Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Midsummer growth and gratitude

I have lots of room for growth.

This is a mantra I have been working with recently. It fits so well with being in an ally role, which is what I am as a Rainbow Sparkle, in my service through the mxgender circles CAYA offers (Rainbow Moon Circles and Divine Spiraling Rainbow Tribe sabbats). I am a cis woman, and am navigating my way in serving the non-binary pagan community in a respectful and supportive way.

One key for me is grooving out to the harmony part in the song the Priestxs co-create for each public ritual I help offer (metaphorically speaking). Not needing to be in the spotlight to know that I’m doing essential and valued work. Really relishing being a pillar of support. I think of my harmony part as similar to when I was Second Alto in a college choir: I never had the melody, but always had these rich tones to carry that added to the complexity and beauty of the music. Plus I got to listen to the melody without being engaged in creating it myself, which let me revel in hearing that part (metaphorically: receiving that wisdom). Many people are forced into the position of second (or fifth!) fiddle, so I know choosing it actively is a privilege. And I am SO grateful to have that choice, and to learn about the community I serve, and about myself, by singing harmony.

Because one thing I have learned so far: I have lots of room for growth.

I think of myself as socially liberal, as knowledgeable about and respectful of individuals’ chosen identities, as kind and curious. And I am those things. But that doesn’t mean I already know all the gender identities that exist (partly because there are an infinite number!), or that I didn’t learn a few new things about myself by reading The Gender Book (by Mel Reiff Hill and Jay Mays, and Co.) (and also, it’s gorgeously done, if you haven’t had a chance to read it yet!). And it didn’t mean I already understood the three-axis distinction between sex and gender and sexuality until after I’d completed a BA in Sociology. And it certainly doesn’t mean I know anything about a person’s gender identity until I ask, or have been informed!

So maybe particularly if you’re cis-gendered (or know an ally who is!), and not used to thinking about gender variance in all its rainbow glory, consider whether you know your 3D identity (or maybe it’s 5D?!?) as accurately, at least in the moment, as I’ve come to know my own:

Sex (based on anatomy/physical traits): female
Gender (based on personal perception/experience): woman
Sexuality (based on who I find attractive): pansexual

There are so many intersecting aspects of identity that you might easily be a hyperspatial, multidimensional being! But at least for me, it’s been enough of a learning curve just to get those three accurate. ;)

And still: I have lots [more] room for growth.

Blessed Midsummer!
And blessed be your journey of self-discovery!
- Shell