At this point, we all know that social media is making us unwell. We know it is jeopardizing mental health, democracy, social progress, and our collective ability to focus. I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time discussing these trends, but not as much time discussing solutions. So, what can we do about it?Continue reading “Five Rules to Keep Social Media From Ruining Your Life”
Note: whenever I start to veer into the topics explored in this post, some people feel defensive or angry. Perhaps they feel like my words are a judgement of their own complicated lives, which is never my intention. Because of this, I want to premise this article with saying that this is about me, not about you. If you read my words and feel like they don’t map onto your own experience as an LGBT+ person, then chances are good that my words in this post don’t reflect your reality. They aren’t a judgment or an expectation. As with everything, my story fits within an intersectional lens, and it would probably be different if I were a person of color, trans, or of a different economic status. If, however, you do feel like my words in this article resonate, then I’m glad you are able to take something from my story and apply it to your life.
Back 2013, I rose to prominence as a gay Christian blogger fighting for the inclusion of LGBT people in the church (incidentally, my blog was called Sacred Tension, which is now the name of my podcast.) I was hell bent on creating a better world for LGBT Christians, and I’m still convinced that my writing from that time is some of the best I’ve ever done in my life. However, I was also incredibly fragile. I suffered regular breakdowns, and I do mean genuine, horrifically painful breakdowns, in which I would self-harm, plummet down suicidal abysses, and go on reckless, compulsive sexual benders.Continue reading “Practicing Antifragility as a Gay Person”
I am the person I am today, in no small part, because of social media. When I was a newly-out gay man and needed the queer community, I found them on social media. That alone probably saved my life. Ever since those first days of finding my queer community online, I’ve made innumerable friends, connection, and community on social media. I also truly adore my Satanic family on twitter. I start with all this, because I’m going to spend the rest of this post articulating the dark side of social media, how it has reduced my quality of life, and what I intend to do about it.Continue reading “On Being Better On Social Media”
I recently moved to a new house, and as is often the case when big life changes arrive, my mental health collapsed. It doesn’t matter that it’s a good change – my deep reptile brain doesn’t understand the difference between positive and negative change, it just feels the disruption and responds with panic.Continue reading “Terrible Things Evangelicals Say About Mental Illness”
Despite the social taboo against certain psychedelic and psychoactive drugs, the medical world is now experimenting on previously forbidden drugs with promising results. In this episode of Sacred Tension, I speak with Maggie Eli about her clinical trial on MDMA, AKA Molly or Ecstasy.Continue reading “When Maggie Met Molly”
I hear it all the time: this protective need for some of my fellow Christians to “speak the truth in love” to their gay friends and family. In other words, while they say that they should “love and accept” those who are gay, they still feel a need to state that they think homosexuality is inherently sinful, and that gay people must commit themselves to chastity, denying homosexual sin.Continue reading “Speaking the Truth In Love Can Break LGBT People”
Back in 2016, when I was (to my shame – I’m not proud of this fact) covertly flirting with alt-light ideas, I wrote an article called, “A Curmudgeon’s manifesto,” in which I established my personal rules for engagement and code of conduct. I still stand by much of what I wrote in that article, but you can hear my savagely wounded pride as an undercurrent in the piece. I’d recently been the victim of twitter hate from people I thought were my friends, and I’d never experienced such a thing before. I was wounded and disoriented, and the experience almost pushed me away from my fellow queer progressives and into the sweet, deadly embrace of the alt-right.
When people ask me how I am, I usual say, “I’m alright,” or simply, “ok,” and some people respond with concern or condescension: “/just/ alright?” As if being manically exultant is not living a full life. I hate that response: “just ok?” To me, just ok is heaven. For me, just ok is hard earned fulfillment.
Several months ago, I went to a family gathering. I’d worked all week, and I was exhausted. The event was miserable, and I felt incapable – truly, utterly incapable – of talking to anyone. I felt like I’d been drugged, the paralysis of exhaustion and family and socializing was so great. On the drive home, all I could think about was suicide. Fantasies of death filled my being.