Ambiguities, Authenticity and Actualisation: Life Story Research with a Bisexual Christian

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Explorations into the life stories and experiences of bisexual Christians have often detailed the various experiences of those identifying as bisexual within their various churches (Kolodny, 2000; Toft, 2009, 2012, 2014; Wilcox, 2002, 2009; Yip, 2003a, 2003b). This chapter presents the story of Sam, who identifies as bisexual, gender-fluid, and Christian. Sam describes their experiences in church as ‘fragile’ and they are conscious of the ambiguities of their gender, sexual, and faith self-presentations. In this chapter, I explore how ambiguity is a truly queer concept. It is unstable and unfixable and it is precisely what challenges binaries. I re-examine the work of Althaus-Reid’s ‘Bi/Christ’ in light of Sam’s story, offering original critical insights on how an epistemology of bisexual ambiguity reveals the temporality of human understandings of identity. Underpinning my examination of ambiguity, I explore how issues of authenticity and actualisation characterise contemporary understandings of religion, gender and sexuality. Queer theology therefore exposes how sexuality and faith are not fixable constructs of identity.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBisexuality, Religion and Spirituality
Subtitle of host publicationCritical Perspectives
EditorsAlex Toft, Andrew Kam -Tuck Yip
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages18
ISBN (Print)9780367030209
Publication statusPublished - 14 Feb 2020


  • bisexuality
  • queer theology
  • Christianity
  • identity
  • identification
  • life story


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