Our apologies for not posting in a while; the move to Athens, OH was crazier then expected and though excited to be here, we have been exhausted. Though we are still settling into this adventure (as much as one can settle into an evolving adventure), we are back to writing, reflecting, posting, and queerying. Moving to Athens has reminded us that we are minorities in more ways then one, a reminder that has been embraced with both eekness and excitement.
Spick … Pansy … Freak … Sicko … Sinner
Reffy … Rafter … Wacko … Abomination … Loonie
Faggot … Disordered … UnAmerican … Not human
As a Latin@ and queer person of faith who is flat-footed, slightly over weight, has a balding head, suffers from anxiety, depression, and sleep apnea, and who precociously defies labels and categories that have been pastorally coerced onto my body, mind, soul, and voice.
These words are not new to me, but have followed me throughout my life. They have been spoken to me and about me by family, friends, colleagues, teachers, pastors, news-casters, politicians, therapists, celebrities, and total strangers.
There have been times that these combinations of orally expressed hurtful letters (along with many many others not written here) have been uttered by me to others and even to myself.
These labels, names, misconstrued identities, paradigms, distorted realities are used to silence me … to other me … to de-member me … to de-voice me.
However, it is these same words that have challenged, thrust, and wrestled me into voice.
It is because of discrimination, misappropriation, and misconception; it is because of homophobia, transphobia, religiophobia, and latin@phobia–it is through my marignalization by words spoken and powerfully unspoken by society, the church, the academy, cultural institutions, education systems, the media that I have come into my own unique and prophetic voice with pride, chutzpah, vulnerability, and faith.
It is an ongoing spiritual and literal vocal chord re-memberment and stimulation that has been happening throughout my life and that truly began to be felt not too long before divinity school … it took many scars, tears, sweat, blood, and questions to live in the tension and peace of integrating body, mind, soul, ruach, and voice … this process and journey has just begun and will not end.
By not being celebrated for living, loving, and laughing beyond the norm, I have found my evolving authentic spirit and begun learning how to sing and proclaim my warrior chant, even when I am off tune or key.
It is my wrestling with isness and isms…of living in the in between spaces of competing yet complementing identities that I have come into voice and active presence-filled silence.
Though the journey is just beginning, I am able to embrace and be Queer, American, Cuban, Salvadoran, Catholic, Spanglish, catholic, Ecumenical, Mujerista, Eccentric, Imperfect, Curvaceous, and share a distinct quirky laugh that truly leaves a mark wherever I am.
By messages that have sought to dis-engage me, I have begun learning to re-engage, re-claim, re-own, re-rant, and re-embrace mi lucha, mi voz, mi DIOS, mi vida.