Friday, March 27, 2015

4 AM Thoughts RE: Locking Down

Locking down feels like running away when things get tough. I feel like I'm being a coward. After all, it's *just* Twitter...right?

Twitter wasn't supposed to be a place where I'm afraid to express myself because I have this *paranoid* fear that people from my real life are stalking my tweets and laughing at what I post. I've gone through enough of being laughed at in person. I don't want to experience from them online.

Why is it that I can deal with hordes of random internet trolls but I can hardly deal with real life people stalking me?

Why are real life people giving me so much BS? :(

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

And here we go again...

I'm supposed to be writing a piece for Stigma Fighters. I'm supposed to be keeping up with strengthening my ankles during the week because I'm a pointe dancer. I'm supposed to be doing...a lot of things.

But it's hard to do a lot of things when you feel worthless, disgusting, lonely, and like everyone is always making fun of you while simultaneously shunning you from every social circle.

Everyone keeps telling me that I should have self-esteem, that I'm some amazing human being or something. A few people have even called me a badass. Not sure why. What's so badass about an awkward, nerdy introverted teenage girl who is barely paid attention to because she's such a weirdo?

I don't understand why anyone sees anything special about me at this point, because I've messed up a lot of stuff lately.

I just want to be a good person. I don't have to fit in. God knows that's never going to be a possibility for me. But I'm just tired of messing up. I'm tired of people not liking me.

I don't know what to do at this point. No one needs nor wants my angsty Twitter rants. Maybe I should just take lots of hot showers (hot as in steam, thank you very much, dirty-minded people. ;P) this week and take some time for myself. This bout of bleh will end eventually.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Dear 13 Year Old Kelley: We Love You

Dear 13 year old Kelley,

I love you. We all love you.

I know that with where you’re at right at, this is impossible for you to comprehend. You’re scared, and I don’t blame you. You’ve been raised a certain way all of your life and to go against that is terrifying. I know that you’re trying to pray it away. I know that you’re still acting really homophobic because you’re scared that accepting yourself will mean you spend an eternity in Hell.

Sweetheart, that is so far from the truth.

You’re not an abnormality. You’re not disgusting. You don’t have to frantically pray and ask God to forgive you when you have sexual thoughts about another girl. God still loves you.

Three years from now, you’re going to be doing amazing things. You’re going to meet people just like you. You’re going to accept yourself and start a blog. You’re gonna make mistakes along the way, but it’s okay. That’s how you learn.

There are people who love you. These people are going to support you in ways you never expected. Complete strangers are going to stand by your side when your longtime friends suddenly dump you. Hey, it is going to hurt when people leave. I’m not going to pretend that it’s all glitter and rainbows. There’s some really mean people that you have in your life right now that are going to backstab you later on. You don’t know that yet. You’re still working on fitting in with them, still trying to be that good fundie Christian girl. You’re ignoring everything that’s real about you. You’re ignoring your sexuality because you believe that even a same-sex sexual fantasy is a sin.

But you know what? It’s okay. It’s okay for you to be afraid. It’s okay for you to try and fit in. Because even though it’s a huge mistake, you’ll learn a lot from it later on. Right now, I look back at you and know that you’re at the beginning of an amazing journey. It’ll be scary, but it’s worth it. I promise.

There are people here waiting for you with open arms. They affirm your identity. They love you.

Remember: You’re queer. You’re Christian. You’re amazing.

You’re worth it.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Six Months Since Dad Died

It’s been six months since my dad died. And I no longer want to kill myself.

I never thought I’d reach this point. If you’d asked me 6 months ago if I thought I could go on living without my dad and be happy, I’d have said no. But now that I’m here on the other side of it and can look back, I know that all my dad ever wanted for me was happiness. If he could see me now, I know that he’d be pleased that I’m living my life the best I can without him. I still miss and love him, but I know that he’s getting the rest that he deserves.

Sure, I still have moments when I get emotional over a memory, but I’ve escaped that pit of wretched depression I used to be trapped in. I don’t spend days inside my room, only coming out when necessary, missing him so much that my chest ached. I’m more at peace, because I know his soul is at peace.

There’s still a bit of a lingering ache. Not one that’s overwhelming. Just a quiet reminder of how much I’ve lost. But now instead of bawling my eyes out, I just smile and get a little teary-eyed. Memories of him bring me peace instead of pain.

I know he's at peace, and I am too.

Rest in peace, Dad. See you one day.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Coming Out: A Quick Update

These past two weeks have really taken their toll on me. Despite the amazing support of my Twitter friends, I was still feeling a little down. And scared. And anxious. I’d mentioned a few times on Twitter about how the thought of going to youth group for the first time since coming out terrified me. Even though I’d *only* come out online, teens and adults in the church have access to my feed. I know some of them have seen my tweets and blog posts by now.

Besides one person from my church unfollowing me and other person blocking me, no one had really had a big reaction yet. Then I logged on Twitter last night. My youth pastor had DMed me. Here’s what he said:

Kelley, I can't imagine the struggles you are facing and I'm not going to pretend to. This world is driven by hate. You see it in the media, it's either sexual orientation, race or political, the only thing that can drive out hate is love! I'm here for you. I will be praying for you and your family.”
By the time I’d finished reading, I was shaking. That wasn’t the response I’d expected at all, especially from him.
He accepts me just as I am.
Was his reaction unexpected? Hell yes. Down here in the South, the majority of people I know have staunch beliefs on homosexuality. Even though he moved here from PA, I thought he’d have a “love the sinner but tell them how wrong they are” mentality. But so far, apparently not.
His DMs made this past week worth it. Initially, I hadn’t expected that sort of support. But after so much rejection, his acceptance made me ecstatic. While I'm hoping for more positive outcomes like this, I know the vitriolic reactions are inevitable. But we'll see how it goes. :)

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Implications of Coming Out: The Beginning

On Twitter, I’ve been talking a lot about coming out and the implications of it. My Twitter friends have been supporting me wholeheartedly, especially one in particular. They’ve been a huge source of support throughout all of this. They’re still closeted, but they’re always here for me when I need the extra push so I won’t give up. AND they’ve talked me through countless panic attacks. I know that if the time ever comes for them to come out, I’ll support them through it too.

But even though I have the full support of my Twitter friends, I know getting support from my IRL circles...won’t be so easy.

People from my IRL circles have access to my Twitter feed. Either I get followed (that’s rare) or someone happens to run across my tweets because of our mutual followers (my youth pastor has a Twitter account, and all of the youth group follows his account. Therefore, when he tweets me, they can see what my handle is and some of my tweets are.) Judging by some of the unfollows I’ve gotten recently, some of them are aware of my sexuality now.

I know not everyone agrees on the "issue" of homo/bisexuality, and I'm okay with that. It just becomes a problem when they start excluding people in the LGBT community simply because of our sexuality and/or gender expression. They believe we're sinners and shun us. A Christ-like attitude? Hell no. But a prevalent attitude around here nonetheless.

So you can understand why I have some reservations about going to youth group this upcoming Wednesday night. I don't expect people to be coming after me with pitchforks and torches, but I'm not exactly expecting a warm welcome. It all depends on who's seen what and who's told who.

Yeah. Keep me in your thoughts or prayers or whatever magical thing you like to do to give people good vibes and luck. I haven't been this nervous about going to youth group in a long time.

(Oh, and as of the writing of this post: One of the girls from my studio followed me earlier. Neither of us tweeted each other or interacted beyond her following me. Two hours later, she blocked me. I don't have to guess why.)

Friday, March 13, 2015

Another One of Those Days

Today is one of those days.

I got some blog post ideas that I've been trying to work on, but they're not going anywhere. I have my suspicions as to why (gloomy weather, lack of self-esteem, anxiety over coming out and wondering if it was a mistake), but knowing why isn't helping anything. My blog posts (asides from this one) aren't getting written. They're just sitting in my damn Google Drive, unfinished, which irks the hell out of me.

I want to be useful. I want to do something with my life. I'm tired of being the stupid little kid who's really shy and ends up slurring her speech when she does actually end up talking, therefore sounding like the biggest idiot ever. I'm tired of having anxiety. I'm tired of being afraid. I'm tired of people using me as a doormat, then playing victim when I scream at them for stepping on me and hurting me. I'm tired of being ostracized and ignored. I'm tired of feeling like I'm nothing. I'm tired of being stupid and useless.

So yeah. There you have it.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Queer in Christ

I wish I could say that I was completely comfortable in my own skin. I wish I could say that I’m not utterly and completely terrified to have my Twitter profile as “This odd combination of a writer, dancer, and a SDA homeschooled teenager who posts bits of faithfullyLGBT stuff here. Yeah, it's weird. #queerinChrist

I trust that one day, I’ll be able to say those things.

But for now, I’m scared. Really damn scared. To be out to my mother is one thing. To be out to people in my church is another. It’s not that I’m walking up to them and saying “Yo, I’m queer.” My tweets and Twitter profile will tell them all that they need to know.

Call my new Twitter profile a rash move. Maybe it is. But there’s something frustrating and depressing about hiding. It’s not always “need-to-know” information, but when I’ve had people that I thought truly cared about our friendships suddenly cut them off because of this. And that really fucking hurts. So if there’s a chance people are going to leave me over this, I want to get it over with instead of forming deep, platonic emotional attachments to them.

Because there’s something really hurtful when a friend of 5+ years calls me “dishonest” because I never told her about this stuff in the first place.

In a way, there’s something relieving about being upfront and honest about everything. But that doesn’t negate the fact that making myself vulnerable to people’s possible harsh criticisms and questions. After what former friends have done, I won’t allow myself to hope too much for positive reactions (i.e. them not breaking off our friendships.)  

The only thing I can do is pray, rely on the support of my amazing Twitter friends, and hope that I can handle whatever happens. I can’t control people’s reactions and whether or not they’ll have a Christ-like attitude. All I can do is keep up a Christ-like attitude towards them no matter their reaction. I won’t stoop down to the level of those who choose to reject me and say ridiculous, untrue things. (“I can never hope understand why you changed or why you lived a lie to my face, but I do understand that our friendship can't go on. I don't know you, the girl I have called my very best friend for almost 7 years.” The Kelley I know was loving, kind, honest, and loved God. But the real Kelley is bitter, angry, and hates God and everything that you once stood for.” “God is waiting for you to turn to Him. He never left you, and He never will. Never forget that.”)

No matter what, I know that God doesn’t make mistakes. They love me just the way I am. I’m queer in Christ and it’s beautiful.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Love Thy Queer Neighbor

(KJV) Mark 12:31 And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.

While browsing the internet back a couple of months ago, I ran across someone by the name of Steven Anderson, a pastor in Arizona. Someone had uploaded a video of his sermon from November 30th 2014 called “Pastor calls for killing gays to end AIDs”

Despite the scary title, I was intrigued and watched the video anyways. This is one of the things he said:

“Because if you executed the homos like God recommends, you wouldn’t have all this AIDs running rampant.”

There’s a lot of problems with this so-called sermon (especially with that quote), but the one I want to address is love. Or rather, lack thereof.

In the NT, Jesus preaches a lot of love. Lots of love. Lots of forgiveness. Way different from the OT.  He gave us an example to follow, yet how many of us actively work to emulate His example? I’m not saying we’re going to be able to maintain that example 24/7. We’re only human. But I think that for those of y’all that are in leadership positions within the Christian ministry, y’all need to work extra hard. You’re in a position where you’re (supposed to be) representing God and Their Word. You need to be thinking real hard about your sermons. What sort of message are you sending out to the world? What image of God are you giving others? (Non-believers included.)

Because I personally don’t see how demeaning people by throwing out slurs and telling them that they should be stoned in order to have an “AIDs-free Christmas” is going to bring them to God. And for those of us who are both gay and Christian or bi and Christian, how do you think we feel? Some of us are still struggling to accept our intersecting identities as gay or bisexual Christians. Your hateful (and frankly, quite frightening) rhetoric isn’t helping matters. If anything, we feel even more rejected and lost. By screaming for our deaths, you’re not bringing us any closer to God. Why? Because the only attitude you’re exhibiting is hate, and since you’re a man or woman of God, then God must also hate us. Or so we think.

I’d like to ask pastors like Steven Anderson to consider what they’re saying, and maybe, hopefully, seek out some civil discourse with those in the LGBT and LGBT Christian communities. See what our side of the story is. See that we’re not really all that scary. Some of us profess the same faith in God that you do.

And above all, follow the words of James 1:19-20: Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.