faithfullyLGBT

Still Stace BOOK LAUNCH!

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Hollllly hanna montanaaaaaaa am I ever excited to post about this!

Friday, Oct 22nd!

Fort Langley, BC!

IN PERSON!

(Following all current safety guidelines, of course – see bottom of this post.)

OneTWU has organized this launch, and independent bookstore Wendel’s in Fort Langley is the book sponsor. Purchase a ticket here, and then either bring your pre-ordered copy of STILL STACE for me to sign OR buy a copy at the launch, and I will sign it up for ya. I will be sharpening my Sharpies–wait…. I’ll be ready! We are planning some fun giveaways too!

Please share this far and wide, buy a ticket, and please come! (Here is the Facebook public event as well.) I would love, love, LOVE to see your face. In real life. Seriously, WHAT a concept.

Info from the event page:

As a non-profit keen on supporting LGBTQIA2S+ students at Trinity Western, and building bridges across political stances on hot-button issue, Stacey is an important voice in the conversation. Still to this day, “Gay Christian” is an oxymoron, but Stacey’s life-story speaks to how for her and many others those terms are inseparable.

EVENT LOW-DOWN:

6:45pm Doors Open

7:00pm Stacey will share followed by a short artist talk back.

Light refreshments will be available.

Signed books will be available for sale at the event. In order to help us order the correct number of books, please indicate your interest in purchasing a book at the event by clicking the add-on that says: “Pledge to Purchase “Still Stace” @ Event”.

**PLEASE NOTE: All Provincial Health Officer orders will be strictly adhered to. In the event where lower capacity is required, tickets will be honoured on a first-come-first-serve basis. In the event that is not safe to gather, the event will move to zoom. Ticket holders will be sent a zoom link. Red, Yellow, and Green stickers will be provided to all attendees to show their social distancing comfort levels. Guests who violate any event rules or refuse to respect individual comfort levels with social distancing will be asked to leave immediately.

(Stay tuned for another launch in my (now local) Chilliwack! Details to come….)

An LGBTQ podcast & interview.

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Just catching up on some places I have been speaking lately! Keep an eye on my Speaking page to see all the latest chats. These last couple were so much fun! Stay tuned for more 🙂

Sunday, June 27, 2021 – (Langley, BC) – I had a great conversation with Rev. Ryan Tristin Chapman at United Church of Langley (in person, what a treat!) and it aired for their service on YouTube on June 27th at 10:30 AM PST. Video is available below. (Our conversation is about 23 mins, starting at 22:59)


Sunday, June 30, 2021Nancy Shadlock, host of The Coming Out Chronicles, invited me on her great podcast! Go subscribe where all great podcasts are available, and have a listen!

“Stacey Chomiak takes us through her story of growing up closeted in the Evangelical church. Living in a not-so-supportive environment and the struggles of not having someone to talk to, Stacey talks about how exactly that changed and why. Today Stacey is creating books that help others not feel alone in that storyline. Her soon-to-be-released young adult visual novel is going to offer hope and inspiration to many that currently feel alone and like outcasts in their families and churches.”

COVER REVEAL – “Still Stace”

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Friends!!

I am SO EXCITED to finally share the updated and official cover for my YA illustrated memoir, “Still Stace”!! I feel like I have been sitting on this for years! (It’s been a few weeks. I no longer understand time post-quarantine.)

Beaming Books is publishing my book on October 19th, 2021. It is available everywhere for pre-order, (click here fellow Canadians!) but please try to order from local bookstores wherever possible! I still honestly can’t process that this will be an actual freaking hard cover book in mere months.

The younger me who I wrote & drew this for is positively overflowing with excitement, and she won’t stop high-fiving me. (AND I AM HERE FOR IT.) When this releases in October, I will probably have the biggest vulnerability hangover of my life. But if it helps one person to feel less alone, it will all be worth it.

Massive thanks to my small but mighty circle of supporters, cheerers, laughers, criers, huggers, walkers, venters, texters, Zoomers…. and of course my incredible wife Tams, who is undoubtedly one of the strongest driving forces behind me being able to (and having the courage to) get this accomplished. What a SURREAL DREAM come TRUE.

Please share this with anyone who may need it! I’m so grateful for everyone who has helped or encouraged me along this road. None of you will be forgotten, I promise. Countdown to October 19th!!

“Shipwreck Over Safety” Podcast

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Earlier in January, I taped an episode of the podcast “Shipwreck Over Safety” with Dallas Verity & Blair Roberts. We had a great conversation about art, deconstructing our faith and sexuality. If that interests you, give it a listen! Available below, and also on Spotify & Apple podcasts.

LGBTQ Workshop Event UPDATE – Partnering with SheLoves!

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Jan 22 UPDATE: GIVEAWAY! I’m going to sign a personalized Rainbow Boy for someone who comes tomorrow! I hope to see you there, grab your ticket before 10AM PST!

You may have seen my post about recording a video workshop telling my gay Christian story, for a Christian conference, and then them dropping the LGBTQ speakers. (Original story here.)

I am SO excited to share I have a NEW PARTNER to share my story – shelovesmagazine! This event will be open to EVERYONE whether you are in Canada or the US (or beyond!). So PLEASE friends all over, come join us Saturday, Jan 23 @ 10AM Pacific Time! We will all gather virtually, screen my video workshop and have a Q & A time after. I would LOVE to see some friendly virtual faces so it’s not just me alone in a Zoom room. 😀

Tickets are available on Eventbrite – fee is a sliding scale, so if things are tough, please don’t worry about paying anything and just come. More info is below.

About this Event

LIBERATION STORIES: Join us for a powerful personal story from Artist Stacey Chomiak on Owning Her Gay Christian Story (Plus Q & A)

WHAT: LIBERATION STORIES: Owning My Gay Christian Story, with Stacey Chomiak.

WHEN: Saturday, January 23 at 10am PST / 1pm EST / 6pm GMT

WHERE: Register on Eventbrite and hosted on Eventbrite.

COST: Tickets available at a sliding scale, starting from free through $20 plus fees. (Limited quantity.)

“For 13 years, I fought against my body and my heart and its innate desires,” says Stacey Chomiak, an artist in the animation industry. “I grew to hate them, because I was taught to do so. I believed my desires were bad and therefore I believed I was bad. I had to finally admit that I couldn’t pray my gay away any more than I could change the color of my eyes. I didn’t want to leave my faith, because Jesus and I had a very deep relationship.”

Join us for this powerful hour of Liberation Stories.

ABOUT SHELOVES:

SheLoves is a global sisterhood conversation on personal and collective liberation. We focus on deconstructing faith, practising allyship, antiracism, decolonization and the Jesus kind of feminism.

Rainbow Boy – in my hands!

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THIS was a GREAT. MOMENT. I received my illustrator copies of RAINBOW BOY, and my kids helped me open the box and see it for themselves. These illustrations have lived on my computer for a while now, but it was so surreal to see them printed. IN A BOOK. AN ACTUAL BOOK!

The book is dedicated to them, and they thought it was super cool that their names are both in the front of the book. (I think it’s super cool, too.) We cuddled together on the couch and they each clutched their own copy tightly as I took turns reading their copy. At the end of the book there’s a little picture of Taylor (the author) and me (the illustrator), and my kids said “Hi Mommy!” and kissed my picture.

And that is what I will remember as a huge WIN in my life.

Get YOUR copy on January 19th! Order or find wherever good books are sold!

Being asked to leave the table.

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(Trigger warning: LGBTQ Christian voices being silenced)

In September, I was invited to speak at a Christian conference out of Vancouver. I was really excited, because they wanted to include LGBTQ Christian voices, and I love speaking about such things! Their conference is in January 2021, and due to Covid, all virtual. Because of that, they asked the speakers to film their 30 minute workshops so they could stream them the day of the conference.

In October, I wrote what was on my heart to share: owning my gay Christian story. They approved and were really encouraging about my outline. In November, with the help of my pastor and friend Bradley, I filmed and edited the workshop (no small feat), and sent it over.

Filming the workshop in November 2020 at my home church, Open Door Church, in Maple Ridge, BC

In mid-December, the founder of the conference reached out to me to say that they have come to a very difficult decision: they have to cut the LGBTQ workshops out of their conference. (I believe there was one other one besides mine.)

Since then, we have exchanged emails, and had a very honest and lengthy conversation on Zoom. (Which was tough – but encouraging too. People these days tend to not want to have hard conversations, so I really appreciate that openness.) They are a fairly new conference, and I know this has not been an easy decision for them. It has caused grief and heartache. I say this because I want to point out that I don’t believe there are clear cut “good guys” and “bad guys” in these situations. We are all imperfect people, trying our best to love each other and navigate this journey of life. But yes – this still hurts. 

I want to be really careful about speaking on their behalf. So I’m going to share their official announcement in regards to cancelling the workshops here: (this was posted on their Facebook page)

The reasons they decided to cut the LGBTQ workshops are not the main focus for me here. The focus for me is this: I was invited to the table to share because of who I am. And then I was asked to leave for the same reason. In December 2020, in (liberal Canadian) Vancouver, this still happens. LGBTQ Christians are still being asked not to share.

As a gay Christian, this strikes a painful chord that resonates deep, almost like that feeling when you bite on tinfoil. Like so many gay people, I have a long history of being hurt and silenced by “the church” and by some “Christians”. This situation brings a lot of that past trauma to the surface. 

It dredges up the same old fears: 

Is my voice not valued? 

Am I not valued? 

Do I not belong? 

Should I stop sharing?

On behalf of myself and the LGBTQ Christian community, I have this to say: I am angry. And that is good. Anger is necessary here. This is unjust. This is not okay.

But I refuse to use this energy to destroy, or to be malicious. I will let it fuel me towards the greater good, and I will forge ahead. Because I have and will make missteps and hurt people, and I need to practice radical grace for others, if that’s what I hope to receive. Even though it’s hard, I want to keep talking, keep learning, keep growing.

I will choose to forgive, because as someone who follows Jesus and not a specific institution, I believe it’s the best thing for my heart, my faith and my integrity. But I won’t rush to fix the hurt, because I need to feel this.

For those of you for whom this also brings up past hurts, please hear me: I am here for you. I will stand up for you. When I am quiet, and I let the fears calm, there is a louder and steadfast truth that reverberates from inside: I AM valued. My voice IS valued. I DO belong. God is – in fact – proud of me for sharing. 

But. Make. No. Mistake. 

I will not be silenced. I plan to release my video workshop in January when I am ready, and on my own terms. I think it may actually hold more meaning because of what has transpired. 

This has happened to me before, and it will no doubt happen to me again. This is why I wrote my book. This is why I will continue to speak when asked. This is why I choose to be visible.

I cannot call myself an advocate, and then shy away from these situations. I will stand up. Because it’s needed. Because many other LGBTQ Christian people are asked to be quiet, to leave, or to change who they are – and they may not have the energy or will to keep going. 

I DO.

There is still much work to be done. And I am here for it.

Thanks to MercyMe’s new song for coming into my ears this week: (lyrics taken from “Say I Won’t”)

“Not enough

Is what I’ve been told

But it must be a lie

‘Cause the Spirit inside says I’m so much more

So let them say what they want

Oh I dare them to try

I’m gonna run

No, I’m gonna fly

I’m gonna know what it means to live

And not just be alive

The world’s gonna hear

‘Cause I’m gonna shout

And I will be dancing when circumstances drown the music out”