Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Rolling the Dice

Ah, Wednesday morning, the birds are chirping, the kids are outside laughing and playing while waiting for the bus and the goddam neighbor is putting up drywall in the apartment next to me. I’ve been battling with chronic fatigue syndrome for the past three weeks now and it has affected my work and play a great deal. Saturday I had a nice little break from this foggy feeling and was able to mingle with my friends.

Come Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, I was a total dishrag. In fact, every single muscle in my body ached and my thoughts were scrambled as if I sucked down an entire bottle of cough medicine. Some would call it depression or (SAD) Seasonal Affective Disorder, but I’m going to go with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Yes, I have officially diagnosed myself. I’ve been working on a few projects at one time and I’m not much of a multitasker. My personal diagnosis of ADD tells me this. Or could it be a mere “disinterest”? Who the hell knows - everything is so damn vague these days. Manic depressives are now bipolar and multiple personality disorder has twisted into dissociative identity disorder. Everything has a label and pill to fix you. And if you don’t have a label on your forehead, doctors who receive generous kickbacks are more than happy to supply you with one. This is why I love my doc so much, he lets me decide how crazy I really am.

Here’s my dilemma: I’m coming out. No, you all know I’m gayer than KD Lang, but as far as my work is concerned, I’ve been writing for a religious organization that has basically closeted me in as a homosexual. So, I’m not “out”. What torments me inside is that I’d rather be helping people like myself in various areas, instead of giving shallow, positive messages for hardcore Christians who would hang me if they knew there was a gay writer behind these short articles. That really gets to me and I didn’t realize this until later. I thought by just writing these positive messages, that it would help and make people feel better. But what about me?

In the beginning of my journey with writing, I focused on religion a lot, because I’ve experienced God in my life and I was so excited to share this with everyone. Within a year of my writing career, I was tested by the fundamentalist Christians who basically beat me to a bloody pulp. Phrases such as: “You’re going to hell”, “You’re a mockery to God”, and “God hates the sin but loves the sinner”, have all taken a toll on me emotionally, spiritually and physically. At times, I didn’t quite know why I was feeling down or depressed, but I tried to self-medicate by drinking through it.   Jesus made water into wine, right? I had a whole bunch of excuses to drink and God being an excuse to back me up spiritually was very comforting.

In the archives of my blog, as well as the contents of my book, I focus on Christianity, biblical scriptures as well as my experiences and life with God. My blog has changed a great deal. I have changed a great deal, however, my relationship with God remains the same. I feel like a battered woman who has been beaten so severely by other Christians, that I am no longer able to fight back. I will keep my faith, however I will also remain quiet and hold God close to my heart. I thought I was doing a good thing, but apparently, I was riling up many Christians who were appalled that a lesbian can even call herself a Christian. The audacity!

My work has suffered a great deal and I am leaning toward 'humorist gay and lesbian relationship' type of material to fulfill my dream of writing, instead of hiding behind a pen name for some religious magazine. For those of you who have just logged onto my blog for the past year, it’ll still remain the same type of writing, but for those who have been reading me since 2005, you can see it has changed a great deal, but I assure you I am still the same person with the same beliefs. Sometimes you just have to decline in the battle of debates. This doesn’t mean I have given up, it means I have said what I needed to say and moving onto different things.

"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:  A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace."  ~Ecclesiastes 3:1-8


19 comments:

Leesa said...

What a hard decision you have. I don't know what I would do.

Grant said...

You're gay? Since when? I just thought you were playing hard to get. :p

You have a tough decision ahead of you. If you out yourself amongst your xtian peers, I fear you will spend the rest of your life defending yourself, but otherwise you're living a lie. I'm not trying to convince you to proceed since I know the difficulties of trying to be an outsider in a group. I'm just saying that it's an irreversible step and you may want to consider worshiping the devil and offering up anal sex to your blogpals as an alternative.

Miss 1999 said...

I'm proud of you for coming out-- You're a great person, and a great writer. Please don't give up on your dream, and don't compromise your writing just to pacify someone else. There are TONS of gay Christians out there who need the support and encouragement of someone like yourself, who is strong, and understands their struggles. Take some time to focus on you, and what you need to do to feel good-- then get back to it! *hugs and love*

Jess said...

Well said and I encourage you in your plight! :::pats on back:::

Deb said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Deb said...

Leesa: It is hard. I know you had a similar conflict in styles of writing prior, so you understand.

Grant: You’re absolutely right! I felt as though I was in constant battle of defending myself on what was actual “truth”. And their “truths” were way different than mine. “Oh you’re twisting scriptures and making it fit to your lifestyle.” Well, so were they! People interpret the bible in many different aspects, because let’s face it - it’s not all black and white. I appreciate your twisted, yet sincere comment my friend! ;)

Miss 1999: How are you? Glad to see you back! Well, I’ve always been “out”, but now I’m trying to establish more of a permanent name, instead of hiding behind pen names trying to give positive messages to religious zealots who would absolutely detest me if they really knew who was behind their ‘messages”. I do know that there are many gays and lesbians who do need the reassurance of God’s love, but like I said, I have said all I can say and taken all of what I have taken. My love of writing is more to make people laugh, relate and see things in a different point of view. I feel better and at ease with talking to not only gays and lesbians, but gearing myself towards everyone of every orientation and gender. I absolutely detest segregating myself to just one group.
Hope you’re doing great and feeling better! Missed you!

Jess: Thank you! I really appreciate that! :)

Xmichra said...

I am not religous at all, which is what gets me into trouble with people most of the time. So I can just imagine what you are going through, because I sort of get the opposite (being beaten down to the *you have to beleive in god! you have kids and are married!* thing). I was brought up a chrisian, and choose a differnt path. Doesn't mean I don't understand, or think morally.

This is going to be a huge change for you though... not for you as such, but for the people you write for. I hope they stay openminded.

budh.aaah said...

Deb,
why do you feel that you give 'shallow, positive messages ' and how can you say 'hardcore Christians who would hang me if they knew there was a gay writer behind these short articles'..

I think we are more open than that now. Uh I guess I shouldnt say 'we' since I am not a christian. What I mean is that the world is more open minded now.

I applaud your decision of coming out now.

Deb said...

Xmichra: I guess we get it from all ends. I’ve just decided that my old style of writing, which used to cater more for gays and lesbians with the main topic of religion vs. homosexuality took a toll on me. I then started writing under a different name for a magazine that I had to really select my words carefully. I want to be “me” and have no boundaries as far as what is on my mind, what I think and not going by some religious protocol. It’s stifling me, although the money is okay. I have to think “happiness” first. As far as your situation: you cannot force a belief or a lack thereof. Nobody should dictate to you what your life should be like and how you raise your children. And, when you do raise them a certain way - who’s to say that they won’t believe in something entirely different? Thanks for your comment...!

Budh: If you read my archives about homosexuality vs. Christianity, you will see how beaten down I got because I was a “mockery to God” and that I was an abomination. So, having to debate with scriptural backup made no difference at all, because they would simply say, “You’re twisting the scriptures to fit your lifestyle”, when that was not the case at all. As for now, and the way I’ve been writing my blog, I prefer it this way. I have more of a mixed bag of readers and bloggers that I network with and I like it. I get more thoughts upon their backgrounds and I’m interested in various beliefs, as opposed to pushing mine upon them. I think the key is “sharing” and not belittling. Although I’m a Christian still and still hold my beliefs close to my heart, I am more open-minded with those of different religions and beliefs. I appreciate your comment!

TrappedInColorado said...

Holy moly! I thought you had stopped posting! You did write a post saying you were giving it up didn't you?

Sorry to see about your self diagnosis of the CFS. If it was SAD I could help you as I was able to kick it's ass when I had it.

Still drinking Ketle One?

Glad to see you again, Deb.

Peace

TrappedInColorado said...

Oops.. just read your Solace in a little brown bag post... so disregard my question of Ketle one...

Peace

Ricardo said...

I am so happy for you Deb. Really I am. This was a big move and one for the better. You're doing the right thing. You gotta be you. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

the walking man said...

I have had a number of tags placed on me...schizophrenic, suicidal, chronically depressed, obsessive compulsive, and I am sure there are a few I haven't known about.

But I like the one God put on me best; "Kid, you ARE fucked up..."

And I assume, as I always do, that God is always correct so I proudly wear the label on my forehead..fucked up for life.

Because the rest of God's statement to me was "...according to man's standard. Not mine."

Deb in trying to define right and wrong, good and evil there is so much confusion among the Christian brethren because they do not read the words in a linear fashion but rather always trying to "divide the word of truth." Mostly wrongly I have found.

Let's first come to what the definition of sin is. In times way past it was breaking the law delivered by Moses that caused sin in man, and in the new times that law has been wiped out. so we need to define what sin is...from Genesis to Revelation sin is always given in example as Man becoming separated from God.

But the law was wiped clean when it was fulfilled eh? There was no law and man became free from it but sin did not stop, man still found ways to be separated from God.

BUT the difference is now we have the ability to be close to God and what would cause you to be separate from God would not necessarily cause me to separate myself.

In simple terms sin is what you believe it to be, not what I think it is because it is one thing for you and another for me.

Them who think sin and separation are laid down by rules in some pamphlet or book written by some preacher in self righteous indignation, simply don't get it.

So you write for a Christian publication under a pseudonym...so?

Do you lie to your audience when you write or is it that you feel you are not being honest about your own sexuality?

If it is the first then quit, quit now. If it is the second, why do you want a bunch of strangers in your bedroom? Your private decisions most likely, if I understand homosexuality, come from your DNA, they do not affect the words of comfort you write to your Christian audience.

Every prophet and teacher since the time of Christ has been told to work, to make a living for themselves and this is how you make yours.

Look for another job in the gay media if you want, there is no dichotomy in being both a writer in a Christian journal and a Gay one at the same time. You know as well as I that like all people, writers are complex and maybe to a degree more so than most.

I think you feel it necessary to come out to your audience in the Christian magazine, why at this time? Fatigue of living what you consider a lie? Bullshit if you think it a lie, it is simply a part of your complex nature as a human.

If you come out...then do it for your audience not for yourself, do it in a way that encourages the reader to think outside of the things that they are constrained by. Do it for their edification for you already have your salvation.

If there is any lie in your life Deb, it is the one that has been told to you when they say homosexuality is an "abomination."

Personally I no longer identify myself as Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Wiccan, Pagan, Hindu or any of the sub-sects thereof because I know what I am and that is, like you, a beloved, a much cared for, child of the One who created all, for the purpose of bringing that love to the light of day that others may experience it within themselves.

I, in this past couple of months have found a very great fondness and affection for you and Madelene. To me you are both representative of the best of human relationships and in that you teach what love is between people.

If I have one complaint about you, if that is the right word, it is that you still question yourself. Not your sexuality or your Christianity but yourself, you have kept fear where there is no need for it, If God be for you, than who can stand against you?

But of course what do I know..God told me I was fucked up and I love the creator all the more for telling me that. You are fucked up too and it is a beautiful thing.

Be Well Debra Pasquelle it is your birth right as a child of the living God.

RiverPoet said...

Deb, you're simply awesome.

I finally came out to my church group, firmly believing they'd toss me out on my kiester, but they didn't. They were very loving and welcoming, even though the official church position is that marriage is between a man and a woman.

I was happy just to be able to keep going to be with them every Sunday morning without continuing to censor myself. It's awesome.

You keep writing, whatever you want. We'll keep reading.

Peace - D

Sridhar said...

That's my favorite bible quote you ended the post with.

As you said you have had your say and done your part let someone else take over :)

Deb said...

Trapped: Yes, I took a long and much needed break from blogging a while back, but... I’m here! And yes, I’ve given up on drinking, but I went in with the 90 day challenge just to cleanse myself, however when I tried dabbling a little, I find that I don’t like alcohol and it’s affects any longer. I did however try Level at a restaurant! It was delicious!

Ricardo: Thank you. I felt like I could no longer write another article for them without cringing over the fact of “what if they knew” type of thoughts. I appreciate your input!

The Walking Man: That’s the thing: too many labels to spew and way too many pills to throw around. I love self-diagnosing myself. Who knows me best but me, right? :)

Re: Christian theology and beliefs - there are so many beliefs within Christianity itself, and so many “rights and wrongs” and vise/versa with contradicting teachings that it’s enough to spin your head around. I just want to believe what I “know” and let the others judge if they’d like. I’m done arguing with people who are belligerent in their teachings of Christ.

”But the law was wiped clean when it was fulfilled eh? There was no law and man became free from it but sin did not stop, man still found ways to be separated from God. “

THANK YOU! Exactly. It doesn’t mean that it’s ok to be cruel or murder - it simply states the factual basis upon the Christian writings of the New Testament that the old law no longer applies. I’m glad you brought that up.

Your question:
”Do you lie to your audience when you write or is it that you feel you are not being honest about your own sexuality?”

The answer would be, I just don’t tell. To me, it’s the ‘don’t ask don’t tell” - but is considered a lie? There are no topics which bring forth homosexuality, therefore there is no reason for me to toss it around. So, is not telling the same as lying? In some cases, I believe yes. In my heart, it doesn’t feel right. 

I also wouldn’t want to pigeonhole myself to just gay and lesbian readers, because I have many sides of me that don’t include my sexuality of course. In fact, my life is surrounded more by heterosexuals. I don’t hide out in gay bars or try to only have gay friends - I love everyone regardless of sexual orientation, which is why I would love to write for all audiences, however I do have a feeling that it won’t be the case. I have an offer currently that deals with just the gay and lesbian community, yet I really want to branch out to all audiences, because relationships are relationships, whether or not you’re with one gender or the other, in my personal opinion. I don’t think I will be “coming out” to my audience who reads me, because it’s basically under a different pen name in a magazine that deals with other things besides sexual matters - so to me it’s no big deal. They are positive reinforcements that help people. I don’t even have to tell them that I’m Italian. ;) Thanks for your input! I really appreciate it!

River: That’s rare and wonderful to hear that your church accepted you ‘as is’. My church that I was attending wanted to throw me in one of those ex-gay ministries. “DEVIL BE GONE” type of deals. Ugh. Thanks, River!!!


Sridhar: I love that scripture because it applies to anyone of all different religions and backgrounds. Thanks, Sridhar!

Q of E said...

Oh honey, I know exactly how you feel. I get the 'How can you be a christian and still be gay' speech all the time. My own dad is like that.

I still say, 'judge not, lest ye be judged.' It's not my place to decide what is truth for another person. One of my best friends is constantly trying to tell me to change my faith. I let it go because he doesn't have to understand it. It's between me and God.

And I also say, 'everybody's got the right to go to hell in their own way.' And picking a fight with someone does nothing to convince them of the error of their thinking. When will the fundies pick up on this?

I was so worried that the folks on my father's side of the family would should up at my wedding in Hillboro Baptist style that I didn't invite them - or tell them. But my self-serving stepmother did - at every holiday gathering since I talked to my dad about it last 4th of July. I told Kathy that even if they act like fools, it's still our wedding and they can kiss my ass.

paz13 said...

Deb: You've got to be "true to yourself", which is something I follow and believe.

If you do that, it will make the decisions easier.

What is level?

Kevin

Dawn said...

I hope things work out for the best both for your financial and response to your 'coming out' in the articles you write.

Would love to read that new article when you write it.