Sunday Spotlight is a series where we profile individuals in the Young Mormon Feminists community to hear their stories and get to know them a little better through Q&A or their personal narratives. This week we talked with Azul.
I couldn’t even begin to pinpoint when my feminist awakening happened. Was it after my grandmother forbade telenovelas on account of making sure I never thought that a man was my ticket out of poverty? Or maybe it was post family blow out from hearing ‘you can’t, because you’re a girl’ said one too many times when I asked why I wasn’t allowed to do the same things as my brother?
I do know that I didn’t quite have the urgency for feminism until my early twenties–the clawing need to see where else injustice in the beloved faith of my childhood occurred. Surely if I, an immigrant was being trampled then there were others too. The words for it didn’t even come until my mid-twenties.
It was somewhere in the depth of my search for God that drove me to feminism. I, a born to the covenant Mormon, was hungry and in need of Divinity. I wanted the softness of a Divine Mother, and the deliverance of a Mighty God, specifically the one that I had heard about during my decades of church. In that search for Godly love, I suddenly started seeing how many of my brothers and sisters were being crushed by a culture that was too set in its own ways to consider the wide damage being done to others all thanks to culture dressed in doctrine’s clothing.
And in becoming softer and more loving I found words that fit into my new understanding, words that intertwined and fit much better than I ever thought they would. Mormon Feminists, intersectionality, oppression, justice, mercy, kindness were being discovered and I found gateways to new people who sung those words back, and found even more who exposed me to new words like mujerismo, and womanism, social justice, and love.
I saw the Divine in the eyes of strangers I’d been taught to box in; and I broke boxes when I ceased to be estranged from them. Even stranger was the comfort that came from being able to explain things that had long been sore points; things like how my hemline determined absolutely zero about who I was, how keeping the sanctity of undocumented immigrant families was being over looked, how the persecution of my LGBTQI* siblings was destroying more than it was helping anyone, how the enmity and hatred created by these divisions and oversights seemed more a mistake made by leaders who were still men, still fallible, and still in need of the atonement, and on, and on, and on.
I love Mormonism, and I love the gospel I was raised with. My criticism of the very institution comes as a form of worship for Heavenly Parents’ most sacred creation: Humanity. The oppressed are children of Heavenly Parents who I know love them with the things they were given, and I want to be part of that love too.
So, if you must know anything about me, know this: I am opinionated, I am nice (sometimes), I am a maker of mistakes (big and small) but more than anything, I want to make this world a safer, more loving place for those who do not have that experience of the world. I want to make you a castle of the privilege that has taken any shelter from you in the life you’ve known, and I love you.
Azul likes to write articles, sometimes for Young Mormon Feminists and sometimes on her blog. She probably will like you too. Visit her blog at happycosmopolite.wordpress.com.