She’s writing again
Oh look, a grossly neglected blog. I keep meaning to update and then not actually doing so. The good news is this means I have a lot to write about. I have been meaning to do a 1 HRT year retrospective since well past the one one year mark. That was on March 4th. So a month late. Also I had been meaning to do a 2015 retrospective… So anyway :D…
As I write this I can’t help but think back on my early forays into the general public as myself. I remember the panic attack I had simply from walking the length of the mall and back. Every moment going out of my mind with worry. Now I find myself pretty relaxed while out and about, I won’t deny I enjoy a degree of passing privilege, it helps a lot. That said there was a point in my life where I seriously questioned if passing was even possible. I guess you don’t know until you try.
Oh yeah and in one of my earlier blogs I mentioned that I was not sure if I would ever be comfortable calling myself a woman. Yeah I’m a woman, even though I haven’t fully wrapped my head around the concept. Life is actually going pretty well for me. Lady came back into my life for a brief period at the end of last year, things went well until they didn’t, I was a jerk and will probably never hear from her again. This makes me incredibly sad but in the long run it’s probably for the best.
I have been getting more involved with my church. I had been volunteering with things like coffee and greeting, and very recently I joined the choir. They let me sing alto 😀 😀 😀 I would rate my ability as serviceable.
I’ve also started helping with an organization called Calgary Queer Church. The meet once a month and it has proven to be an absolute blessing. The guy who runs it is pretty incredible and I’m proud to be a small part of it. He asked me to do a quick 5 minute talk about what it means to be queer and Christian for the most recent service. Here is what I said,
What does it mean to be queer and Christian
The very first thing I learned as a Christian, one of the very first things I learned period, is that Jesus loves me. When I came out as trans in late 2014 I was incredibly fortunate because this was also one of the first things I learned about being queer. Unfortunately for a lot of us this simply isn’t the case.
All too often I hear people speak the name of our lord in order to justify their own exclusionary attitudes. The truth is that exclusionary values are not Christian values. Jesus is for everyone. It can be a hard thing to understand. We want to do right by our faith and our community, but sooner or later we must realize that part of doing the right thing is being true to ourselves, even when we don’t fully understand.
When I was young kids at school often questioned my faith. They would ask how could I believe in something that can’t be proven. Or why would I believe in a benevolent God when the world is full of so many terrible things. They would try to tell me that science proves God doesn’t exist. Of course science proves no such thing.
Now that I’ve transitioned I come across many of the same arguments. How can I believe I’m a woman when there’s absolutely no proof? Why would I want to transition when there are so many terrible things that go along with it? I’ve heard countless people say that when it comes to gender identity and sexual orientation human biology is very simple and straightforward.
The truth is there’s nothing simple or straightforward about any of this. The world is a complicated place. Jesus teaches us not to expect easy answers, but rather to look and listen. Being queer means that we are forced to ask questions about ourselves, and to cope with self doubt in every part of our daily lives.
It can be scary at times. We all have things we care about, things we don’t want to lose. I was always worried about what others would think when they found out. Would people suddenly avoid me? Make fun of me? Would anyone try to hurt me? The truth is they have and will again. It’s part of life.
Throughout the entirety of his ministry Jesus knew what his Father had planned for him. ‘Take this cup away’ he said. He could have run, he could have fought, he could have called a host of angels from the sky. He did none of those things, instead he chose to suffer and die for the sake of humanity.
Me, I’m not nearly as brave as our beloved savior. I spent my life running away, fighting every instinct, and If I’d had a host of angels and my beck and call I guarantee I would have abused the privilege. I did however do everything I could think of to be the person everyone expected me to be.
I used to collect hockey cards. I didn’t know anything about hockey, didn’t know who any of these players were, and I’d never sat through more than five minutes of a game. But boys like hockey and darn it I was going to be a boy. So I traded hockey cards with my friends, while suppressing the intense jealousy I felt towards the girls over at the next table trading their Jem and the Holograms stickers.
I rejected the things I wanted most, and embraced suffering for the sake of strength. Like if I hated myself enough maybe I could eventually become normal.
The only thing I accomplished was to cut myself off from the rest of the world. I was so scared of loosing everything that I was unable to fully appreciate anything. It’s impossible to form deep, meaningful relationships without honesty and acceptance. Since reconciling my beliefs with my identity I have experienced a sense of wholeness, of connection that I never could have imagined.
We find ourselves together. We all come from different places, we all look a bit different, we have different abilities and different needs. Maybe we’re afraid. What if we’re not good enough? What if they’re not good enough? The world is full of people who will gladly take without giving back. Jesus tells us to let them.
By understanding the grace of our lord and the generosity of his spirit, we realize we have a lot more to gain by being together than by being apart. By humbling ourselves and sacrificing for the sake of love we will find everything we need in one another. What does it mean to be queer and Christian? In a lot of ways I think they mean the same thing.