chasing shadows again











{May 6, 2007}   Sunday Mornings are for Secrets (and another random confession from the kitsune)

I know I’ve been handpicking beautiful, whimsical, and uplifting secrets for you from Postsecret, but this week I found this one. While I certainly don’t hate my parents for raising me as a Christian (Methodist, if you must know, though I’m not any longer) I do have trouble accepting the things religion (any of them, not just Christianity) can push people to do.

I might have been so struck by this card if not for last night’s stumbling on news that a 17-year-old girl was stoned to death and the recent discussions I had with my Ravyn, and remarkably enough my mother, about the Westboro Baptist Church.

But then, I might still have lingered over that card. Growing up how and where I did, I never really questioned some things I had learned. Unlike many of the people I grew up with, my parents taught me from the time I was young not to judge other people – my mother actually once said to me ‘if you’re going to hate someone, get to know them first, and hate them for a real reason.’ I will be forever grateful to them for that perspective that lets me look at people from a place without feeling threatened by what they look like, where they come from, who I might think their skin looks like. People are not their skin, their religion, or their nationality – not that any of those can’t be a part of who they are. I did not grow up in a place that believed that, and I have seen the kind of intolerance and fear not understanding that truth breeds.

Most people who know me now are amazed to learn that as outspoken and unapologetic I can be about religion and sexuality, that when I first realized I was bisexual I was so desperately clinging to the shreds of Christianity I couldn’t just let fall and some sense of belonging to the world I thought it would be better to die than to kiss another woman. I spent two years trying to pretend that I was not in love with one of my best friends (who had already told me she was interested in me, so it wasn’t like she was going to be upset about the whole thing). Looking at that postcard reminds me of two of the most awful years of my life, when I wanted nothing more than to have someone magically change me into someone people could love.

Years (about eleven of them now) and many, many tentative offerings of this information later, I am far less afraid and certainly not ashamed of being bisexual anymore. But that is in large part due to friends who all stood by me when I (finally) told them, my boss (who took it with an amazing amount of grace and no judgement at all).

Still, I suppose this morning, of all mornings I’m more horrified by the kind of hatred and violence religion can inspire. For all that it builds communities and guides many of the most amazing people I’ve met to acts of grace and compassion, I am honestly terrified of the darker side of that coin.

Okay – after that, you deserve something cute and not depressing – click here for the cuteness!

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