Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Unwanted Facial Hair + Jennifer Knapp = My Big Friday Night

There's a reason why I haven't listened to Jennifer Knapp in a while, and an oddly related reason why I waited so long to melt away my girlstache. OK, actually a girltee. With sideburns.

I stopped listening to Jennifer Knapp while I was attending some "ex-gay" ministries back in the '90's and early 2000's. I found that her disarmingly authentic worship music kept reminding me that I was, in fact, gay--in spite of those ministries and my best efforts. And the more I listened to Jennifer Knapp, the more I was confronted with my reality. So instead of quitting the ministries, which I should have, I quit listening to Jennifer Knapp. Stupid, huh?

But that brings me to now, alive and well and gay-as-ever on a Friday night in 2013. I'm looking good with my white, foamy beard made of Sally Hansen's Creme Hair Remover Kit For Face, Upper Lip, and Chin, (I don't mean to brag, but isn't that just sexy?) listening to Spotify and waiting for the timer to ding. When--wait a minute--whose voice should catch me unprepared? Who is singing that searing truth, slicing right through my grooming regimen?

Jennifer Knapp herself, that's who. Hm. And along with her voice comes some mighty awkward memories--praying and fasting endless hours for "healing," hating myself and the total failure of my femininity, and, perhaps the worst, the makeovers. Because of the makeovers, once I left those ministries behind, it was years before I could pay much attention to my face again. And that includes the girlstache.

Which brings me back to Jennifer Knapp and Sally Hansen's Creme Hair Remover Kit For Face, Upper Lip, and Chin.

We both, Jennifer and I, appear to have landed on our feet, found our paths, our partners, our faith, and all that wholeness-through-coming-out thing. It works far better for me than the ex-gay ministries ever did. I listen to Jennifer's 2010 offering, Inside, and I am again astonished at the raw truthfulness of her lyrics. I can feel them on the inside of me, recalling the mess that I was saved from. I feel the pain and the redemption, allowing me to be me.

I wash that stuff off my face and worship God.