Ruth Hunt, who was Chief Executive of Stonewall from 2014 to 2019, has put together a collection of essays on sexuality and religion entitled The Book of Queer Prophets, to be published by William Collins in June.
Contributors include Jeanette Winterson, activist Phyll Opoku-Gyimah, filmmaker Dustin Lance Black, writer Amrou Al-Kadhi, poet Pádraig Ó Tuama, Keith Jarrett and Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s daughter Mpho Tutu van Furth. It also includes an afterword by the Revd Kate Bottley. Royalties from the collection will support the work of Stonewall.
Grace Pengelly, assistant commissioning editor at William Collins, has said of the book that it is a “holy text” containing “a new set of scriptures written by ‘Queer Prophets’ who have tragic, shocking and sometimes funny stories to tell. These stories are about what it means to live in full acceptance of your identity when you’ve been told that it’s ‘wrong’, or ‘incompatible’ with your faith. Collectively, they queer traditional understandings of religion, and offer a wake-up call for faith communities to radically alter the way LGBTQI people are treated.”
Ruth, who was a speaker at the 2015 Quest Conference at Swanwick, added: “When I was a teenager, reconciling my faith with being a lesbian was one of the biggest challenges I faced, and probably the greatest source of internal conflict I had to overcome. Sadly, I am far from alone in this experience, and this book highlights the human cost that religious homophobia has upon individuals who have done nothing wrong—except be themselves. I am proud that this collection will offer an unprecedented opportunity for our stories to be heard and believe it will start the right kind of conversations to bring communities together. We are poised with anticipation about the changes that can, and must, come from our faith communities.”