★ spiritual (not religious) -- believing in spiritual things, yet adhering to no external creed or tenets; believing in what resonates with one's own spirit, and questioning anything that does not.
I take spiritual guidance from a blend of ancient Egyptian concepts (Kemetic beliefs), Native American animism, the teachings of Jesus (NOT the christian church), and Neo-Druidism, and it is wonderful to find those who also take spiritual guidance from one or more of those paths. This is the easiest one to find, and for that I am really grateful. Even if people share none of my paths, sharing the individual-spirituality-journey is pretty incredible.
★ genderfree* -- believing that sex (physical genitalia) does not create an inherent difference in the inner-self, that we have the power to rid ourselves of gendered thinking, and that it is important for the sake of equality to choose to change one's thinking/language to eliminate* gender (not necessarily to the point of using genderfree pronouns).
This is a big deal because the concept of gender influences everything -- and it is also the hardest thing to find. It's such a widespread concept that most people don't even question it -- even if they feel that they don't fit within their sex's assigned gender! I appreciate when people say/act "this gender doesn't fit me, so I'm leaving it" as that is brave and so true (since gender doesn't fit anyone), but I feel that that is just the first step. Rather than moving from one to another or making a new, smaller category, I'd like to broaden and merge the categories into human. I'm a person who happens to be female in the same way I happen to be white -- those outward qualities affect my life, but do not define/decide who I am. I am aware that I am being stereotyped when people call something-that-does-not-have-to-do-with-t
he-female-body feminine/girly because that implies that since I am female/a 'girl,' I am drawn to (or defined by) whatever is being called feminine/girly. I find this upsetting and I would like to know more people who also find it upsetting and avoid using gendered language. (my body is completely unrelated to mani-pedis, gossip, the mall, diets, long hair, jewelry, romantic movies, makeup, the color pink, frills, lace, fluffy things, high heels, skirts, etc. etc. etc.)
★ a radical feminist/equalist -- believing that all human beings should be treated with the same respect yet are not, and taking responsibility to change the world by eliminating hate speech as well as other forms of discrimination.
Since I see women as the most widely oppressed group, I feel that feminism is the first stretch of a journey toward full human equality* (thus the addition of the 'equalist' modifier). Radical feminism is a small subset of feminism -- getting into the differences would be a post to itself. Suffice to say that as hard as it is to find people who are passionate feminists, it's at least three times as hard to find radical feminists. And to find spiritual feminists is ALSO very hard because a lot of feminists see theist spirituality as an expression of religion, and they see religion as a structure that enforces discrimination -- so they tend to be atheists. (which, I need to remind myself, is NOT the same as being a physicalist!) But the point is, they're very hard to find, extremely hard when you add spiritual, damn-near impossible when you add genderfree. And this one is extremely important to me because I feel this world is in extreme crisis and we need everyone to become aware and create change.
★ queer (and activist) -- being true to oneself after having deeply and open-mindedly considered one's sexual attraction, and taking responsibility to change the world so that all adult-human-to-adult-human sexual attractions are treated with equal respect.
I feel especially kin to people who are bisexual / pansexual / sapiosexual out of a disbelief in gender, but I feel kin in a broader sense to everyone who has at least considered attraction to more than one sex, because it marks a journey of understanding oneself. By 'activist' I mean taking personal responsibility for eliminating discrimination; if you aren't part of the solution, you're part of the problem. This one is important to me for the same reason feminism is -- I feel this world is in extreme crisis and we need everyone to become aware and create change.
★ polyamorous (committed, not-kinky)* -- open to multiple serious romantic relationships that do not involve b/d/s/m.
I specify committed because casual sex does not interest me -- I only want to share myself in a committed way*. I specify not-kinky because 90% of all the polyamorous people I've come across are into b/d/s/m and I am not at ALL interested in that* as I do not like power imbalance/exchange, or giving/receiving pain. So as hard as it is to find poly people, it's 10 times harder to find poly-not-kinky people. That's a big deal to me because my philosophy on sex involves seeking a perfect power equality continually, so it's not compatible with those who do not seek the same thing. This one is not important that friends share with me, but it is really rare and it frustrates me that the people I come across seem to either be monogamous or have an incompatible view of sex. Not that I want a billion lovers, but I would like more possibilities... ultimately I would love to have a small family of partners (maybe 3-4).
um. to sum up: [spiritual + (kemetic + animist + druid + jesus(-church)) + genderfree + feminist + (radical + genderfree) + queer + polyamorous + (committed + non-kinky)] = very very small percent of general population. I tried to make a real equation but then my head started to hurt and I remembered I haven't done real math in untold ages. I fail at geekery.
* ETA August 2009: this needs editing because some of my views have expanded, though they maintain the same core.