Jera Brown is presenting Christians Kink Too: Repairing the Relationship between God and Desire. Check out Jera’s bio here.
1. How do you see yourself as a catalyst for change?
I consider myself an ambassador for the progressive Christian Church and the alternative lifestyle communities, hoping to build better relationships between them.
2. Who or what was a catalyst for you?
Meeting individuals who value authenticity: the woman that introduced me to polyamory, the amazing retired minister who taught a Sunday school class I was in and debunked the idea that homosexuals were somehow sinning. So many people who have opened my eyes to the limitless ways I can be authentically me if I break down my list of “supposed to’s.”
3. What do you feel are some of the most important/valuable changes that have been made in our current society and the field of sexuality?
Non-normative forms of sexuality, such as fetishes and BDSM, are becoming de-pathologized and studied as healthy sexual practices. I think we’re also moving beyond “born this way,” and claiming the agency in our sexual and romantic choices. This is happening because we’re becoming less on the defensive, forced to say that what and who we desire is legitimate. When it’s morally and politically okay to have choices, you’re allowed the space to really “choose” how to pursue what you desire. It’s even okay if it changes!
4. What do you feel are some of the biggest challenges or concerns facing us in society and the field of sexuality today?
Maintaining a sense of community and camaraderie. Queer, gay, transgendered, straight, heteroflexible, furries, dominant cis-men, sadomasochistic women—it shouldn’t matter. If we’re fighting the patriarchal heteronormative construct that defines how we should live, we should be in this together. These are the only “shoulds” I feel comfortable subscribing to.
5. Why is your CatalystCon presentation topic importation to you?
Because I’ve met so many people in the kink community who are “closet Christians” or, conversely, people who grew up in Christian homes who don’t understand how to feel comfortable with their desires. Anyone who has been impacted by a conservative Christian view of sexuality could potentially find some peace or justice by understanding how much more radical a Christian perspective of sexuality can be.
6. Share one unknown (or little known) fact about yourself?
My favorite piece of jewelry is my vulva necklace from the Venus Emporium. I’ll be wearing it the entire conference.