Today I, Kendra Arsenault, am tackling a controversial question. However, it’s not so much an answer that we’re going to arrive at, but a journey we’re going to go on. Was EGW an LGBTQ? Now for those of you listening who are not familiar with Adventist history, I apologize. She was a historical figure in the founding of the Adventist church. I’m not unaware of how negatively and even unfavorably just asking this question might be received. But I really believe it’s important to ask questions, even the questions you think you shouldn’t ask. I recently gave this presentation at the Kinship Kampmeeting, and it all started when I Googled a single question, as I often do, “Was Ellen White an LGBTQ?” For those who may be wary that I’m even asking the question, let me assure you, the results are inconclusive. Culture and language, and expressions of self-identity have drastically changed since the 1840s. So we have to do a bit of time traveling to explore 19th-century same-gendered relationships. While there are no hard claims made at anything, I do investigate a series of private letters that reveal a not-so-public truth. So if you’re interested in going on a journey, buckle up because it’s a wild ride.
Kendra Arsenault, MDiv, is the host of the Imago Gei podcast and a graduate of the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary.