This 4th episode in our For the Love of Podcasts series speaks to the powerful way podcasts can affect change. In fact, we’ve seen podcasts start important conversations and transport us to moments in history we’d have never encountered otherwise. Jen talks to a few of her podcaster friends who are bringing the heat to their spaces: The Red Couch Podcast’s Jason Petty (aka rapper Propaganda) and his wife, Dr. Alma Zaragoza-Petty, and Catlick’s B.T. Harman (Brett Trapp!). First, Prop and Alma give us a deep dive into the world of the Red Couch, where they empower the experiences of people in non-majority culture who may not have conventional degrees, but can school us on politics and economics all the same (because everybody comes up against money and power, no matter where they live). Prop and Alma invite folks in majority culture to spend time in a space that’s not designed for them—because experience breeds empathy. In the second half of the show, we catch up with B.T. Harman, who was on the show last spring when we still called him Brett Trapp. Today we learn about the podcast B.T.’s been working on for four years: a true-crime story filled with complicated Southern history reaching back across centuries that he unearthed right in his own backyard: Atlanta’s Cabbagetown neighborhood. These storytellers encourage every generation to retell the hard stories, and to make room for voices from the margins to move to the center of the discussion.
2020’s Faith series has brought us incredible leaders across decades, generations, denominations, and ideologies. We’ve listened to what makes them excited to be in the faith right now and what’s been challenging. We’ve talked about ways to build a brighter, more beautiful church. As we wrap this series, we’re going to dig in a little deeper to one specific place, and we’ve enlisted three faith leaders to help us navigate through a much-needed discussion. And these faith leaders are members of the LGBTQ+ community—because it is possible to be a part of a church that is passionate about Jesus and affirming to LGBTQ+ groups. Matthew Vines is the founder of the Reformation Project, a nonprofit that educates Christians about the biblical case for LGBTQ+ inclusion. He’s also the author of “God and the Gay Christian: The Biblical Case in Support of Same-Sex Relationships.” Michael Vazquez is the director of the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Religion and Faith Program in DC. He leads efforts there to advance equity initiatives in faith communities. B.T. Harman is a content creator and speaker. His blog and podcast “Blue Babies Pink” shed some beautiful light on what it is like to love Jesus, love the church, and be gay. Each of these men has deep commitment to their faith and to the church, and during their formative years, they had to reckon with the truth that they were gay—and they experienced the full spectrum of pain and discovery that so often comes with this particular journey. Today we ask some hard questions: what does it mean to hold one another and our faith leaders accountable? And when it comes to affirmation, what’s public and what’s private? How can we be the best allies for our LGBTQ+ friends? How can we listen and avoid “canceling” one another if we don’t agree, or are there times when it’s called for? Our conversation is fully open, filled with grace and understanding, helping us to view things from different perspectives in the most rewarding way possible.
It’s the final episode in the “For the Love of Exploring Our Faith” series, and you guys begged to hear from this week’s guest. Not that we blame you—we love him, too! Brett Trapp is a marketing consultant and storyteller who lives in Atlanta’s Cabbagetown neighborhood. The son of a Southern Baptist preacher from small-town Alabama, for more than a decade Brett kept a journal on being Christian and being gay. One morning in 2016, Brett hopped on Facebook and began sharing the story he had been writing privately for so long. In his forty-four-part series, Blue Babies Pink, Brett recounts his journey of growing up, coming out, and reconciling his faith. It’s equal parts whimsical, harrowing, hilarious, and wise.