They/Them and Paganism

I’ve accepted that I’m agender for about a year now. Just recently this semester after meeting a very out and wonderful human, I’ve been inspired to go through the social transition of letting everyone else (excluding my parents) that I’m trans.

It’s been a bitch of a struggle, I won’t doubt that. My self confidence took quite the blow the last few years and I’m just now getting it back, but still, the remaining habit of internalizing every negative comment instantly and brushing off the positive lingers. Every time some bigoted asshole insists that there’s “only two genders” or that “they/them pronouns are grammatically incorrect” (which is bullshit) it hurts, of course. To finally find a label that explains everything that I’ve been feeling my entire life and knowing that I’m not alone was exciting! But then listening to crowds of assholes scream at me that I’m just trying to be special, or that it’s all fake, can really fuck someone up. On top of all that, the body dysphoria that came my first semester of sophomore year was unbearable. I used a makeshift binder (two too small sports bras) for the first time and the feeling of comfort was indescribable, like finally dropping a hundred pound weight. The thoughts in the back of me head that none of this was real and I was just faking it were constant though. It brought up a frustrating question with an answer that seemed permanently out of reach.

Until one day when I was neck deep in my studies, I found a solid reason as to why I never felt connected to gender. Now, this might only apply to me, but I have a firm and unwavering belief in reincarnation and the residue that can spill over from past lives. Gender being one of those residues. In my past lives there’s no telling what kind of being I was. A female plant, a grumpy cis man, a trans woman. All I know is the variety is there and it explains the why I even felt a connection to nonbinary gender in the first place, or why I couldn’t shake the feeling after I learned that there was in fact a label for what I’d been feeling my entire life.

Now, the kicker is, even though I found a word for how I felt, the pagansphere was just as unaccepting of it as nonpagans. Dianic terf wiccans, heterocentric mythos and equating binary sex organs with all my craft tools was everywhere. It seemed escaping transphobia was even harder in paganism than it was in the normal world. It made sense. The earth runs on fertility. Seed to bloom to seed to bloom. But this ideology morphs with the times. Humans don’t need fertility stories anymore. In fact, we need the opposite. Overpopulation is a thing and we are killing our earth because of it. Those I’ve seen that insist that the Maiden Mother Crone cycle specifically applies to cis women and nothing else make me want to yank my skin off. The maiden can be a sprout. The mother can be a tree dropping acorns. The Crone can be the skeleton of a plant shivering in a winter storm. Everything on this planet has a life cycle. This planet itself has one. To pretend that cycles are exclusive to cis humans is foolish at the very least.

This is where I focus my practice. On the cycles of the earth. My Wheel of the Year doesn’t celebrate a woman giving birth, but a tree giving life. And with what the climate is going through, nature deserves more love than us humans do.

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