Finding Big Gay Church: An Academic Congregation Exploring LGBTQ Intersections with Religion, Art, and Education
Keywords:Big Gay Church, arts-based educational research, dramatic inquiry, performance pedagogy, LGBTQ, conservative Christianity and LGBT, artivism
Using the metaphor of mapping as an overarching metaphor, this article presents an amalgamated version of the first five years of Big Gay Church, an annual session at the National Art Education Association’s convention since 2009. Big Gay Church is a collaborative small group of queer art educators and allies coming together to explore the intersections of religion, education, the arts, culture, and LGBTQ identities. By using tools and constructs from dramatic inquiry and other performance pedagogies, as well as inviting attendees to fully participate as members of the congregation, we transform this conference session into an opportunity for scholarship, action, connection, and fellowship. Such arts-based academic interventions can provoke a re-imagining of ways forward, together, in education and research.
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