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Parallel 13

Reconciliation between Heteronormative Discourses in Church and LGBT Christians: Queering of God by Acknowledging Sexual Embodiment into the Dominant Discourse


Dr. Christopher Chi-Pang YIU

Specialist in General Surgery and Sex Therapist

Sexual ethic possesses strong power on sexual discourses and has shaped sexual practices and selfhood accordingly. Metanarratives from sexual ethic provide social stability but in expenses to individuality and diversity, the ideology charged by postmodernity. Hong Kong is in the intersection of Chinese and Western cultural influences. On one hand, the traditional Chinese cultures are those on male dominant discourse, emerged from both patriarchy system and economic male dominance in earlier history in Hong Kong. The Western influences are those Jewish-Christian culture on another hand. The summation of the Chinese and Western cultural influences is the binary system inclining to patriarchy, and heteronormativity in sexuality and gender issues. Sexual ethics in church follow the similar tones of the sociocultural background, but with enhanced degree of control. Pastors champion spirituality over sexuality, limited space for discussion on sexual self and diversity is allowed. The primary concern is probably the stability of congregation. Spirituality is the professional area of pastoring but sexuality especially embodied knowledge is not easily controllable by usual pastoral practices. Sexuality is therefore believed to be the main source of instability and given the name of most demon sin.


In the past years, the author has performed qualitative interviews with LGBT Christians to explore their embodiment data and their perceived images of Godhood out of their own sexuality. The aim is to explore how the understanding of embodiment has contributed to the construction of sexual self within the dominant heteronormative discourse. This sexual self is of paramount importance to understand the materials about self but to relate with other to form a relational self (otherness-in-selfness) and with God to construct a narrated self in Christ. Selfhood or identity of self, as illustrated by the lived experiences of these LGBT Christians, is a fluidic and diversified concept which resist any attempt to stay in a fixated point of standing, therefore it is never a stable concept in their own voyages on sexual discovery. Such identity is constructed by continuous naming and renaming about their narratives of selfhood and relationship, the process to reclaim empowerment progressively. By their naming and renaming of their identity, a theological tendency of queering of God is observed. Out of their own embodied sexuality, they articulate God in a queered way by questioning the gender of God (male/ masculine Father and Son, female/ feminine Holy Spirit), and o further narrate their relationship with the Godhood again by means of naming and renaming. There is no attempt to replace the metanarrratives by their narrartives constitutionally, but to humbly recover the possibility of fluidity of sexuality in theological consideration. I see no battle between the LGBT Christians with the dominant discourse but a possible reconciliation by allowing a narrative of queering God in this regard. This queering approach provides an intersection between two camps in pastoring level and in a practical sense.            


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