A lot of folks at “Beer & Hymns” appear to be refugees from traditional churches. Between hymns, people can stand up and say anything they want.
Jolie Shempert, a transgender person who’s studying humanities at Portland State University, steps up to the mike. Shempert was raised in a strict church that taught that animals don’t have souls, only people do. But Shempert’s beloved dog, Gunner, has just died: “I want to sing this song in defiance of that because Gunner was my friend. And he has emotions and a personality and I had a relationship with him that’s as real as any relationship I had with any human being.”
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