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Center for Action and Contemplation
Intimacy and Sexual Wholeness
Intimacy and Sexual Wholeness

Allowing Ourselves to Unfold  

Monday, June 10, 2024

Author and filmmaker Cassidy Hall describes coming to embrace her queerness as a path to intimacy with her true self.  

Queerness formed a kind of centerpoint for my ever-evolving true self. Queerness is a place of my own unlimited becoming, and its innate connection to the Divine, nature, and my fellow humans.… 

Everyone carries their own true self in their own way, in their own words, and in their own time. And that is also beautifully queer. My true self is the queer way I rest my ear to the chest of a tree, listening for its heartbeat. My true self is the part of me that shows up at the Indiana statehouse when anti-trans bills are brought to the table, knowing the privilege of my own position as a cis queer white woman and the roles I am called to in communal care. My true self is the part of me that keeps asking questions, stays curious about my own blossoming, and holds myself—and the world—with open hands…. As we unclench our fists, shedding internalized norms and expectations, we step toward everything alive, toward everything wild, toward the truth of who we are. 

Hall describes the healing that took place as she learned to accept her body and identity: 

As the years passed, I began stripping away my beliefs about myself from these broken expectations and witnessed a significant change. My body, my existence, my identity began to feel more magical, alive, and queer. I continued to release ideas of myself related to society’s expectations, and I began caring far more about what feels like me—what resonates and reverberates with the ground of my being, what rhythms are in sync with my body…. I frequently hiked in silence, which helped me love my body’s capacity for endurance and appreciate my mystical and often sensual relationship with nature. Going to the nearby Temescal Canyon, I’d quietly climb to the ocean overlook to feel the elements around and within me. I was refilled with my natural rhythms, recognizing the gift of my body and embracing the erotic energy I carry.  

It was on that same trail where I experienced an intimate entanglement with my true self and an interconnectivity to everything alive. As I hiked toward the peak one morning, I unknowingly grabbed my own hand, holding it ever so tenderly. As I realized the affection and love of the moment, I stopped, closed my eyes, and began to weep. While embracing this moment of love between myself, my body, and the beauty surrounding me, I gathered myself and kept walking. I continued holding my own hand, embracing the moment of deep connection between my true self and the world around me. The true self exists in the vessel of our body. And to be in touch with our true self is to be in touch with the erotic, to be in touch with everything alive. 

Cassidy Hall, Queering Contemplation: Finding Queerness in the Roots and Future of Contemplative Spirituality (Minneapolis, MN: Broadleaf Books, 2024), 103, 106–107. 

Image credit and inspiration: Nina Hill, untitled (detail), 2020, photo, Unsplash. Click here to enlarge image. The connective energy of human touch, entwining our hands and our hearts. We are not alone. 

Story from Our Community:  

When I was 15, the concept of being “saved” was small and obscure. I gave my life to Christ at a tent revival, but what did that even mean? Decades later, I am transformed by the awareness of unconditional love as described by Richard Rohr and other contemplative teachers. I am struck by the expansiveness and the intimacy of that Love. My heart soars as I embrace so much more.
—Judith S. 

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