They say that membership has its privileges. This has become clear to me over the last few years. Sometimes we fear inclusion… fear the scarlet letters that might be stitched to us… fear the penalties that could be levied against us. Some of use fear real physical retribution. But the membership… the belonging… does have benefits.
When i joined the sisterhood of the abused – i was forced to face my own past and to share the misery of others… but i also tapped into a wellspring of strength – that incredible awe-inspiring human will to survive.
When i came out as bisexual, i dealt with some bullshit, but it was a liberating move – and the people i came to know and love… benefited my life more than the loss of a few friends who really weren’t.
When i started living more openly in the non-vanilla world that used to be relegated to hushed nights and long stolen weekends, i found that my appetites were far from abnormal… that my kink was simply that… my kink. The respect and acceptance i’ve received in that tribe allows me to live more unapologetically. i like that, very much. And my shift into power exchange – while still in flux – has forced me to take an unflinching look at who i am, what i can control, and what i have no desire to control.
When i recently joined al-anon, i began to contemplate many things i preferred to keep locked up in the dark. That’s new to me… still fresh and raw… but has already helped as i navigate my life and relationships.
All of this is on my mind today because many folks in my tribes… my kink family, my glbt family, my PE family, and our allies… many are at PRIDE today in Columbus. This will be the first time i’ve missed it since moving to Columbus. The air quality is bad and my daughter is sick… so i am opting out this year.
i’ll miss it – i’ll miss them, but i am there in spirit. Pride… Pride in membership… Pride in self and Pride in place. W/we are Proud of who W/we are and Proud of what W/we have accomplished… will accomplish… W/we are not ashamed. W/we are Proud.
We shall be Free (Garth Brooks)