SOUP: Can I Get a Witness?

A low-simmer column about queerness, identity, and growing the fuck up 

By Jen Harris
Photos by Justina Kellner

When I was a child, there was no such thing as choice.

I know you don’t believe me. I know you want to argue with me right off the bat. Perfect. Hi. Hello. Welcome. I’m Jen. I’m queer. A nonbinary womxn. A lesbian. I’m 35AF, and I know saying that proves it. This is my first time here, so I figured a proper introduction would be… qualifying. It’s like when someone writes a letter to a celebrity (in this case, you are the celebrity) and they (I) start it with, “I have never written a letter like this before in my life.”

Often, that’s true.

It’s true for me, now. I’ve never been 35 before. I’ve never written a column about the queer experience. I don’t feel proficient for this task. For one thing, I bought a television a month ago, and it’s still leaning against the wall. I don’t know who’s popular or what matters to the masses. I don’t know any vacation hot spots, and I certainly don’t have the 411 on lesbian engagement dating apps. I’m taking a break from s-e-x… sooooo……

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Bad Ass Babe Amy Shoemaker: Queer. Artist. Pastor.

By Rebekah Lodos

By Justina Kellner

Dancer, artist, spiritual coach, wife, pastor—the list of roles Amy Shoemaker moves in seems endless. A Kansas City native, she got her degree in theater from Drake University and attended seminary at Pacific School of Religion, Berekely, before making her home in San Francisco for 10 years. There, she worked odd jobs in tech, established a spiritual direction practice and met her wife, Carly. But her dream was always to be an artistic minister; a Christian leader who incorporates movement, dance, and improvisation into spiritual formation. She found that opportunity last year at Broadway Church, one of only 20 (out of 2,000) Kansas City churches that are affirming of queer leadership. She and Carly have been here for almost three years.

We spoke with Shoemaker about her journey, her worship, and what it’s like being a queer, female pastor in Kansas:

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Badass Babe Sav Rodgers: Queer Stories on Film

By Kelcie McKenney

When Sav Rodgers walks into a room, he instantly fills it with radiating, invigorating energy. Always wearing a baseball hat—often repping KC on it—he’ll wrap you up in a rush of ideas, complex conversation, questions about who you are, how you’re feeling, what you’re thinking, and why you’re here. At 24 years old, Rodgers is a force to be reckoned with—enough so that you often forget just how young he is.

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Photo by Travis Young

Today, Rodgers’s Ted Talk went live.

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