Growth

no more chicken…

So unless you’ve been living in the Arctic Tundra (we still have that, right?!) lately, you’ve heard all the drama about a certain bigot and his corporate monetary donations. Well, strange as it may seem, it took a furor over some chicken to make me stop being one.

Now, you should understand that I live in the Deep South – strike one on the ‘out & proud’ board. I have been surrounded by every variation of religious-right you can think of in nearly every aspect of my life, for my entire life. Strike Two. I also come from an extremely right-wing, conservative, and yes, racist (though they like to pretend they’re not) family. Big Strike Three.

I tried several years ago to come out of the broom-closet to my family, but in typical WASP-y style, they nodded, changed the subject, and forever after pretended as though I hadn’t said anything. And what did I do? Coward that I was, I let it go… convinced myself that it was just “easier” to let it lie & not make waves.

Well, then a thunderstorm hit… and the waves started building.

Factors in my life had already been pushing me toward actually coming clean, telling everyone who I am, and letting the chips fall where they may. But I always found a reason to give in to my fear, my cowardice, and I masked it & justified it very well with my analytical virgo-ness.

And then the country exploded over a friggin’ chicken sandwich. Ok, it wasn’t about the sandwich – it was about hate organizations and prejudices, bigotry and discrimination… It was NOT about Free Speech or freedom of religion, no matter what the talking heads were crowing.

I tried so hard to make people see why it was a big deal. Was shocked and betrayed by the reactions of some of my so-called friends. Did my best to fight the good fight for reason, love and equality…

But it was like pounding my head against a brick wall. For the most part. There were the occasional bright spots, but so rare. Shit! They were rare.

So it wore me down… the constant barrage against my sensibilities finally chipped away at the last bits of my armor of anonymity… and I decided I was done living in secret. Done pretending. Done hiding.

And so I wrote this – and posted it right on out there on my facebook page (I’m here  – if you’re interested!) and decided to be done with all the b.s. Hope you enjoy!

____________________________________________________

A Freedom Manifesto

I’m exhausted. For years I’ve been hiding, side-stepping, and half-talking; and my patience clock has run out. I’m done. I’m not doing it any more. I’m going to be who I am, and whatever happens… well, it just happens. Most of you have probably figured out everything I’m about to say, but for the few of you who don’t know – or have ignored the ‘warning signs’ – here’s me:

What I AM: I am a Liberal, a Democrat, and a Pagan. I believe in complete and total equality for everyone regardless of race, religion, or sexual orientation. I am free, whole, and happy. I am a Feminist. I am educated and passionate. I firmly support the idea of “live and let live”, I believe that what happens in the bedroom of consenting adults is their business, and I adamantly support free speech. I believe a woman’s body is HER OWN and decisions about her body should be hers – not a politician’s. I believe in the complete and total separation of church and state. I believe that freedom OF religion also means freedom FROM religion. I want to inform & educate. I am caring, emotional & maternal. I am HUMAN.

What I AM NOT: I am not evil, a Satanist, a devil-worshipper, or a Christian. I am not lost, and am not confused. I am not being deceived, and I do not need to be saved. I’m not a vegetarian, a health-nut, or a lazy slob. I am not a bad influence. I’m not trying to recruit. I despise bigotry, racism, discrimination and hate – I don’t care if you believe you’re right. I’m not a hypocrite or a liar. I do not turn a blind eye to ignorance or injustice. I am not a subversive. I’m not infallible.

There’s more… there’s always more, because we as people are made up of a million little strings which create the majestic tapestry of who we are. We’re beautiful, and ultimately, undefinable.

There may be a wide variety of reactions to this statement of mine – and I’m fine with that. If you feel the need to ‘unfriend’ me, go ahead; no hard feelings. If you want to tell me how misguided I am… well, you have that right. Just like I have the right to know you’re wrong. 😀 If you respond with anything which is mean, hateful or rude (simply disagreeing is not rude!) – be forewarned, I will delete the comment.  If you have questions, I’d love to hear them! Please send any you have to me in a private message as opposed to posting here – it’ll just make it easier.

And if you want to pray for me… Well, I believe in a higher power, so if you love me & want to pray for my health, happiness & well-being – I will humbly say ‘Thank you’ & appreciate your gift in the spirit which it was intended. If you want to pray that I will ‘see the light’ or be converted – please don’t. There are other people and things which deserve your prayer time far more than that.

Love & Lollipops to you all…

Blessed Be!

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12 thoughts on “no more chicken…

  1. Excellent and good for you! I hope by stating this, your load is lighter. Many blessings to you!

    • Thanks so much! … And yes, the load is significantly lighter. Feels like I can breathe again – and I love that! Blessings to you, as well. 😀

  2. Hallelujah and pass the hand grenades. You’ve done it girl and as a fellow Pagan, I decided a long time to say goodbye to Facebook because my religion takes up all my time literally. I write a blog, study, answer mostly pagan emails and be happy with who I am. I have a bedroom that clearly lets you know I’m Wiccan, Pagan, happy and that I don’t give a total shit what anyone thinks about my religion. I’m proud of you and believe everything in your manifesto except the part about being a Democrat. I’m in the middle of the road when it comes to policy and politics because I’ll vote for whomever is best for our country Republican or Democrat. I don’t know if big oil would be better than the fact I’m on Medicare and Medicaid and the incumbent may take that from me. To be honest. I don’t like either one. So welcome to the other side of the broom closet. You will be treated well here and Facebook will be a thing of the past because there are many others that you’ll meet here and we’ll love you no matter who you are. Brightest Blessings. Byrony

    • Hallelujah is right! (Now where did I put those hand grenades… lol) I can completely see why you’ve written off FB – I’m tempted sometimes, but I have such a fabulous circle of people there, I just don’t see me signing off. For every jerk out there, I’ve got 4 or 5 people who are amazing & I don’t want to lose touch with.

      I can definitely understand your political stance. I have friends in the same position. And I think that’s the beauty of our country… and as long as someone is actually *informed*, I feel like their decisions are valid – whether I agree with them or not! I just hate the “sheep” who parrot what they’ve heard on Fox News or from the pulpit… you know?

      Thanks for all the love… I’m lovin’ you guys right back!! ❤

  3. Love the snot outta you right about now. 😉 The last group of folks I “need” to truly come out to are my ex-in laws….my daughter told her grandmother that she’s Pagan…it wasn’t well received but she wasn’t put down or made to feel guilty. Not on purpose anyways. For that I’m grateful. I’m proud and happy for you that you are able to do this for yourself and so many others who are worried or afraid to put it out there. I think I’m as “out” as I’m ever going to be, I keep finding myself sugar-coating it though, when I talk to locals or folks I work with…usually using the phrase “not a front row Christian” as opposed to Goddess worshipping Pagan. 😉
    Let that flag fly high honey, you’ve got a community now, large and in charge…and we are some fierce protectors 😉 xoxoxoxo

    • Lovin’ you too! 😀
      Cheers to your daughter for making that step & telling her g’mother. I hope she isn’t ever made to feel like there’s anything wrong with her. It’s rough when family ‘turns’ on you… nobody should have to deal with that. BUT! If it happens, it’s fabulous when you’ve got a support structure that is 100% there for you.
      At this point, I figure I’m probably as out as I’m going to be, too… I still have a day job where I really can’t be myself, but paying bills is more important at the moment than flying that flag… at least around here! LoL 😉
      I’ve seen that fierce protectiveness – and it’s a wonder to behold!
      xoxo back atcha.

  4. Sounds like you are surrounded by assholes. You are who you are, and they have no right to tell you who they want you to be. But I wanted to relay something. Theres no need to defend yourself in advance. I used to do that all the time but it inflamed people when it didnt have to. What I’ve found is that it helps, when talking about anything controversial, especially your own beliefs, to talk as if you assume the best of even the worst others. By doing this, your positive energy, respect and love in your assertions, makes it easier for even the bigots to accept what youre saying. Like, I imagine that I’m talking to a good friend instead of, say, Fred Phelps. Surprisingly enough its helped.

    • Thanks for commenting!
      Very good advice – and typically that’s exactly the path I take. However, in this situation I actually was reacting instead of defending in advance. The things that may sound like they were written as a preemptive strike were in fact written to ‘answer back’ things I’ve already heard and/or been accused of. Some from my blood family, some from random ignorant people.
      As this was originally posted on my FB page, it was a direct response to things that had been leveled at me… even the “praying for me to see the light.”

      Thanks again, though – I appreciate the input! 🙂

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