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  • How Sex Education Helped Me Deconstruct Religion
    Some people felt so offended when I invited them to my sexual health events that they sent me long messages about why they would never attend or buy products like these. Then I got a message from Micaela, whose house I used to go to for a small group with our church. She specifically said she wanted to take me out to coffee out of concern for my spiritual well-being. I chose not to respond to her. I felt confused and overwhelmed. I didn’t want to deal with confrontation from Christians who wanted to push their agenda on me. I felt I didn’t have good answers to give them in return. In many ways, I felt like I didn’t know what I was doing, and perhaps I was wrong! Yet when I wondered if I was wrong, living in sin because of my new job, I went back to my chosen purpose in doing this work.
  • Karma is… My First Summer in Long Beach
    The way I look at it, when I was 11 years old, my parents relocated our family from the Bay Area to a place called Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. They told me specifically the two reasons we moved: too much traffic and too much family. My parents didn’t like their families. Although they never outright said those words to me, I sure felt that energy and listened to how they all talked to each other and about each other. Gossip runs rampant in those circles, which I found fascinating as a little girl.
  • Body Confidence for the Deconstructing Christian Woman
    I feel grateful to be with a partner who sees past my perceived flaws and only sees a woman he finds endlessly attractive. His obsession with my body and all her parts played a big role in finding my body confidence as a deconstructing Christian woman. So many times, I would quiz him late at night, asking him questions like, “So, you think I’m sexy like this?” Then I would stand in front of him and squish all my belly rolls together and jiggle them around. Or I would stand in front of my mirror, butt-ass naked, and ask him what he finds attractive about my body. The words he game me became my mantras.
  • Karma is… Body Shame in Christianity
    He made me feel like something was wrong with me. You know the saying, “Actions speak louder than words.” My pastor’s actions told me that my body was problematic. Therefore, I must be problematic. All because of his own discomfort with the female body. Now, the Christians who stumble into my little space of the internet might feel totally defensive about how they also hug (or don’t hug) the women in their lives. They likely read my little story above and believe my pastor to be totally respectful and loving in a way to protect himself and me. But let’s be honest, folks, it’s really about self-preservation. Had my pastor thought with love first, the love of Jesus he preaches about, I would have felt love. Instead, I felt the body shame in Christianity that I’ve known my entire life.
  • Escaping the Male Gaze: How the Church Body Shames
    As a teenager, I had this dichotomy of embracing my sexy body and hiding it away when appropriate, like at youth group camp. I didn’t understand silly rules like girls being required to wear a one-piece bathing suit or a big t shirt over a bathing suit that showed a belly button and cleavage. What was so different about the water at youth group camp than the water at the lake where I could wear my bikini and get a good tan? I suppose the purpose is to teach modesty. But that’s not what it teaches. It teaches shame, and it teaches lust. For us girls, we learned our bodies cause sin and therefore we should dress a certain way. That is shame. The boys, on the other hand, learned they are helpless to their wandering eyes and therefore must control the situation.
  • Karma is… Body Image Struggles
    Now, my mom didn’t mean any harm—although the outcome resulted in years of body image struggles for me. Food has always been a trigger for her, a battle I’ve watched her fight my entire life. A few years after my parents moved us from California to Idaho, she discovered a fad diet called PRISM. If I remember correctly, it was a Christian-based eating program that involved cutting out all sugar for a period of time, then slowly reintroducing healthy sugars. My mom experienced momentary success with this program. At the time, I was about 16 and already obsessed with the idea that I looked too fat for boys to find me attractive. Since my mom hosted the PRISM meetings, I joined in easily at her invitation. Although I probably shared my mom’s binder, I diligently followed all the no-sugar rules