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Pray

Last week, my workplace held a session to reflect on what it means to be LGBT and to have faith. To think about God’s unlimited, intimate love for all of us – whoever we are. To give time to pray together and to reflect on what Jesus means to LGBT+ people.

I am privileged to work in such a place.

The prayer we said together, written by one of my colleagues, is here:

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Culture and the Queer – Bad Influences

#ImGayItsPrettyUnfortunate
#LouisWeLoveYouNoMatterWhat
One Direction. Five ordinary lads who have achieved international stardom. There’s a part of me which feels sorry for them. I would imagine that Simon Cowell is a cruel and harsh taskmaster who runs the boys through the ringer, extracting every last pound and penny he possibly can. Then there’s another part of me which feels that the boys need a round of applause. Don’t get me wrong, Cowell is doing very well out of them, but then again, they’re doing pretty well for themselves (especially as they have shares in 5SOS – http://www.popjustice.com/briefing/2014-a-z-o-is-for-one-directions-secret-investment/133340/).

They use their talents (vocally and visually) to good effect and have achieved more money than I could ever dream of earning at their age. Then there’s the other part of me which is annoyed by them. They sing mediocre (yet catchy) songs and get shed loads of money for it (and that’s before we take into account all the merchandise and 1D paraphernalia attached – as tempting as that pink tinged box of 1D eau de toilette is, I’ll give it a miss thanks).
Yet there’s something more than just how much is in the old piggy bank here. Now, it should be no secret that there’s a little tinge of “sexual deviancy” amongst the boys. Looking in the darker recesses and abysses of the internet, we may find rumours of Harry Style’s bisexuality (well that’s okay because he still likes girls) or, heaven forbid, homosexuality. The latter conjecture is added to even more when it is rumoured he has had a fling with Radio 1’s morning delight Nick Grimshaw. Hold the press – surely not?!

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10/10 Would Bang: Queer desire and the aesthetic scaling of bodies

He’s pretty hot. She’s so fit.

A total 10.

Sound familiar? You bet. For those who identify as sexual, it’s life. Whether internal monologue or cheeky chat with friends, these little declarations of desire punctuate the everyday.

We’re conditioned with a framework of beauty ideals. We know what makes the perfect male or female form. Sure, we combine these with our own idiosyncratic wants, what turns us on. Some of us might have a ‘type’, others embrace the unexpected. But the truth is, these concepts of beauty, culturally specific and constructed, exert a huge pressure on sexuality.

Beauty, that set of unattainable ideals. That audaciously fraudulent fiction.

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