Saturday, May 8, 2010

Dare You to Move

I was sitting in the hot tub looking at the stars and listening to the radio. The song "Dare You to Move" by Switchfoot came on. It got me thinking a lot about today and the last few months.

Today I ran into one of my Aunts while out with my parents. I was at a huge gluten free food fair. Hundreds of people swirled around the room getting samples of gluten free food as my Aunt asked me about what I had been up to. She started with, so you were like gone or something? I said something like yes, I was on the road for two months on a social justice tour traveling to different colleges and states. So what were your goals, the goals of Soulforce? Well, to get policies changed and create a safer place for students. So do you push the lifestyle? Is Soulforce in favor of the lifestyle or safety for students? Well, we work to make a space for students to be wholly themselves, a space where they do not face spiritual violence, a space where students don't have to chose between identity and faith. Oh. So you want people to see everyone is a child of God to be loved. Yes, that is very important. Yeah. Awkward stares. I mumble it's important and walk away.

I felt like a liar. Aunt Barb, I am queer-I wanted to say. I have a girlfriend-I wanted to say. I was so torn. I wanted to tell her. It tried to bust out of me but the room full of hundreds of strangers stopped me. The fear of her reaction stopped me.

All day I have been feeling like crap. For the last two months, I went from place to place saying, live authentically. Living inauthentic hurts you and others. The quest was not to get every queer person to come out, it was for equality, for safe spaces to learn, to let queer people know God loves them too but I encouraged people (when it was safe) to be authentic and come out. I couldn't do it for myself. For the last year I've wanted desperately to come out to my extended family. I hate being in the closet. It makes me hate a part of myself. I feel awkward and fake around them. I'm quiet and introverted. I don't know what to talk about. Most of my free time is filled with LGBTQ things. I'm on the Board of Directors for GLSEN (Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network). When I was in school most of my free time was spent doing activism on campus and off campus for LGBTQ equality. The last two months of my life were working for equality. I have a girlfriend who I love and spend hours talking to all the time.

I Dare You To Move. Welcome to the fall out. The tension is here, between who you and who you could be, between how it is and how it should be. I dare you to move. Where can you run to escape from yourself? I dare you to move, to lift yourself, to lift yourself up the floor.

I think it's time to come out. I'd rather deal with other people's shit then the tension of who I am and who I could be if I wasn't hiding in the closet. If I wasn't wondering which family members would still love me. It's time to move, to be real and authentic. To liberate myself from my fear so others can do the same.

It's time to stop living in fear.


Funnyyoushouldmentionthis said...

First of all, I you. Second of all, I love that song. Switchfoot really is daring you to be brave and proclaim Christ as your Savior but this can also apply to you coming out to your family.
That has to be the scariest thing in the world and the simple cliche, "If they don't love you for who you are then forget about them" doesn't really apply here. With social circles you can avoid them and tell yourself that their opinion of you does not matter but this is family here and like it or not, their opinion counts.
Ahhhhhh, I wish I could just TELL you that. To just...forget about them and be yourself. We both know that will be so so hard.

But there is another part of the song you didn't mention. It's about growth. "I'm not who I thought I was, 24 hours ago...spirit take me up in arms with you" or something very close to that.

You weren't ready today. You may not be ready tomorrow. But, Kimmy, I know that one day when it really counts, when it really really matters, DO OR DIE kind of thing, you'll shine through. Because you know, ultimately what is right and who you are.

Funnyyoushouldmentionthis said...

Actually, that's from the song "24" by Switchfoot =D