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I Can't Date Jesus: Love, Sex, Family, and Other Reasons I've Put My Faith in Beyoncé

Author: Michael Arceneaux My Book Review

I was informed about this book by a client of mine whom I feel shares similar taste and interest in literature etc. When I first stumbled upon this book on Amazon and saw the title of the book in its entirety, I instantaneously became curious. Upon further introspection of reading the book, I saw myself in the witty and humorous banter of this author but more so in his emotional vulnerability to be open about his trauma and various societal dimensions of his life that caused him to hide various parts of himself. I can relate to this hiding. I can relate to the humor that I utilize as a deflection in my mind to shield me from the emotional pain and hurt that others have caused me due to my identity as well as perhaps parts of self that still hold onto the pain, I have caused others by judging to harshly their intentions. I appreciate the references to music and film, because I feel like my life is catalogued by music in my mind that is a narrative picturesque timeline of all the events that I have occurred in my life.

I am sure I am not the only one, for a lot of us, music brings back memories from our past or emotions that were hard to deal with as well as our joy. I appreciate Michael’s honesty about religion and how religion plays a pivotal role in how he views shame and resentment in his life. Coming to grips with how religious beliefs have been instilled in us as human beings is not easy for all of us in society, especially if religious trauma is a part of our narrative. Michael lens into this with grace, directness, and forgiveness of himself and others, and I truly respect his willingness to see all sides of his trauma...not just the parts that he feels vindicated in his pain.

I could go on and on about how this book reflects my journey as a gay Black man in many ways. However, I don’t want to spoil this read for you or infer that you should see me in this work. In addition, I could also go on about how eloquently he uses curse words to personify his voice and emotions (translation…his writing is fucking hilarious). Michael, you have invited me in to sit on your couch with my matcha latte with intimate mood lighting, incense, and candles in the background and snacks to settle into a deep conversation with you that seems like in some respects that I have known parts of you all my life. Thanks for sharing your lived experience and inspiring me to always follow my heart, sense of humor, and most of all my truth!

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