I don't really feel like a heathen, honestly. I feel a bit like Truman Burbank, in The Truman Show, who realized that he lived in a big ol' dome and there was a massive world—a real world—outside of the dome. I don't think any of the church leaders are purposely malicious and try to keep me in, as the show's director does in the movie; rather, they too live inside the dome and can't ever understand my perspective until they've reached out and touched the wall. And nothing I say will matter until they do. (And if you haven't ever seen The Truman Show, I highly recommend it.)
Stepping out into the world after having lived in "The Bubble" can be an unnerving place. Maybe some people would prefer to reject the open door and live safely in a faux reality. It comes at the cost of faux living, however, and a false perception of the rest of the universe.
I felt sad for my OW sisters this General Conference. Other members on Twitter were amazingly nasty to them. While I was never a part of OW, since I was struggling to believe in the priesthood at all (there are problems!), I very much agree with them that with the concept of priesthood in a church setting comes authority and privilege—as well as responsibility that everyone keeps talking about not really wanting—but if you're not allowed that authority then you will always be subject to it and the men who wield it. Surely, surely, some one can see this. Every non-Mormon I talk to can see plain as day that when you say "separate but equal," you are repeating history.
Half of me wants these sisters to leave and to feel the astounding peace that I've felt in leaving, not having to be subject anymore to well-meaning white men, but half of me wants these sisters to stay and fight. Obviously it's not up to me in any case, but I hope that they know that they're on to something here. There are too many logical gaps that too often favor the men of the church—and their decisions—over women of the church. It has been this way since the time of Joseph Smith. So, my OW sisters, I repost this in your honor:
For me it's been important to recognize that lurking near the edge of the LDS Alternate-Dome-of-Reality and being obsessed with the latest news is almost as bad as being in the dome. In either case, the larger, scarier world is not being looked at properly for what it is and how it functions—there's a myopic view inward by both those who love it and those who hate it. Being a Truman or being the person who watches Truman from the outside world is not the ideal place to be. It's been hard for me to come to grips with the fact that there's nothing I can say or do that will change a Truman. Any attempts to parachute in and get his attention will be covered up and explained away. Trumans have to want to search and have to keep searching until they find the edge. And I can greet them with open arms on the other side.