Oct 262010

Dearest Monkees,

I’m writing again this morning for the first time since I posted the bullying essay. Your reaction stunned me into silence. The outpouring of honesty and love was so incredible that I felt the only proper reaction was awed, reverent quiet.

Posting will be slow for the next couple of weeks. I want to respond to each and every new friend who contacted me after the bullying essay, and that is going to take me a while. But I’ve decided to take my time because I know that no matter what happens in my writing life . . . I will never, ever write anything as important as that bullying essay. That’s as good as it gets for me. The best I got. And no one could ever say anything more special about my writing than, “Thank you, G, I am a twenty five year old gay woman and I have never once, before reading your essay, considered the possibility that God might love me.”

You know, I have always wanted to be a writer. Forever and ever. And the reason I wanted to be a writer is because I wanted to tell people: You are Loved. That’s really all. So when a dream comes true, it’s time to stop and be awed for a spell.

Two weeks ago I had one gay friend. Now I have, like, hundreds. Seriously. And I just have a quick message to my new gay friends who have told me that they feel hated by the church and their towns and sometimes, even their families.

Listen to me. I am the church. I am your town. I am your family. And I am telling you that something is happening here. Something important. A lot of people are saying enough. I have heard from hundreds of these people. Some are leaving the church, but others, like me, are saying: Waaaaait a minute. Why should I have to leave? I am the church. I’m staying. I’m gonna pull a Rosa Parks on this place.

Something important is happening. It’s a revolution. There are people who have never met you but deeply love you and are working and praying for change. It’s a comin, friends. Oh, it’s a comin. You hang in there with us, you hear? You stay in the game. You do not give up on us. More will be revealed. As MLK Jr. said… “The moral arch of the universe is long, but it bends towards justice.” My new friends . . . it’s bending towards you. I beg you to stick around to witness Your Revolution.

So what’s next for Momastery? Where do we go from here?

There have been many moments during the past two weeks when I felt I might actually burst with hope and joy. And so that’s what we’re gonna do. We’re gonna burst. We’re gonna take this hope and love on the road and make a difference for some people who could use a hand, or several hundred hands.

Tomorrow you will meet Andrea, a fellow Monkee who needs some help for her special friend Evy. Evy is two, and she has brain cancer. Evy’s mama needs us. So first we’re gonna burst our hope and joy in Evy’s direction.

On Friday, you’ll meet Tova. She’s trying to bring her daughter home from Africa. This little one needs to get home as soon as possible to start getting treatment for her HIV. Tova is selling beads made by Ugandan women to help raise money to bring her daughter home. We’re gonna see if we can’t help Tova save for her baby’s Ticket Home.

Then next week, we’re heading to Rwanda with my cousin, Kathleen. She’s traveling to an orphanage there to meet Sister, hold some babies, feed some toddlers, and stock up some classrooms. Were gonna see if we can’t send Kathleen to Africa with an extra large dose of Monkee hope and love.

You might wonder . . . Why did you choose these people to help? And my very complicated answer would be: They asked.

So come back to visit, help us out, or just bask in the HOPE and goodness . . . the little bit of heaven we’re trying to bring to Earth. Any response you might have is really just perfect. Choose one project to help us with, choose none. We have no expectations here, as you know. Just treat others how you would be treated and know: You are Loved.

Forever and Ever Yours,


Carry On, Warrior
Author of the New York Times Bestselling Memoir CARRY ON, WARRIOR
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  24 Responses to “Bursting”

  1. Dearest Izzi,

    I've been getting up each morning for the last two weeks and sitting at my computer with a relentless case of writers block. I've been frooooozen. You unfroze me. Thank you, friend.

    I am going to work on some sort of answer for you. It might take me a while, sister. And my response will likely have no ACTUAL ANSWERS for you in it. Except this one: I am not interested in ANY heaven in which there are no sweet little babies from Sasketchewan or Timbuktoo. They are the MAIN REASONS I'm even looking forward to heaven, Izzi. If they can't come in, I'm not comin' in.

    And also, I have a strong hunch that heaven and religion have almost nothing to do with each other. But I do think heaven's real, Izzi. I just DO.

    Thank you for caring and being so darn smart and honest and inspiring.

    Love, G

  2. G,

    I have really enjoyed your blog, and I thank you for writing about honest, true things, even though it can be really difficult in such a public sphere. I was wondering if you would consider writing a post about faith. I left the church at 16, when I found myself increasingly angry at the intolerance spouted by my minister. I didn't give up on Christianity, and instead started researching and visiting new churches every few months, looking for the right one– although I met a lot of great people, none fit. In college, I learned Hebrew and took Judaism classes and studied intensively, and finally decided to convert. I shocked to find that, outside of college, I wasn't accepted as a real Jew just because my mom wasn't Jewish. It didn't matter that I could speak better Hebrew than they could and had actually visited Israel. So, after a few years of being rejected by the faith I had chosen, I started to give up on it all. I live overseas, and I'm surrounded every day by violence done in God's name. There is very little kindness in religion that I have been able to see, and trust me, I've been looking. I miss the community, and I miss that peace that came from believing in some greater purpose, but I've finally decided to accept to live basically as a humanist– that there is a right and wrong, and it's up to us to see that our world gets better, not because there is a God, but just because it's the right thing to do. I still get pretty depressed at the thought that there's nothing after this life, and I struggle with the idea that there is no grand purpose to my life, other than one I randomly pick for myself. Trust me, I came to these realizations with a heavy heart but only after intense study of the Bible, other religious texts, and the inability of religious leaders to point to anything other than faith and tradition.

    I think there is a growing number of "humanists" or atheists, or agnostics, or universalists, or whatever you want to call them out there, and a lot of them, like me, are looking to be legitimized and accepted. Who comes to my sickbed, or who will celebrate my marriage or the birth of my children? There is no community for those of us who, for whatever reason, do not practice. I would like to know, because I admire the strength of your faith and I celebrate your life choices, what keeps your faith strong? What do you say to those who have actively rejected faith? And please, if there is a God, what is going to happen to all the sweet little babies in Sasketchewan and Timbuktoo who have never even heard of religion?

    I would love to know your thoughts. Thanks, and keep writing!

  3. So many of us just want to make a difference and here you are helping us to do that! BRAVO G and Thank you!! -Jami

  4. This might interest you: http://www.cnn.com/2010/OPINION/10/26/coogan.bible.family.values/index.html?hpt=C2

    Also, I am so grateful for your posts. Lately I have been feeling a bit hopeless around the elections and the utter lack of compassion in much of the political and social rhetoric. Your posts remind me of what I believe, that love and compassion are the central tenets of faith.

    Moreover, I am reassured that my family and my daughter have more allies than not, and that she may, I hope, believe that the love and compassion we give her may be found outside of our family and our LGBTQ community.

  5. What Anna See said!

    I'm off to go and post a link to Momastery on my Facebook. Again. Love, love, love this place. So blessed to be here.

  6. I am your church, I am your town, I am your family.

    I love you, G!

  7. WOW!!! I am already bursting. I am so proud of all of the monkees. As a group we love each other and the world around us. God calls us to love as He loves us and to leave any judging to Him. That's what this plan is about –treating each other as if we are part of one big family. I am so excited to start helping those who need it. The RISE club is up and running at my school so we will be able to help too. They even want to spread the word about sister's IJM. LIfe is so good right now and I walk around with a large grin on my face.
    Love you all — have an awesome week. Look where you all for things you can do to love those around you. Granny Monkee

  8. Oh my. Rosa Parks and Bob Dylan all on the same day here? That's just perfection.

    Thank you for including us in the bursting. I am honored and humbled and grateful and generally verklempt.

    Love to ALL monkees.


  9. AMEN – that's all I got right now – but it's a REALLY BIG AMEN!

  10. "I am the church. I am your town. I am your family."

    Me, too!

    For Glennon's new friends that have never met anyone like her, rejoice and then keep looking. There are lots of us out here in lots of churches who want you to walk alongside us and lead sometimes and be carried other times and laugh a lot and cry a little and heal and be healed.

    If your heart is aching, please keep looking.

  11. Tears in my eyes again, damn you. I got goosebumps at this part:
    "Something important is happening. It’s a revolution. There are people who have never met you but deeply love you and are working and praying for change. It’s a comin, friends. Oh, it’s a comin. You hang in there with us, you hear? You stay in the game. You do not give up on us."

    I think so many of us LGBT folks have given up on things being different, on getting to have community with people with religious convictions, are used to "us" and "them". But knowing that people with privilege and courage are going to fight the good fight for us and with us and risk facing some of the same pain and ridicule and anger we face all the time…that is truly awesome (and I don't mean in the surfer way). I'm not Christian but I do believe in the Universe as a force and that we are all here to do something. I think you've found what it is you were meant to do, Glennon. You are here to speak the truth about love and about the power of human connection. You are working magic with your words. Congratulations on finding your purpose and thank you for doing the work.


  12. Glennon- I felt the same way when I found your blog- then proceeded to read just about every essay you have written (you are marvelous, dear). Yes, I am Glennen. And get this- we call my dad Bubba! I have Lupus- not Lyme and that is where our similarities end and differences begin… you are much cuter, smarter and a way better writer. The sentiments of your last essay moved me to tears and I am so glad you are getting lots of love from lots of readers.


  14. WHAT?

    Is your name really Glennen?

    What? I have never in my whole life met another Glennon. Or Glennen. Please, tell me everything about you!!!

    Love, Glennon

  15. You are so inspirational- thank you, thank you, thank you.

  16. The Times They Are A-Changin'
    -Bob Dylan

    Come gather 'round people
    Wherever you roam
    And admit that the waters
    Around you have grown
    And accept it that soon
    You'll be drenched to the bone
    If your time to you
    Is worth savin'

    Then you better start swimmin'
    Or you'll sink like a stone
    For the times they are a-changin'.

    Come writers and critics
    Who prophesize with your pen
    And keep your eyes wide
    The chance won't come again
    And don't speak too soon
    For the wheel's still in spin
    And there's no tellin' who
    That it's namin'

    For the loser now
    Will be later to win
    For the times they are a-changin'.

    Come senators, congressmen
    Please heed the call
    Don't stand in the doorway
    Don't block up the hall
    For he that gets hurt
    Will be he who has stalled
    There's a battle outside
    And it is ragin'
    It'll soon shake your windows
    And rattle your walls
    For the times they are a-changin'.

    Come mothers and fathers
    Throughout the land
    And don't criticize
    What you can't understand
    Your sons and your daughters
    Are beyond your command
    Your old road is
    Rapidly agin'
    Please get out of the new one
    If you can't lend your hand
    For the times they are a-changin'.

    The line it is drawn
    The curse it is cast
    The slow one now
    Will later be fast
    As the present now
    Will later be past
    The order is
    Rapidly fadin'
    And the first one now
    Will later be last
    For the times they are a-changin'.

  17. Bursting, indeed. Bursting celebrating our new friends. Bursting a new post. Bursting no sparkly blinking buttons on the right side of the page. Bursting anticipating helping people who need helping.

    Bursting the revolution. it's here. it's here.

  18. Colleen, I have been singing that before bed the last few nights…
    Thanks, G for all you are doing:)

  19. You say you want a revolution
    Well, you know
    We all want to change the world
    You tell me that it's evolution
    Well, you know
    We all want to change the world

    You say you got a real solution
    Well, you know
    We'd all love to see the plan
    You ask me for a contribution
    Well, you know
    We're doing what we can

    Love the plan, love the Monkees. Sign me up!

  20. So so so glad I know you, lady.

  21. well, lets burst.

  22. "Waaaaait a minute. Why should I have to leave? I am the church. I’m staying. I’m gonna pull a Rosa Parks on this place."

    I am adding that to my list of Top 100 Brilliant Things My Brilliant Sister Has Written.

    I can also see in my mind with perfect clarity the look on your face as you are just fixin to pull a Rosa Parks on a place.

    I can't wait to be a part of bursting all the goodness of this place in all the places it needs to be.
    love love love

  23. I'm glad I found you, too. You make me smile. And clearly, you are a fabulous writer. No question there. Keep it up.

  24. Glennon, Is it condescending to say that I am proud of you? Your essay was so simple and, yet, so powerful. I posted about it on my blog and on my facebook page. I've actually never talked about Momastery and the Monkees with my friends and family. Its been my private sanctuary. But, that was so moving and so important, I felt I had to shout it to the world. I've also printed a copy to take to the pastor of the church we're attending here in Australia. (Yes, we've started going to church again.) I think his reaction to your essay will help clarify, if this is the right church for us.

    I'm so glad to have found you last year, keep up the good work. I can't wait to help with the projects you mentioned.

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