Back in the early 1990s, a great little ‘zine (remember those?) was published, called Mennonot. For someone recovering from the indignities of being raised female in an Anabaptist / historic peace church (Menno-Brethren, with an emphasis on the Brethren side, through no doing of my own), it was a breath of fresh air. It pinpointed a lot of the quirks and foibles and cultural “anomalies” that went hand-in-hand with living in a strict community devoted to living in dynamic, wary opposition to “the world”. It was also hilarious in ways that really only made sense if you were “from there”, which is always helpful when you’re processing a heritage of serious spiritual violence.
Fast-forward to a few years back, and Daniel Shank Cruz reached out to me about writing another piece for an anthology he was working on. I wrote the piece, processed the whole identity thing a bit, then moved on. Now I’m back (clearly), thinking about this identity stuff all over again.
I wrote the Mennonot piece nearly 20 years ago. Pardon the rawness of it, please. I was still relatively new to the whole build-your-own-identity thing.
Here it is: