On Finding Myself...at BlogHer

BlogHer 2013 Image

I admit it.  My elevator speech at BlogHer was awful.  I'll show you what I mean.

Typically, it went a little something like this:

So what do you blog about?

Well, I'm a mom blogger, I guess.  I just love mom blogs.  They keep me sane and inspired as a stay-at-home-mom, so I started my own.  But I also write!  I write about faith and social justice {insert a few confused looks here} and particularly the intersection of Christianity and the LGBT community.  But, like I said, I'm a mom blogger and write about my kids and some activities and recipes...but, Ha!  I'm definitely not a food blogger.   Oh!  And I love photo stories.  I do those sometimes, too.  Oh, and then I'm starting seminary.  So there's that.  And I'll probably be blogging about it, you know, "toddler twin mom goes to seminary" or something like that.  Oh, and...wait, I know, it's a lot.  Just...here's my card.

A quick moment here to say "THANK YOU" to the lovely BlogHer attendees who stuck around to chat after that {not so} impressive introduction.

And, there's more.  Let me tell you about my business cards (which I had to overnight since I dragged my feet for so long over what to put on them).  My business card lists TWO blogs.  I have TWO blogs.  I know! I can't manage them both now, and I'm only just a newbie.

After about the second time trying to explain who I was, I quickly realized that maybe I needed to find who I was...at least in the blogging world.  (And maybe in the real world.)

Enter the "Birds of a Feather" lunch.  A great concept, really.  Tables marked with signs and organized by topic to invite new, like-minded bloggers to sit together and mingle.  But which table is for me?  The options seemed endless:  Food Bloggers, Style Bloggers, Pet Bloggers, Travel Bloggers, (somehow I missed the Mom Blogger tables), and then I came to two possibilities:  the Faith Bloggers table and the LGBT Bloggers table.

And, of course, they were right next to each other as if inviting commentary on the irony of their placement.

I thought, Well, I write about faith fairly often and contribute to two faith-based websites, so the Faith Bloggers table it is!  But, 1.  The table was empty, and 2.  I'm fairly aware of the stigma of a being labeled a "Faith Blogger."  Even when I write it now, I feel like it needs a, "But..."

So, I looked over at the LGBT Bloggers table where two young women sat.  Now, I cannot categorize myself as a blogger who is lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, but I do blog (frequently) about LGBT issues, and on my business card (yes, the one with two websites) I call myself an "Ally."  (And pray I can live up to the name.)

You see, those two faith-based websites I contribute to happen to be progressive Christian organizations that are affirming and welcoming (praise God) to our LGBT brothers and sisters.  (Can I get an Amen?)  Sort of a couple, "Diamonds in the Rough" among the mainline Christian message so often to the contrary.

So, where to sit.

I took a deep breath and chose the LGBT Bloggers table.  I asked if "Allies" were welcome, and I was.  It was a lovely lunch.

And over the next day and a half, a really eye-opening thing started to happen for me.  As I listened to discussions about "branding" and "identity," as I heard bloggers tell their stories of speaking out, as I listened, and cried, during the Voices of the Year speeches, I started to realize that maybe it was okay to belong to more than just one table at the "Birds of a Feather" lunch.  No single person there blogged about just one thing, really.  We all blogged about ourselves, our lives, our passions.  And while some of us have certain identifying topics that we lean towards, we are all writing about the multiple facets of who we are.

I am a mother.

I am a wife.

I am an educator.

I am a Christian.

I am an ally.

And these are not separate parts of me.


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