Rev. M Barclay

Rev. M Barclay
Location: Iowa City, Iowa Cohort Start Year: 2018 Project Topics: Faith/Religion, LGBTQ+ Health, Social Sector/Non-Profit Populations Served: Older Adults (65+), Adults (21-64 years), Faith-Based Groups, LGBTQ+ Communities
Executive Director

The impact of religion on both individual and collective life is filled with complexities. Its relation to power, specifically through the Christian tradition, makes it particularly influential in shaping policies, culture, and identity in ways that can work for or against equity and health. My work focuses on spirituality from the margins—queering religion, thinking about God through a transgender lens, and channeling faith in the direction of an anti-racist, anti-colonialist, anti-misogynist reimagining of possibilities for sustainable life on this aching planet. Striking at the roots of questions about how we understand ourselves, each other, and our places in relation to the larger environment, my goal is to invite others into ways of being together that empower, liberate, and heal.

As a bisexual and non-binary trans clergy person, the role of religion in M’s life has been one of being wielded like a weapon against them and their communities, as well as a means of deep transformation and tools of liberation. In the work of building a culture of health, M brings experience and depth of knowledge about the impacts of faiths and their function in collective life.

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