I grew up in a small conservative religious town. The religion is also small, and is called the New Church, or Swedenborgianism. This is clearly a pretty niche group, so no worries if you don't know what I'm talking about, but if you do?
Have some stickers, some buttons, some words.
No matter what your experience was, or how you feel about Bryn Athyn or the New Church now, if you identify as LGBTQ and grew up in Bryn Athyn or the New Church, hooo boy do we have some things in common. I'm willing to bet your sense of identity was pretty hard-won, and that you have suffered in some way. I see you. I love you.
When I first came out to myself, I rejected a lot of things. I think this rejection was powerful, and necessary, and real. Rejecting old thought patterns is still extremely important to me, and it's not over. But as I come into a more confidence sense of self, I have begun to realize that my past will always be my past, and reconciling with that is also important. I will always have been a Bryn Athyn Freak (er...fucker? fag? I am not sure I ever really knew what the F in BAF referred to, to be quite honest). I am on a mission to integrate who I was with who I am. And so, I made these for me.
I made these for the non-binary person that came out and got out, forging their own life in new contexts far, far away. For the guy who decides to stay, and nurture the parts of the community that still feeds him. For the woman who fights tooth and nail for her right to exist in the community, and for her children to thrive and love who they will. For the out and proud teenager who is persecuted not just by peers, but by trusted adults. For the closeted girl who might not even realize that's where she is; who shoves everything down and thinks she's happy because she cannot yet imagine any other options. For all of us who want more.
Whatever your story, I made these for you.
We all have different experiences within the church, and we all find different ways to navigate what we've been dealt.
But we are here. We exist. We survive, and we have the power to thrive.
If you are out, or if you want to be, or you know someone who needs to feel supported and seen, this is for you.
Here's how it works.
Sign up to my newsletter using the button below, and I will send you one each of the stickers and pins from this collection (or whichever ones you choose). For free. Because you are everything to me. You are my past, my community, and my hope for the future.
Please also know that I take your privacy very seriously, and I take great care to never 'out' anyone. Additionally, if you wanna just talk about your experience? Send me an email, and let's chat.
Similarly, if you want larger quantities for any specific reason, send me a message, because that sounds awesome.
Want to help with costs?
My main priority is to get stickers and buttons into the hands of whoever wants them. That being said, if you want to donate to help with shipping costs, I would greatly appreciate it!