The date is June 30, 2020. The last day of Pride month in the time of Corona Virus, the rising call for racial justice through protest and cultural revolution that is touching us in personal and collective ways. Deep change is here.
The last three months (since the national emergency was called on March 13) have shined a great light on areas of my Minister work that need to deepen (most importantly that “Animism” and my version of “Spirituality” cannot not include Social and Racial Justice), and places within my inner most self that need to come more completely home. I realized this morning that it was the end of June, and I had not posted anything to honor Pride, and I hadn’t honored this month in a personal way…Why?
Then I thought of the post below. I have recently updated this website to incorporate my evolving work to reflect my anti-racism work, and I added “Queer” to my bio, yet I had forgotten about this post, which I wrote in 2015, and it has remained in “drafts” every since, waiting to be released. This made me see that I was hiding, which is deeply embedded in my cells. My whole adult life, especially since being called to the path I am on now, I have felt a panic about being “found out”, and that if I keep being the way I am…“they” will come and take me away in the night. It has significantly eased in the last few years, but in my 20s-early 40s, this fear created consistent anxiety… and apparently it still licks at my heels.
I am 52 years old and I have just recently embraced the term Queer. As an older person, I grew up with a negative feeling about that word, but in recent years I have warmed to it due to younger people around me, and their embrace of it (thank you!!!). I also love any word with a Q in it, so I am now comfortable with it. That is a relief. Give in to deeper acceptance.
So, today this post must be published. I have always sought out parts of me that want to hide, and when it is time, I shine a light towards it and invite them to come out. This time, the “I” are actually two. The “I” of my male spirit, and the “I” of my culturally created person in a physical body named “Quynn”. We are here together, and the male spirited I is claiming more and more space over the years. “He” is relatively satisfied, but more of “him” will come out over time. I know that as I encourage anyone else to “Dispell their Colonized Mind”, I too must admit the places within myself that have been trained by colonization as I find them. To be who I fully am, I claim both energies in this female body, because there is much work to do. I can only show up fully for anyone else to the degree I show up for myself. Following through with sharing this here is my way of showing up for us.
My pronouns: They/Hir
The post below is as I wrote it in 2015, one year after having an experience with cancer, which was a significant moment for my blended spirit self- Thank you for reading with compassion.
This blog post has sat in my “drafts” for about a month now. During this time Kaitlyn Jenner has been in the news regarding her/their trans-ness, a major company has chosen a 14 year old transgender young woman to be their public face, and a cousin of mine made a public announcement that she is transgender. I have kept this writing in my drafts because I had not gotten the 100% YES to click “publish”, even though I felt compelled to write these words. I have looked at my words many times and asked myself “Is that really what I want to say?” and “Why do I need to say anything in this way?” Recently I was in a Kundalini Yoga class, focusing on the Pituitary gland, and this paragraph that I am writing now came into my head fully formed, with an urgency to publish asap. This is my answer. There is a voice, a being, in me, that feels unique from the part of me that is “Quynn”, and this “me” wants be be more fully expressed. (and so today I publish the post I wrote in 2015)
I found this photograph of myself recently. Old enough to have some “big teeth” but yet still losing the “little” ones. Happy and without my swim top. It was summer in Indiana. I was with my family, visiting my grandparents. I remember it so well because something happened during this trip that made a deep impression on me. One that is still unfolding for me today.
I was playing with my brother, both without our shirts, in the heat. We walked to the park close by. As I was happily playing, an older boy (teenager?) looked at me and asked “Are you a girl?” I said “yes”. He said “sexy!”, and left. It is surreal how one sentence can stick in one’s mind for decades. I remember suddenly being conscious of myself in a way that wasn’t comfortable. I do not remember if I continued to play, or if I went back to my grandmother’s house, I do remember feeling self conscious that somehow I just did something “wrong”. Over the years I have wondered what would have happened if I would have said “no” when he asked me if I was a “girl”. A whole different reality would have unfolded. However, in my mind, I was a “girl” because this is what my culture said I was, and apparently even though I did not yet have breasts, I was considered “too old” to show this part of my body publicly…such is “culture”.
I have felt for years that to do what I am here to do in this life, I need to be “female” and so “I” chose a female body this time. I am satisfied with my female body, and my female chemistry, especially as I get older. However, I have also been aware for many years that my essence/soul feels to be “male” and that I have created a life for myself that for many people in different cultures and times, would be considered a Man’s life. I have many “memories” of maleness, and yet I have been cultured as a female in, what is called “the United States” (stolen land) at this time. I am so grateful to have been born in this time and place, and apparently, that is part of the bigger plan. So, bottom line, I feel no need to change my body to “match” my spirit. This part of “I” that feels different than my female chemistry is learning how to be more fully in this world. This is also a part of the bigger plan, to be “in between”.
As I mature into my Spirit Bridge (similar to what some traditions call a Shamanic Practitioner) vocation, and I learn more about the lineage of those called to this role in many societies throughout time, I am learning to find a home in the “in between-ness” of my energies, and that it is a part of my role as “OOlah”. My Spirit World has named me “OOlah”, which means “One Who Balances”. This name has taken on more meaning over the years, addressing many ways in which I balance “In Between”.
The Spirit Worker works in-between many aspects of reality, and this role is known in every Animist culture, and always will be. I claim this and I send loving messages back in time to my younger self who did not know what kind of “girl” she was, because she felt so different from all the rest. I tell her (and the yet unexposed young “he”) “you will find your place…it will find you.” There is more for me to say about this subject, but I will save that for later.
If you are like me in your own way, may you find your place in the broad spectrum of the Balance of In Between.
Much love to you,