Sunday, July 10, 2016

Merry Meetups and Mxgender Mixers

Before taking my first formal steps onto this Pagan Priestx path, my non-binary/mxgender/metagender/queer gender identity was very private and personal, and mostly unknown and unrecognized by the people in my life. Because I have the privileges accorded to people who navigate the world perceived as cisgender (along with many other privileges), I have rarely experienced any form of persecution or oppression based on my transgressive gender identity. Because I have struggled with self-esteem issues my whole life (partly due to a sense of not having earned any of my privileges), I never challenged anyones presumptions about my gender. Because I wanted to feel a sense of belonging in a community, I entered "women only" spaces that excluded many of my Trans sisters. I felt entirely entitled, because I had never been challenged.

Being ordained in CAYA Coven's pangender Wildflower Tradition finally confronted me with that challenge.

The name of our coven is Come As You Are, and our clergy serve as public Priest/ess/xes. In other words, we stand up and speak out and serve our community and the world from a place of relentless authenticity. Anyone who cannot bear the discomfort this brings tends to drop out quickly. It takes Perfect Love and Perfect Trust to move through the fears, and to be accountable for the commitments we've made. It takes a daily practice of devotion to the Divine. The rewards of joyful service are rich and abundant, and earned through the simple practice of continuing to show up and do the work. The delight is from the "we get to do this!" revelations when we realize how possible it is to make our dreams and wishes come true.

So I assumed the mantel of the Priest/ess/xhood. I began to stand up and speak out and serve the needs of my community of Pagans who do not identify as cisgender men or women. I came out as a Trans person, as non-binary, as someone with pronouns that are very unfamiliar to most people. It is my daily resistance to correcting people about my pronouns—and the feelings of shame and failure that torment me when I fail to stand up and speak out and serve joyfully— that has begun to give me the slightest tiniest clue as to what most of my Trans brothers, sisters and siblings experience so relentlessly. It sometimes looks very alluring to just give up and return to my cozy place of privilege. I could do it in a heartbeat. Who would even notice?

Yes, of course, I would notice. I can never forget what I have learned in this short time of public service. I would spend the rest of my life with the ache of this knowledge. The ache so many countless closeted people have suffered. A few folks in the Pagan community might notice—the friends I've made the past couple of years at PCon and through the Rainbow Moon Circles. The ones who work so hard for gender diversity. My deities would notice, especially those glorious Trans deities of the Tetrad++, who have inspired and sustained me with such All-encompassing Love and Acceptance.

Yet the most poignant realization for me is that my covenmates would notice. And they'd care— without derision or condemnation. I would be so instantly held in a circle of loving, supportive concern. These kind people of various genders—though mainly cisgender and binary-oriented women and men—who have so respectfully acknowledged my truest self with the most exemplary use of correct pronouns, who have attended Rainbow Moon Circles to support our fledgling efforts, who help us amplify the words and actions of the sprouting Divine Spiraling Rainbow Tribe. My dear, sweet, fierce, geeky, profoundly wise and relentlessly(!) loving covenmates. This love infuses me with the courage to perservere, even when I feel exhausted and futile. I found "the sense of belonging in a community" I had craved and sought so long ago, and I can be here, As I Am.

And thus revved and sparkling with this joy, I continue to explore ways to create and nurture spaces that extend the Perfect Love and Perfect Trust that I have found. There are the Rainbow Moon Circles, indeed (I hope to see folks at The Fury Moon on Saturday), and I have just submitted a proposal to PCon to offer a Rainbow Moon Circle next year (!!!), yet my desire to connect with Pagans of deliciously diverse genders is not assuaged,

and so I have established a Meetup group:
Trans, Non-Binary and Mxgender Pagans—Bay Area & Beyond!

I invite you to check out this Meetup and if you are in the SF Bay Area, I hope you will sign on as a Beautiful Creature, and suggest some wonderful encounters for us to enjoy one another's company. I am thinking of such possibilities as meeting for pie and ice cream before heading over to Qulture Collective for their monthly first Friday Reel Queer movie night, field trips to lovely places in nature, spell-crafting parties, meetings to plan fundraisers for TransLifeline, and anything else that catches our fancy.

When I began composing this post, I thought I was simply going to share about the Meetups. With gratitude, I acknowledge all of the support that even brought me to this moment in the Eternal Now.

xoxox Baba Bee