Stigmata: The Plural of Stigma!
June 12, 2014
A group of amazing men and women live in Nashville who get dressed up as these crazy looking nuns with white faces, almost clownlike, to do fundraising and help out at events. They all have interesting name correlating with their stories; for instance, Sister of Perpetual Sorrow or Sister of Amazing Grace. Every time I see one, after an interminable smile, I often say hello and get his or her story. Most of them have been ostracized and disenfranchised from life because of the stigma of HIV, being overweight, too gay, too butch, too many tattoos… You name it, if stigmata exists, one of them have it. Let’s face it, all of us have, at the very least, one stigmata, even if it is cleverly hidden.
Last evening at the GLBT Spiritual Pride event (and, yes, GLBT people value spirituality a great deal), a middle-aged gentleman dressed as one of the nuns, I believe her name was Sister of Stigmata, actually, held a tube of red lipstick in his hand. He began to speak about stigmata. He shared his story about having HIV. As he told the story of how much difficulty he has had sharing his story about carrying this disease, he put a large red mark on his forehead to symbolize this stigma. He named a great many other stigmas that are hard to avoid, each time he marked one of the nuns on stage with him with this red lipstick. After about three minutes, everyone on stage had these big red stigmata on different parts of their bodies.
Then he opened up a tub of baby wipes and showed how easily he could erase the stigma; in fact, just as easy to erase as to apply. I loved the imagery and the symbolism. As the night proceeded, a few straight pastors from different religions shared their stories about helping their congregations to be open to inviting GLBT (gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender) to be active parts of their ministries, including openly gay ministers. The two religions that had passed an openly affirming policy this past year are Evangelical Lutheran and the Apostolic churches.
You can’t imagine how beautiful and tearful I had become to know how many straight people fight for the rights of the disenfranchised GLBT community in marriage and for the simple treasure of being a part of a spiritual community. One pastor spoke about a gay couple, who had been visiting his church, because they felt ostracized in small ways from their old church. One way was that, every year, when the member handbook would come out, their pictures would be separate, as opposed to all the married couple who got to have their pictures with their spouses. This gay couple had been married for 17 years (of course, not legally in Tennessee—yet). So, this beautiful pastor from the Apostolic church spoke right up. He said, “Listen, our handbook is just about to be printed. I’d love to take a picture of you, right now, and put it in our book, whether you become a member or not.” Of course, the couple was moved to tears, as, I believe, I would have been, too.
The stigma of being in the GLBT community is like a big red lipstick mark on our foreheads that, with time, is becoming less and less bright and shining against the pale white façade most of us have to wear to suppress the obvious. Will the stigma ever be entirely erased? That, of course, is up to every last person on this earth checking inside his or her heart to see that truth and compassion always rises to the top. When enough compassion flows in this world, anyone, straight or gay, heavy or thin, religious or atheist, black or red, deformed or riddled with sickness, will be able to walk proudly and unabashed through the streets of life—beside us!
Check out my new book: (New Promo YouTube Video—important for all GLBT friends: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z4yGU-MVCtQ ) Uncommon Gay Spiritual Warrior: http://www.amazon.com/Uncommon-Gay-Spiritual-Warrior-Authentic-ebook/dp/B00KPIVOIY/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1401708367&sr=8-1&keywords=uncommon+gay+spiritual+warrior .
I am moving to Southern Florida to begin a new small imprint publishing company called: Finding Authentic You Publishing: findingauthenticyoupublishing.com. I am accepting submissions now for my January 2015 bookshelf. If you or any friends are interested, please go to the website and read the submission guidelines. Thanks.
Finding Authentic You is my brand and is also aself-help guide, which I wrote, with 365 Discoveries, meant to aid you in facilitating some of life’s most difficult challenges, like sleep. But, the discoveries also lead you to what you believe spiritually, understanding your goals, learning to believe in your self, discovering the most distinct you, unlocking all of your negative thinking, and helping you replace it with positive, creative thought using many different modalities, including hypnosis, prayer, and psychology. Once you know yourself, then relationship with Spirit and people is a fairly easy task.
For much more information about finding out about the psychology of the human mind and being your authentic self, self-love, and self-esteem, check out my new book below. “Finding Authentic You” will answer many of the questions I propose above. The book also has many discoveries about health, both mental and physical, as well as spiritual discoveries to lead you to your highest and best! Thanks for being a part of my tribe and helping get this book and all of my media below into the right hands, helping the right hearts.
Finding Authentic You: With 365 Daily Discoveries & 7 Steps to Effective Change
* Bo Sebastian is a Hypnotherapist and Life & Health Coach, available for private sessions to QUIT SMOKING, Lose Weight, New Lap-Band Hypnosis for Weight Loss, CHANGE YOUR MIND, CHANGE YOUR LIFE! at 615-445-8861 or http://bosebastian.com/Home_Page.php Please feel free to comment and/or sign up to receive your blog sent to you directly or stream with an RSS Feed. Please spread the word by liking the page or sharing this with your friends.
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