On the first Wednesday of the month, we publish blog posts written by members of our Generous Space Community.
This piece was written by SJ Speer, who lives in Ottawa and is a regular Ontario GS Retreat participant.
It is estimated that there are only 200 members of the unicorn species left on earth. They are considered endangered and most have made their home in the wilderness of Scandinavian countries. Thick foliage provides excellent coverage from humans so that they can keep their mystery alive. Just kidding, I made that all up.
BUT, I do love unicorns! My love for these magical creatures has earned me a slew of questions over the last few years: why are unicorns so popular, why do you love them so much, how many pairs of unicorn socks do you own, and my favourite – will you grow out of it?
This idea of growth had me thinking about another question I’ve heard many times in my life within Christian circles: how are you growing in your faith? As I thought more about this question I realized, it’s pretty ridiculous, and can certainly be shame inducing, depending on its delivery. My relationship with faith is complicated at best and 99.9% of the time it’s pretty stagnant. Implying that there should always be some kind of upward trajectory for our faith/spirituality/relationship with a God-like being is harmful. Sometimes periods of deconstruction, wrestling, doubt, and rest are crucial. I’d like to suggest a different set of questions:
- Where do you find your greatest sense of connection these days?
- What is the most surprising thing you’ve learned about yourself or about faith lately?
- Have you noticed any shifts in how you understand God/church/faith? (Followed up by, do you feel like talking about it?)
Leading up to and the time during my coming out, I was a pretty “subdued” gay. I didn’t want to fall into the stereotypes Christians had labelled our community with – flamboyant, rebellious, lost, sinners, non-religious etc. I didn’t want people to think I was “backsliding” in my faith rather than “growing”. When I finally started embracing my identity I quickly picked up the rainbow unicorn torch and was dazzled by the flames. With that torch I also found so much love and connection from the LGBTQ+ community and even from God. This connection kept me going during painful times of loss and rejection. I honestly thought the unicorns would be a phase that would die down or that I would grow out of. I haven’t. I still love unicorns, my room looks like a unicorn convention, and when walking through stores absolutely anything rainbow themed catches my eye.
The love runs deeper than the cute/fun/entertaining element, though I enjoy that too! For me, unicorns are a symbol of embracing my uniqueness and living in authenticity. I can’t help but feel myself lighting up with joy when I see a unicorn. They remind me that it’s ok to not be growing, and that we are loved with all of our beautiful eccentricities. Just as I haven’t grown out of my unicorn phase, I hope that I don’t grow out of embracing my truth and badass queer-ness.
More about SJ:
SJ (Sarah Jayne) Speer lives in Ottawa, ON. She’s a rad, unicorn loving, ice cream connoisseur. She lives in community with and supports adults who have intellectual disabilities. She finds great joy and love among the people she supports though at times it can be draining. Sarah finds rest through artistic activities like colouring, drawing, and painting. She also enjoys writing and creating semi-autobiographical comic strips.