When Glennon Doyle announced her engagement to Abby Wombach, I had a reaction that I am not proud of.
I thought, “What the fuck?”
I mean, I was happy for her, don’t get me wrong. But it also felt WEIRD. Elizabeth Gilbert had made a similar announcement not too long before. We’d watched both of them walk through these long and beautiful journeys to joy in their marriages to the MEN in their lives… and then THIS?
Like, is suddenly realizing you’re gay in your 40s contagious or something???
Okay, so there it is. A piece of my shadow self for you to chew on, digest, let go of like I’ve let go of it.
In the time since, I came to realize something that I think is important in this moment in time, as well.
Realizing you’re gay in your 40s IS contagious.
Except, not that exactly.
It’s like this.
All of us in our generation were raised in an atmosphere of constriction. Being gay in the 80s was no piece of cake. It was brutal. Deadly dangerous. Shameful. And all of us were steeped in that.
Same for being trans. Or just, you know, weird.
In my case, it was religious constriction.
And not just our generation. This entire country was built on repression. A Puritanical ethic that tells us anything joyful must be dangerous.
Civilization is built on repression. In order to consolidate power at the top, one must repress the tendency of the people to claim their own power.
Organized religion, especially the version of Christianity that spread like wildfire across the world via Europe’s colonial excesses, and that informs the GOP’s twisted version of actual-Jesus-free “Christianity,” is practically tailor-made to separate people from their power.
It tells us that we have to go through official channels to communicate with God.
It tells us that God is some great power in the sky, separate and above us, unreachable.
It tells us that God must be SUBMITTED to. That we must repress our base nature in order to meet the approval of this distant sky deity. That we must bow down and deny ourselves in order to reach communion.
It tells us that anything that allows us direct communion with God is dangerous. It literally burns us at the stake for attempting to reach God via any means but the official channels.
Meditation, cards, channeling, ecstatic dance, music… great sex… these are to be avoided at all cost, or at least (in the case of music and sex) practiced only in very constricted, officially approved ways… lest one lose one’s immortal soul to the devil and spend eternity in hell.
People who find, somehow, despite the repression, a direct path to God are DANGEROUS to the stability of civilization.
They might begin to realize how powerful they actually are. That they don’t have to give obeisance (and MONEY) to some institution that then funnels it upward to support the greed of the civilization’s so-called “leaders” in order to commune with God.
I mean, WHAT.
But see, that’s the thing. People in my generation, well, it took us a damned long time to get to it, but we CHALLENGED that.
I don’t mean to say we’re the only ones, don’t get me wrong. Millennials are doing a helluva lot to change the paradigm too. And some of those blessed Boomers paved the way for us to make our changes.
But in our time, we have effected a sea change in the way society treats people who are different, who are gay, who are trans, who are weird, who talk to trees and stones and wave feathers and talk to God with their bodies and drums.
So, hey, yeah, it took us a while, but those of us in our 40s and 50s grew up, most of us, disconnected from our own truths and our own power, separated from it by a shit ton of baggage that wasn’t ours but we thought we had to carry anyway.
And now we’re beginning to shed it. And when one person sheds, it often inspires another to do the same. So, yes, coming out as gay in your 40s IS contagious.
And, no, I’m not coming out as gay. Though I don’t exactly identify as straight either anymore, this is not some precursor to announcing I’m in love with a woman… I still very much like men in that way… and I’m still very much attracted to my husband.
I mean, have you seen him? He’s fucking hot.
Ahem. Returning to the point.
So many of us are waking up now, waking up into the fullness of our truth and power.
And that is contagious.
That is POWER.
That is what will finally bring down the false powers, the structures of oppression that funnel the energy and strength of the masses into the greedy paws of the few.
So don’t be alarmed and don’t be afraid. Step into your power. Own it. Wake up. Find your direct one-to-one path to God, whatever it takes.
Release anyone and anything that holds you back.
Whatever else you are HERE for, I believe that is the most important thing you can do.