Poetry, queer

A Citadel to Normalcy

How grim. How foolish. How fallow

The castle built for sameness.

Now a plain, dull, drab

Myopic of potential greatness

Strict rules of what to do and be,

Keep tongues under lock and key

Loose lips, loose hips, loose chains

And hate will fill the sticky heat

Shield the children’s eyes

From all but the Sword and gun

Apply the torniquet swiftly, child!

The battle rages on

Don’t be different

Guard all that you say

Don’t let them know you’re Happy

They’ll take you away

No, you can’t wear that

To school, to church, to play

I’m sorry but I have to lie

You’ll understand someday

Parades get canceled that used to be riots.

We’ve been here before

Contraband dark history

The books on fire once more

A haven of assimilation

Ignorance and isolation

Just holding hands in love

“Indecency!” and “Perversion!”

You’re right. We are rising. You’re right.

We will destroy the nuclear, atomic core.

Because it’s killing us, it’s radiation.

It’s death we’ve survived before.

We will say our names

We’ll protect our young

Remember the blood on your hands

With every rainbow banner hung

The citadel will crumble.

We who topple giants

Will march around the gates

In drag, in dance, in defiance

Blow our horns in protest

Until prison walls a-tumbling fall

Music echoes off the stones

Liberation comes for all

Shoot arrows from your fortress

Bare your swords of fear

Clanging on collective shields

Of the Weird and Proud and Queer.

You will see our colors

Black and Brown; pink, white, and blue

All of the promised spectra

Breaking bricks with every hue

Though courts, laws, and politicians

Fail us every day

Your citadel of normalcy

Is destined for decay.

allyship, aromanticism, asexuality, disability, faith, Mental health, neurodivergence, queer, resources

Naming

As you might assume from my content on this site, I carry a lot of labels. Some are less well-known than others, and some carry inaccurate connotations. Some I am constantly working for greater awareness of, and others I keep quieter about. These labels have been immensely helpful for me, whether they are as specific as a microlabel on the spectrum of aromantic and asexual identity or as broad as the unifying and nebulous umbrella terms that I’m not sure where all I fit within.

Naming is important to self-concept and acceptance of our identity, but there are equally important stages that we move through before and after we first say, “Hi, my name is ____ and I’m ____.” These aren’t strictly linear, but they are numbered for the sake of organization:

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essays, faith, queer

What do we do with all this grief

Today, Sarah Bessey asked her readers on her Substack about all the losses that come with deconstruction/faith evolution. It made me think of a related, often simultaneous loss when that deconstruction is part of coming out as queer:

There’s something I tell queer people when they come out and lose so much (or publicly identify as allies). Yes, you will lose belonging and comfort. Maybe your job, church, friends, family, sense of stable identity, certainty, easy acceptance into your communities, even safety. But by being vulnerable, that courage opens many doors as well. You are not alone in this. You are welcome to grieve together with others who have lost the same. You are now part of a free, inclusive, authentic family. It is so so so painful, and there is so much to mourn and lament in the rage and tears. No, it isn’t fair. Yes, it would have hurt so much less if people saw and loved the full, real you.

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faith, Poetry, queer

Politicized

We say

Your theology leads to harm

You say

That’s tough love for rebels

We say

Your politics lead to death

You say

Words can’t hurt

We say stop killing us

You say

Stop being dramatic

We grieve at headlines

We cry in news photos

We raise the alarm

And violence still comes

We say we told you so

You say now is not the time

To politicize a tragedy.

allyship, essays, faith, guest post, queer

Raising Affirming Kids When You Weren’t Raised That Way

I’m honored to introduce you to my friend and former coworker Bekah McNeel. Bekah is an author, journalist, and podcaster (check out our episode together here!) who works tirelessly for those on the margins to have their voices heard and to bring about real change through the power of storytelling. I asked her if she would be willing to share with us her perspective on raising kids in affirming theology and modeling allyship as a parent. Read her wisdom here and then read her book, Bringing Up Kids When Church Lets You Down: A Guide for Parents Questioning Their Faith, which covers many more topics relevant to this community. 

Continue reading “Raising Affirming Kids When You Weren’t Raised That Way”
asexuality, Poetry

Ace Bewareness Week

This is a silly little poem about Twitter, but I really do hope we can recapture the joy and belonging and welcome this Ace Awareness Week in the midst of all the creepy, scary, and ghoulish opinions on the internet. Hope you find all treats and no tricks this year!

Smell it approaching.

It’s coming up fast,

haunting our Pride with dread.

The bad takes change colors

hot as the spices in your cup.

The ringing cheer in the air

from the stadium chants,

“Conform, conform conform.”

The ignorant blue checks moan

with laments they have no knowledge of.

The biting wind of aphobia

swirls the rotting leaves. 

It’s that time of year again!

Ace awareness week is coming.

asexuality, queer, resources

Ace and allo partnerships

Recently, I was asked about ace and allo marriages, and I didn’t have any resources about marriage/partnership and asexuality, especially when one of those partners is allo. In fact, there really aren’t many resources like this out there in general. I’ve never been in a partnership like this as an adult, so I don’t have any experience in this area to draw from. However, aces and their allo partners on Twitter were eager to help and share what they have learned. We all hope these stories and links can strengthen ace/allo marriages and long-term committed partnerships of all kinds. 

My thanks to M.J. Weissenberger, Mitchell Atencio, Grey, Loxley Blaine, Russ Walker, Case, Cody Daigle-Orians, Kate Wood, our anonymous friends, and everyone who replied to my tweet here.

Many mentioned setting boundaries, trying nontraditional things that work for you (separate beds or bedrooms, for example), honest communication, being willing to compromise when you can but be honest when you can’t, and learning more about various ace labels and experiences to have clearer language to communicate your needs and desires. While therapy in general is a good fit for this kind of relationship issue, many therapists are not ace-informed, especially marriage and relationship therapists, so be careful going in to choose someone who understands your situation and won’t pressure you into sex or relationship structures that don’t work for you. For example, some ace/allo partners found polyamory was a good fit and enjoy multiple relationships, but others didn’t and resented how it was assumed or presented as the “solution” to fix their relationship. Some of these answers may work for you and some won’t. They are not blanket solutions, simply lived experiences of those in these partnerships.

Here’s more of what aces and allos in relationships with aces had to say:

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disability, essays, neurodivergence

It is for freedom we have been set free

Content warning for child abuse story. Start at 3:24 if this is a trigger for you

First, it is a great feeling to be able to understand and process every word from a speaker without needing the captions. That almost never happens. I feel like I actually processed every word!

Aside from speaking skills, this was so healing. And not only as someone with APD but the heart behind it holds several jewels I think we all need to learn from. Dr. Alexander approaches her work in a way that feels more like ministry than many “ministers” we hear about online.

“I know what it feels like … to be imprisoned, but I also know how it feels to be set free.”

This is the crux of it, right from the start. Those of us deconstructing or evolving or just plain leaving conservative and evangelical church traditions know that feeling of being “set aside and dismissed.” Queer people who have lived in the closet know the feeling of being restrained inside that metaphor, of being not only hidden but trapped. Neurodivergent and mentally ill and disabled people know this prison that is their own mind and body. So many of us who resonate with a name like “Invisible Cake Society” have had to work through our traumas while it felt like no one could perceive us and no one would believe us.

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essays, faith, Mental health, queer

For those whose bodies are policy issues

Today, there is much discussion on embodiment, what it means to show up in a space as your full self, and to be present in your body wherever you are. The topic du jour, in particular, is church attendance. Can we experience the “real” church online?

This got me thinking about how if you’re going to talk about embodied presence, you need to be aware of what it means for someone to show up in their marginalized body, whether in a physical or online space. The risks it takes and the emotional cost it demands.

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