Well hello. As some of you know, I”m mentally disabled. I’m also a survivor of domestic abuse and am very lucky to be where I am right now, mentally and physically. I am also queer in the sense that even though I am trans, I manifest as a more femme man. Basically, as my wife and sister say, I’m a gay man who loves doing drag.
And here I am, trying to build community. Dreaming up a monastery for pagans. Leading rituals. Having my ideas stolen (yep) by greedy w(b)itches who want to make money out of copying my fund-raising charity events. And generally, I plod along. My dream is my vocation, and I will do it.
But the other day, I hosted a BOS write-in (which became more of a chat-in) and noticed what strong personalities I had as my administration (because yes, I have a dedicated team of admins who support me). I fleetingly thought that wow, I am surrounded by the type of people that I would normally look up to so much. And then – WHAM! – I realized that I was the leader of these amazing people. That these strong, confident, and competent people must see something in me to be willing to follow me.
Well, aside from being an ego-boost, this moment taught me that there must be something in me that I’m not seeing. Some strength, some quality that others find worth following. And right now, as I write this, I’m thinking that maybe it’s not in spite of me being the freak, it’s because I’m the freak.
Maybe the reason transgender people are so often seen as leaders and sacred whatnots and ultimately special is because we dare. We’ve crossed such large and taboo barriers that we grow confidence in just not giving a fuck. Maybe the reason the disabled are leaders too is because we learn strength and resilience in overcoming our own selves. And maybe it’s the same for survivors of domestic abuse – who can read the invisible language of abuse far easier than others.
Maybe it’s all these qualities, shunned by society and shamed, that make me a leader are wiling to follow. My point is not that I bear a crystal gem within myself that irradiates my followers with enlightenment. It’s quite the opposite, it’s not so much about me as what has shaped me, and given me the strength and tools to inspire, dream, and lead. I’m probably just as special as the next person, but I’ve learnt from these adverse experiences and used them to become unique qualities and strengths.
I think, if I was to summarize, paganism needs us freaks to step forward and dare to dream. We freaks are the leaders, not despite of our freakiness, but because of it, smashing down borders and getting all up in people’s business.
So dare people. Be Freaky!