Articles/Essays From Pagans
December 1st. 2013 ...
A Pragmatic Look at Neo Paganism
The Tarot as a Tool for Raising Consciousness
Leaving a Pagan Group – Part 1: To Leave or to Stay?
November 24th. 2013 ...
The Pagan and the Papacy
The Groovy Aquarian Christ: Jesus From a Pagan Perspective
November 17th. 2013 ...
For Love of the God
Which Witch? Philosophical and Psychological Roots of Wicca
A Threat to Religious Liberties?
November 10th. 2013 ...
Where did Aleister Crowley’s Influence on Wicca Go?
Thoughts on the Threefold Law/Law of Return
Nine Creeds: A Statement and Explanation of My Beliefs
The Celtic Tree Calendar
November 3rd. 2013 ...
The Mundane/Spiritual Mirror: What Does it Say About Your Life?
October 27th. 2013 ...
Thoughts On a Miley-Cyrus/ Robin-Thicke Society
On Being Wiccan: Some Unsolicited Advice
Pagan Religious Communities in your Area: Connecting With and Creating Them
Banishing, Invocation and the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram
October 20th. 2013 ...
Weather Magick: Who is Responsible for the Weather?
Broom Closet: In or Out?
Bottle Spells and Magick in Hoodoo Tradition
On Coven and Claws
October 13th. 2013 ...
Destroying to Create: A Lesson from the Dead
Consume the Scorpion- Scorpion Energy Revisited
October 6th. 2013 ...
UPG and U: A Breakdown and Building Up of Unverified and Unsubstantiated Personal Gnosis
Answering The Call from Spirit
Coping with the Loss of a Familiar
The Five-way Road: A Pagan Pilgrimage, Part 2 (The South)
September 29th. 2013 ...
Six Reasons Why Covens are Here to Stay
Priestessing and Titles: What's the Point?
Truth or Convenience? Questioning Motives for Spiritual Advancement
Speaking Up: The Conflict Between the Spiritualist and Our Human Experience
September 22nd. 2013 ...
Death of a Friendship within the Craft
The Five-way Road: A Pagan Pilgrimage, Part 1 (The Center)
September 15th. 2013 ...
Some Pagan Prayers
Lunar Insight Moon Musings: Bramble and Cerridwen
The Holocaust Survivor (Part II)
September 8th. 2013 ...
Introduction to the Five-way Road: A Pagan Pilgrimage
The Druidic Concept of Nwyfre
The Holocaust Survivor (Part 1)
Giving and Helping
September 1st. 2013 ...
Use a Flyswatter for a Fly: More on the Dark Arts
How Spells Work
Is It Really 'Energy'?
August 25th. 2013 ...
Mother Nature’s Way: Forging a Distinctly American Path
Healing Moon Ritual
Unconditional Love: The Paradox of Perfect Love
Earth to Soul/Sole
August 18th. 2013 ...
How Not to Fall in the Bunny Trap
Why Are You Like That? Thoughts on Hoodoo and Appropriation
Finding the Right Coven
The Knowledge Found in Silence
Moon Musings, Planetary Preponderances, Hazelnuts and Magick Wands
August 11th. 2013 ...
“I Survived a Weekend with Galina Krasskova”
The Charges of the Goddess and God with Commentary
August 4th. 2013 ...
Fair Weather Witches
Pagan Studies II: Modern Paganism in the Americas
Pagan Abbeys - A Practical Heritage for Spiritual Lay and Professional Cloistered Communities
July 28th. 2013 ...
Crystals 101: A Helpful Guide For Beginners
The More the Merrier? It’s not Only an Inaccuracy; it’s an All Out Farce!
My Pagan Manifesto
July 21st. 2013 ...
I'm a Witch, Not a Wiccan: A Brief Summary of Broad Pagan Designations
Rethinking Community for Solitaries
13 Keys: The Beauty of Tiphareth
July 14th. 2013 ...
Ramblings of a Pagan Guy: Stupid Clichés We Use (Part II)
Pagan Humanism: A Tradition of Rational Religion
Moon/Planetary Musings: The Holly King and John Barleycorn
July 7th. 2013 ...
Coping With Depression: Learning to Dance with the Sacred Twins
Shamanic Healing of Anxiety and Panic Attacks
Humility and Community Service
H is for Hubris
June 30th. 2013 ...
How To Feel The Energy Around You
Planning A Ritual
Why Pagans Might Benefit from Counseling Techniques
The Weight of Contemplation: When the Silent Self Grows Louder
June 23rd. 2013 ...
Magick and Play
Tarot Spell for Protection
Moon Musings and Planetary Preponderances: RE-fuse, RE-duce, RE-use, RE-pair and RE-cycle
June 16th. 2013 ...
How To Stay Spiritual Amidst This Chaos?
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
Never Had A Hero
Article ID: 14180
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 1,166
Times Read: 2,912
RSS Views: 14,322
Author: Fire Lyte
Posted: September 26th. 2010
Times Viewed: 2,912
I am a gay man, and I have never had AIDs. I've never had HIV. I've never even had an AIDs/HIV scare. Not ever experienced what it's like to have any sort of STD. I am a gay man that never really experienced the kind of physical abuse that you read about or see on the news in some cases. Sure, I suffered psychologically at the hands of small town children that didn't - and for the most part still don't - understand what it means to have compassion or growth or acceptance. And these scars I carry.
I have dreams still. It's funny how much of my formative years is not even really a distant memory, not even in passing recollection. I recently told my mother that out of an unbelievably tiny graduating class of 64 students, I would be hard pressed to remember both names and faces of 10. So much of it is behind me, thanks to the power of repression and distance and time and prayers to the Goddess to take this grief from me. But, there are the dreams. The dreams where I am bigger than my oppressors and the ones where I am still the silent boy getting beaten up with fists of tongue and fists of flesh. The dreams where I am told how small I am, the dreams that recollect events forgotten, and the ones where I say exactly what I wished I had said.
I never had a hero. I never had one specific person that I looked to and said, "Because of his/her bravery, I, too, can be brave." One person doesn't stick out in my mind. Sure, you can say Matthew Shepard was influential, but because of my age at the time of his death and the amount of news coverage that wasn't covered in our community, I had no real attachment to the story. He was a textbook, a chapter, a paper written and a source referenced. But he is a hero. To someone.
In fact, I find heroes all the time now. I read stories done by the Advocate, see them on Oprah and Rachel Maddow, watch as pop stars and movie stars put them in the spotlight, and I see heroism. Those that cannot only be themselves, be comfortable in their skin, but can be much more than themselves. They can be icons, demigods, heroes that will live into legend, at least in the hearts of some. Those of us that grew up the ugly, skinny, gay kid in the small town can now see something of value inside.
And I am proud. I am proud that this generation has that. I am proud that even in those tiny towns void of connection, compassion, advocacy, acceptance...even in those towns exist a television. Those kids can sneak glances of a world where there are people that will love them and know them for who they are and still invite them to Thanksgiving dinner. Their partner, too.
That's the scene I saw in the movie Latter Days that I wanted for myself. That was the first movie I saw that I ever wanted to emulate. The scene at the end of the pseudo romantic comedy where the two beautiful guys ended up together, gathered around a table of friends. A hodgepodge family. I knew that was going to be my life. For a while that was my life. My family really had little information about my personal life, because that's how they wanted it, and I didn't want to push the envelope. And then a miracle happened and now my family includes my hodgepodge and it's all one big messy, still sometimes uncomfortable, group of people that love one another.
I see these heroes more and more. Service men and women that give to their country for decades and then are let go for grade school gossip mongering and barely substantiated reasoning. I see article after article after article highlighting the heroes of today, and I am struck at how young they all look. When I was growing up those folks on television seemed so much older, so distanced from who I was, that I could not possibly relate. But, now, you see 14, 15, 16 year olds on television, in schools, respectfully asking for respect and tolerance and showing the generation on the crest of becoming decision-makers how to live bravely and openly.
And I weep. I weep because it's so amazing, and I weep because I am thankful that I never had to go through the stories you see on television. Now, sure, do I have wounds? Did I get beaten up more times than I could count? Did I get taunted by nearly everyone in my school, including teachers, and have no sense of justice? Yes. Could I have been one of those people in an article today? Probably. But I am not, and was not. And I still have my limbs and my loves and my good sense. My brain wasn't knocked around that hard.
As a postlude to this musing, I was pondering last night at the gym about my journal. I kept a journal in high school. The same journal. Leather-bound, nice, with the word JOURNAL embossed on the front. It was a gift my freshman year from my uncle - my mentor. Of course, I didn't write in it everyday, but I did fill it with four years of events. Pains. Inner thoughts. Daily blather. I remember that I filled the very last pages on my graduation day from high school. It moved with me from Texas to West Virginia, and it became lost. In fact, I don't even remember having it after the move. It is as though the universe swallowed up all of my pain in a book. It has never been found by anyone, as far as I can tell. It is simply in that void of lost things. And, that's fine. It can stay there. I don't need to remember the faces and the names and things. I don't need the dreams to be refreshed from the well of my past. The journal, I think, was there for me to pour my hurt in to, and then - like a ritual - to be destroyed, so that I might be allowed to move on.
Everybody should be given that grace.
Copyright: (c) Fire Lyte - 2010 - Inciting A Riot
Location: Chicago, Illinois
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