But you were never meant to stay hiddenDespite those years spent in claustrophobic, concealed and confined places Seeing the beauty, life and creativity that happens when light enters in Needing to remind yourself that ambiguity and being lost is just part of the journey, not the destination And one day, maybe you’ll see that home wasn’t as far as you thought it would be. - An excerpt from Home by Jenna Tenn-Yuk
I have been thinking a lot about home lately.
This past weekend, I was the artist-in-residence at New Direction's conference for LGBTQ+ Christians and allies. It was an affirming space for LGBTQ+ people to share, learn and grow.
Coming out as gay has left me with a complicated relationship with the church and I didn't know what to expect. I have been to many Christian conferences over the years, but it has been several years since I was immersed in a space like this.
On the first day, someone who had found my website approached me and said, "Your poem helped me to come out." I had never met this person before and had no idea how my story impacted them. My poetry gave this person the courage to come out, live their truths and realize they weren’t alone in their experiences.
We never know who needs to hear our story.
I had a great time sharing my spoken word, and connecting with other participants over the weekend and in my workshop. The workshop gave participants the space to write, reflect, connect and speak their stories out loud. Several people have shared their beautiful work that was inspired by the workshop.
"Your words feel like home."
I am still reflecting on these words that a participant shared with me. Many people at the conference told me they connected with my story and the challenges of negotiating their identity.
There is so much power when we can voice experiences other people may not be able to describe or say out loud. Our words and stories can heal and feel like home to someone else.