Candace Chellew-Hodge is a recovering Southern Baptist. Born in 1965 as the grand finale of five children to a Southern Baptist minister and his wife, she comes by her need for recovery honestly.
She gave up her faith at age 17, about the same time she entered a career in journalism that would span some 25 years (including a six-year stint at CNN in Atlanta), but despite the allegations of some conservative pundits, the media was not to blame for making her Godless for a brief few years. Instead, Chellew-Hodge did what so many gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people do - she believed the lie that she couldn’t be both a lesbian and a Christian.
She returned to the church in her early 20s, kicking and screaming, at the insistence of her first girlfriend. She describes her first service at a Metropolitan Community Church in Atlanta, Georgia as “coming home.”
Chellew-Hodge entered seminary in 1998, a couple of years after she founded Whosoever: An Online Magazine for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Christians. The magazine had drawn the attention of many in opposition to GLBT equality in church and society and Chellew-Hodge sought the tools to answer her critics. What she discovered in seminary was a whole new way to approach the question of homosexuality, gender identity and spirituality and a new way to answer critics that was a lot less stressful.
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