This weekend, an acquaintance wrote to me and used the term “Sister” which – to be honest – freaked me out. She intended it to be a reflection of our shared experiences as women living in a man’s world.
To me, the term sister has two meanings. First, it is used very flippantly among the community – mosty lesbians – but often between gay men and other LGBTQ folks. It feels casual and friendly and sort of buzzy, but nothing substantial. Second, it feels like a Christian pejorative.
That’s bad energy. I have the sensation of being dragged into some fake euphoric realm where we are all children of God. Except the gays. And I resist that. Violently. I was surprised how violently I reacted to that simple term because the woman who used it isn’t some Ricky Burgess acolyte.
Tonight, I attended a meeting with other women – one man – about 10 in total. We were discussing a volunteer project and it was WONDERFUL. The ages ranged from 20s to probably 60’s, perhaps a bit older. But it was a meeting of equals, no pretention, no interrupting or dimissing, and no putdowns or snark. It was a group of women who had no desire or design to one up anyone.
That’s sister energy. It didn’t need a label, it was part of the dynamic. And it was wonderful.
We all have our triggers, but allowing them to suck our energy away is not cool. If I’m going to pick a word to bring to my knees, it shouldn’t be sister. I don’t have a sister and I don’t know my sister-in-law very well – they live in Florida. I’ll never have a sister-in-law through Laura because we can’t marry. Perhaps that’s part of it?
But I can work in sisterhood with other women to achieve something bigger than any of us alone. And that’s something to celebrate.