After shedding her harmful religious upbringing, Max Tang learned to love herself by getting curious about the world around her. Max’s journey of self-discovery teaches us that small steps of bravery can lead to a truly happy life. The Brave Files.

Jubilant • Evolving • Twice-Born

show notes:

Max grew up in a tight-knit, Chinese American Christian community. While her memories of childhood are warm and welcoming, the overall beliefs she learned were extremely harmful. They were always very black and white. Max grew up in the church and underwent training to approach strangers with the ultimate goal as their conversion. Max's community sheltered her from all secular books and music. In essence, she knew of nothing outside of her own beliefs and religion.



Curiosity Blossoms



Once Max entered high school, she became friends with people of many backgrounds and religions. Max suddenly realized there were alternate ways to live a happy and fulfilling life. Soon, she began questioning her previous black and white views of the world.  



For years, Max struggled with conflicting feelings and beliefs. She felt completely alone. Ultimately, she spiraled into a deep depression. Terrified, Max doubted all she had been taught. Would God punish her for her lack of faith? This question rocked Max’s entire world through much of her high school experience. She soon realized her relationship with God was authoritarian, toxic, and paternalistic – mirroring many other relationships in her culture. Undoubtedly, it was a very confusing time in Max’s life.  



Finding Relief



Max finally found some relief once she went away to college. The fear of returning to a life she didn’t believe in still overwhelmed her, but Max felt her curiosity grow once she moved on to school. She began to further explore alternate ways of being. She found a sense of community in groups of others who also left their own version of religious fundamentalism. Max began writing about her experiences, and it quickly resonated with others. Additionally, she began to understand she did, in fact, have the ability to decide her life’s path. In turn, Max began to feel hopeful for the future.



A Brave Decision



At last, Max stood up for herself and embraced her truth. She opened up to her parents about her faith and came out as well. While the road wasn’t easy, a weight had been lifted. Max acted out of bravery, and she could now live as her truest self.

After shedding her harmful religious upbringing, Max Tang learned to love herself by getting curious about the world around her. Max’s journey of self-discovery teaches us that small steps of bravery can lead to a truly happy life. The Brave Files.
Top Takeaways:
  • Small choices can create big impact.
  • When we come together, we can raise each other up.
  • We all need the courage to be curious instead of judgement.
  • Imagine where your life could go if you’d just get curious.
Giving Is Good!

Understanding the importance of community during times of healing, Max supports Recovering From Religion. This organization creates resources for people who desire to recover from harmful religious experiences. Recovering From Religion provides a chat line, secular therapy resources, and in-person support groups; everything is meant to promote healing and community among those recovering.

More About Max:

Max passionately embraces her love of curiosity through Max Gets Curious. She celebrates the power of curiosity – both through writing and speaking engagements. Max created a community for people who want to venture beyond the limiting beliefs that they have in their own lives and in to lives of greater self-ownership, possibility, exploration, and hope.



We encourage you to check out her work on her website. It’s brave, and it’s important. She is breaking the stigma around so many topics, and she’s truly making a difference!


You can also connect with Max through Facebook and Instagram.

StillBrave, fight childhood cancer. Tattoo Tom. Big Foot IV, 206.5 miles up hill. Fundraiser. The Brave Files. Heather Vickery

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