You don't have to signal a social conscience by looking like a frump. Lace knickers won't hasten the holocaust, you can ban the bomb in a feather boa just as well as without, and a mild interest in the length of hemlines doesn't necessarily disqualify you from reading Das Kapital and agreeing with every word. --Elizabeth Bibesco

Monday, April 4, 2011

I've always been offensive, just by being myself.

It's true. If I did everything "by the book" (or "the Book"), I'd still offend a majority of the world's population, just by how I feel about women. (Shall I get in to the fact that it is actually impossible to do everything the Bible says literally? ...No, I shan't.)

Simply "having homosexual tendencies" makes me ineligible to teach Sunday School in many churches.

The loving, monogamous relationship I have with my Woman has made mothers pull their children away from us in the street. (Not knocking polygamy/polyamory-- that's simply a fight I'm not going into right now.)

Being Christian means 9 out of 10 gay people I meet assume I'm closeted and self-hating. Worse! They'll assume one or the other is a "phase"-- where have I heard that before???

And while I'm on other queer people! Some of the people I find I offend the most are other queer people who are less affectionate than my Woman and I are in church. Like, they feel the need to act like heteros so why don't my Woman and I?

So I can't get around being offensive and my choice was to minimize my offensiveness and not "act gay" --whatever that means-- or be myself and risk offending people.

My point is, I guess I'm going to have to do that here.

The modesty thing is constantly changing the way I look at clothing (more on that in another post), but I don't think I will continue it (at least in quite this way) in perpetuity. Head covering, on the other hand, I really feel called to, if that makes sense. It's not something we typically talk about having a calling for in the Episcopal Church, but I really just feel like it should have been there all along.

Maybe that's offensive. Or is it only offensive if I wear hijab? To that end-- here we go.

First off, I have yet to find a source anywhere where a Muslim person says they would be offended by a non-Muslim wearing a hijab. Now, I'm sure some Muslim somewhere is probably offended, but obviously it is not a majority. Not including the ones Megan found in my earlier post, here's what I found in my first two or three pages of googling.

And then there's this facebook group that is specifically for non-Muslim hijabis.

And, check out my blogroll on the right hand side of the page. Cover(ed) Girl is by Heather, a Christian hijabi who was formerly a niqabi. Little Steps Home is written by Amber, who is an Orthodox Christian who covers, as far as I can tell, sometimes with a hijab.

Even with all that, I just feel comfortable in a hijab-- perhaps it's because I prefer it when my ears are covered and I like having something that tucks into my shirt-- it just makes the whole thing feel more "right" for me.

And when I lived in Senegal, it was encouraged. Honestly, I fought it tooth-and-nail there because it felt like it was saying they would only treat me respectfully if I wore it. And frankly, I resent that, but near the end of my time in Senegal I got into the hijab more. (As a note: I covered my hair there a lot, because it was easier to do it and not look abnormal.) So maybe that let it in as an option for me? I don't know.

I might also add that there a finite number of ways one can cover one's head. At some point, I'm going to step on somebody's toes.

All I know is: I feel called to cover. I will continue doing so unless and until I feel called to stop or it gets too difficult to manage. As for the hijab, I will try to be culturally sensitive, but I don't think I'm upsetting hijabis. I imagine a lot of them feel called to the hijab and so understand what it's like trying to argue with a call.

I do appreciate your input; after all, I asked for it. It is totally enlightening and feel free to continue commenting, but in the end, it's my submission to God and it's my call.


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