[ambient music] [birds chirping] [gate dragging shut] [Jared humming] [scooter engine purring] [Jared humming] [scooter engine purring] ♪ Bum-bum-ba-da-do ♪ ♪ Bum-bum-da-da-do ♪ ♪ Do-do-do, woo ♪ ♪ Da-do-do-do-do ♪ ♪ Da-do-do-do-do ♪ ♪ Da-do-do-do-do ♪ [scooter motor humming] [birds chirping] [birds chirping continues] - On my personal altar I have four silver cups, for the four elemental directions, the four Arc Angels, the four whatevers, that I do offerings in.
And then you got like a little Rose Quartz Spell that you're wearing around- [Velcro scrunching] With you, a look for the club.
This is my personal wand, the first wand that I made.
It's a crepe myrtle branch with the end blackened so I can write with it, with a witch finger on the end of it to boost it just a little bit.
This house alter is just to create the general energetic space of the entire house to fuel the wards that we have on the house.
I used to have a lot of invisibility magic on the house.
People used to not really be able to find it on MAPSearch, it would always take them to this other location, which of course I wanna think it was all the invisibility magic that we put on the house.
But yeah, a house alter just sort of fuels and supports, creating the general feel for the house and keeping the house safe and the workings that all of us here are accomplishing together.
Growing up I always wanted to be a witch.
I was wildly and sensually attracted to this idea of ritual, this trappings of mystery, the occult, the esoteric, everything's hidden, everything's veiled, everything's obfuscated, but I couldn't because I was Baptist and being a witch was outta the question.
And so if being a witch was outta the question, then the next best thing was Catholic.
[vehicle engines purring by] [vehicle engines purring by continues] I always used to get super stressed out doing my makeup and there was always a point doing my makeup where I was like, well, they're not coming here for my makeup skill.
I ended up writing sort of love letters to my family, we haven't had an honest and earnest conversation since I was 19, it's always been this weird, this weird space where I'm gay and we don't talk about it, we just, we just get along.
Powers of the east guardians of air, I have woken early each morning to catch your first stirrings.
I have perched atop- Lavonia Elberton is born of a road trip game, and we're driving along and passing an exit sign for the towns of Lavonia and Elberton in Georgia on 85 North.
And I said, "Lavonia Elberton, for example, her family owned all the land, it was a fruit orchard, and then the highway came through and bought all the land, and cut down all the trees, and now she lives in an Airstream trailer surrounded by all these gourd birdhouses so that the birds still have a place to live.
She works at the truck stop as a waitress, but reads everyone's tarot cards.
She's this long line of witches, but also this intersection of poor rural south.
And I had this moment where I described who she is and I was like, "Holy [censored], I wanna be Lavonia Elberton."
[crickets chirping] P.S., I have the answer, you will miss the last breath, there will be a point when you realize it must have happened, but you did not catch it.
The body will be heavy, it will surprise you how limp, all this motion, all this articulation becomes.
In the name of our blessed and anointed savior, Lavonia Elberton, go in peace and unto the grace of yourself, amen, and then I'll turn and walk and it can black out.
[footsteps clunking on floor] [book clunking on table] I leapt at the chance to crucify myself, not nails through myself, but as the next articulation of the Church of Lavonia Elberton.
But really what I'm hanging on that cross is the last 33 years, is my history of spiritual trauma founded in fear that leads to my diminishment, or shame, or doubt.
[singing] ♪ The Lamb ♪ ♪ The Lamb ♪ ♪ Of God ♪ [instrument tinkling] ♪ I come ♪ ♪ I come ♪ [instrument tinkling] [crickets chirping] There came a point where it was either you can kill yourself, or you can be gay and surrender everything you've known and accept it to be true, so I'm still here, so obviously I chose this latter space.
I never came out.
I was forced out, like everyone knew I was gay, there was no secret that I was a homosexual.
I was just so sheltered that I had no idea there were other people like me in the world.
I came home one night and my room was thrashed, all my stuff had been like gone through and I heard my dad coming down the stairs and we had a short polite conversation and so sat down, "We love you and are proud of you," and told me I could stay there that night, but then I had to be gone in the morning.
And I told him not to worry that I would be gone that night and I would take care of it.
And my dad and I talked a couple of times while he searched the scripture to determine whether he was permitted to remain in communion with me since I was now living in sin and ultimately decided that he wasn't permitted.
I came to those conversations demanding full recognition as a person, "You'll love me and whoever I love and we'll be welcome in the home, or not welcome at all."
So these two extremes did not meet and we didn't talk for the next six years.
There's a clear shift between being nervous before a performance and being just ready and anxious for it to start, and so I'm just ready to do the damn thing.
[door shutting] [birds chirping] [birds chirping continues] [crickets chirping] [thundering sounds] I am sorry that my existence became a betrayal of your work, that I, I broke that contract signed with a cesarean scholar.
What does it feel like to decide that one of your children is gonna burn in hell forever?
[crickets chirping] Are you still proud?
Did your faith shake?
[thundering noise] [Jared humming] [winch clicking] [Jared humming] [winch clunking on floor] [Jared humming] You are a little soul, and you are just carrying around a corpse.
[Jared humming] [winch clicking] [Jared humming continues] And I love you.
Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.
It is finished!
[thundering noise] [audience clapping] [background rustling] [birds chirping] ♪ Just as I am without one plea ♪ Oh, [Jared laughing].
♪ But that thy blood was shed for me ♪ ♪ And that thou bid'st me come to thee ♪ ♪ Oh Lamb of God, I come ♪ ♪ I come ♪ ♪ Just as I am and waiting on ♪ ♪ To rid my soul ♪ ♪ Of one dark blood ♪ ♪ To thee whose blood ♪ ♪ Can cleanse each spot ♪ ♪ Oh Lamb of God, I come ♪ ♪ I come ♪ [Jared sniffing] [ethereal music] ♪ ♪ ♪