I’m Coming OUT!

Today was Spirit Day in memory of several gay students who committed suicide from homophobic abuse they experienced.

What’s great is that there has been a rally of support for gays and lesbians all over the place by people today wearing purple to show their love and respect for them. Things will get better. One day, we will live in a world where it won’t matter what your sexuality is. There won’t be someone telling you you’re a sinner or a “fag” or a queer. There’s hope for humanity.

In the same spirit, I’m coming OUT today.

I’m not coming out in the, “I’m a lesbian” kind of way. I’m not a lesbian. I’m straight. I’m a straight woman who has a lot of gay and lesbian friends, and supports their right to fall in love, get married, hold hands, kiss, have sex, etc. without enduring intolerance or judgment.

I also have a lot of gay and lesbian friends who love God, who love Jesus and don’t have a place in the Church. But more on that later…

Back to me coming OUT:

I’m pretty sure a lot of people already know this, but I’m not a Christian Fundamentalist anymore. I once was. I sort of fell into it as a teenager and young adult. I walked away from it around the age 24.

Now it’s time to come out and be proud.

I’m standing with Anne Rice and those others who just can’t side with a religion (in this blog, Christianity, but any religion or group) that calls itself loving, but is hateful and judgmental. I can’t stand with a belief system that denies science, evolution, and the promotion of contraceptives, when I so believe in all those things–not because they are trends but because I have worked hard to find answers of my own. I can’t be feminist, intellectually evolving, and growing and listen to those who will call me wrong for thinking the way I do, simply because I’m using my own God-given brain. My brain isn’t smaller because it’s in a female body. I can be a woman and teach, preach, run a church, business, corporation, country as well as a man. It’s not a sin “equal to pedophilia” to ordain a woman as priest (to quote the Pope). I’m not anti-Christian, baby-hating, or a child-killer because I believe in abortion as a woman’s right to choose. I’m not even anti-Christian because I believe in all of the above.

I’m simply responding finding that after years of being a “Christian,” there isn’t a place for me after I changed.

The woman I am today isn’t welcome in the church I once attended because the church I once attended didn’t allow me to think for myself.

What would Anne Rice do?

Original article found here, written by Carolyn Kellogg: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/jacketcopy/2010/08/what-would-anne-rice-do.html

Anne Rice, the author of “Interview With the Vampire” and its sequels, has decided that her Christian faith no longer fits with the Christian church. She announced this very personal decision on Facebook on Wednesday, generating more than 2,000 comments on two posts that went up within five minutes of each other.

In the first, she wrote: “Today I quit being a Christian. I’m out. I remain committed to Christ as always but not to being ‘Christian’ or to being part of Christianity. It’s simply impossible for me to ‘belong’ to this quarrelsome, hostile, disputatious, and deservedly infamous group. For ten years, I’ve tried. I’ve failed. I’m an outsider. My conscience will allow nothing else.”

“I quit being a Christian,” she continued. “I’m out. In the name of Christ, I refuse to be anti-gay. I refuse to be anti-feminist. I refuse to be anti-artificial birth control. I refuse to be anti-Democrat. I refuse to be anti-secular humanism. I refuse to be anti-science. I refuse to be anti-life. In the name of Christ, I quit Christianity and being Christian. Amen.”

In addition to the attention it drew on Facebook, Rice’s declaration was circulated widely on the Internet and by the mainstream media; even the Associated Press picked it up. She may have created more of a media splash with her departing-the-church announcement than she did when she showed up at a booksigning in a coffin.

Rice’s Christianity seemed an awkward worldview for an author who so thoroughly imagined evil vampires — sexy evil vampires, even.

In 2008, Rice sought to illuminate her journey in faith with the memoir “Called Out of Darkness: A Spiritual Confession.” She had an inner voice, she wrote, that said, “Write for God. Write for Him. Write only for Him.” Her recent books include “Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt” (2005), “Christ the Lord: The Road to Cana ” (2008) and “Angel Time” (2009).

Yet despite this focus on Christ and angels, Rice, who was brought up Catholic, said in her memoir that the church’s laws caused her pain. “How was I to become a card-carrying member of a church that condemned my gay son?”

If I were more of a religious scholar, I could find a church for Rice that is dedicated to Christ and not anti-gay or anti-feminist or anti-birth-control or anti-Democrat or anti-secular-humanist. I’m sure people who know more about this than I do have tried to help Rice find her way to a church that might fit her beliefs.

What I do know is that, sometimes, causing a stir can help spark interest in an author’s work. So in case you’re curious, Anne Rice’s next angel book, “Of Love and Evil,” is due on shelves in November.

— Carolyn Kellogg
twitter.com/paperhaus

Feminist Fail

Another feminist gets it wrong. BDSM is actually fun and it’s not “anti-woman.” Wonderhussy, whose blog I loved here, writes why she thinks BDSM (modeling) is “dehumanizing”:

As I’ve mentioned before, I shot a few times with this one bondage photographer, and I found it humiliating and dehumanizing. Now I realize this is coming from a gal who makes a living doing humiliating and dehumanizing stuff on camera…but come on, enough is enough!! I don’t mind someone jerking off to a video of me stuffing my face with Twinkies, or of me having my toes sucked. But anyone who gets off watching me or any other model struggle around while tied up is a SICK MOTHERFUCKER with serial killer fantasies! No? Please tell me why I’m wrong!

I know, I know — I already heard ALL about it from my BDSM Facebook friends: you see, in the bondage arts, the sub (the tied-up one) is the one who’s REALLY in charge of the situation. But I find it hard to understand how someone who is totally immobile and silenced with a ball gag can be in charge of anything at all.

Ever tried to be a Mistress? It’s quite lovely. And being a sub is fucking mentally and physically MIND-BLOWING. Watch the Maggie Gyllenhaal film Secretary.

Labels are for Soup Cans

My friend Ashley (props to her for the blog title and other phrases) suggested a book to me called Same Sex in the City. My lovely Kindle Fire picked up the sample, I read it, and then I freaked the fuck out.

I’m a lesbian who likes men.

 

My friend Ashley (props to her for the blog title and other phrases) suggested a book to me called Same Sex in the City. My lovely Kindle Fire picked up the sample, I read it, and then I freaked the fuck out.

I identified with everything the authors said. By all estimates, I was a lesbian. Terrified, I closed that book and decided to work on myself one thing at a time. And that one thing would not include my sexuality…for a long time.

I mean, I’ve got other things to “work on” and discover. Don’t we all?

The sad thing is, I’m all enlightened and shit. It’s 2012. I’ve been blogging since 2010 and all of a sudden I’m scared of my sexuality? Yep. I still am. I’ve made major progress–coming out as non-Christian, then as atheist, then as a feminist. I suppose that’s all good.

After my last bf (boyfriend) and I broke up, and after I incessantly talked about dating women during our relationship, I was immediately happy. My first thought, “Now I can finally date a woman!” Then I spent an entire weekend with my family to “recover” and realized that they’d never accept me. They still insult me for voting for the n-word Obama.

Tied into the “Am I a lesbian?” panic is my difficulty getting along with men. My childhood was riddled with a physically abusive stepfather who beat the sh*t out of my mom when I was fifteen and then manipulated her into staying around for 27 years. I haven’t been normal since. Around thirteen, pre-beating, I became a feminist. It was fueled out of rebellion against my dad’s sexist, machismo ways I’m sure, but also by my desire to help others. (See also: Major Childhood Issues). But at fifteen, my dad was in Alcholics Anonymous and Spousal Abuse classes where he’d gotten “saved” and “given his life to the Lord.” So, he obviously had to sit me down one night and ask me if I’d been saved.

Long story short, I was saved, became a reverend, joined a cult, etc. The story in it’s entirety is in my website, which is currently down from being hacked. More on that later.

Being saved and having an abusive father definitely played into my fear of sexuality. For example, as a Christian, being gay is something that can rub off on you. It’s a choice. It’s a sin. It’s also something that qualifies you to be called a pervert. Being a pedofile priest does not qualify you, though, because they’re doing the Lord’s work.

My father is a tea-partier, Rush Limbaugh loving fundamentalist. To say we’ve clashed in the past few years is an understatement. I do try to keep the peace, though, and I’ve found that in doing so, I’ve been forced to lead a double life. Or chosen. Either way, I’ve started running away from family conflict and in an effort to keep the peace and not make the wife-beater’s temper flare, I just keep my mouth shut.

There are few benefits to keeping your mouth shut.

In the past few weeks, things in my family have drastically changed. My parents have split up and divorce papers have been filed. While each one of us have struggled with the difficulty of this, I think we’ve realized it’s best. It’s also radically shifted something for me: I’ve become a bit more liberated. No more walking around on egg shells, wondering when I’m going to get yelled at or picked on. No more Are-you-a-dyke? talks. No more cycles of violence.

At least that’s how it feels. It feels like a big burden has been lifted through this divorce, and although I’ve come to love my father as a complex human with a good side and a bad side, I’m happy my mom won’t be treated as sub-human anymore and I won’t be treated as a threat for standing up for her.

 

 

The other benefits to watching a terrible marriage end is a huge reality check. Marriage isn’t for everyone and preventative measures should be taken to protect your assets, your individuality, and your well-being before entering a marriage (if you choose to do so). I’ve spent the several years following my exit from a cult wishing I was married with kids, not because I wanted that, but because I’d been brainwashed by the Church that a woman’s place was in her husbands home.

I’m becoming excited for my new-found liberty. My life is fulfilling and so is my job. I think I’d like kids, my own or maybe to be a stepmom, but I’m sure as hell not in a rush. I think I’m actually pretty damn content for the first time in my life. Not perfect–far from it. Fuck, I have so many issues I need a personal assistant to keep up with them. But I’m finally getting over that goddamn pressure to get married in order to “be complete.” And I can thank my parents divorce for that.

As for my sexuality…this discussion is to be continued. If you’ve had your own coming out confusion and experience, leave me a comment or Facebook me.