This is the most common question I get that doesn’t have anything to do with my genitals, so I figure I should finally take a shot at answering it.
Your humble narrator: Rani “No, I Don’t Literally Worship Satan” Baker.
So let’s just get this out of the way: spiritually, I consider myself a pantheist. What I mean by that is that I believe everything that exists is an aspect of the divine. I also reject the idea of a physical manifestation of the divine outside of the realm of metaphor. That said, I don’t have a functioning definition of divinity that I consider satisfactory. I also consider myself amoral in the sense that I don’t externalize the source of my empathy, desire to to do as little harm as possible, and basic social decorum. I also reject appeals to some sort of universality of said “moral” behavior, mainly because most appeal to some sort of chauvinism. Philosophically, I attempt to remain open to a dynamic situational universe and respond thusly. A lot of my positions are influenced by Robert Anton Wilson’s ideas about Model Agnosticism.
So I’m kind of like an atheist, except I kinda believe in everything, except for the concept of a god or morality. Simple, right?
And I’m no fan of Laveyan Satanism either. Too rooted in Objectivist thought for my taste. In reality, what I believe and practice is closer to Luciferianism than Satanism, but most people don’t know the difference and “HAIL SATAN” is more fun to say and gets more people’s undies in a twist. I also appreciate that thanks to my hometown, “Hail Satan” has turned into an informal pro-choice mantra. I swear to Satan I had nothing to do with that… but friends of mine might have. :3
I’ve also always been fascinated by religions that choose to include Lucifer into their rituals, like the Process Church Of The Final Judgement for instance. But long before I dared wear or utilize an inverted cross (which tbh always used to make me uneasy), I’d been drawn to the image of Baphomet (for probably a ton of blatantly obvious subconscious reasons).
In any case, for a while I associated both my gender identity (and my attempts to repress it) with black magic, demons, things like that. It terrified me, and the more my body and mind made it clear I needed to confront and do something about it, the more terrified I got.
So anyway, I don’t worship Satan, and I don’t hate Christians either. Because I guess that also needs to be clarified.
That said, I make no secret of the fact that I’m pretty church-damaged. I’m the first-born daughter of a preacher’s first-born daughter, and was raised Assemblies Of God, an extremely strict charismatic Presbyterian sect (that apparently Sarah Palin belongs to, lol). I remember church services being terrifying spectacles of histrionic performance, people slain in the spirit and speaking in tongues and dramatic faith-healings being a weekly occurrence. When I was 13, I voluntarily converted to Southern Baptist because it was more “liberal” if you can believe that.
The thing that really began to erode my Christian faith, however, was the suicide of my uncle Jim, a gay Christian pop singer. I couldn’t (and still can’t) come to terms with a God that wouldn’t want him in heaven, much less reconcile my own sexual orientation and gender identity issues with same. His death shook the faith of a lot of my family members. My mom (the aforementioned preacher’s daughter and one of my favorite people in the world), while still retaining a reverence for the teachings of Christ, currently follows a spiritual path influenced by the medicine of the Lakota Indians. My uncle, a Mennonite pastor, is now actively working to make his denomination more welcoming and inclusive of LGBT people. So, you know, this part isn’t entirely an unhappy ending.
So maybe we’re getting to the bottom of why the inverted crosses, but why pink? Well first of all because it shouldn’t exist. I’ve been obsessed with that idea for a while. There’s probably yet another trans metaphor in there somewhere. Hell, the name Destroyed For Comfort is probably an unconscious trans metaphor. Anyway, this is the first recorded time the pink inverted cross was a thing, and wouldn’t you know it I’m wearing a fucking dress (I swear to Satan this shit is unintentional)-
So yeah this was at Flipside 2009. It’s a pretty safe bet there were drugs involved in this decision to include new iconography in the Destroyed For Comfort performance oeuvre. It didn’t start to become a prominent image until the months leading up to and especially shortly after I’d begun transition, however.
A sort of symbolic acknowledgement yet rejection of my past while retaining momentum. Confrontational, yet cute. Like me.
Speaking of momentum tho, I think I’m bored with talking about this. Pretty sure I got the point (or as close to one there is) across.