Author Archives

John Erickson is the Community Events Technician for the City of West Hollywood where he works on special and community events related to women, gender, sexuality, and human rights issues. John is a Ph.D. Candidate in American Religious History at Claremont Graduate University and holds an MA in Women’s Studies in Religion; an MA in Applied Women’s Studies; and a BA in English and Women’s Studies. His areas of focus are women's, gender, and sexuality studies, LGBT history, American religious history, and 20th and 19th-century American women's history. He is a Permanent Contributor to the blog Feminism and Religion, a Non-Fiction Reviewer for Lambda Literary, the leader in LGBT reviews, author interviews, opinions and news since 1989 and the Co-Chair of the Queer Studies in Religion section of the American Academy of Religion's Western Region, the only regional section of the American Academy of Religion that is dedicated to the exploration of queer studies in religion and other relevant fields in the nation. He is currently the President of the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh's LGBTQA+ Alumni Association, the Vice- Chair of Public Relation and Social Media for the Stonewall Democratic Club, and President of the Hollywood Chapter of NOW (National Organization for Women). He can be followed on Twitter at @JErickson85

  • What I Believe (Post-2016) by John Erickson

    Ever since the election of You-Know-Who, I have been doing a lot of creative writing.

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  • Pride by John Erickson

    When we come together, we are the Divine.  I didn’t think I could experience that twice in one year; clearly, I was wrong. 

  • Welcome to the Resistance by John Erickson

    There comes a time in all of our lives when we have to make important decisions. What do I believe in? Who do I want to be? What and who will I stand up for? There has been a lot… Read More ›

  • A Letter to Those I’ve Lost by John Erickson

    Out of all of these things, the one thing that has kept coming to my mind is G-d. What is he (or she) thinking? I feel like I’m back in one of my Old Testament classes discussing the harsh and cruel G-d that thrust so many horrible things onto their believers. Maybe, the worst part about the election isn’t Donald Trump, but it is the realization that G-d may be dead after all.

  • The End is Nigh by John Erickson

    How will the world end? No, it isn’t Lucifer himself coming from hell to bring in the end times, it is someone far worse, and his name is Donald Trump.

  • I’m Failing by John Erickson

    “How is your dissertation going?”

  • Remember by John Erickson

    Remember the loss, because we’re going to need it for the tomorrows to come and for those that need our protection the most: the next generation. Remember, we are Orlando; now, tomorrow, and always.

  • #HillYes by John Erickson

    I’m going to do something I’d never thought I’d do: fill your newsfeed with yet another article pertaining to the 2016 United States Presidential election and yes, I’m going to talk about former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (hint: I’m emphatically supporting her and I’m unapologetic about it.)

  • Remembering to Be Thankful by John Erickson

    Remembering to be thankful may just be a privileged illusion that individuals in positions of power get to write about in the December of each year to self-congratulate themselves about being actually able to be able to be thankful. It may just seem like people who write about being thankful are complaining or pontificating that being thankful is in itself a chore.

  • #LoveWins by John Erickson

    On Saturday, September 19, 2015 I married two of my best friends Andrea and Cindy in holy matrimony in Appleton, WI.

  • Two Wrongs Don’t Make a Right by John Erickson

    John Erickson, sports, coming out.

    Kim Davis does need a lot of things but saying of suggesting that she needs a haircut, a makeover, or even to lose weight, makes you and those that continue to repeat it no better than she is; to state such statements doesn’t purport the ideal that #LoveWins, which took over social media just mere months ago, but changes the whole narrative to symbolize that sexism and hate are more important than love and equality.

  • Caitlyn Jenner is a Friend of Mine

    To speak ones truth is oftentimes a difficult and nearly impossible act. However, to live one’s truth, on a day-to-day basis, is an aspect of life that has become so foreign to individuals who have become so comfortable in their own skin that I fear the activist and social justice roots that we all claim to hail from have fallen at the wayside and been replaced by complacency and reductionism.

  • The Religiosity of Silence by John Erickson

    In a repetitive culture of abuse and silence, is it really shocking to find out that an individual who preached such hate and discontent for others actually perpetuated other forms of heinous abuse against others?

  • Genderqueering by John Erickson

    We find our versions of home in these communities and it is within these spaces where our home not only begins to define who we are but we, as a reflection of that space, begin to outwardly redefine the spaces we exist in. If we slowly begin, through our experiences to shape our homes based on privilege and power without self-reflection and acknowledgment of others, then we are no better than those oppressive forces we say we’re against.

  • Are You Ready for Some Football? by John Erickson

    Although putting women in charge of drafting new policies that address the “woman problem” currently facing the NFL, it too reeks of the similar dismissive and patronizing actions women face when trying to obtain leadership roles in their religious traditions. Supercilious progress for the sake of progress isn’t progress and progress under the guise of silence is still misogyny. We need women in positions of leadership in both the NFL as well as in religious traditions. The culture of violence and silence will only continue, albeit with a Band-Aid firmly in place, holding the painful experiences and histories of women, long forgotten and often overlooked, until society values their rights just as much as the men leading the prayers and those that are being prayed for on Sundays across America.

  • #YesAllWomen, the Darwin Debate, and the God Complex by John Erickson

    John Erickson, sports, coming out.

    #YesAllWomen proved that although not all men commit horrible crimes against women, the men that often get the headlines and create the most controversy are the ones that need to be watched out for.

  • In Memoriam – God Hates Fags

    Phelps didn’t just live a life filled with hate but he also embodied the very reasoning why so many communities cannot cross that proverbial bridge to work together to see past their differences and maybe never will. In the case of Phelps, sticks and stones may break our bones, but words really do hurt.

  • Yes, You’re a Homophobe by John Erickson

    Jesus loved sinners and Jesus would rather be dancing with me in West Hollywood on a Friday night than lugging through a swamp luring ducks into a trap with a duck caller made by a clan who think that my sexual actions are similar to that of an individual having sex with an animal.

  • Truths My Mother Taught Me by John Erickson

    I never gave much credence to religion but through my mother, I met G-d, and through her I understood that I’m not a feminist because of the books I’ve read but rather because of the woman I call mom.

  • The Hot Seat by John Erickson

    Being a man in feminism isn’t easy and that’s how it is supposed to be.

  • To Have and to Hold: Gay Marriage and the Religion Question

    If a conservative religious traditions can’t give their mothers or sisters full equality, how can we expect them to give a GLBT individual the time of day?

  • God Doesn’t Live Here Anymore: Gay Bars and the Growing Divide Between Sexuality and Spirituality by John Erickson

    oes God exist within the LGBTQ community anymore or has the community itself abandoned God for all-night raves, dance clubs, alcohol, and hypersexualized and over commoditized fetishized forms of femininity and masculinity? Oftentimes, I find myself answering yes to the above questions. After surviving hate crime after hate crime and endless batches of newly elected conservative politicians hell bent on ignoring medical and social epidemic plaguing the very country they were elected to serve and protect, why would a community, oftentimes linked to sin itself, believe in a holy entity?

  • Thanks for Coming (Out): Sexuality, Sports, and Spirituality by John Erickson

    I have to be honest, Jason Collins’ admission that he was a homosexual, albeit brave, upset me. While coming out is an completely unique experience to every individual that does it, Jason Collins’ story was just another example of the rampant sexist and heteropatriarachal world that privileges male bodies and sexualities over women’s similar experiences. While I applaud Jason’s story and it’s timing, the first thing I asked to my colleagues was: Where was the hubbub over Sheryl Swoopes or Martina Navratilova?

  • Second Class Rape Victims: Rape Hierarchy and Gender Conflict

    Deconstructing masculinity isn’t the key to solving social, sexual, and domestic violence across the world but it is a step worth taking when attempting to engage men in affecting change to stop these violent actions since men, statistically are the perpetrators of such crimes that both cause such outcry as well as perpetual silence.

  • Don’t Worry, I Won’t Marry Your Girlfriend: Sexuality, Identity, and the Easy Laugh

    No longer having to deconstruct the larger cultural and sexual narratives, heterosexuals who do not support marriage equality or feel threatened by homosexuals return to their one source of power that reinforces the ideology that they are on the right path: the Bible. “Marriage is between a man a woman,” or “A man shall not lie with another man as he would a woman,” becomes the newly reinforced heterosexual rallying cry and the progressive progress that occurred in the past becomes nothing more than a joke.

  • Please Excuse Me for Having a Penis: Taking a Back Seat to Privilege and Power by John Erickson

    Male feminists must be aware that we not only engage in an ongoing struggle against sexual and gender inequality, but more importantly an ongoing fight with ourselves.

  • Visions of My Grandmother by John Erickson

    “I never told my grandmother I was gay. I’ve often wanted to visit her grave, clench my hands together, and pray that she forgive me for betraying the trust she instilled upon me long ago. However, even today, I cannot bring myself to make that trek, up the hill into the countryside where her ashes lay below the ground.”

  • 8 Simple Rules for Being a Queer Godfather by John Erickson

    Becoming a Godfather was more than just a reentry into the Catholic traditions I had long given up but rather a journey back in time that would grant me the ability to rewrite the wrongs I felt as a kid growing up in a tradition I not only didn’t understand but also didn’t feel like I belonged in.

  • Why Men (and Women) Can’t Have It All by John Erickson

    Can women have it all? Possibly. Can men ever have it all? Maybe. Regardless of however we put it, the are ills to every good deed in the world and we need to get back to understanding how and why we use each other in order to fully understand that behind every good man might be a good woman but also behind every good women there might also be a good man.

  • “Vaginas are Everywhere!”: The Power of the Female Reproductive System by John Erickson

    Nice girls don’t say the word vagina.