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…