Many moons ago, back when I amused myself with such trifling, I got into an online argument with a crazy person about gender polarity and British Traditional Wicca. She (or at least the voices only she could hear) believed that gay men could not and should not practice a fertility-based religion, because (if I’m interpreting her mad ramblings accurately) we don’t know how babies are made. I was ejected from the listserv shortly afterwards for pointing out an excellent place for her to stick her opinions on homosexuality, which was for the best, as I was wasting way too much time caring what she thought. But every once in while, when the wind blows warm or the crickets sing, I’m reminded of that dear, lovely whackjob, especially when I’m discussing Wicca with other gay guys.
Because while Men Who Love Men are inherently liminal beings who are more than suited to practice Witchcraft of any kind, a goodly number of us are scared of lady bits. And that bugs me.
Before we go any further, I should own that between all the skyclad rituals and bondage seminars, I am tragically jaded when it comes to nudity. I routinely find myself in situations where I hear things like, “See how I placed the crotch rope next to her labia instead of across her labia?” so I honestly don’t have strong feelings on nekkidness one way or the other. That clarified, I’m extremely put off by the animosity gay men often display towards even the very thought of vaginas, as if their existence is somehow a threat to ours. (“Do you support same-sex marriage?” “No. I am a vagina.”)
I’m sure there are a few guys out there who are genuinely phobic, but for the most part, this phenomenon is firmly couched in misogyny. We are men, after all: Our social conditioning asserts that women serve a singular purpose, and if we do not have a need for that service, then women are ultimately useless. And just as straight men will brag about their sexual prowess and/or dominance to prove how manly they are, gay men seem to rate their own manliness on how much revulsion they’re able to exhibit towards the female reproductive system. Homophobia would be wiped out completely if straight dudes and gay dudes compared notes and realized we’re all on the same team when it comes to objectification.
Anyway, back to gay men and Wicca. I’m working with this new Minoan student, who is doing very well overall. However, he was recently hanging out at my place, and he saw the Snake Goddess statue I keep enshrined in the living room, and he was all, “Eeeew, boobies.” I wasn’t planning on using this particular statue in our work together, since it’s not very sturdy and doesn’t travel well, and I’ve already had to glue one of the snakes back on. I was considering a couple of alternatives, but with his reaction in mind, I went ahead with a purchase, and I really think I made the right decision:
The back of the statue is inscribed with the Greek word kefi, which, roughly translated, means joy, freedom and loving life. I liked the thought of literally bringing kefi into our rites, but I chose this statue for a few other reasons:
a) It isn’t representative of any specific deity, so one is able to mold individual connections and associations around it.
b) Co-Witch A. has another piece by the same artist, and it is remarkably potent in ritual.
c) Goddesses have lady bits, bro. Scary or not, you’re going to have to deal.