Over the past year, there’ve been a lot of relevant discussions in public discourse to me and my beliefs and identity.

For reference:

  • I’m Mormon (election season was murder sometimes)
  • I’m Bipolar (health care reform is a vested interest)
  • I’m bi-sexual (gay marriage/rights are always on my mind)
  • I’m a democrat (I repeat, election season was murder sometimes)
  • I’m a victim of sexual abuse (so the cultural discussion of shaming (and the prevention) is a big, huge, happy, sometimes not-so-happy deal)

And I decided, with the furor NOT dying down (which is good and bad, depending on the case), it was time to talk about it.

You see, this is the way I see religion, sexuality, politics, experiential perspective, and all the important decisions we make day to day about the way we live our individual lives: they’re for me.  The LDS church means something VERY different to me than it does to other members.  Being bi-sexual means something WAY different to me than it does to other people in the LGBT community.  Being a democrat is TOTALLY different for me than it is for some of my best friends.  How I take everything I’ve learned from being mentally broken and shunted from doctor to doctor thanks to insurance (or lack of adequate insurance) and from being abused is COMPLETELY different than it is for people with almost identical experiences to mine.  These things: they’re for me.

Not anyone else.

This is why it bothers me when I see blanket statements like, “All Mormons are dumb.”  Or, “Democrats want to destroy America.”  Or, “Gay people are evil.”  Or, “Crazy people should be taken out of the gene pool.”  Or, “People who say they’re abused are just trying to get attention.”

On the flip side, this is also why it bothers me when I see things like, “Atheists are just idiots who are scared.”  Or, “Republicans are backwards morons.”  Or, “Straight people hate gays.”  Or, “Healthy people will never understand.” Or, “Sex offenders should be culled.”

It hurt just to write most of those.  Like, the kind of soul hurt that makes your heart twinge.

Because you know what? These things are for me.  I take all these things, characteristics and choices, and I make BAD DECISIONS.  With disturbing regularity.  But I also make good decisions.  Intelligent decisions.  Righteous, civil-minded decisions.  Decisions that would make me an amazing mother.  Decisions that take me out of the spot light, so that I can do more good.

And I know other people, who take these essential parts that are for them and no one else, and they make these great and awful decisions.  They defy all those blanket statements.

One of the bravest people I have ever known is an atheist.

The person with the highest IQ I’ve ever met was a Republican, and his critical thinking skills were WAY beyond mine.

My strongest advocate friends are straight.

The most supportive person of people with diseases I have ever met is also one of the healthiest people I have ever met.  And she gets it.

And I personally know two sex offenders who are doing everything they can to be better than their pasts.  Who have acknowledged the wrong they did and are becoming good, contributing members of society.

There is no box big enough to fit me.  There is no box big enough to fit you.  It hurts my soul more deeply than I can express to see those boxes forcibly placed around strangers and friends alike.  Because their decisions and intrinsic qualities, those big things–bad and good–that make them who they are, are for them. And no one else.

Just like mine are for me.

And NO ONE else.

And I think that the better we are at recognizing that, the more awesome this world is going to be.  Because instead of making a war set to tear down everything precious out of our differences, we’re going build something sweet and beautiful and incomprehensibly amazing.  And it will be for all of us.

And everyone else.