Damned Don't Cry

Discussion in 'Pagan' started by iBrian, Apr 3, 2005.

  1. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Admin

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    Do people who experiment with their sexuality across gender boundaries, feel pushed towards neopagan and mystical expressions of faith?

    Not least because Christianity - whether as a cause or expression of popular societal values - sets a precendent and justification for the expulsion of people seen as "deviant" from mainstream society?

    Perhaps someone who is gay, bisexual, or lesbian, is going to spend some time on the fringes of general society anyway (?) - but is the sense of movement from being pushed from the mainstream, or simply attracted to that which is outside of it?

    More specifically, does neopaganism become a form of magnet for people outside of heterosexual constraints, partly because there is no mainstream proscription against personal sexual preference, but also because neopaganism is also sometimes pointed to as an "enmey" of conservative Christianity as with "homosexuality" and other acts of "sin"?

    Heavy stuff, eh? :)

    Reason I ask is because I finally got around to buying an album by Visage - and the song "Damned Don't Cry" simply creates a sense of separation from society. The lyrics themselves are also very reminiscent of the superb Bronski Beat song "Small Town Boy", whose lyrisc and music video really emphasised a sense of separation.

    So when it comes to being homosexual and pagan - does it feel like being pushed towards it, pulled towards it, or a mixture of both outside of simple generalisations?

    Is the sense of separation real? And if so, to what degree does neopaganism as a spiritual path help individuals feel a sense of belonging, if at all?

    Hope it's not too invasive or personal a question to ask.
     
  2. ISFP

    ISFP New Member

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    Brian-

    while not a neo-pagan, i can give my own experiences with gender / sexual identity and spirituality.

    i have many friends who, upon coming to terms with being glbtq, began to look at their religion of birth and see the overwhelming emphasis placed on heterosexuality and traditionally male/female gender roles as social and spiritual cornerstones.

    some have remained close to their original tradition, while many others have found spiritual paths that are more welcoming towards them. paths that include neo-pagan, wicca, unitarian universalist... others choose religious paths that tend to de-emphasize the role of sex and gender, like Buddhism.

    it does depend on the person, but i'd agree that being glbtq within an intollerant religious community will often lead one, if they're able, to seek out their own path.
     
  3. Travis_MI

    Travis_MI New Member

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    I have an interesting (and thoroughly scholarly) book called "Blossoms of Bone" which examines the historical views of homosexuality in various cultures. It is interesting to note that in many cultures homosexuals seemed to be attributed a special position because of their sexuality. In contemporary India, the hijras are an example of the way a culture makes allowances for homosexuals (transgendered individuals in this case). The hijras -- who are quickly losing their mystique when faced with the onset of technology, westernization, etc -- are believed to have the power to bless or curse, depending on the size of the donations they receive. There's something about the intersection of masculine and feminine within one person that seems powerful.. I wonder if perhaps ths is why gays are the favorite targets of so many groups. If we were simply limp-wristed poufs I don't think people would get so worked up.

    -T

    p.s. The above information on the hijra was tapped out in a hurry and I'm sure that someone who knows more about them than I do could find many flaws, so don't take it as gospel :)
     
  4. bgruagach

    bgruagach eclectic Wiccan

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    Another good book that explores this whole topic is Judy Grahn's "Another Mother Tongue." It also discusses how language affects things like identity and is used to foster community.
     
  5. Uriella

    Uriella New Member

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    I personally have seen no evidence that there are larger numbers of gay/transgender people within the Wiccan/pagan groups of which I am a part than there are in wider society. The people who really are in large numbers within these groups are women in their middle years, and also to a lesser extent teenage women. I belong to the former group, and I am not retreating into paganism because I'm on the fringes of mainstream society, but because mainstream religion simply no longer has a spiritual feeling to it for me, and for many other people. I need a religion that answers that need in me for spiritual purpose and a link to the earth and mother nature at a time when society at large seems to have forgotten that it is actually a part of this world and no longer sees a need to live in harmony with it.

    Blessings, Uriella :)
     
  6. Guenthecat

    Guenthecat New Member

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    I live in the heart of the Bible Belt where both Pagans and the gay community is seen as Extremely devient. In my experience with both the gay community and the Pagan community, there isn't a large amount of gays, etc turning to Paganism. Everyone I have contact with in the gay community either lives as an agnositc, not going to church and not feeling the need to think about it, or they go to churches that welcome them. There is one Huge gay church in my area and several others that accept gay members as long as they don't "act" gay. Most of the gays I've ever met were of the opinion that Pagans are weird hippies, but feel they don't have the right to judge so they don't make an issue out of it.

    Now granted, most of the gay people I know are gay men, so that does skew my view a bit. You may very well be seeing a trend with bi-sexual women. And I think that trend is connected with the large amounts of young women who are trying out bi-sexuality in their "party years". I don't consider these young women gay. Most of them are only participating because they wan't to turn on their boyfriends.

    Guen ~:)
     

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