Before I dive into the details of my new experience/experiment, I will start by stating the facts:
1. I was not raised in a Quaker household.
2. Unfortunately, due to my busy schedule and mobile lifestyle, I do not belong to a Meeting.
3. I wasn't fully immersed into a Quaker culture until last summer in the YALD program and...
4. Even while I was immersed in such a beautiful culture and considered myself a Friend, I feared that my experience of the Divine would be limited only to my time at Pendle Hill.
While all of the above are true, they have yet to deter the Divine's presence in my life recently. During my time at Pendle Hill, I considered taking on some form of plain dress but dismissed it as my vain attempt at showing how "different" I truly was from the rest of the world. One year later, I have finally transitioned into my own form of plain dress. I feel that this is what the Divine has been requesting of me for quite some time now and I just needed to discern how authentic I felt this leading was. What caused me to finally transition?
I would have these vivid and recurring dreams involving holy garb from two fairly different religions: Judaism and Islam. They mostly centered around head coverings worn primarily by men.I would dream of Jewish kippot (yarmulkes) and Muslim taqiyahs (kufis). After the third or fourth time I received these dreams, I figured that they were signs that the Divine wanted me to change my outer self to more closely mirror the change in my inner self. It was not a quick switch, however.
Although I bought several kippot pretty early on, it took me about five or six months before I attained the level of plain dress that I am currently wearing. I originally thought that shopping only at Goodwill or other thrift stores would suffice. The clothing kept tearing and I was forced to buy more. It wasn't until this past weekend I felt that my plain was complete. The clothes are still from Goodwill but they now include suspenders.
So here I am. A Queer Quaker woman of color wearing a kippah, white dress shirt, suspenders, and solid colored pants. Several people have asked why I wear traditionally male clothing just to "prove" my faith. I can completely understand their curiosity. Honestly, I don't really know how to explain my reasoning to the wider world. I anticipate the time when I will finally be so humbled that I will have the courage to simply say "because my Lover and Friend requested that I do so".