I recently decided to pursue a journey with farming.
I’ve been fortunate to connect with some folks who are helping me to get started. It’s exciting.
Every second spent with the land leaves me yearning for more.
Food systems are important and I think food systems planning is how I’m going to end up putting my degree to work.
The land feels like home. It reminds me of the things I miss most about my childhood. It inspires me to honor my roots.
When I’m with the land, time flies by. In the stillness, I feel closer to my ancestors. I feel closer to the divine. I feel the liberty to just be me. All of me.
I am. It’s a complete sentence and a complicated one.
I exist at many intersections of identity. Some of them clash at times.
These clashes make them no less valid.
I am complicated.
I am gentle and intense.
I am fire and water.
I am so many things.
I once hated this reality. I wanted to hide the parts of me I perceived to be undesirable.
With time and experience came a change.
I spend years wanting those around me to celebrate me.
I betrayed myself for the approval of others.
Now I love ME completely.
If someone asks me who my biggest fan is, I won’t look around for anyone else to point out because well….
As a trans man who is called to ministry, I’ve been slacking.
I’ve been afraid.
I’m not afraid anymore.
Now I’m hustling and building. Challenging systems and cistems. I’m grinding.
It’s not about me.
It’s not about the money.
It’s all about the message.
God is love.
God is in all of us.
We should be love.
As bold and out and proud as I appear to be….. I sometimes struggle with confronting bigotry head on. It is particularly difficult when it is coming from the people who raised me. Yep… you heard it here first…. my parents are my biggest struggle when it comes to facing bigotry.
My name is Sebastian, my pronouns are he/him and they/them…. that’s the reality. The reality is that I have not answered to any other name or pronouns for quite some time. That is, with the exception of my parents. Now….I put the boundary and the expectation out there. They refuse to acknowledge it.
I am now on the fence about what to do moving forward because I get why they are behaving this way. They are behaving this way because they have accepted a God-view, rooted in many years of indoctrination, that makes it okay for them to disrespect me. I held that view for a long time, until I was liberated from the echo chamber of my upbringing and introduced to a means by which to deconstruct much of the dogma I had blindly accepted. This liberation led to me learning to love and accept myself for who I truly am and embrace communion with God and all of their magnificence. It pains me that I may have to walk away from a relationship with my parents but, in reality, if they insist on me pretending to be someone that I am not when I communicate with them….. what kind of relationship do we have at this point?
I suppose there is a kid inside me that still wants my parents to see me and love me for the man that I am. I want to be able to travel home and not be afraid of having my own flesh and blood misgender me in public, an action that could put my life in danger. My heart aches even as I write this because I know that my story is not unique. Anti-LGBTQ bias that is taught in sacred spaces around the world has done this to more families than just mine. It has torn many families apart and cost many people their lives. It needs to stop.
It needs to end. The blood of those whose lives have ended as a result of Anti-LGBTQ religious bigotry cries out from the earth, urging us to put a stop to this violence for the sake of those who could meet a similar fate.
Let us heed their call lest the blood of another generation be on our hands.