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There was something else I was planning on writing about today. There are plenty of things I should be doing now – sleep is the big one. But this feels important (I may regret this at 3am when I’m so exhausted I’ll want to cry).
I’ve never been a big fan of labels. Well, that’s not entirely true. I love the labels that I put on my sock drawers (I’ve posted about this before: short socks, longer socks, work socks, dressy/fun socks). I love reading the labels on medicines and their side effects. I love reading everything that is in shampoo. I guess I do like labels. But not for people. To me, labels equal limitations. It’s you are “this” and this only. You have to stay in this mold. You cannot change. There’s not even flex room. This is what you are. If there is a change, then you will be “that” and no longer have any ties to “this”. I don’t like to label people. Even saying something like “She’s wicked funny” doesn’t feel good – because when I say stuff like that, I feel like I also need to say “but she’s also really deep and smart and this and that… ” because the whole essence of a person can’t be summed up by a label.
I think that’s why I have a difficult time with the LGBT community. It seems that everyone wants to label who they are based on their sexuality. Some choose to simply use the re-appropriation of the word queer so as to not limit themselves, yet, they’re still labeling themselves based on their sexuality. When I came out… Wait. That doesn’t even sound like the beginning of a true statement. I didn’t really “come out”. I just told my family and friends basically that this same-sex attraction that I had struggled with and fought against… that I was done fighting it and that God is allowing me to pursue it. Yeah, so when I did “that”… I don’t think I ever used the word “lesbian”. In fact, the only times it was really tossed around… were by a couple of friends and by “M” (she was convinced my car was designed by and for lesbians – even though it’s not a Subaru). Lesbian though, just doesn’t feel true. There are a few guys that I’m attracted to (can’t imagine being with them…). Part of me doesn’t want to limit my options. Some say that it’s a cop-out… trying to have the best of both worlds. In reality, what I’m doing, is not putting God in a box. We had a very real discourse about relationships. He said I was free to date chicks. He didn’t say I was gay or anything else. He just told me to keep Him in the center of my life. If GOD doesn’t need labels, why should I?
I think because I’m not in the LGBT/queer community it’s hard to navigate this whole path. Maybe it would be harder if I were immersed in that. Maybe I’d feel more pressure to label myself, to assimilate. Being outside of it and mostly involved in Christian community, I still feel that pressure – to try to show “Hey, this is a part of what I am/who I am, but I’m still following Jesus. Look, I can be ___________ and a Christian.” It’s that blank. It stares at me all the time. I’ve been researching the whole spectrum and all the facets within. For an example, we’ll take a look at the first letter on the spectrum “L”. So being fairly naive I assumed that it was simply lesbian. Then I thought about it and remembered that there’s “lipstick lesbian” and “butch”. That’s only the tip of the iceberg. Those are just the poles. There’s stone stud, soft stud, stone butch, soft butch, dyke, boi, femme butch, stone femme… and then there are variants in those categories. I found one article (I won’t link to it, because I hate the rigid nature of its implications) that stated in great detail in what ways each of these sub-categories were entitled to act and think – including spiritual preferences. So a soft butch can be spiritual, but a stone butch cannot. I hate labels.
Why does all of this irk me so badly right now? Because, honestly, I want the comfort of a label. I want to label myself with something that feels true that has a set list of what I’m supposed to do, say, think, feel, and how I should act. I want to be able to go on auto-pilot. It feels safer. The only label I’ve ever been proud of in my life has been Christian. That is, up until recently. Don’t get me wrong here, I love Jesus, I’m still following Him. It’s just… I fear that the church as a whole is standing on the wrong side of social justice. What happened to loving your neighbor? What happened to the good Samaritan? What happened to not judging? What happened to just following Jesus and letting the Holy Spirit convict? What happened to grace? It’s not like I’m saying I’m not a Christian… I instead choose to describe what Christian means to me and take that word out all together – “I dig Jesus and try to follow what He says.” So, now I’m label-less. I’m caught in between 2 communities that I don’t really fit into either of their molds.
All this to say… I’m just as clueless about what/who I am as I was when I was 18… and I feel like I’m losing grip on the community that I had before and I don’t see a new one in sight. So I guess to put it another way… I’m getting lonely and scared.