u2october's Diaryland Diary


Thanxgiving 2020

It’s technically Thanxgiving. I’m not speaking to the majority of my immediate family members, and while I suppose I’m not exactly thankful for that per se, I am thankful to not have to deal with the stress that often went along with dealing with them.

This has sort of been 20 plus years in the making. Around 2001, I left the church community in which I had spent my entire life. It was hard, messy, and disjointed. I wandered through the post-religious trauma landscape for several years still keeping up appearances with my family, attending church with them when I happened to visit around holidays.

Then I went to college, and figured if I was going to try and stick with Christianity, I might as well try the original, so I went through formal RCIA and converted to Catholicism. I did the whole nine yards, becoming the Grand Knight of my Knights of Columbus chapter, reaching their highest rank. Everything seemed cool until Jess got pregnant with Aodhan and we were shunned just like my evangelical church would’ve done. I guess that taught me that Christians are pretty much all assholes, just with varying approaches.

I tried some of the liberal Christian sects, namely the UCC and the polytheistic UUs. They were nice, and our children were baptized UCC. If you’re going to do Christianity, I recommend them. Some of them aren’t assholes. An admittedly low bar, but hey, they clear it.

A few more years, more tension building with every passing visit with family that claims to love you, but in reality, pities you as a sinner. It is at this point I begin to understand the vast distance between tolerance and acceptance. My family tolerates who I am, but does not accept who I am. This hurts me deeply.

In 2015, I came out publicly as being bisexual. My mother was crushed and has still never discussed it with me. My youngest sister and her husband claim to “love the sinner while hating the sin.” I claim to “love the believer, hate the belief.” The truth is that neither of these are tenable positions on which you can sustain a healthy relationship.

A few weeks ago, when I decided to come out as Agender, changing my pronouns to They/Them, I knew that the relationships had become too toxic to maintain. This was exacerbated by their adherence to the cult of personality a la the Trump movement. Death by a thousand paper cuts that I won’t go into minute detail over, but that have finally led me here.

I am luckier than most in my position - I haven’t faced violence from my family, and I have a wonderful, fiercely loyal sister who has my back no matter what. She is a treasure. I have a brother and sister in law that I only met last year who accepts me for who I am. I have some awesome local friends I’ve made over the past year who are extremely supportive. I have a wonderful online community of former fundamentalists -many of whom have walk this path with me - who share our joys and sorrows.

That is what I am thankful for this year.

:end transmission:

00:51 - 11.26.20


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