elder, elders, Heathen, nightmare, Pagan, politics, Religion, sara amis, transgender, wrongthink
So a while back I ended up writing an article about Elders, which seems to have been a topic that picked up. There was an artilce by DuPree which talked about it, and then someone responded to Dupree’s article. I’m going to look at their response, since it seems DuPree took the position of “I’m not shaming my people because you don’t like them.” Which some of you might recall was about M.Macha Nightmare, who temporarily took the public opinion of removing T from the LGBT grouping. So let us look at Inanna, the Sacred B and the Sacred T by Sara Amis and how she dealt with people respecting Nightmare.
I’m going to skip the poetry at the start because, well, it’s art. I’m not going to go around destroying art anymore than I have to. Reasoning and positions however…
This has been a bit of a slow burn for me; generally speaking, when people I know to be foolish on some subjects open their mouths and start talking, I don’t waste any more time trying to teach the pig to sing. I have got other things to do. But honestly…and this is no fault of his, particularly…when Erick DuPree started talking about “respecting our Elders” it just broke me.
It always seems the first thing to break people is when others they deem “foolish” or “wrongthinking” open their mouths and profess a differing world view. Of course, these people are always tired of “teaching swine” and explaining why they’re right. As if the rightness of their position should be so evident that all can see it, and only the subhuman would dare disagree.
Still, I suppose it says something for DuPree’s talent with words that he managed to break something using only them. It’s a rare talent. Bravo, DuPree, for being among the elite few.
We respect our elders, when we do so, for their wisdom. And that respect has to be earned; it is not automatic. Nor can it be coerced. Not to put too fine a point on it…they have to actually be wise. I will tell you this: The problem is far, far beyond signing one petition (however mean-spirited), or a few ill-considered remarks. I’m glad that Erick DuPree has had such positive experiences, but many other people have not. There is a toxic history of hostility towards queerfolk there that goes back decades…from people who damn well ought to know better.
Typically, that respect has been earned. Not “it needs to be earned.” Elders in a community, in my experience, are there because they have already passed the test and walked the road, not because they’re just starting out.
And…of course it’s queerfolk. Seriously, it’s either queerfolk or PoC who are always complaining about “how badly they’re treated.” You know who you never really hear complain about how badly they’re treated? Heathens. I mean heathens get the shit beat out of them, tarred and feathered as racists at every turn by nearly every “progressive” Pagan path out there and you don’t hear them crying nearly as much about their maltreatment.
But oh no, some Elder of a path that doesn’t even probably relate to the “queerfolk” that much goes off and does something they don’t like and suddenly it’s all “toxic hostility” that “goes back for decades.” And a dozen other reasons to silence the “wrong thinker.”
The petition that Macha Nightmare signed is to “remove the T” from LGBT organizational support, citing a bunch of scare-mongery nonsense. It claims to be from “gay and bisexual” signatories but I am smart enough to know that any group of people trying to pry trans people loose from the chain of queer solidarity are going to be coming after me next. We as groups are barely tolerated in some gay and lesbian circles as well as the wider culture as it is, and by “barely” I mean “openly viewed with hostility and/or actively erased.” I fled that hostility as baby queer and landed in the Pagan community partially because it was the one place I felt being bi was a non-issue. Oh, the irony.
Actually, everyone is welcome to read my article about the whole “removing the T from GLBT” thing. In which I point out the movement rightly points out that where GLB are sexual orientations, T is a gender (technically it’s not even a gender, it just is an expression that you were born the opposite of your gender). And that many in the T community actively run at cross purposes with both the G and L communities in both terms of social freedom, orientation recognition, and so forth. It’s hardly “scare-mongery.”
Well, unless you happen to agree with the G and L people that the Trans community has a disturbing habit of trying to nab kids while their young for gender reassignment programs when in reality those kids might simply be homosexual rather than transgender. That might count as scare-mongery, even if it is true.
Oh wait, I’m doing that thing where I challenge people’s sacred beliefs with facts again, aren’t I. I’m such an asshole.
And to answer Erick’s question about whether we are to assume she is trans-phobic because she signed it…yes. Yes, we are. It’s a transphobic document; it claims among other things that women get regularly attacked in bathrooms by “men” ie trans women. It’s nonsense, and it’s hateful nonsense. She put her name to it willingly. What Luisah Teish and Rose Barrett said likewise. They are grown-ass women, and responsible for what they say and do. You can’t claim or advocate respect on the one hand and make excuses (or call names) on the other; it doesn’t work that way.
Uh, no..no we’re not.
Transphobia, if we translate it literally, means an irrational fear of trans gender people.
So a petition that says “a gender identity which holds to regressive views of male/female gender norms and engages in anti-GLB behavior at times does not belong categorized with sexual orientations which exist outside of gender norms” is not “trans phobic.” It is anti-trans, sure, but it is not an “irrational fear” especially given the number of GLB peoples who have come out in defense of this petition, created this petition in the first place, and provided evidence of how the T was not something that belongs in with GLB as they know or understand it.
Of course, if we use Amis’s logic here, Amis is a homophobe for trying to silence GLB voices in determining the scope and nature of their identity and movement.
Now, is Nightmare’s signing this petition transphobic? Oh course not. Nightmare does not appear to fear transpeople, or be hostile to them in any way. She merely signed a petition that said a gender doesn’t belong grouped with sexualities. Something that the political left has stood by as a position for decades, that gender and sexuality are separate things and should be treated accordingly.
Now, I don’t know what this Luisha Teish or Rase Barrett things are. Amis doesn’t include links. If anyone has links, put them below and I’ll look them over, thank you. I’m guessing it was more “Wrongthink” in regards to transgenderism or something like that.
Look: age is no excuse. If you could draw on ancient sources to help restore the sacred feminine, a deeply radical notion in the 1960s and 70s, you could certainly have noticed that those same ancient sources make frequent reference to the sacred androgyne…Gods, Goddesses, and their priesthoods alike. We aren’t talking about some “progress” that hasn’t quite happened yet and that we need to be patient for; nor yet about disrespect for elders, forsooth. We are talking about Ancestors, who are the most Elder of all, and reading the source material.
I’m not an expert on all Ancient Religions. I do however wonder sometimes about all the stuff the “queerfolk” use to prove that they have a place in paganism based on ancient stuff. I am a historian, however, so I tend to look at my sources in their larger context. So when I look at this sacred androgyne for example I know of things like Loki shape-shifting between genders and Hermaphroditus who had both genders. Now, of those two examples I am most aware of…Loki never stops being a man (internally) and Hermaphroditus was not a “queerfolk” transgender person, but rather a person of bi-gendered nature, existing as the third human gender…but not a transgender.
Of course, we are swine and Amis gives no links to all this evidence for “queerfolk” being a part of ancient religion or society.
And that is what I came here to tell you about. Let stupid be stupid. What I want to say to you…especially those who are trans, genderfluid, bisexual, or any variety of shapeshifter queer…is that we aren’t some peripheral afterthought of the sexually polarized Mystery. We aren’t the next down the priority list of being seen as fully human, and for some a bridge too far. We are at its core.
Right, okay, are we talking some kind of “Otherkin” shapeshifter queer here or am I actually supposed to believe that there are physical shapeshifters openly living with this supernatural power…and their biggest problem is that they’re gender isn’t lining up with the bodies…they…can…shapeshift…into any…form…they want…
Also, I’m not sure why Amis is dragging bisexual people into this. They’re not being removed from the GLB community. And except for the odd treatment of “just pick a team already” I can’t even say that having talked to bi-sexual people they’re all that messed with.
But as far as this “we’re at the core of the mystery” thing goes…Amis..you’re lying to yourself, and to your audience. That “Mystery” in every historical and religious context I’ve come across truly is Male/Female. There were male mystries, and female mysteries, and joint mysteries but you know what? I’ve never come across a “queerfolk” mystery in the ancient Pagan ways. I’m not trying to be mean here, I’m not being transphobic, I’m just stating the truth. “Transgender” as we know it practically didn’t exist a hundred years ago. Much less several thousand.
I’m sorry. I know it sucks to be something completely new and practically unheard of. I know it sucks being stuck in a form that is so different from your true self, and your true self being something so alien to this world that it goes beyond understanding. But you can’t change the past or facts just because you don’t fit them, and you don’t get to declare everyone who doesn’t agree with you to be some vile thing to be shunned from society.
That core is expansive. No matter who you are, I need you to go think about the fact that physical sex, sexual orientation and gender identity are demonstrably not fixed and immutable qualities parceled out in discrete and complete packages tidily by nature, that they are tidal, they are in flux…and that’s true for you even if your compass needle never swings at all personally, except it does because nobody in this world is exactly the same sexual and gendered person they were born as. I need you to go and ponder that until you get it. It will be easier for some of you than others. And when you do get it you will know because it will feel exactly like the touch of a Goddess, fire and breaking open, a curse unbound. You are not a fixed object. You are a transformation in progress, always.
Oh bloody Hela.
Look, I get that Amis believes these things to be true. However, as a religious person I can promise you that belief in a thing doesn’t always promise that thing to be reality.
But what Amis is really saying here is that “everyone is transgender, transgender is the norm, they just do not experience it to the degree we “trangender” people do.
All you have to do is believe!!!!!!!!”
Even if all that is a little too mystical for you, consider that “The Lady of Largest Heart” which is literally one of the oldest works of literature in the world, written by the first named author in human history (a woman) describes a ritual in which Inanna removes the symbols of womanhood and “consecrates [a] maiden’s heart as male,” then does the same with a man, granting each the role and status of another gender by divine fiat and simultaneously inducting them into her priesthood. She herself appears as whatever gender she pleases, and pays no regard to expectations while doing so. Inanna is no minor deity; she is Queen of Heaven, Priestess of the Gods, winner of the holy me from Enlil, pre-eminent Goddess of sexuality, battles, and all of the arts and sciences and skills of rulership and the social order. That is to say…ancient Mesopotamia was the foundation, the cradle of Western civilization, and the sexy mama rocking that cradle was a cross-dressing, gender-shifting, sovereignty-and-victory-granting Goddess who would make love to anything that moved, male, female, or androgynous, with bells on and drums playing. If we as a civilization want our groove back, I know Who has it. And she is not about to put up with any of your trans- or bi- or homo-phobic blather, misogyny, or ignorant hateful nonsense.
I swear to Gods, fate has the funniest sense of humor sometimes. The Priestess who wrote this “queerfolk” friendly poetry (supposedly) is named Enheduanna. Her father was the King Sargon of Akkad. Who, as many of you will know, is the alias of one of my favorite YouTube personalities…who often deals with debunking and calling out radical progressives such as Amis, for trying to shut down people who commit “Wrongthink” against the “progressive” agenda.
Sorry, I know that doesn’t really add anything, I just thought it hilarious.
Here’s the thing though, Mesopotamia was not the foundation and cradle of “Western Civilization. That was Greece and Rome. Sure, Mesopotamia is listed as the first recorded civilizations as we know them, but claiming they’re the foundation of Western Civilization would be like claiming they were the foundation of Asian civilization. We call it Western Civilization because it’s from Europe, the “West.”
But you know what, hey, good for the Trans people. They finally have a God. Usually, they just say “the goddess” or something and never have a name, but here we apparently have the name. Of course…Inanna is not the only Goddess out there, or the strongest, or the one that most “western civ” Pagans pray to so…not sure how this really effects the conversation, really. She sit not in the halls of Asgard, nor does she live on Olympus. The Celts knew her not, or the Slavs. In fact, Inanna really isn’t part of Western Civilization’s Divine givers at all.
So maybe she’s not going to put up with our “trans-bi-homophobic” nonsense (of course, Amis has already committed homophobia by her own standards, so…not sure I’d be invoking a Goddess not going to stand for that if I were them), but when it comes right down to it…There’s a lot of Gods and Goddesses who apparently are more than happy to let people speak their minds and believe as they will, and thankfully they’re the ones with the power here.
Still, I can’t help but feel deep down there’s some misrepresentation going on here on Amis’s part. So if anyone who worships or knows more of Inanna would like to post about her in the comments, the phone lines are open.
May your door be opened, and your truest self revealed; may it manifest like a flower blossoming out of nowhere. That is Inanna. That is her.
Actually, my truest self revealed is Svartwulf and it’s…not so much a flower. It’s more like…well.
What can I say, Hela wanted an eldritch abomination. So no doubt when Amis wants to rip into me as some sort of transphobic swine for doing this all I’m really going to do is laugh. Because really, when you get to my level of messed up transformations, transgenderism is…well…it’s cute.
Silver Wolf said:
As a bisexual woman I will say the rest of the “community” tends to have mixed feelings about us, but normally at best we tend to be ignored (and tend to stay to ourselves). Some don’t care and some do not like us. Personally I don’t give a shit if other people in the community like me or my sexuality. I really don’t think we are in danger of getting booted out though so yea.
As before I stated I agree with not including trans in part of the LGB community because gender and sexuality are completely separate issues. I think maybe the fear is that if they take the T off that transgender people will lose their support, but I don’t think that would be the case. I have this opinion yet a close friend of mine that I very much care for is a trans woman and I have been a supporter of trans people for quite some time.
I don’t really know anything about Inanna so I can’t speak on that one, but to try to cite a pagan religion of accepting of transgendered people may be Hinduism. They tend to be referred to as Hijra, a third gender. They are seen as being blessed and are good luck to have a different kinds of celebrations (birth, marriages, etc.) and are routinely paid to attend. The religion itself is a lot more accepting but they still do tend to get looked down on by the populace and tend to live in poverty. There is some gender fluidity in some of their myths. I am by no means an expert on the Hindu religion so this may not all be 100% accurate.
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Jön Upsal's Gardener said:
Thanks for mentioning Sargon of Akkad’s YouTube channel. I’m checking it out now, and liking what I’m seeing.
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