I am a very opinionated and open-minded person. (WHAT?! Stop the presses! No way! Sorry. I had to include some sarcasm.)
If you’ve ever read my blog, or visited my facebook page, then you probably already know that. I can rant and rave about things just as much as the next person, but I try to do it respectfully. Until someone decides to insult me or say something completely asinine or false. Then all bets are off. And no topic is off-limits for me, for I do not offend easily.
On Friday, I posted a status along with thousands of other people on facebook, about the tragedy unfolding in CT. There was one person who felt the need to disrespectfully use my page to spew their personal beliefs about gun control. I tried to respectfully disagree with them, but they chose to respond with more venom. I couldn’t be nice any longer, I responded in true P&P fashion, and that thread (which has since been removed) is what inspired this post. It seems a bit random, I’m sure. I also don’t care.
I am what some people would call a “bleeding heart liberal”. Others might call me a hippie, tree-hugger, unorthodox, a heathen, or any number of names to denote my liberality (yes, that’s a word. I totally Googled it.) I am proud of this facet of my being. I can’t imagine being any other way.
I don’t understand closed-minded people. People who are so unwilling or afraid to look at the world differently than the way their parents and their parents parents did. They live in fear of something that they no longer need to be afraid of.
Sometime between my 19th and 20th year, I realized that after many years of trying to be Christian and going to church, that it really didn’t work for me. I did not believe that some man named Jesus was the son of “god”. I couldn’t believe in the bible stories because they were just too far-fetched. I did not believe that there is a savior or a judgement day or even sin.
I decided when I was about 20, to explore Paganism and Wicca, and discovered that it resonated with me more deeply than anything I had ever read in the bible or experienced in a church. I knew I was a Pagan at heart. I started reading everything I could about Wicca and Paganism. I performed a self-dedication rite, alone in the middle of the woods. It was truly magical. Today, I consider myself more of a Panthiest, but Paganism is in my soul.
I will never again try to relate to Christianity. It just isn’t for me, but I know that it is for some people, and I respect that. Don’t think that means I won’t question it, because I totally will. I’ll question it and any other religions that just don’t make sense to me. I’ll just do it respectfully. I’ve lost a few friends along the way because of this, and one family member who used to have a very important place in my life. She started criticizing me and my beliefs and suggesting that I am harming my son by not teaching him “God’s love”. I no longer speak to her, and she’s only met my son a couple times very briefly because of her hatred and self-righteousness.
When I was 22, I met and fell in love with a woman who I will just call T. I knew prior to meeting T that I was attracted to women (and transgendered people, and a few other folks in-between), but had mostly just dated men. At the time, I was even in a relationship with a man already, but left him for her. My friends were all okay with my decision, because by that time in my life, I had already decided to only surround myself with people who were as open-minded as I was. Who needs a bunch of bigots as friends, right?I was living with my parents at the time, and when they found out about T, they were not only appalled, they were angry. They were angry that I had the nerve to “bring that kind of thing into their home”. As if it was the plague or something. They compared me being in love with a woman to some kind of disease. Then they kicked me out. I had to prematurely move in with T, and move to another state to be with her. It was a very difficult time in my life, but I stood my ground and refused to believe that loving someone could ever be wrong. My parents and I still talked from time-to-time, but our relationship was never the same again. I initially tried to hide the relationship from them, but realized that I was only lying to myself and hurting T in the process. It wasn’t worth it.
When I was 26, about 9 months after T and I broke up, I met R. A black man who somehow enthralled me and charmed me enough that I fell in love with him, too. Again, when my parents found out, my father’s first words were, “Jesus christ, Karin! Are you fucking serious?!” And then he said, “I think you do this shit just to shock me. First you’re a lesbian, now you’re dating a nigger. What’s next?! I hope this doesn’t last, because I don’t want any black grandbabies running around.”
Despite my father’s racism, I stayed with R for 5 years. We had a son together, and it took my parents more than 3 years to finally meet their grandson, because when I told them I was pregnant, my father’s first response was, “Are you gonna keep it?” My mom was overjoyed for me, but quickly succumbed to my dad’s closed-mindedness. Sadly, my mom isn’t that strong or outspoken. She quietly just goes along with whatever bullshit my dad says a lot of the time, and because of that hatred and closed-mindedness, they missed out on the first 3 years of their only grandchild’s life.
Are you seeing a pattern here? I have my beliefs and opinions, and I WILL stand by them no matter what. If someone says they love me, then hurt me by insulting my religious beliefs or the people I choose to love, then I will cut them out of my life. I do not need closed-minded people around me. They do nothing but spread their ignorance and intolerance, and I will have no part in that.
I also believe in a woman’s right to choose when to have a family. I think every woman should have access to birth control and health care, and if a woman gets pregnant, she should be allowed to have an abortion if she chooses to. An abortion is NOT the easy way out, as some of the Pro-Lifers would have you believe. Having an abortion is something that a woman never forgets. It’s a decision that she has to accept for the rest of her days, and it isn’t an easy one to make. At least not for most women.
I’m also a feminist, but not one of the extremists who hates men. I am all for women’s rights and feminine power, but not at the expense of the dudes. We need them just as much as they need us. We also need to raise our boys with feminist ideals. Men can be feminists too, you know.
Oh, and while we’re on the topic of men, I want to say that I think it’s okay for men to exhibit feminine traits. I think it’s lovely when a man is in touch with his feminine side and isn’t afraid to cry or admit that he likes the feel of satin on his skin.
And another thing, boys can wear dresses and nail polish and that doesn’t make them any less boys. This whole notion of “boy things” and “girl things” is ridiculous and is completely societal. Who says girls can’t play with trucks and get dirty? Why isn’t it acceptable for boys to play with dolls or for them to want to feel pretty sometimes?
I call BULLSHIT. Bullshit to all of it.
So. Let’s summarize.
I am a tree-hugging mother of a bi-racial son who likes pink and purple stuff.
I am a pro-choice pansexual panthiest pagan (say that three times fast!)
I am a feminist who believes that gender is more fluid than society allows it to be.
And I am quite possibly one of the most open-minded liberals you’ll ever meet.
Anything goes with me, as long as everyone is consenting and no one gets hurt. So if you disagree with anything I have said here, that’s okay. Feel free to express your opinions and thoughts in a respectful way. I believe it is possible to have honest, respectful debates on the interwebs. If you can choose to agree to disagree and you still like me, then yay! If you disagree and feel like you can’t express that in a respectful way, then please bite your tongue and step away from the blog.
If I forgot anything, it’s safe to assume that if there’s an issue that is controversial, I am on the far left, carrying a protest sign and calling the right-wing folks out on their nonsense.
Peace, love, and Yuletide cheer!
The title of this post is also the title of an Ani Difranco song. If you don’t know Ani, you should. Check it: