The 3rd margaret site (formerly at 3rdmargaret.com) briefly told a story that is part of my life. I was a part of the church, I thought my life would always be in the church, and once I admitted I was homosexual I was told I was no longer worthy of participating in the church. This rejection was so consuming, and so confusing, that it is impossible for me to describe it to you. If you have been through this, you know. If you have not, there's no way to fully understand the depth and power of this wounding.
My purpose in releasing the CD, alone..., and in putting up 3rdmargaret.com was to help wounded Christian people find a way through their pain and back to Spirit.
If, at the same time, I could wake up one unknowing Christian to the horrible spiritual damage being inflicted on loving, kind and gentle homosexual and transgendered people, well, that would be quite a bonus.
I am not afraid to let people know I am gay. But I do find myself afraid to let people know, unambiguously, how I feel about many Christians and institutional Christianity.
There's a lot of anger there, and I'm still uncomfortable with anger.
I no longer identify as Christian, though I would say I am a follower of Jesus. I'm sorry, but the term Christian has terrible connations in my circles. I am not what that word has come to mean. I hate this, and wish the term could mean what it should. I applaude the women and men struggling to change the often elitist, sexist and judgmental presentation of the Christian church today. I am in awe of Christians like Virginia Ramey Mollenkott (Is the Homosexual My Neighbor, Omnigender, and too many more books to list), Phil Gulley (If Grace is True and others), Nancy Wilson of MCC (Our Tribe), Rob Bell (Love Wins), Letha Dawson Scanzoni and the other women and men of EEWC-CFT who took a stand years ago, and all the people who go to bat for us and work to open their congregations to GLBT people of faith.
I also respect the women who have created a specific feminist women's spirituality during the last 50 years. This spiritual practice is called Dianic Wicca. It is an holistic religious practice emphasizing the interconnectedness of all things. The pronouns used to refer to Deity are exclusively female. Though I am deeply disturbed by the discrimination practiced by all the major Dianic Wiccan organizations ("women born women" only are allowed to join and participate in ritual), I still am struck by the amazing feat of pulling a supportive spiritual practice out of thin air. For a good starting point to learn more about Dianic Wicca, you can google Temple of Diana and Ruth Barrett, RCG-I and Jade River, and/or Z Budapest.
In 2008 I decided to stop working as 3rd margaret and start working under my own name. I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the knowledge passed to me by my mother and grandmother. They taught me how music is so much more than notes and scales and technical ability. They taught me musical expression as service to Christ. When Christians rejected me I was forced to look beyond that vision.
And now, upon this journey that is mine alone, I am sure of this - music is nothing less than how the voice of the Divine sounds to my ears.
(Note - The 3rd margaret website was completed in 2008 and is reprinted here on margherder.com as a record of how I felt at that time. To catch up with where I am now, please visit my Where She Is blog on Christian Feminism Today.)