I was leaving a UU meeting this evening, and one of the ladies turned to me and asked me what made me so active with regards to reproductive justice. This is something I’ve been reflecting on lately, so it was a funny confluence of things. I turned to my fellow advocate and said thoughtfully, “well, honestly, becoming a Unitarian Universalist is what made me into an activist.”
I’ve been a feminist since I was a preteen and started to recognize the injustices of the conservative Pentecostal church of my parents. I’ve cared about LGBT rights since I was 15 or 16 and started to wonder if I was bisexual. I’ve been angry since I went to one of the Seven Sisters colleges and learned about how institutionalized and pervasive sexism, racism, classism, and other bigotries were. But I never really acted on my righteous anger, other than to act as a conduit of stories on my social network. I have traditionally been a classic Hamlet, who reflects and analyzes but does not act (until too late, but hopefully that part does not apply here).
Since I joined my local congregation and started honestly reflecting on what my part can be in improving the world, I have found it increasingly easy to step into that role of active advocate. Partially, this is the result of the urgent sense that something must be done, which the UU faith promulgates so well, and the sense of obligation to my community. But in addition, my involvement in the congregation, as a facilitator for Chalice Circles, an organizer for the 20s & 30s group, an usher, and most recently, a co-chair of the reproductive justice group, has gradually prepared me to become increasingly active – and increasingly angry.
It’s a funny effect. The more active I become, specifically with regards to reproductive justice, the more outraged I become. I think it’s because, for the first time in my life, I feel like I finally have the tools to fight the injustices I learn about every day. And for once, I’m not sitting back in my armchair and just watching things happen. I’m acting on my outrage. And it’s wonderful.