Out of the Cave

PUBLICATION EXPECTED 2022

Out of the Cave

Emerging From My Darkest Moments into God’s Eternal Light

Shi Menefee

I am a Black, transgender male who grew up in a fundamentally conservative Christian home. When I was 3 years old, my mother remarried. Her new husband was the pastor of the church we attended. This man was guilty of sexual and physical abuse of my mother’s children and some of their children. Sadly, this is the experience of all too many children growing up in the Christian church in the Black community.

Members of the LGBTQ+ community have been and continue to be traumatized by individuals in the church, who guard the law but fail to live up to it themselves. I know because I lived it firsthand in my own home. Some LGBTQ+ people have survived conversion therapy and/or were subjected to electroconvulsive shock therapy in attempts to force them to change their sexuality or gender orientation. Others, like me, have been demonized, ostracized, shamed, condemned, damned, and judged by our Black churches, families, and communities.

Out of the Cave is the story of how I emerged from my early life to become a whole and resilient individual. Today, as a  counselling professional, I am reminded on a daily basis of the importance of providing a space of hope and possibility every day.