Aj reminded me of something I had forgotten. She reminded me why I really started writing this blog. I’m no one’s idea of “open minded”. I have a whole handful of dislikes and narrow-minded “conservative” attitudes. It’s just that there are some things that have fallen off of the list…
Anyway…the reason I started was because I am narrow-minded and Christian and a straight, white, married, male, Texan. I am strongly distrustful of “agendas”…ANY agendas. I firmly believe that not thinking for yourself and blindly following Dogma should be a crime. I have very fixed opinions of “proper”. I am a bit of a prude. So, if I write for Religious Freedom, meaning not judging someone based on their faith, or LBGT Rights it is because I think that they are, after careful consideration, worth speaking for.
Honestly, I didn’t used to care. It didn’t make that much difference how “those people” were treated. Not the tiniest of cares what happened to a “cult”, the way I used to think of Paganism, or a “lifestyle”, the way I used to think of being gay. Why should I care? Didn’t affect me.
Things changed. Aj and Z changed them. Funny how that worked. I didn’t know Aj is Pagan. I didn’t know Z is gay. Became friends without knowing. It’s not like they said, “hi Miller, I’m (insert name here) and I’m (fill in the blank)”. It took me being a smarta$$ and them responding for me to find out. By then it was too late. Hard to call a friend a “them” or a “those people”.
A funny thing happened on the way to work today. Yeah, it was really funny for several reasons. I called Aj. In the middle of the conversation, it turned into a double entendre about her “friend with benefits” wanting to get her top off…her Jeep…and her. Laughing about it I was encouraging both. Laughing harder, so was she. Then it struck me, not so many years ago, less than 5, I would not have been able to have that conversation. I would have been far too embarrassed to be able to have it. I would have stammered an exit. Today, I was a cheerleader for her.
I’ve changed. Conversations I could not have had are now comfortable. Not with everyone but, with people I am relaxed around. Discussions I could not have had with anyone. Laughing with a woman about her getting laid.
It’s a realization I’ve come to, I don’t have to apply the rules I use on myself to others. Being Pagan is not right for me. It fits Aj. Being gay is not right for me. It is for Z. How do I think I have the right to inflict my personal rules on another adult? My eyes have been opened. I watched it happen. I actively participated in the opening. I WANT to love Aj and Z exactly the way they are. I don’t want them to change. I want me to encourage them. So, I do.
Like I said right back there, being Pagan or gay isn’t a fit for me. However, I know Aj and Z and, knowing them, I find it hard to be as “black and white” as I used to be. I have a hard time convincing myself that I am infallible. I can not bring myself to condemn them for being themselves. In fact, I refuse to condemn someone I love for being their individual selves…
Back to where I was waaay up there, the reasons I write for them. I love those Ladies. Part of loving them is that I do have a voice. I have two choices. I may remain silent and by doing that condone the condemnation and scorn of a society that has slight regard for the parts of them it considers unconventional, or I may speak for them. There is no third option.
To remain silent is to fail in fulfilling the phrase “I love you”. It makes me a party to their repression. It fails to encourage them. It makes a lie of the word “love”. A private statement without a willingness to say and act on it publicly is hollow.
So, the other choice, to speak. That is easier and harder. I have had to learn what the people that are not for them think. I’ve had to see the obstacles they face. I’ve had to see the slanders and slurs and dangers my loved ones face. There is not one single part of that I enjoy. I am “protective” of them. It is another fact of this blog that some posts use the things they face as examples. Having to type those things about the people I love, even to point out the fallacy, is something I would avoid. It feels like I am saying those things about them. If I could, and I can not, I would shelter them from those.
The “easier” parts of speaking out are basic. I LOVE them. By speaking, I get to say that over and over. I get to talk about people I am proud of. I get to express my warmth for them. I get to show the world their courage and kindness. I get to say how lucky I am that they love me in return. I get to spend time doing some good things for dear friends.
Something I also left out about myself. I am a Meth Survivor. I know that has left it’s marks on my psyche. I use Jan 6, 2006 as my “birthday”. That means, to me, I am an emotional youth. I am learning my way around…still…through the parts of my mind that were left to not grow. The scars that remain give me reasons to question my own sanity. I spent a bunch, 20ish, years living as an emotional hermit. I have a tendency to spend far too much time worrying about what someone, read my wife, Aj, and Z, think, never considering that they just don’t stress it. It leaves a propensity to be concerned with minor difficulties giving them far too much weight. I know all those things and, yet, I can not seem to stop.
They know all those things about me. I do try to pretend to argue with them because I argue and get defensive but, I know they are right when they tell me I am wrong. They are my support. They pray for me or light candles. They listen when I have rough nights and nightmares. They don’t push me away when my emotional confusion and overthinking get the best of me. They don’t question my sanity…even when I do.
So, you see, the people that others fear, embrace me and protect me. They are the place that does not judge me even though I judge myself. I feel like I come up wanting in comparison…and they tell me I’m wrong. Odd thing, my heroes tell me they look up to me. They do not allow me to wallow in inferiority. They are quick to correct me when I even try.
My harshest critic is me. My biggest fans are them. Seems fair since I am theirs.
I know some would disagree but, I believe we have a soul. I believe we were born with a purpose. I do not think this is some kind of cosmic accident. I further believe that people are put in our lives for a reason. I think that some of those reasons are to build up the people we are given. Again, for the who knows how many times, I love these Ladies. Allowing them to be looked upon with scorn or disregard does not build them up. Not speaking IS tearing them down. That is not good enough. Speaking for them is merely fulfilling part of the reason I exist.
This is a blog about Aj and Z, Religious Freedom and LBGT Rights. I can not write about who I do not know. I know and love them, so, it is specific to them. They are my way of putting a face on things. They are my way of saying that it is not about MY morality…or yours. They have their lives and loves. They are people I can not imagine my life without. The fact that they exist, even when we do not speak, reassures me that some humans are Treasures. They are not “them”. They are Aj and Z.
Religious Freedom and LBGT Rights go hand in hand. They are about giving room for difference. They are about humans that have different ways of living than me…and not forcing them to conform to my path. My path is the correct path…for me and no one else. The way I got here is my own way as theirs belong to them…and yours to you. When we say we have the ONLY “right” way, we limit humans. We say that they can not be what they were created to be. We say that we have possession of them and that we have the right to dictate their lives. That we know better. That we are God. I am a frail and imperfect being. I am not God. I do not have all knowledge and an unshakable lock on morality.
So, why do I write? Because I can. Because I should. Because honor. Because, most importantly, Aj and Z.