challenges heteronormativity and cisgender as the default. The text pushes back against a culture of silence, invisibility, alienating theology, and close-minded attitudes. Teens are encouraged to express and explore their authentic selves. Chapters cover topics such as definitions of labels, how teens can deal with and protect themselves from unsupportive adults, self-care, getting accurate information, possible reactions and questions, discrimination, coming out, parental rejection, conversion therapy, and consent. There is some discussion of biblical evidence supporting or refuting various ideas, but the emphasis is on making sure readers know that being queer is completely okay and not incompatible with faith. Additionally, the text stresses that if teens feel fear or shame, their church and community have let them down. Graphs, statistics, text boxes, illustrations, and short personal narratives break up the main text. Back matter includes a glossary as well as a comprehensive resource list. Written by a team of contributors with backgrounds in mental health, ministry, art, education, and LGBTQ+ advocacy, this fantastic resource never stops reminding readers that they have value and deserve to live a full, beautiful life. VERDICT An affirming, thorough, and supportive guide for understanding one's identity as well as a pertinent resource for LGBTQ+ allies.—Amanda MacGregor, Parkview Elem. Sch., Rosemount, MN
"Indispensable and compassionate guide for queer Christians...An affirming, thorough, and supportive guide for understanding one's identity as well as a pertinent resource for LGBTQ+ allies." [Starred Review] --School Library Journal
"A must-read guide for all queer and questioning Christians (and their allies, too)!" [Starred Review] --Kirkus Reviews
"Queerfully and Wonderfully Made is informative, sincere, and unflinchingly honest. Perhaps most importantly, it takes the questions, feelings, and concerns of teenagers seriously, consistently reminding them of their true name, their true nature: beloved." --Bryan Bliss, National Book Award Longlisted author of We'll Fly Away
"Organized as a candid Q&A, pulsing with wisdom from the authors and other 'witnesses,' this book should be not only in the hands of young people struggling with faith and sexual/gender identity, but on the bookshelf of every youth director, pastor, and Christian educator in the church." --The Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewis, Senior Minister Middle Collegiate Church
"Playfully designed for a youthful audience, this book is conversational and skimmable, cleverly set up like an FAQ. Queerfully and Wonderfully Made is the much-needed guide every queer or questioning Christian teen should have." --Sarah Prager, K12 author of Queer, There, and Everywhere: 23 People Who Changed the World and Rainbow Revolutionaries: 50 LGBTQ People Who Made History
"I wish Queerfully and Wonderfully Made had existed when I was a teenager. On page after page, readers are challenged to practice gentleness with themselves as they wade in the natural questions that come with being a growing, inquisitive person created in God's image." --Broderick Greer, Associate Priest for Liturgy and Young Adults, Saint John's Cathedral, Denver
Leigh Finke is a writer, media producer, and editor. Her work focuses on religion and culture, and how both intersect with the lives of queer people in the United States.
Born in the Twin Cities, Finke has lived in Chicago, Missoula, and Los Angeles, and has worked in journalism, politics and policy, magazine editing, blogging, podcasting, advocacy, teaching, and academia. This trajectory represents Finke's lifelong love of learning, gathering new experiences, and interacting with diverse communities.
In addition to her professional endeavors, Finke is passionate about LGBTQ+ advocacy, particularly as it relates to the many ways Christianity in the United States has been used to harm queer youth.
Finke and her two kids live in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Jennifer Knapp is a highly acclaimed singer-songwriter who got her start in Christian Contemporary Music (CCM). Knapp exited CCM in 2002 at the height of her professional music career. On her return in 2010, she publicly confirmed that she was gay. Today, she performs and tours extensively and actively engages in advocacy work alongside religious communities and leaders that seek to create an open and affirming spiritual home for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people of faith.