119: My Life As a Bisexual Christian (2016)
Amazon UK: 119
Standpoint: 1 Fully inclusive and affirming
Genre(s): Contemporary Christian practice and experience, Memoir/autobiography, and Spirituality
Topic(s): Accepting one's sexuality, Discrimination against and hostility towards LGBT+ people, Journeys towards acceptance, and Pastoral issues
Especially suitable for: Bisexuals and Those struggling to accept their sexuality or gender identity
119: the number of words dedicated to bisexuality in the Church of England statement Issues in Human Sexuality. The words state that bisexuality inevitably leads to unfaithfulness, and prescribe celibacy, abstinence, heterosexual marriage or counselling ‘to achieve inner healing’.
As a bisexual Christian woman, happily and faithfully married to a man, a mother of three children and with a blossoming ministry as a preacher, Jaime Sommers had always felt as if her true self did not really exist in the eyes of the Church. She could find neither theology nor pastoral support for a person who felt the need for physical closeness with both sexes in order to feel well or ‘whole’.
Following a brief, isolated incident in which Jaime kissed another woman, the full extent of the Church’s inability to acknowledge or understand her identity became apparent. The disciplinary process to which she was subjected led to her suffering depression and anxiety and feelings of isolation. Jaime’s powerful and emotive story reveals the failure of the Church – and of large parts of wider culture and society – to recognise and support the experience and needs of those who identify as the silent ‘B’ in LGBT.
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