Posted in News and Appearances

Being worth it

The other day these few little words landed in my Facebook Messenger inbox and they were music to my ears.

Just threw away my razor

razor

Now, these words will mean nothing to you unless you know the story behind them. I have found that writing books has brought me into contact with some of most diverse, beautiful, funny and amazing people ever. Old, young, quirky, staid, unusual, comedic and in some cases, downright scary. I have to say I love it all. The people that I find the most rewarding to chat to though are the ones who share things with me that I feel privileged to be part of and humbled that they choose to tell me things and trust me to keep a secret. The young man who wrote those words, let’s call him DA (and he’ll know why), is one of them.

DA lives in North Carolina in the US. He’s in his early twenties, gay and Christian. He comes from a conservative, religious family, attends a conservative University, and faces challenges that perhaps are ones facing other young people but that to him are very personal and unique to his situation. He’s very intelligent, a high achiever scholastically, and from what I know about him (as we’ve never met) he’s a man with a good head on his shoulders and a vision for himself as to where he wants to be in life.

John Stewart

He also self-harmed (I’m using the past tense because when he reads this post, I want him to know how much confidence I have in him keeping his promise to me not to) finding that somehow, that helped him cope. Being gay, a Christian and sometimes not being able to reconcile the two, taking pressure from his peers at school, his family, about his lifestyle and his sexual proclivity, one he didn’t choose but was born with- those are all tough things to live with. He also has bpd- borderline personality disorder, so he suffers from chronic insecurity and low self-worth.  So he has a lot of demons to face.

Gay Christian

We met via a special Facebook group and he was recommended my books by a friend of mine. He read Double Alchemy one and two (yes, there’s the DA reference ), started messaging me about parts of the books, character motivations and had a fascination with the ins and outs of Withinners and magick. And so an online friendship was born out of a story that I wrote and that he loved. If that isn’t enough validation for a writer to feel that she’s making a difference somewhere in someone’s life, then I don’t know what is.

This post is really about two things. One, the ability of stories to bring people together over long distances and make what I hope are long lasting virtual, and hopefully one day face to face, friendships.

Virtual friends 1The other is to validate this young man’s presence in my life and that of others around him and tell them that they are worth every minute. I was never more proud of him than when he sent me that little message. My family thought I was crazy, enthusing about the courage of someone I didn’t even know. (I’m sure we all face that somewhere in our relationships when the online friends we have become so meaningful to us and others perhaps can’t understand it.) But it’s real. It means something to us.

It can be destructive; we all know this and it’s an area we have to be extremely careful in. People have been hurt this way and it’s a never ending battle to keep the traitorous wolves from the door, and from snapping their jaws and tearing our flesh into shreds. But you have to continue taking those leaps of faith. As long as you do your homework and do your best to confirm the person’s existence, and safeguard your feelings and emotions, you should be fine.

This morning DA messaged me, really excited, because he’s found another young man who really likes him and took him out for a romantic dinner and gave him his favourite chocolates. It is early days but it’s a wonderful, positive start and I am so happy for him. Especially when DA says that he believes he’s not worth it and thinks no one can love him. Someone has just proven him wrong.

Chocs

So, to my wonderful DA; I have this to say to you. (Forgive me for all my book title references but I thought they worked in this instance –and actually I don’t care if they sound a bit cheesy J)

You stripped yourself bare, and made a start to saving yourself. You, my friend, are definitely worth keeping and anyone should be honoured to love you senseless. The magic of self-belief and self-validation is a powerful tool and should be used in buckets.

And to all the other people out there suffering from the same insecurities and fears – the same applies to you. Every human being in the world deserves love and happiness and is worth every effort to get them there. Believe in yourself and that you are someone unique and that is the battle half won. You have the right to exist and live as you are, regardless of colour, sexual preference, gender, religion or beliefs and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

Of course there are some basic human decencies attached to this- the biggest one being my own personal mantra and the old Wiccan rede, ‘And it harm none, do as ye will’.

rede

Taking beliefs and religions to the extreme and condemning and hurting others is so not cool. ‘Nuff said, as once I get on this soapbox, I won’t come down without a fight. Or a strait jacket.

We cannot let the bigots, zealots and small minded people win the battles that may be fought within ourselves and in society as a whole.

YOU ARE ALL SPECIAL AND YOU MATTER, BOTH TO YOURSELVES AND TO OTHER PEOPLE.

Tattoo this fact on your foreheads (I’m speaking metaphorically so don’t rush out and give the tattoo parlours too much business!) so every time you see it, you’ll remember that you deserve everything that is good and fulfilling in life –you deserve to love and be loved.

And on a final note…

Virtual friends

Posted in Future Works, News and Appearances

The Equal Rights Blog Hop – Why do I support it?

http://queertownabbey.com/join-the-equal-rights-blog-hop-july-4th-through-7th/

Let me very honest. I’m not gay, transgender, gender fluid, lesbian, homosexual or any other label society chooses to put upon people who are classed as ‘different’ from the norm (according to ‘set society’ stands at least). For who the hell we are we to define ‘normal’ ? And don’t tell me the Bible says so because I might punch you with it. Apologies to any religious friends I have out there but I’m entitled to express my opinion the same way the Spanish Inquisitors did. Only I won’t torture and massacre people who don’t believe the same things I do.

I am a ‘straight’ woman-(another bloody label) – who has been married to the same man for twenty nine years. But that doesn’t stop me getting on my soapbox and reveling in the fact that DOMA is dead, in the UK we have a bill being presented to Parliament that gives same sex couples the right to marry and that at last society is starting to come around to the idea that if two people love each other, who gives a flying f*** what gender they are?

And I also know that these victories are hard won, that there has been a lot of heartache and angst in the process and that there is still oh so much work to do. Lives have been destroyed, people have destroyed themselves after being tainted with the stigma of being ‘different’ for loving someone of the same sex as them and nothing can change that. But there is wonderful and untiring work being done by so many people around the world to get their voice out there and tell people that they are simply human beings -and that’s all that’s required to be in love or get married and share a life together.

I am not a fan of any sort of persecution. I wrote an anthology of poetry about this in my younger days. Colour, religion, beliefs, sexuality – these are all simply facets of life that contribute to our growth as human beings. Which colour, which religion, which beliefs and which sexuality –these are all irrelevant. Instead we have a person who chooses to live their life in harmony with another person. Isn’t that what life is all about? A phrase I think that has been so overworked that it seems to have lost its meaning unless used in cliché ridden conversations and writings is Live and Let Live.

From research I’ve done, it appears that this proverb is Dutch in origin and is first recorded in Ancient Law Merchant by G. De Malynes, published in 1622. It was later included in a book of English proverbs collected by John Ray in 1678. This is what it is defined as being –
Run your own life the way you want to, and let others do the same; be tolerant of differences.

Remember the Christmas Truce of 1914? Both sides of the opposing armies laid down their arms and formed a truce to come together as a group of people just trying to beat the cold, the hunger, the death, the grief and the need to be with other human beings in peace and in harmony. Their differences were forgotten. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could nurture this in every second of every day? If children didn’t have be taught that being ‘gay’ or loving someone of the same sex and wanting to have sex with them was not a sin, that them being different to others isn’t something that can be surgically removed or psychologically changed or meant they don’t have the same rights as other couples do.

So for me being a member of this GLBT community in the way that I am- someone simply believing in the thought that all individuals should have the same rights as others despite their differences – means I care. I support the fight, the drive to take away the imperfections so that life can be the same for all, no matter what their sexual persuasion. And I hope that qualifies me to join this amazingly feisty and passionate band of people and rejoice in their victories.

I’m giving away an e-book copy of my new release, ‘Stripped Bare’ to one random lucky winner who comments on this blog post. You may be asked a question to qualify for the prize draw. The answer is in this post, honest. The book itself will only be released on 22nd July, but I promise, you’ll get it if you win it…

Question for Grand Prize Giveaway- How long have I been married?

Click on this link to keep hopping along….

http://queertownabbey.com/join-the-equal-rights-blog-hop-july-4th-through-7th/