My lesbian journey through unknown landscapes: A spiritual memoir
By Hilde Raastad
“I was dirty, sweaty, and tired after 36 hours on the train to Switzerland when I met Julie for the first time.” This memoir begins when Hilde unexpectedly falls in love with a woman, a totally new and exciting experience for a 22-year-old Norwegian who grew up in a traditional Christian context. Discovering the delight of being in love and realizing that she is a lesbian makes her feel whole for the first time and takes her on a journey into unknown, fierce, and transformative landscapes.
She shares her experiences of coming out, the pressures to live closeted and to reject her sexuality until she finds the courage and strength to reclaim herself again as a whole person. She falls in love in the Swiss alps, studies liberation, feminist, and lesbian theology in Colorado, and then returns to Norway, believing she has a calling to ministry in the church. Honestly, she reflects on the cost of being a minister in a discriminating and prejudiced church and how a timid and reserved lesbian became a visible and outspoken activist, in the church, in the media, and internationally. Beyond it all, this is a story of faith, sometimes strong and life embracing and at other times, vulnerable, broken, and much smaller than a mustard seed.
Hilde’s memoir is a story of queer faith and activism, love and friendship, courage, delight, brokenness, and anger, and in the end, it turns into a realization of how God’s queer grace transforms and affirms us in unexpected and radical ways.
Acclaim for This Queer Grace
“It hurts to read this book about hope and rejection…It is a witness to the hurt of being turned down when it comes to one’s life, one’s faith and one’s love. This book touched me deeply with its combination of vulnerability and empowerment.”
Kristin Gunleiksrud Raaum, Norway
Moderator of the Norwegian Lutheran Church, 2016 - current
“In her grace-filled and queer memoir, Hilde, facing rejection and opposition, provides an understanding of tradition and faith that is wholesome for LGBTI people of faith. I pray that after reading this book, they will find the courage…to reclaim the faith that has always been ours.”
Wielie Elhorst, The Netherlands
LGBTI Minister of the Protestant Church of Amsterdam
Co-President of the European Forum of LGBT Christian Groups, 2015-2019
“Hilde’s spiritual memoir is a gift of hope. Discovering light and grace in life’s difficult moments is not an easy task… The writer truthfully shares with us her vulnerable moments and how she is carried, ‘infused and embraced’ by God’s gentle, passionate and everlasting Love.”
Judit Gyarfas, Hungary
Co-President of the European Forum of LGBT Christian Groups, 2021-2022
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