Meet the Bloggers

Rev. Irene Monroe is a Huffington Post blogger and a syndicated religion columnist. Her columns appear in 23 cities across the country, as well as in the U.K and Canada. She also writes a weekly column in the Boston LGBTQ newspaper Baywindows and does a weekly segment on WGBH, a Boston member station of NPR, called "All Rev'd Up.”

Monroe’s writing “are an interdisciplinary approach drawing on critical race theory, African American, queer, and religious studies. As a religion columnist, [she] informs the public of the role religion plays in discrimination against LGBTQ people.” Her work highlights how religious intolerance and fundamentalism not only shatters the goal of American democracy, but also aids in perpetuating other forms of oppression such as racism, sexism, classism and anti-Semitism.

A native of Brooklyn, NY, Monroe graduated from Wellesley College and Union Theological Seminary at Columbia University, and served as a pastor at an African-American church in New Jersey before moving to Harvard Divinity School to do her doctorate. She has received the Harvard University Certificate of Distinction in Teaching several times while being the head teaching fellow of the Rev. Peter Gomes, the Pusey Minister in the Memorial Church at Harvard. She is in the film, "For the Bible Tells me So," an exploration of the intersection between religion and homosexuality in the U.S. and how the religious right has used its interpretation of the Bible to stigmatize the gay community. Her coming out story is profiled in "CRISIS: 40 Stories Revealing the Personal, Social, and Religious Pain and Trauma of Growing up Gay in America" and in "Youth in Crisis." She has been named one of Boston's 50 Most Intriguing Women by Boston Magazine, has been profiled by the Boston Globe for her LGBT activism, and was one of MSNBC’s "10 Black Women You Should Know" in 2009. She has also been invited to speak at The United Nations International School at the UN.

As an activist Monroe has received numerous awards including the 2013 Cambridge Bayard Rustin Service Award, the Hispanic Black Gay Coalition’s James Hardy Legend Award, GLAD's Spirit of Justice Award, the YWCA Outstanding Women Award, the Cambridge Peace and Justice Award, the Unitarian Universalist Feminist Theology Award, and Sistah Summit Gay Pride Spirituality Award for which she received a commendation from Cambridge Councilor Brain Murphy. She was also the first African American lesbian to be bestowed the honor of being Grand Marshall in the Boston Pride Celebration.

Follow Rev. Monroe on Twitter @revimonroe

Recent Posts

Jun 07, 2017

June is Pride Month for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) communities across the country—and parades abound.

Feb 22, 2017

Trigger Warning: discussions of pedophilia and child abuse 

For Milo Yiannopoulos—vulgarian, alt-right’s telegenic token gay and Breitbart’s polemical senior editor—his last appearance on a national stage may have finally come. 

And, the bridge too far for even his audience wasn’t Yiannopoulos’s misogyny, xenophobia, racism, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia or homophobia, to name a few, but rather his flippant and snarky remarks condoning if not giving a sly and coquettish nod to pedophilia and pederasty. 

Nov 23, 2016

As I prepare for the Thanksgiving holiday, I am reminded of the autumnal harvest time's spiritual significance. 

Jul 14, 2016

I am always worried to the point of nail-biting when my spouse leaves in the morning for Boston Medical Center if she’ll return home to me, because she’s always stopped by the Cambridge or Boston police. They don’t see Dr. Thea James. Her gender non-conforming appearance and driving a brand new BMW, that many cops derisively dub as a “Black Man’s Wagon,” make her a constant target of suspicion.

When gender identity and sexual orientation come into play, the treatment by police can be harsher.

Jun 07, 2016

The United Methodist Church is in the need of prayer. And, one that emphasizes full inclusion of all its parishioners. 

Just before General Conference last month in Portland, the struggle to move the denomination's moral compass against its anti-LGBTQ policies was courageously demonstrated when over 100 United Methodist Church (UMC) ministers and faith leaders came out to their churches—with Rev. Jay Williams of Union United Methodist Church in Boston’s South End as one of them. 

Mar 18, 2016

The last time an African American lesbian was the protagonist in a novel was in Ann Allen Shockley’s 1982, “Say Jesus and Come to Me.” What shocked and awed readers about this main character is that she is also an itinerant minister.

Feb 11, 2016

After last June’s historic Supreme Court ruling that legalized same-sex marriage in all 50 states, “the love that dare not speak its name,” which publicly outed Oscar Wilde at his “gross indecency” trial in 1895, is finally and forever out of the closet. 

Oct 26, 2015

Are we each other’s brother’s keeper?

With this June’s historic Supreme Court ruling, Obergefell v. Hodge, that legalized same-sex marriage in all 50 states, many white LGBTQ organizations nationwide have been questioning what to do next.

Oct 08, 2015

Pope Francis continues to send seismic shock waves across the globe, and the rapturous reception he received from his historic six-day US visit gave us a glimpse as to why.

The pontiff, like Jesus, walked among the masses, kissing babies, visiting prisoners and the homeless, speaking out on climate change, poverty, immigrations, church sex abuse, religious liberty, the family and retweeting “Black Lives Matter,” to name just a few of his pastoral highlights.

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