Back when I amused myself with such triflings, I got into an argument with a crazy person on a listserv who firmly believed that gay men could not and should not practice Wicca, because (if I’m interpreting her mad ramblings accurately) we don’t know how babies are made. I was banned from the list shortly afterward for pointing out an excellent place for her to stick her opinions on homosexuality, which was probably for the best, as I was wasting way too much time caring about what she thought. But every once in awhile, when the wind blows warm or the crickets sing, I’m reminded of that dear, lovely whackjob, especially when I’m discussing Wicca with other gay guys.
Because while Men Who Love Men are inherently liminal beings who are more than suited to practice Witchcraft of any kind, a goodly number of us are scared of lady bits. And that bugs me.
Before we go any further, I should own that between all the skyclad rituals and bondage seminars that cut into my sitting-around time, I am tragically jaded when it comes to nudity. I routinely find myself in situations where I hear things like, “See how I placed the crotch rope next to her labia instead of across her labia?” so I honestly don’t have strong feelings on nekkidness one way or the other. That clarified, I’m extremely put off by the animosity gay men often display towards even the very thought of vaginas, as if their existence is somehow a threat to ours. (“Do you support same-sex marriage?” “No. I am a vagina.”)
I’m sure there are a few guys out there who are genuinely phobic, but for the most part, this phenomenon is firmly couched in misogyny. We are men, after all: Our social conditioning asserts that women serve a singular purpose, and if we do not have a need for that service, women are ultimately useless. And just as straight men will brag about their sexual prowess and/or dominance to prove how manly they are, gay men seem to rate their own manliness on how much revulsion they’re able to exhibit towards the female reproductive system. Homophobia would be wiped out completely if straight dudes and gay dudes compared notes and realized we’re all on the same page when it comes to objectification.
A Pagan buddy with whom I occasionally circle recently came over to hang out, and he saw the Snake Goddess statue I keep enshrined in my living room and was all, “Eww, boobies.” I wasn’t planning on using this particular statue in our work together, since it’s delicate and doesn’t travel well, and I’ve already had to glue one of the snakes back on. But with his reaction in mind, I went ahead and snagged a sturdier alternative, and I really think I made the right decision.
The back of the statue is inscribed with the Greek word kefi, which, roughly translated, means joy, freedom, and loving life. I liked the thought of literally bringing kefi into our rites, but I chose this statue for a few other reasons:
a) It isn’t representative of any specific deity, so one is able to mold individual connections and associations around it.
b) Trothwy has another piece by the same artist, and it is remarkably potent in ritual.
c) Goddesses have lady bits, bro. Scary or not, you’re going to have to deal.