"There must be radical healing of the gatekeepers if our globe is to truly be healed." Malidoma Some; World Leader in Spirituality & Heterosexual Ally.
Taking a stand for love in this world has always been a part of my life's mission. With the recent deaths of the remaining parental figures in my biological lineage comes an urgent call from the depths of my being. This call makes it clear, once again, that in life every millisecond is to be spent living in absolute alignment with who I really am.
Living boldly in my full authenticity means knowing that every part of who I am is a gift -- including my sexual orientation. I took a courageous stand for myself when I came out of the closet in 1989. I was seventeen and Ronald Reagan had just vacated the White House (need I say more). It was a time when legal protection for LGBT people was rarer than it is today. In this political climate it would have been easy to buy into self-loathing, even take my own life as too many young LGBT people still do (see my article: Homophobia is Killing Our Youth). However, my inner experience of unconditional love was greater than my internalized homophobia.
Flash forward to the precipice of the new decade on which we stand. We still live in a world where too many LGBT people have unconsciously held onto the poisonous, negative beliefs about sexual orientation that our society, churches, and government still force feed. Eleven years after the death of Matthew Shepard, Wyoming (the state where he was murdered) along with 18 other states and the federal government still do not have hate crimes legislation that protect LGBT people (actually, fully inclusive hate crimes legislation landed on Obama's desk for signaure as this article was submitted). Thirty one states -- along with the Federal government -- can still fire people from their jobs on the basis of sexual orientation. Every day thousands of lesbians and gay men who can be fired for telling the truth about their sexual orientation stand side by side with fellow soldiers in our armed forces. As I write, people in Maine are trying to take away marriage rights from LGBT people just as they did here in California last year
Homophobia doesn't stop at the cultural or social level. This plague penetrates the depths of our unconscious whether we are straight or gay. I witness the results of homophobia consistently among my clients, when a client has an "a-ha" moment realizing that old, shameful beliefs about their sexual orientation still pervade their life experience. For instance, I have career coaching clients who realize that stress at work is sourced in the dire need to be accepted as a result of judgments about being "different" due to sexual orientation. I have coached clients who have wondered why they were experiencing challenges attracting a life mate until they uncovered negative, homophobic beliefs like, "Loving relationships are only supposed to be between men and women."
Although religious and governmental institutions can inhibit legal rights, true liberation can be achieved by releasing ourselves from the illusory shackles of the beliefs that our sexual orienation is an affliction. LGBT people are gifted with a unique role to play in the conscious evolution of humanity. When we liberate ourselves from the internalized shame we hold about our sexuality, and reclaim the connection between our sexuality and spirit we can step fully into playing that role. Malidoma Patrice Some, PhD, Author, Elder, Diviner and gay ally speaks frequently about the perception of homosexuality in indigenous cultures.
He had this to say in an interview with M.E.N. Magazine:
The gay person is looked at primarily as a "gatekeeper." The Earth is looked at, from my tribal perspective, as a very, very delicate machine or consciousness, with high vibrational points, which certain people must be guardians of in order for the tribe to keep its continuity with the gods and with the spirits... Any person who is at this link between this world and the other world experiences a state of vibrational consciousness which is far higher, and far different, from the one that a normal person would experience. This is what makes a gay person gay. This kind of function is...one that people are said to decide on prior to being born. You decide that you will be a gatekeeper before you are born...To then limit gay people to simple sexual orientation is really the worst harm that can be done to a person.... And, personally, because of the fact that my knowledge of indigenous medicine, ritual, comes from gatekeepers, it's hard for me to take this position that gay people are the negative breed of a society. No! In a society that is profoundly dysfunctional, what happens is that peoples' life purposes are taken away...This is again victimization by a Christian establishment that is looking at a gay person as a disempowered person... This is not justice... It is a terrible harm done to an energy that could save the world, that could save us. If, today, we are suffering from a gradual ecological waste, this is simply because the gatekeepers have been fired from their job. This is not fair!
Next April, we as a community have an opportunity to answer our call to greatness whether LGBT or a straight ally by attending the first liberation conference: Liberation, 2010. Liberation 2010 is a conference being directed by kindred spirit, and friend Mark Anthony Lord, Founder and Spiritual Director of Bodhi Spiritual Center in Chicago and his co-host August Gold, who is the Spiritual Director of Sacred Center New York. They are calling LGBT people, families, friends, and straight allies to come together and go on an inward journey to uncover and heal the toxic, homophobic beliefs that keep us from radiating our brilliance and answering our call to greatness. Lord has called on powerful spiritual leaders of the 21st Century including Byron Katie, Gay Hendricks and Malidoma Some to be with us during this conference and support us in healing this plague. When each of us heals one piece of ourselves we contribute to the healing and conscious evolution of the whole world.
I spent some time with Lord and asked what is inspiring him to call this conference now:
Well, the reason gay marriage didn't pass in CA is not because of politics. It is because of religion. Religion is what is blocking the rights that GLBT people deserve. I want to help LGBT people discover that wholeness lies with us. Before we change the world we have to change the way we view the world. If we are looking through a lense of our own homophobia we stay stuck blaming rather than changing. The way to truly create change is to rise above those concepts and be a vibration of love.
Check back for my full interview with Mark Anthony Lord.
To get involved go to the Liberation 2010 website: www.liberation2010.com
Learn more about Jason Mannino at www.jmannino.com