I hope never to be defined.
To be defined by others is a hypothetical box to be circumscribed giving you agency whether to abide in it or not.
To be defined by your self is to set a foundation that you must build independently upon-- and as such is not so easily changed.
"Who am I?", the question often goes. This is not a topic I have shied away from in this blog-- quite the opposite, really. I mean, as far back as 2010 I wrote about that on this forum.
With a few edits added for clarity's sake, here is that post.
"Having nearly two hours to sit and think while the kids were in bed, I started thinking my deep thoughts. What are things that define who I am? I thought about my basic characteristics; I like to make music, I'm not to bad with computers, I want to be an over achiever really bad, but I'm not really good at it, and stuff like that. Then I expanded that circle into things like how I like to dress, my room's red and black colors, my binders all covered in Dilbert comics, and my Facebook profile photo. Once more I expanded it. On a personal level, when I think of my self, I immediately think of my family. They are part of my very self definition. So naturally I included my immediate, Mom, Dad, Albert, Catherine, Megan, and Jesse. The people who really mean all the world to me. But to include them, I felt I should add some more people. My Grand and great-Grandparents. I have never met any of them in my memorable life, but by studying what they left behind, I start to learn more about them.
I continued this circle of inclusiveness to odd things, and one topic that got me interested. What are some inanimate things that portrait me. My email address, my old user name, Smallfry918, my cell phone number, my face book account, my cell phone, my ring, my watch. I'm not sure what category this falls under, but almost all of these things I have no intention of forsaking in any foreseeable time for no reason. I really see how unique I am, and it makes me all the more proud to know I am a child of God.
Yeah, So this is all. It makes me happy."
There was a time in my life not too long ago where figuring out how to define myself was a matter of great importance. In the LDS culture and for that matter in the middle class white culture, it is expected to have a logical forward path in life. And that is pretty much always in the public domain. From missions, to school, career and marriage. There are expectations and time frames from other's precedent.
Almost exactly a year ago I came out publicly on this blog to the world concerning my sexual orientation. Not too long ago in brevity I made known a change in religious affiliation.
I really don't know how to say this nicely. I want to answer the question I previously posted, but I'm just not sure how to communicate my thoughts.
At the end of one of my all time favorite movies, Easy A, Olive Penderghast finally addresses the rumors of her promiscuity. Despite being entirely false people judged her nonetheless. She became the Christ figure of the film. She was harassed, abused and ostracized because of what was assumed about her. People hated her.
So here are two quotes to address the previous question concerning the changing of my theological beliefs.
"And here you all are. Waiting for me outside the bedroom door for me to kiss Todd. Listening to me pretend to have sex with Brandon. Paying me to lie for you, and calling me every name in the book. And you know what? It was just like Hester in the Scarlet Letter. Except that's the one thing movies don't tell you: how shitty it feels to be an outcast. Warranted or not."
"I might even lose my virginity to him. I don't know when will it happen. You know, maybe in five minutes, or tonight, or sixth months from now, or maybe on the night of our wedding. But the really amazing this is, it is nobody's goddamn business."
If I've told you about my theological beliefs, then that is just fantastic. If you are sincerely curious, please ask me directly. But unlike last time when I revealed something new in unique about me, this one somehow strikes closer to home for people and as such I've chosen not to broadcast it. But please, do not make assumptions about why I am no longer LDS. That includes, "He must have been offended" or "It's probably because it was too hard for him being gay." I can assure you, it was neither. It came from the innate disagreement with fundamental doctrine.
In no way do I want to stand on a soap box proclaiming the illegitimacy of any theological belief. It is offensive and pointless. But if you do ask me what I believe and why I believe it, just know that I will try my best to remain in first person about my experiences but you still might not like what you hear.
You guys rock. Go eat a cookie and life will be awesome.
A. Browne Sebright