(Look, we have to get creative for words that start with X, okay. :D)
Whether it delights us or intimidates us, we are living examples of our chosen and unchosen labels. Pagan, gay, furry, poly, atheist, Christian, genderqueer, scholar, artist, mechanic, writer, husband, mother, boss, entrepreneur, introvert, Aspie—whatever we can be categorized as, we also humanize by our very existence. It’s easier to hate and fear the unknown than to stare at your older sister when she tells you she’s transgendered and choose to hate the sibling you grew up with and already love.
We are polytheists, pagans, witches, reconstructionists, revivalists, neo-whatevers, eclectics. We have chosen to strike out on a path that was not the one into which we were born (in most cases). We have chosen to forge our own spirituality that fulfills our needs and satisfies our desires and aligns to our truths.
We are examples of our choices, of our paths, of our principles. Even if we’d rather not be in the spotlight, we are; it is part of human nature to observe and form opinions about other people. It’s how social animals function.
Look in the metaphorical mirror. Are you the kind of example you would be proud to show to those looking from the outside in at your path? Would you be able to say, “Look at this person! This person is imperfect and growing and learning from their mistakes, but you know what? This person has their heart and spirit in the right place, and they are doing the work they feel needs to be done, and they are living up to their beliefs.”
If not, what will you do to change that?