Good Samaritans and Pharisees

Christians and the current political climate have been leaving a bad taste in my mouth for quite a while now. So, what the heck. Let’s write about it when I should be sleeping. I feel like I’m watching the story of the good Samaritan play out in modern day America with oppressed and marginalized groups being the man beaten and left for dead, the religious leaders being the mainline evangelicals/white nationalists, and the good Samaritan being those who stand up for the oppressed and marginalized groups.

But really, that’s not quite right. Because that makes it look like those of us who are more progressive and liberal have the moral high ground in ways that maybe we’re not quite ready for. We like to think of ourselves as the heroes of this story, but are we? Are we really ready for this hard work? This is tough, dirty, bloody work. Particularly for those of us who are allies and don’t experience this marginalization firsthand.

Mostly I say this because it wasn’t that long ago that I was on the other side, parroting what my conservative parents taught me about God, the Bible and Jesus. I don’t have one of those stories of Jesus saving me from debauchery (read: not approved lifestyle by fundamentalist standards). I don’t have a woman at the well conversion story. I was one of those who condemned and looked down on the woman at the well.

Most people would look at my life and see someone who’s kept all the rules and was the “good kid” in the family. Someone who tries not to rock the boat and just blend in so that you don’t notice me. That’s a lie. I do want you to notice me. But I want you to see the real me. Sometimes I’m not sure though. I guess you see what I want you to see.

You may think I look like I have it all together. I don’t have it all together. This is a lie of a recovering Pharisee who would walk by a person left for dead because I have to cross off all my religious rituals. And Jesus has rearranged what I thought my life should look like. He must have a sense of humor because He knows how I love knowing exactly what’s going on and love planning my life out. What I could never plan was that God doesn’t fit neatly in my boxes and checklists. I spent most of my life trying to do all the “right” things because my perception of who God was depended on following a list of rights and not following a list of wrongs.

That’s how I was taught. Until I became the person who got beaten on the side of the road and got overlooked by the religious crowd. Because God made me a lesbian. So many of us won’t sit in the uncomfortableness of another’s life and help protect them from those who would do them harm. Most of us only see our need to be approved by God and ignore our neighbors bleeding out in the street, suffering from panic attacks and suicidal ideation, being assaulted because of orientation, sexual identity, race, or gender. And sometimes we’re no better than the Pharisees on the other side and have adapted our own version of look good by promoting good by not actually doing anything at all.

Maybe I’m preaching to the choir on this one, but our fight is far from over. It’s only just begun. So, let’s roll up our sleeves and get our hands dirty for the work set before us in loving everyone better and seeing the humanity in everyone and defending that humanity.

America, This Wasn’t Supposed to Happen

I want to cry, to scream, to be angry. I have done and have been all of those things in the hours and days following Tuesday’s election. I keep asking how we got here? Have we always been here and I missed it up to this point? America, has your hatred for the marginalized and minorities ever been this strong?

I thought I already knew what fear felt like, and now it is a collective, communal fear. Now it is a lament of the oppressed that I can feel so deeply in my soul.

I don’t know how we are supposed to heal from this. But I have to believe that we will. And we have to fight harder now than before. Maybe it would be easier to give up and mov to Canada, yet we’ve come too far to give up. I know younger generations are looking to us and how we respond to this.

If you’re like me, you don’t really want to respond and neither are you ready to. You just want to hide away for a while, cry, eat junk food, and drink lots of alcohol. And you know what. That’s ok right now because we’re grieving and no one can tell us there’s a right or wrong way to do that.

But…don’t. stay. there. We have to get up and fight to push back the overwhelming hate with something stronger than that. Hope.

Hope that things can be better than they are today and not as bad as they were on Tuesday when America showed the world they would rather hate than love everyone. Don’t give up. We are stronger than fear. We are stronger than hate. We are stronger together.

Don’t Touch Me

(Content Note for child sexual abuse)

I promise I am working on a lighter, happier post for later this week but for now this is what’s on my heart thanks to a night terror/flashback I had recently:

Don’t Touch Me

I was four and I wanted nothing more

Than for you to never touch me again

Don’t touch me, don’t touch me

This body isn’t yours

Don’t touch me, don’t touch me

You don’t get to own me

Hands off, you will never touch me again

Hands off you’re never getting in

Don’t touch me, don’t touch me.

DON’T TOUCH ME, I said. Don’t touch me.

I was never safe with you but they trusted you…

So, I trusted you too.

This was not a game like you said.

This was not your domain. This is mine. Now stay away. 

You told me to come out from under the desk, to move my hands away from clutching my chest as I curled up in the fetal position, making myself small and invisible–hiding from you.

You told me to come out of the bathroom, that it would be ok, that I should stay…

And not run to my parents and far away from you.

No. No, no, no, no, NO.

Don’t fucking touch me.

You will never touch me again.

Now maybe my life can begin.


Closets and Bowties

This is going to be very gay and brief but Halloween was awesome. I wore suspenders and a bowtie for the first time, and I wanted to share some thoughts…

Why do we/I stay in the closet? Is it because it’s safer here…or less scary maybe?

It might be less scary, but I’m beginning to think it’s not safer here. Not for us. I used to think that up until quite recently.

I don’t think that anymore because we don’t stay in the closet for ourselves. We stay in the closet because of the “them.” Whoever the “them” is in our lives–whether it’s family, friends, church, co-workers–I imagine those of us in the lgbtq community all have a  “them.”

The closet is for their “protection” and “safety.” This is why we stay hidden in the shadows, repressing a part of who we are. We are the ones who suffer for it. The closet exists because of them. It exists for them.

But coming out of the closet…that…THAT my dear ones, is for us. that is for us when we’ve finally decided we’re ready to let others into our lives to see the real us. The queerness. The non-straightness. The “other.” It is at this point that the “them” in our lives may not like it. And we may still suffer, but you know what, we at least will be free.

I don’t know if I’m ready yet. I’m only out to a few close friends and Twitter because lgbt Twitter is awesome. The world outside the closet is new, scary, exciting, wonderful. And it. is. free. No one can take that away once I come out and accept myself whether others do or not.

Because I don’t want to be scared anymore. I want to live my life. My very gay, rainbow, suspender and bowtie wearing life. Don’t let anyone stop you from living and being who you are. Let’s learn to be free for in this freedom, we find ourselves and the courage to live life the way it was meant to be lived. And that way is not in a closet.