First of all, YOU!
(And no, I’m not trying to be corny ;))
Since I started this blog, I’ve been getting messages from people from all different formerly religious backgrounds saying these words resonate. I’ve read stories and memoirs, met people online and in person, and what I’ve come to know well is that feeling in my heart of me too and holy shit you’re strong too.
You all have my heart. ❤ I think of you as my chosen family… even if we haven’t met! You are survivors. You are healing. You are doing. The. WORK. Of cultivating and choosing love and authenticity over generational fears and teachings. Even if you’re stumbling around in the dark. Even if you feel alone.
When I came out and posted about it, an ex-Muslim girl my age who I’d been talking to messaged me to say, Welcome to the other side. So I say that to you too. ❤
I heard of her first when I was still closeted and she’s been a shining light for me ever since. Megan left her family, which also happened to be her church (and is classified as a hate group), the Westboro Baptist Church. She went from picketing soldiers’ and gay people’s funerals to being this massively compassionate, articulate, patient advocate for bridging opinion divides… and married the guy who helped her start questioning on Twitter. Also, she met Morgan Freeman!
Jeffrey Marsh’s videos are so calming and so beautiful. They’re a non-binary Vine star,model, speaker, and advocate with so much light in their heart and such a strong voice for being authentically you.
The Green Lady
She’s the cutest little old lady I’ve ever seen and dresses and fills her life with green things purely because the color makes her happy. PLEASE WATCH THIS VIDEO!
I found her TedX Talk in January 2018 by chance and was so touched by her description of life in a loving community of people who taught and treated her in awful ways (aka, the Gloriavale cult in New Zealand.) When I found her Instagram and blog, I was floored. Lilia left the cult with her family and now speaks about self-love, confidence, and wellbeing. She’s doing what I am, but more publicly than any ex-fundie I’ve found yet: living a life of love, self-liberation, and joy. The way she’s made her story into a source of hope for so many people is a huge inspiration for what I try to do with my blog. I got to meet her in March 2018!