Brat, Sissy, Fag, Addict, Charismatic, Baptist, Non-Denom, Gay, Ex-gay, Former Ex-gay, Democrat, Republican, Independent, Condescending, Conservative, Liberal, Progressive, Loud Mouth, Bitch, Kind, Pastoral, Mean, Aloof, Smart, Dumb, A man of character, a Hypocrite, Humble, Trustworthy, Servant, Capricious, Fun, Drama Queen…
All the labels above, and far more, have been attached to me in some form or fashion during this journey. Some were well earned, some were just mean.
I mean COME on! I am NEVER a DRAMA Queen! :::rolling my eyes into a glare, fake flipping my hair, stomping my heel, crossing my arms::: #Hmmph 🙂
Today, I don’t know exactly where I fit. The only label that permanently sticks is my name, Randy. I am still a Christ Follower who happens to be gay. But, am I liberal? Progressive? Evangelical? I dunno. Over the past couple of years, I don’t really care what labels I wear or are ascribed to me. What I care about is just trying to live a substantive life; to know who I am without trying to earn and keep a label like a Boy Scout Merit Badge.
Until I came out a few years ago, most of life was spent trying to appease the inner voice that said, “you are not smart enough or good enough to figure things out on your own. Let others lead the way and open doors.” It took a seriously f***ed up mid-life crisis to open my eyes to the fact that even as a “leader” I was still addicted to others approval, operating out of “learned helplessness,” and that the substance of my life consisted of other people’s beliefs.
Over the past month, I have been experiencing a new season in my spiritual walk, one where the substance of my authentic self is finding its voice in areas I have been reluctant to go for the past four or so years. It may not be the easiest thing to label, but it is so much more peaceful to know that I am abiding in my own skin and honestly living out of a substantive core, and not someone else’s stigmatized ideas.
It seems much more profitable to focus on our own character and integrity being substantive instead of worrying about others ability to do the same; to not wear a label like a badge of honor but to honestly live out the substance of who we genuinely are. Living in authenticity at our core and not just in name creates life and joy for us, loved ones, and brings about Beauty in the world.
Oh, and a little extra grace for those of us with a dramatic flare is always appreciated. 😉