A Mention in Victorian Parliament


Heaven Bent was mentioned in the Victorian Legislative Council yesterday by Ms Jaala Pullford MP.

From the Hansard:

Ms PULFORD (Western Victoria) — I would like to congratulate Luke Gahan and Tiffany Jones on the recent launch of their book, Heaven Bent — Australian Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex Experiences of Faith, Religion and Spirituality. This fine collection of essays brings together academic, theological, activist, religious and political perspectives from a great variety of backgrounds — orthodox, Catholic and Protestant Christian, Islamic, Jewish, Buddhist, pagan and atheist. The book is a great contribution to the ongoing struggle of members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex community for equal rights in our society, and the editors are to be commended for the contribution this work will make to this endeavour. 



HEAVEN BENT will be officially launched in Sydney by Prof. Kerryn Phelps & Jackie Stricker-Phelps

When: November 21st
Time: 6pm
Where: The Midnight shift (Lounge Bar), 91 Oxford Street, Darlinghurst

Guest Speakers include, Prof. Kerryn Phelps, Jackie Stricker-Phelps, Luke Gahan (Ed.) and Gina Wilson (chapter author)

Books will be available for purchase on the night (supplied by The Bookshop Darlinghurst)

Alyena Mohummadally

For me, being Muslim is about spirituality. It is about having someone to thank and to ask for guidance, but it is also about having someone to get angry with! It is not about rituals and uncontested faith, rather it is about support, encouragement and peace. The word ‘Islam’ means peace – this is the Islam that I know and embrace.

Alyena Mohummadally, ‘The impossible dream’, Heaven Bent

Alyena Mohummadally is a mum, partner, friend, daughter, sister, government policy adviser, social justice activist and a keen cricket fan. Prior to government, Alyena was a principal and policy lawyer in a community legal centre, and has a long history of working in the not-for-profit sector. Alyena has been published in books, journals and online and she frequently speaks at conferences, workshops and on air. She founded the Queer Muslims in Australia Yahoo! Group and is currently the Chair of the Australian GLBTIQ Multicultural Council Inc. Alyena lives in Melbourne with her partner, their young son and two cats, and enjoys a fiery debate, albeit the energy has weakened due to the many sleepless nights a toddler gives its parents!

Victor Marsh

Meditation has taught me that before gender, there is the state of undifferentiated unity. I have learned to make my home there. Gender – as an initiation into duality – is a secondary state, and sexuality a distant, third order of being. I am learning to look beyond differences – as real as they are, in this social sphere – to recognise the presence of the underlying state of unity that subsumes all forms of difference.

Victor Marsh, ‘Searching for the ‘home-self’, Heaven Bent

Victor Marsh PhD is an honorary Research Fellow at the University of Queensland and does sessional teaching at Southern Cross University. His doctoral dissertation The Journey of the Queer ‘I’ focused on identity positioning in gay men’s spiritual autobiographies. In 2010 he wrote Mr Isherwood Changes Trains: Christopher Isherwood and the Search for the home self, a critical discussion of the often-misunderstood religious life of the British writer whose relationship with his guru, a Swami in the Ramakrishna Order of Monks, lasted nearly 40 years.

Tiffany Jones

I have a very Catholic mother and a very Atheist father. Not to mention other relatives, who span the rainbow of Taoist, Wiccan, Born-again Christian and Jewish. This, gentle readers, in no way creates the basis for a straightforward relationship with spirituality.

Tiffany Jones, ‘It’s all relatives’, Heaven Bent

Dr Tiffany Jones PhD is a lecturer and researcher at the University of New England, New South Wales. She contributed to the ‘From Blues to Rainbows’, ‘Writing Themselves In 3’ and ‘Beyond Homophobia’ projects alongside La Trobe researchers, where she completed her PhD on the impacts of education policy and provisions for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, intersex and otherwise questioning students.