These are items from today's stillness practice. Each represents something that helps remind or practically create the elements of groundedness I need.
This week I received a few items in the mail. It still amazes me that people who have absented themselves from my life because I am gay will every few years send a little token, as if to appease their Christian guilt. These items mean nearly nothing to me if the person is unwilling to sit and have dinner with me... a family dinner with their household, not hidden away as if they were ashamed, afraid my that sexual/spiritual identity was contagious to their children, or they were embarrased to be seen associating with me. (God forbid their church friends see them chewing with a homosexual.)
This is a busy time in my life and I don't have the time to respond to people like this. Despite the guilty gifts. Despite my still-love for them. I chose to invest my time in people who cherish me.
I never take for granted friendships and their duration. Occasionally I am reminded of this. A co-worker who has been a close friendly associate for years last week was reportedly showing her church videos to co-workers about how wrong it is for a woman and a woman, or a man and a man to live together. For fuck's sake. She and another are always leaving bibles laying around in the break room. It is surprising since she has usually been so sweet to me, confiding about her troubled teenager and asking mental health advise. Wow. I don't know exactly what to do. This betrayal should not surprise me, it comes frequently. But a couple of things are clear.
I will ask her directly about any interesting videos she was showing last week. I want to post an obviously gay picture on my locker with my gay loved ones, just like she posts with her heterosexual loved ones. And I think of Harry Hay's statement that he made in his late 60's to the effect that "I never want to be confused for a straight man again." Thereafter he wore lady hats and sometimes heels and dresses. His daughter was embarrassed to invite him to work functions but still did. My activism flairs and flames.
Simultaneously I want to live lightly. Forgive not because the homophobe deserves it but because I don't want to carry bitterness. Be playful. Trespass decidedly but without ill intent. Be myself, welcome myself, create allies. Support myself with mentors and peers in my own tribes. Hear the heart's concerns not the ugly words. Make bridges. Dance. Trust and stay open. Walk between the worlds.