Slay in the Spirit: Dancing My Queer Dharma

It was a hot summer evening in rural Garrard County, Kentucky. I watched as what appeared to be an elderly woman was “struck” with such emotion that tears began running down her face; she reached her hands to the sky as I played my tambourine amidst the screaming and shouting that moved in cadence to the rhythm of not only my instrument, but to the call and response of the pastor. It was but a typical Sunday evening, the fish fry was all packed up, and all the folks had gathered back into the church for service. Quickly she yelped and began to speak in a polysyllabic screech that made my ears hurt and began to jerk violently as she then leaped up from her seat and began to bounce from one pew to the next. Everyone’s clapping seemed to keep her afloat. My eleven-year-old brain didn’t know what to make of this, but one thing was for sure—I knew I did not belong. It wasn’t just the spectacle of a holiness revival that had me disconnected; it was the de

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