Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Wedding at Pantheacon

Since I have nothing to add to the gender debate that hasn't already been said, I am going to talk about something else that happened at Pantheacon.  In fact, this is probably something that most people don't even know about.

You see....Saturday night while I was busy shaking my buns at the drum circle, there was a wedding reception happening downstairs at Club Max.  The (very young) happy couple were having fun and getting extremely intoxicated; as were their wedding party.  There were several young men randomly wondering around the Pantheacon scheduled events.

One of these men was waiting in line right behind me at the 9 o'clock time slot.  He was asking other P-con goers how he could "get into this party".  He was going down the line soliciting hugs and stumbling around from room to room.  An hour later he was upstairs and eventually he was escorted out by hotel security.  (Not quick enough in my mind...but whatever.)

I figured this would be my only encounter with the strangest wedding party ever, but noooooo, I was treated to much more.

As my group of friends and I were leaving the drum circle the inebriated Bride and Groom (plus several members of their bridal party) were leaving Club Max.  The Groom stopped us in the lobby.  He was very concerned for our well-being, almost to the point of anger.

He wanted to let us know that Jesus loved us.  He started to get insistent, as if it was his mission in life to convert us heathens and show us the path to God.  I am not a fan of confrontation, so I kept on walking, but the Groom started to corner the people in my group and he started to get a little 'handsy'.  As his insistence increased, his beautiful new wife started to loudly ask us drunken questions like, "are you all fags?"  (Nothing prettier than a beautiful young woman in a gorgeous white dress yelling "fag" across the lobby of a hotel.)

I was nervous and more than a little worried that these messy drunks might escalate things to an ugly place.  I wanted to keep moving and get away from them, but they weren't making that easy.  Finally my partner said, "I know Jesus loves me and I love Jesus too".

The energy shifted.  The Groom was relieved and wanted to hug us.  Suddenly we were part of his brotherhood again.  We were acceptable and everything he thought about us a few minutes earlier was out the window.

Sometimes I forget that other people aren't as lucky as I am with being out of the broom closet.  I live in a place where people are mostly accepting and open minded.  I never expected to run into something like that at Pantheacon of all places.  It was so late at night that I felt vulnerable.  My group of five friends were up against an inebriated group of six or seven.  It easily could have been ugly.  And yet, the power of Jesus shifted everything.

Even thinking about this now, several days later, I am struck by how sad, scared, and angry the whole situation made me.  I was really mad when we got back to our hotel room.  I almost wished that I had picked a fight.  They were so ready to come at us with anger and righteousness when we were the "wrong ones", but when they learned we were on the same side, suddenly it was all okay?  Uh, no, I don't think so.

Now that I think about it, there are actually a lot of parallels between this situation and the gender debates.

Lucky for me I had a chance, later in the weekend, to let go of what they said and my anger towards them.  I wish the couple all the best in their new marriage.  I hope they have a long and happy life together and that they truly use the teaching of Jesus as their guide.


  1. Hi Phoenix, I usually enjoy your posts but this one has me pretty triggered. For transparency's sake to anyone reading this, I am Phoenix's partner, the one she mentions in the post above.

    I think your "Power of Jesus" statement was meant to be a bit tongue in cheek, but I didn't read it that way. It was not the power of jesus that did anything to avoid confrontation and I didn't say exactly what you quoted me as saying.

    The drunken groom was insistent. His arm around my shoulder bespoke of someone ready to make his holy point at any cost. After telling me of his concern for my mortal soul and how much jesus loved he and I, I was ready to leave the situation. I thanked him for his concern and attempted to walk away. When he wouldn't let me go, I asked him about his wedding day and tried to get him to focus on his bride. When that didn't work, I put my hand on his chest. I focused my energy and did the quickest protection/banishing spell I could. I knew where I was and where I wanted he and his friends to be, which was out of Pcon. He told me jesus loved me and I took the opportunity to use that to my advantage. I replied "I know brother. Now go and be with your wife." As I said this I pushed and extricated myself from him and guided him away (until he glommed onto another one of our party).

    Years of training and understanding how to use my personal energy and glamour is what prevented me from decking this drunken, despicable idiot. Thoughts about how this would impact the folks with me, the community and this poor deluded fellow, ended up coming out in fierce compassion.

    Love to you Gwion

    1. Thanks for your addition Gwion. I could only speak for my experience and I really appreciate hearing yours. It would be great to hear what others from our party thought.

  2. Phoenix and Gwion, A very telling and important story, thank you both.

    My first reaction was the same as both of you, but having had this happen so many times in my life (and not just for being Pagan either), I have come to realize something deeper that is often at play and is in direct opposition to what is on the surface. More often then not, the person confronting you is really using you to confront themselves, usually out of pain, sorrow and, or, guilt. They are in doubt and are speaking about their own fears and loss of faith.

    I have found that often if you step back mentally and emotionally for just a moment you will see the true pain and grief in their faces and eyes. When you do, side step their anger, do not engage it, and reach out in heart felt compassion and love to that pain and the person suffering from it. Speak to that person, give them your empathy and voice your understanding and passionate love for them as a fellow being who is suffering. I have found that it can often turn a situation like that on its tail.

    People often are hostile in anticipation and fear of what they think the reaction to them will be. By responding with real concern and compassion on a pear level, you disengage all that fear and they see you, not their expectations.

    A caveat is needed here though. If someone is being hostile out of disdain, and real viciousness, then of course this will not work, for they are not in that kind of approachable pain. They are most likely Psychopathic and feel no remorse or guilt about themselves or their actions. But from your description and the drunken state of the Groom, my first impression is that he must have had a great deal of inner turmoil and doubt concerning his worthiness of God's love.

    Anyway, I am glad that it was deescalated with compassion and good sense, and all came out of it unharmed.

    Lilith De' Anu