I Grew Up in the Goddess Movement, but it is no longer home

I talk sometimes about how I was raised pagan; sometimes about how I was raised Buddhist. Both are true. My mother is Buddhist and taught me about Tara, played the 21 Praises of Tara and Wind Horses in the car for me, taught me the Om Mani Padme Om meditation with my very own mala…but she also introduced me to a range of religious and cultural traditions, including Judaism, Mexican syncreticized Christian+indigenous practices (Dia de Muertos), and the Goddess Movement.

My mother’s involvement in the Goddess Movement wasn’t really direct; instead, it was via her good friend, my “Auntie”, that she and I were part of it. (I have lots of people who are family members to me, though they are not related by blood.)

I spent a good portion of my childhood going to Goddess Movement events and learning how to read oracle cards and do energetic cleansings of auras from my Auntie. I learned drumming, and smoke-cleansing with bundles of sage, and Goddess chants from the women at these events. I learned that my body was sacred, that I was sacred, that I was not worthless like I kept on being told I was. I learned about love and sisterhood, and the women I was surrounded by were like mothers and aunts to me.

It was a much needed balm for me. It was empowering, and was in large part the basis for my religious path-seeking leading me to paganism. And for the longest time, I have felt safe among women who are members of the Goddess Movement, or who remind me of the women I grew up surrounded by.

This is no longer true.

Recently a bunch of people put together an IndieGogo campaign for an anthology called Female Erasure. It’s an anthology of radical feminist “essays” about how dangerous us trans folks are.

The people who are putting this together are some well-known anti-trans radical feminists, Dianics, and members of the Goddess Movement. I’ve been reading various things about this for a few days; it occurred to me I didn’t know who Ruth Barrett was. So I clicked on her name on FB, to learn more about her.

There’s a picture of her wearing a purple caftan-type thing with Celtic knot designs, holding a drum. She has wavy white hair.

She looks just like the women I grew up around. The same women who taught me I was sacred, I was worthy. The same women I came to view as a village of mothers and aunties, there to support my single mom in raising a fierce daughter.

The same women who now will likely reject me, tell me I am trash, I am not worthy, I am a liar and a perpetrator of violence against women. Simply because I started living my truth.

I started crying when I saw her picture. It was too much. Here I was sitting in chat with friends, discussing this load of crap, reading up on it, seeing yet another thing from the radfem/Dianic/Goddess Movement crowd that is promoting violence against me and people like me…and it’s being spearheaded by a woman who looks safe to me. Who looks like a woman I could have trusted when I was 10 years old.

When Gee Whatapest was doing her anti-trans song and dance, it didn’t feel like much of a personal betrayal to me, because she had never been terribly important to me, personally, in my journey, and there’s enough space between the Dianics and the Goddess Movement as a whole that I didn’t really feel any personal connection between them.

But I guess I have to face up that the Goddess Movement is not the safe place I thought it was. That the women who are part of it are not safe people for me to be around. That to them, I am not sacred. I am not worthy. I never have been.

And that is a betrayal. It cuts deep. I have started crying again while writing this post, and I don’t know how to even finish it off coherently.

It’s starting to feel like every single thing I ever thought was safe…isn’t. And I have nothing more to retreat to; if I want safe haven, I must build it myself.

I am so tired, and building safe haven takes so much work. I don’t know if I can do it.

Please, if you can, report the IndieGogo campaign for promoting violence. This is anti-trans bigotry. It’s a manifesto of hate. They want to erase us from existence. They want us dead.

And if you don’t feel safe getting involved, I understand. I honestly don’t feel safe writing this; the organizers have talked of their plans to doxx trans activists. I don’t even know if I’ll post it. Certainly others have said things better, and more coherently, than I am right now.

But it’s personal to me, so maybe that’s exactly the reason I should post it.

I’ve been kicked out of home. There is no place for me to return to. I can only go forward, and build myself a new home out of whatever I find on the road I am on.

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