Wednesday, June 28, 2017

JoJo, if you don't mind me asking... Are you GAY?

I have lost friends over celebrating PRIDE this year. For being an advocate for love being free for all to experience in their own way. After each of my PRIDE posts, some have unfriended me on Facebook. It is hard for me to understand the idea of judging how others are allowed to love.

I've been asked if I'm gay during this PRIDE month posts. It's perplexing to me that people need to know, need to put me in a category, need to determine who I am so that they can see where I stand, what side I am on and as I have come to understand, quite often judge me for my reply. However, I did reply because I always give others the benefit of the doubt and expect the best outcome. I try not to approach things with a suspicious heart.

My response being that I do not identify myself as Gay, or as Straight. I love who I love! And I love all people! Race nor sex, determines who I love, and I've learned that for some that is hard to accept, difficult to understand. Some reply, so you're bisexual? To which I say no. Because I am not defined by my sexuality. I do not find myself attracted to bodies, I am attracted to souls. It is a deep connection that attracts me first, physical attraction is secondary. If I love a persons soul, everything about them becomes beautiful to me. Having been single for almost a decade now, and very little dating and having no sex for a very long time, I can say all this with honestly and clarity of who I am and what attracts me to another. I can honestly say that I am not drawn to others for sex, or to fill a sexual need. With this very long and honest answer there is still a lack of understanding from some, and even judgement from others. There are those who have expressed great support, gained understanding and celebrated the way I love with me. And I've lost connections over this too. I've come to understand that most times these questions aren't genuine curiosity and a desire to know me, a desire to understand me in an attempt to strengthen our friendship. They are questions to determine who I am based on their own beliefs about right and wrong. How can everything that someone loved about me be dismissed because I love differently than they understand?

Labels do not vibe with me, I feel trapped by identifying as this or that. I am divinity being human, that is the closest label I can give to describe how I view myself. It hurts if I'm honest to be judged for who someone thinks I am or who they think I am not. I cannot imagine being so conditional with my love for my friends, my community. I cannot imagine caring about their sexuality and using it as a determining factor in weather we are friends or not. I do not agree with all of what anyone does, but that has no baring on loving them, being great friends. It just means that what they do that does not vibe with me, is not what I do, but we both have the freedom to do what we do, and unconditional love is the foundation of our friendship. I am not harmed by how another lives their life in ways that do not affect me directly. How could I judge those difference that do me no harm and do harm myself by judging and ending friendships based on beliefs.

I remember a conversation with a friend that ended badly after the election. It was after I marched in the Woman's march. He commented on my posts, angry, out of concern for my soul, quoting scriptures from the bible.  Standing with others marching to him was supporting sin. He saw the pink beanies with cat ears in my photos and said it was utterly disgusting to see people wearing pink pussies in their heads. I informed him that those were kitty cat beanies representing a woman's right to have control over her own vagina and that what was disgusting to me was that men believe they have a right to do as they want with our genitalia and to tell us what we can do with it. He told me of how gay people would be damned to hell eternal when we finally got on the phone to talk, and that because I marched I would go to hell too. And defended his stance on the pink pussy hats with more beliefs about right and wrong.

I was angry too, and said bad words in response to his judgmental warnings and proclaimed authority to damn me. I brought up that I never said mean things on his posts or to him when he posted repeatedly during the campaign in support of a candidate who admittedly-in his own words-violated women without consent, while married and admitted to not only cheating on his wife but doing so with other married women. He defended that man, saying that we all sin, and we all deserve forgiveness. I saw that forgiveness he spoke of as subjective, only offered to those who benefit him, or are like him. Forgiveness only offered from him, for a white straight man who claims to be a Christian a man he has never met in person, while damning me, his friend he loves to burn in hell for marching.

We have both grown and reconnected since that falling out, but that conversation had a unforgettable impact on me moving forward. I chose then to express even more of what I stand for, realizing that so many who I was close to, really had no idea of who I really am and what I really stand for. I can say that before the election we didn't know each other that well on social media, since the election we have gotten to all know each other much more. I am excited about that, while I wasn't initially.  The pain of the division after the election felt like my heart being torn out of my chest. I was lost in so much pain over losing friends over an election. Pained with fear over the future. Today I see things much differently, and where there was division, I see unity forming. I am excited by it all now, because we are growing from all this in record speed from my viewpoint. And I am excited to be more open about who I am, what I believe in and also to continue to grow in who and what that is.

Why is is that as a society some of us dismiss one thing, and condemn the other. How is it that this culture can support the rape of women mindset as just boys locker room talk, yet can judge the LGBTQ community as perverted and damned to hell. Pride is not about standing up for perversion anymore than being gay is about sex. It is about celebrating love, and the right to love who we love without judgement, without persecution. It is a celebration that began as a civil rights movement. And like all civil rights movements it has grown, it has expanded, it is now a celebration of triumph to freedom to love.

And what of those that who judge the gay community as perverse, who themselves have perverse thoughts, take perverse actions, watch porn, sleep with multiple partners, cheat on their spouse. yet stand in judgement of and condemn the gay community while saying that they and those like them are forgiven because everyone sins, everyone except those they hate. Yes, hate! It is only fear that judges and it is only hate that condemns. How do we preach about God's love with judgement and hate in our hearts. This is such a distorted and twisted way to live to me. The level of hypocritical thinking required to speak of forgiveness for some, and condemn others is something I cannot, ever, embody.

I may lose some friends over this entry on my journey. I have come to learn that we never really lose anyone. I believe that this is how we evolve. That each stage of our growth is part of the plan, and is unfolding perfectly. Yes there is pain involved, yes there is suffering. I believe we knew that coming in and signed up to play all these roles. I am sure that there likely was a lifetime where I, myself played the role of the judge and condemned others, hurt others, did horrible things. In this lifetime myself, I have played roles in the past I would never play today. I have grown from that person who I thought I was, and through deep healing became who I am today. It was forgiveness of my own shortcomings that enables me forgiveness of others. I love those I lose as they walk away. And in gratitude I thank them for showing me how it feels to be treated in a way that I likely treated others in a past time in our evolution history. 

I love you all from a place of not having all the answers to these questions, but excited by the mere act of asking them, and grateful for what I have learned through this past year, and full of peaceful courage to be who I am, when I am her without fear. And wisdom to know that who I am today may shift and change tomorrow. After all, I am here being human, and isn't this what being human is all about at this point? I believe so.

One Love,

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