Content warnings: swearing; depression; grandparent's death; homophobia & transphobia from friends, family, & faith leaders; internalized queerphobia; brief mentions of conversion therapy
April Willow Castillo knows what it is to believe yourself to be the only queer person in all of Peru; to question your sexuality while in Catholic youth group in the US; and to finally grow into yourself at a university supportive of LGBT faculty and students.
In this episode, April discusses how the love of God has pulled her from depressive states and religious trauma into deep joy and pride in being herself and bonding with other Hispanic queer folk. She also talks about LGBT community in Peru and the US; the history of Indigenous and Catholic religion in Peru; and how God is often twisted into a political weapon in the US.
(0:00 - 5:35) Introducing April - Latina trans Catholic university student, Peruvian immigrant, aspiring gamer girl
(5:36 - 8:50) Growing up - Hispanic Catholic communities in US; Peruvian town where Catholic celebrations bring the community together
(8:51 - 13:57) Youth group - from depression to a spiritual reawakening
(13:58 - 21:28) Questioning sexuality and realizing how church wields God as political weapon; youth group & church tainted by fear - though some peers are more accepting
(21:29 - 25:29) "Are you a man?" - questioning gender - "how did anyone ever think i was cis?”
(25:30 - 26:30) Jesus would be seen as a communist/socialist - but US churches twist him into pro-capitalism
(26:31 - 30:52) Exploring Peru's indigenous religion - coming to terms with being a proud Catholic while holding the history of it being forced on her ancestors
(30:53 - 36:18) queerness in Peru - not talked about: "I was pretty sure I was the only queer person in Peru" - more recently, ads using LGBT figures
(36:19 - 39:17) In college - realizing she had to do something about gender - finding a good therapist and community - finding joy in being trans
(39:18 - end) wrapping up - more of April's story in future ep
For an episode transcript, visit blessedarethebinarybreakers.com.
This show's theme song is "Aetherium" by Leah Horn. This episode also includes "Damage" by EleventySeven.