On being out.

I am a multi-faceted person who has complex identities that do not all get the same amount of exposure. Sometimes it’s because I am a person who values their privacy and I just do not want to talk about it. Sometimes it’s because I’m scared. Sometimes it’s because it does not suit the situation at all.

One of the orders that has come down lately is that I must be more out across the board. My privacy is no longer my own to control. I can’t have secret identities that I don’t tell people about. The reason? First and foremost, it does not serve Him to have a boy who has parts he holds back. He wants everything; good, bad, and otherwise, and I owe Him that. Second, it does not serve other people. How can I help those who are in similar places if I am unwilling to be a public example of XYZ?

He values my identities because they are tools. They allow me to move in communities that would otherwise be closed to me. It will provide me the opportunity to do the Work that I am meant for. If I wasn’t kinky, I wouldn’t have access to the people who do SM as a spiritual pursuit, who engage in imbalanced powered relationships as a way to access something bigger than themselves. If I wasn’t transmasculine, I wouldn’t have access to communities of people for whom gender is a developed identity versus an inborn trait. If I wasn’t mentally ill, I wouldn’t have the experience of what it’s like not to know what the inside of what one’s head might look like day to day.

Sometimes I am in control of how I am out. I’ve linked this blog to a social media site that I am active on. This is a pretty big deal for me, as one of my biggest fears is that people will think I am absolutely batfuck insane for my beliefs. In the end, that’s not within my control and I have to trust that the right people will consider what I have to say and whether or not it’s valuable.As it stands, this blog has had more hits in the last two days than it has had in the past two months. It’s rather disconcerting, but I know I made the right choice and that my faith is in the right place on this.

In other ways, it happens in a way that sneaks up on me. My mother has recently been nosy and discovered that Boyfriend has publicly called me his boyfriend. This is not congruent with the gender my mother has known me as. She asked me a few questions that I answered as honestly as I was able and assured her that it was okay for her to still refer to me as her daughter, she, my birth name, etc. It was surprisingly non-dramatic and painless and it happened in a way that was emotionally much easier on me, as she broached to topic before I had to.

And there are other times when I can’t be out. I have to be female at work since I work at an all-female residential program. I’m not out as kinky at work because I believe it has no bearing on my work and because I also work with children. This creates a bit of fear for me. The name I am known by is all over the internet connected with all kinds of kink and leather activities. All it will take is one nosy kid to find out about my past and current extracurricular activities and, bam, I could be out of a job. But that, too, is really not within my control.

The big challenge right now is to be out as a godbothered pagan. My spiritual beliefs have always been fairly private once I escaped the cult-like group I was involved with as a teenager. Not anymore. I’m reminded that my spiritual beliefs are also a tool to bring people closer to whatever it is I’m supposed to bring them closer to. I know this will hurt my mother far more than my gender not matching her understanding of me, as her spiritual beliefs are deeply rooted in her relationship with the Hebrew god. But, sometimes hurt is part of the process of opening up and I am firmly in the middle of such a process. I am worried that this process will cause me to have some things taken away from me, but that’s a price I have to be willing to pay after signing my name on the dotted line.

These are gifts, even when they feel like curses. I know, even on my worst days, that these parts of me make me who I am. I know without a doubt that these identities make me valuable to Him and that He actively wants me because of them. Living my life openly is an act of faith that I can give Him every day and learn to do with a full heart. In spite of the uncomfortableness of some aspects of this process, as I am loathe to share intimate details of my life with strangers, I know it makes me stronger and makes me a tool with a finely honed edge.

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~ by Alex on July 9, 2012.

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