Saturday, December 31, 2011

What, if anything, do we fight for?

I'm a little behind the times when it comes to this post. I haven't really delved into whether Sojourners has answered these accusations-- Supposedly Progressive Christian Sojourners Rejects LGBT Ad, but I was a big fan of Sojourners because it was the first progressive Christian link I ever found. I got to meet Jim Wallis when he spoke in Seattle a few years back. I really like his politics because I was so against the Iraq war.

This does come up, though, as to what do we fight for? When the UCC did their ad campaign regarding gay rights in the church, according to the linked article, Sojourners turned it down, stating they were not going to take sides on this issue. That is a tough and angry topic. One that, even in a progressive stance, can be split. Why? Because even though you work for something, there are still supporters who don't agree with you. Jim Wallis will say he stands up for LGBT rights, and he probably theory. But to advertise it can be financially rough. First of all, Sojourners is more on the political views of the poor, war, and anything economically challenging. That is their biggest standpoint. THAT is what they're going to stand for. If one of their biggest supporters still has issues with LGBT rights, I doubt you will see them wanting to advertise their stance on how they feel about that. They can lose their support.

This is just my theory. I'm not standing up for him, but I'm not standing against him either, because I have heard him, and know that he does support rights for all. So, I do have to say, I was disappointed in Jim Wallis for this. I like his magazines, and when he asked me for a donation in his e-mail, I turned him down and let him know why. My $$$ is going toward Gender Odyssey, which I ask you to let people know about. This needs your support in educating the public and supporting families about Transgender rights. It's helping gender variant people and families educate everyone.

I digress. I still will support Sojourners and Jim Wallis' quest in educating people-and I'll get a magazine every couple months for my entertainment for doing that. I know he means well, but sometimes, unfortunately, he still has to look at the almighty dollar--whether or not he looks to God first. Big example before I close. I. HATE. WALMART! It is in my best interest to never shop there because of.....well, because of EVERYTHING. But when I get a present, and I'm strapped for cash, that's where I go. Money. As much as we rely on God, we still see dollar signs a little too much. It's that human thing. As I write this, I see how small my Walmart shopping may be compared to Sojourners' rejection of a huge ad, but that's my thought process.
**UPDATE: I was reading John Shore this evening--click on his name for his blog regarding Jim Wallis' response. Like I said, I was a little behind the times on this. This all happened when I was still in denial of having a son and blocked EVERYTHING out.
**You're wondering why this all came up in the first place. It was due to an e-mail I got to do an end-of-the-year donation to Sojo.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!!

Merry Christmas to all my followers! If you don't celebrate Christmas, I hope you have a great day off! We didn't do our normal going to service this year, but we did have a great time in Portland caroling last night! I'll leave you with this little clip. This song is my favorite at Christmas. It's called "Joseph's Lullabye". It means a lot to me.

Monday, December 19, 2011

To the Reluctant Parent

We started going to a support group. It's refreshing to see a room full of parents who are going through the same thing. Have I mentioned this before?

Today I want to talk to parents. No, more like reluctant parents whose children have recognized themselves as a different gender than what they grew up with.

Points to Ponder:

Ideals--These are what stand between us accepting our child or turning our back on them. See, it's not about them when they come out. It's about us. It's about what other people think, or not seeing them walk down the aisle in a white wedding dress. Never having a "normal" boyfriend/husband (M is considered gay male), and grandchildren (biological).

I sit, as a devout Christian, and ponder the ramifications of me accepting my transgender daughter-turned-son. You may ask if I worry about him going to hell. No. Not really. Because I know M's heart, and if God is going to judge M's choice of living his life in the way that he is supposed to, even though he physically is a contradiction, I can't follow that god. That's not the God I know. The God I know serves people. Loves people. Is there in the darkest time of a person's life. Holds them when they tell their parent that they are in the wrong body. Then He holds the parent who struggles with the above ideals and teaches and guides them to acceptance.

Acceptance---Ahhhhh....the final stage of the grief process. Acceptance is such a deceptive word. It makes you think that by accepting a situation--ANY situation, makes you a sweet Disney story or something. But that's not acceptance. If you really ponder the word and mull it over, you realize to accept means to open up-even when you are not wanting to. Even when it doesn't make sense to you. To me, acceptance is its own grief process. When I picture acceptance, I picture having French Doors on my chest. When I open up those doors, I'm letting things pour in, taking in what I can, which, in that process, means letting go of things that no longer apply to my life (no white wedding dress on my daughter, etc).

In life, you read about people who fight to stay alive, overcome obstacles, and work hard for what they want to do to achieve, and we love it!
Some of these obstacles people overcome are quite large. This is what our kids do when they come out to us. They are climbing a mountain, and that mountain is the unknown of how every loved one in their lives will react, or how they are going to get through life being different somehow, yet choosing what they are comfortable with. Be proud of them! It's a very brave and gutsy thing! They already tried the other way and it didn't work.

So, To The Reluctant Parent: My next words are going to be tough to hear, but they are important:
You have a child that you did the best you could to raise them. If you are happy with the way you have or are bringing them up, then pat yourself on the back and have no regrets. Don't blame yourself or worry about people around you. Your true friends will support you, whether or not they agree-they will be there for you.
Talk to your child about what they want out of life--Because they want to live it to the fullest.

THIS IS NOT ABOUT YOU. DON'T MAKE IT AS SUCH! I say that as a person who does make it as such. It has stunted this transition process that will go on with or without me. Finally seeing it as a new growth process makes me want to participate fully.

DO Love them, help them, and accept them. The person in front of you has the same soul that they did before they told you. Love that soul.

The link below (I think you need to cut and paste cuz I'm awful at figuring this out) is a letter that was printed on a blog I love. As I read the blog one day, the letter looked familiar. I then realized that it was a letter I wrote.
NOTE: This is a Christian posting from a fellow Christian who doesn't support the fundamental ideals that, unfortunately, are what society sees the majority of Christians as (they are not), and believes that all people need to be equal. I share the same kind of faith as him.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Ties that Bind.....ugh

“Personal affection is a luxury you can have only after all your enemies are eliminated. Until then, everyone you love is a hostage, sapping your courage and corrupting your judgment.”
― Orson Scott Card, Empire

I don't like Orson Scott Card. I think I'm the only one in my immediate family who has had no interest in him at all. So it probably wouldn't be a surprise to you to discover that I found this quote in my "Breaking Dawn" book. Now, before you roll your eyes and question my intelligence, let me just say that until I read the Twilight Saga, I hadn't read recreational reading in 3 years (I was finding cheap ways to learn things). It woke up my love of reading again. Okay, enough of my head.

I bring this up because I was e-mailing my aunt, catching up on what was going on with Marley. She asked about who in my family knew. As far as I know the only person in the world who doesn't know is my sister. When I feel like I'm doing something "bad" or have screwed up in some way, she's the voice in my head. My own personal demon who probably doesn't even know it. She is, however, someone who could use some help with being nice and watching her words, because it has caused a rift between us in some ways.
I see my sister as very judgmental, and I decided to cut ties that were already severed. Don't get me wrong. I love my sister, and I mourn our relationship, but I need to protect myself and my family. This is fast becoming a therapy session, but have you ever been in a good mood, make a phone call to someone, and when you hang up, you're exhausted? That was the last phone conversation I ever had with her. That's been almost 4 years ago. We still chat when we see each other, but those conversations are very few and far between.
I think the hardest thing I struggle with just happened not too long ago. I had a new Facebook friend who is gay. I grew up with this guy, and I thought the world of him. He and my sister were really close, and he asked how she was because she supported him when he was being teased or ostracized from others--small town, 1980s--need I say more?
My heart broke that day, because I know for a fact that the response he got from her is not the response Marley (or I) will get. I will be reminded of my downfalls and how screwed up M is. I keep thinking that maybe she won't be that way. Maybe things will be different. I can't chance that anymore. I've taken lots of chances in my life thinking I haven't. Some of them have had great consequences. Some not. This one is pretty much a given. I need to stop caring about my sister's reaction or her problems and focus on living and enjoying my life with my son-who is a very happy and excited human being. :D Now to call my therapist to get that started....