Over the course of my life, I think I’ve been a little bit chickensh** about coming out.
Mostly I don’t make a big deal about it. Unless the situation calls for it.
Honestly it doesn’t come up that often.
The first time I came out, i did it because I felt safe. I was working at the University of Iowa Press, and at the time people really liked me and showed it. I took a risk in testing that, yes, but when I came out people thanked me. I was surprised how many people said they have a family member or close friend who’s in the LBGTQIA+ community.
That’s the thing about being in the closet. Too often, unless you tell people, they really don’t know. Many of us “pass for straight” or close enough.
But this year, somehow it feels a little more important to be open about who I am — and that absolutely has to include ALL of who I am, not just the parts I am comfortable letting you know about and see.
Online, most people know me as the healer, writer, coach, Spiritual Alchemist and sometimes influencer that I am. I don’t usually talk about my private life because, well, it’s private and I like to keep it that way.
So this is me being WAY more vulnerable than I’m anywhere near comfortable being. Because this year it matters. This year (and for a while now) I haven’t put a rainbow flag out on the porch for Pride (or any time.) I don’t have a rainbow bumper sticker on the car.
While I live in a blue state that’s truly liberal and supportive of the LGBTQIA+ community, there are also Proud Boys and right wing troublemakers who show up just when I’m starting to feel safe here — and when I see their angry banners and hostile messages, it makes me want to retreat to the safety of my anonymity. The thought of violence directed towards me or anyone I love angers me.
The threat is there. The danger is there.
All too close to home.
Right wing extremists actually could do me and/or my property bodily harm. Their messages promise to do just that.
I’m not stupid. I won’t deliberately put myself in harm’s way.
But you know what? I refuse to allow haters to determine what kind of life I lead, either.
I can live without a rainbow flag on my porch or a sticker on my bumper — but I refuse to live in fear of hatred and violence just because some voices are loud and angry.
I will tell the truth to the people who matter to me — and that includes you, my dear friends, because. . .without truth, who ARE we?
I was just on an interview with a colleague this month on the topic of telling the truth even when it’s hard and when you don’t know exactly how the other person is going to respond.
And it hit me like a ton of bricks that I am not being completely truthful to my audience if I am still in the closet and not open about this part of my life. Who I love is sacred to me. It’s a deep and true aspect of who I am.
I haven’t meant to keep it a secret; it just hasn’t come up or seemed important enough to share.
But without truth I am not whole, and you cannot see me if you don’t know who I am.
And frankly, I’m not afraid you will judge me for who I am so much as I fear what the hatred will do to you if you can’t get past it.
The anger I feel towards the hate and violence is because those things hurt people and sometimes get them killed.
I’m angry that loud, violent, hateful men (and they ARE mostly men) have interfered with my right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness — a right that ALL people are guaranteed in this country, just because we are human beings.
My love — and my marriage (should I choose that path) — has nothing to do with anyone else’s rights and privileges. Period.
Neither does yours have anything to do with me. You’re entitled to love who you love — and so am I.
Life is too short to waste it hating. Period. That much is clear to me and I wish it would be clear to everyone.
We humans have better things to do than hate and hurt each other.
In my humble opinion, we should be placing our attention on figuring out how to make things better here — for everyone, even for those who are delusional and lost in hate and confusion.
I say that I serve people who are creating the kind of world no one needs to recover from — and there’s a reason for that (besides the fact that it’s my Sacred Calling.)
I’m someone who has been wounded by the kind of world where extreme views hurt people. I’ve been wounded by religions that claim to serve God but behave as though they serve something dark and evil. I’ve been wounded by people I was supposed to trust (family, employers, colleagues and so on.)
That kind of world is not sustainable. Right now, it’s falling apart and I say let it.
A new world is being born, quietly, softly, and soon will burst forth in such beauty it will stun even the hardest heart. I can feel it and YOU can feel it, when you pause and listen. Pause and feel.
Just because the voices are loud or angry doesn’t mean they are “winning.”
It just means they are scared to death of a world where their anger and hatred have no place. I see that. Anyone can see that.
What they don’t know is that the world that’s coming into being DOES have a place for them, where what’s scaring and hurting them has been healed. Right now it’s hard to see, but. . . it’s already happening.
That’s where I’m putting my energy. And the people who are working to create that world? I’m here to help them do it.
I hope you’re actively building that kind of world too.
There’s wonder and beauty and power there beyond anything anyone now living has ever known.
I’m ready for that. Are you? Come join me.
A good next step would be for you to get my book Living A Soul-Based Life. In it, I talk about how we build the kind of world YOU don’t have to recover from.
I want that for you. I want it for everyone.
Thank you for being here! I appreciate and love you.