The Queer Evangelist
A Socialist Clergy's Radically Honest Tale
In The Queer Evangelist, Rev. Dr. Cheri DiNovo (CM) tells her story, from her roots as a young socialist activist in the 1960s to ordained minister in the ’90s to member of provincial parliament. As a legislator, DiNovo passed more LGBTQ2+ bills than anyone in Canadian history. Interspersed with her political work, DiNovo describes her conversion to religious life and her theological work. Her story illustrates how one can resist and change the repressive systems from within.
- Short-listed, Speaker's Book Award, Legislative Assembly of Ontario 2021
“Living on the street, using drugs, abandoned by the adults in her life, all while identifying as ‘queer’ in a hostile world—any one of these things could have unravelled many of us. Cheri hauled herself up and not only survived but thrived. I love that this strong, brilliant, competent woman has told her story so honestly. ”
—Kathleen Wynne, former premier of Ontario- Kathleen Wynne
What a life! From street kid to church minister to politician and back, Cheri Di Novo fights for social justice and equality all the while practicing compassion and honesty even in electoral politics. An astonishingly honest life story told by an extraordinary person who breaks boundaries wherever she is. A brutally honest picture of the life of a socialist politician who is making change within the system, combined with an eye opening vision of progressive queer feminist Christianity, The Queer Evangelist will challenge your assumptions whatever they are. – Judy Rebick, author of Heroes in My Head- Judy Rebick
"Rev. Dr. Cheri DiNovo’s book The Queer Evangelist tells an insightful tale of trauma, identity and perseverance. It does an exceptional job of tackling intergenerational issues such as violence, homophobia, and religious exploration. DiNovo’s riveting personal anecdotes mixed with in-depth analysis about hot-button social issues make this memoir a must-read. "- Broadview Magazine
"A deeply powerful memoir from one of Canada's most courageous feminist activists. An instructive tale on the perseverance of unapologetic activism from a woman who has dedicated her life to creating justice, through activism, spirituality, and politics. Canadian activists can all benefit from DiNovo's frank, sharp and generous retelling of a spirit born to create social change. "
– Sandy Hudson, Co-Founder, Black Lives Matter–Canada- Sandy Hudson
Cheri DiNovo has lived an incredible journey. She's been a street kid, a Sixties rebel, a doctor in ministry, a Reverend and one of the most influential socialist parliamentarians in Canadian history. A tireless revolt against the injustice of status quo runs through her life like an unbroken thread. She tells her story rapidly and with good humor. She never loses you, and you can seldom put the book down. This is essential reading not just for those interested in queer and socialist histories but for anyone who wants a riveting, humane tale of a woman who decided that the oppressed should make their own history.
— Arash Azizi, author of The Shadow Commander: Soleimani, the US, and Iran's Global Ambitions- Arash Azizi
I’ve long admired Cheri DiNovo as an intrepid, passionate, inspiring activist, but I had no idea she had such an intriguing life story. From her early days growing up in an eccentric, matriarchal family, to her teen years dabbling in street life, drugs, and politics, to her transformation into an effective rebel against the establishment, The Queer Evangelist is a riveting tale. And through it all, her insight and her quest to make the world a better place comes shining through.
— Linda McQuaig, journalist & author- Linda McQuaig
"Minister and former Canadian legislator DiNovo blends left-wing politics and religion in her excellent debut memoir. . .. DiNovo’s remarkable life story serves as an impressive example of the possibilities of the religious left. "- Publishers Weekly