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Showing posts from January, 2011

More Thoughts on Luke's Account of Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch

Here is something I was thinking about the other day. It was in regards to Luke's account of the Ethiopian eunuch.

First, I am more and more fascinated that Luke, a physician, is the one who wrote about Philip's encounter with this sexually other person. Could it be that in his years of practice, he had faced the difficult task of helping parents make sense of a child born with ambiguous genitalia? Where there cultural, religious and social complexities that he understood with a more enlightened frame of reference? Who knows, but something to think about.

Then there is the issue of how it was that this person's 'abnormal' sexuality was known in the first place. We don't know how Luke found that out. We can surmise that Philip must have shared this incredible event with others, including Luke. So then, we need to ask, how did Philip find out that this person was a eunuch? It is not as if this person went around with a sign across his forehead that said 'eunu…

"I do not identify as transgender! Transsexual people are unique within that very large transgender group"

Written by Nichole Shannon in January 2010

She communicates some of my sentiments very well, so I'm copying and pasting it as a post.

I do not identify as transgender. Transsexual people are unique within that very large transgender group for several obvious reasons. It does not make us any better than anyone else but we do have much different medical and often personal and social needs or desires as opposed to CD (cross dressers) or TV's (transvestites). I do not identify as transgender. Not in any militant or disrespectful way to the transgender community. I am simply a woman or trans woman when necessary. There is strength in numbers and I respect people for being who they want to be. But, I do believe at times the transgender umbrella does not and cannot address all the needs of everyone lumped into that category. It does not fit. I know a growing number of transsexual men and woman that feel the same way.Most often we are simply looking for meaningful dialog to help us unde…

The "Letter" That Spilled the Beans, Let the Cat Out of the Bag and Opened Pandora's Box

This letter was first drafted in October, 2007 and has gone through several revisions to keep it current and up to date with the changes in my life. Last revised April 30, 2010.

Dear Friend—
I'll begin by telling you that I'm not a big risk taker, for fear of my worst fears becoming reality. I have feared rejection, ridicule, humiliation, losing friends, being the object of mockery, not blending in, being different, hurting or embarrassing loved ones, and as a self-employed person, I have feared losing clients.

I need to take the risk of sharing something about myself with you -- secrecy is no longer an option and I have come to realize that disclosing to you is the only way our relationship can continue, if it is to have integrity.

About ten years ago, after a lifetime of guilt and confusion, I was diagnosed as having Gender Dysphoria at Vancouver General Hospital's Gender Clinic -- a condition commonly referred to as being transgender. This diagnosis was simultaneously a…

Part 2 — How I Reconciled My Faith to My Diagnosis (Gender Dysphoria)

Excerpt from “Transparently: Behind the Scenes of a Good Life” — Chapter 32

The first twelve months of living full-time are called “the real life test.” It is a significant milestone on the transsexual road map, because after one year of living full time and surviving, one is eligible for gender reassignment surgery (GRS). That is, of course, if you pass the psychological assessment.

As I mentioned earlier, originally I did not plan to have the surgery. What tipped the scale in favor of it was a conversation I had with my doctor at the clinic. Unfortunately, some of my blood tests had given the clinic some concern. Both my kidneys and liver had shown signs of distress, and the doctors had even considered taking me off the medications if the next test showed similar results. However, if I were to have the surgery, I would be able to go off most medications. If I didn’t, then I would need to continue taking them for the rest of my life if I still wanted to suppress testosterone, which w…

Would I Revert Out of Love?

A letter written to a transsexual, a stranger to me. I was in Montreal at the residence, next door to the hospital, recovering from my surgery. Somehow her call was put through to my room by the nurse who answered the phone. Donna just needed to talk to someone and I had nothing better to do. She was seriously considering reverting back to male mode after living 24 years as a female, because her new girlfriend did not want to be in a lesbian relationship. Donna loved this woman and didn’t want to loose her. Complicated, to say the least.
April 4, 2010 (Good Friday)  Gender is the brain part, sex is the biological part, orientation is the relational part... each of these needs to be considered on its own before we can assemble the three together. Where it gets complicated is that each area is also a continuum from male to female. As you aptly put it, for the great majority of the population, these three parallel each other and these "lucky" people never question what they are i…

Is Being a Transsexual Scriptural?

A letter written to a Christian friend who questioned my transition and offered to pray for me to not go through with it. He was aware of another transsexual who had a change of heart and reverted back to male. My friend thought I was making the same mistake and offered to put him in touch with me so we could talk. I declined the offer. August, 2008  Hi Terry. Thank you for your email. My dad, who is a very devout Christian, came with my mom the day after I shared with them in April. He had been wrestling with what I had shared all night and was afraid that I was slapping God in the face and going against His divine plan. Or worse yet, that I had turned my back on Christ. Those questions were not new to me since I had in fact been wrestling with them all of my adult life, since I was 20 years old. That is when I came to faith in Jesus, in large part due to His invitation for all who are weary and heavy laden, and also His promise, that I would find rest. In the ensuing 38 years I develope…

Part 1 — How I Reconciled My Faith to My Diagnosis (Gender Dysphoria)

Excerpt from “Transparently: Behind the Scenes of a Good Life” — Chapter 26
“What will people think?” I’ve discovered this question can never be adequately answered, ever.

I became very paranoid about being seen going in and out of the Clinic, the doctors’ offices and medical labs I was now having to visit on a regular basis. Our church has many members who work in health sciences, and since I didn’t know where any of them worked, I was always on the lookout as I entered and left the medical buildings.

I worried that if people found out about me, the discovery would embroil our church in controversy. I knew one individual who was very critical of anything that hinted at the acceptance of gays. One Sunday during a pastoral prayer there was a request on behalf of victims of violence due to their race, color, creed, gender or sexual orientation. That week he railed into the pastor, members of the deacons’ board, and anyone who crossed his path. Since when did we start to look favorably on …

Why do I feel like a liability as a T in the GLBT/church bridge building taking place?

In recent months, I have become more aware of several evangelical Christian individuals and groups, both straight and GLBT, who are committed to 'bridge building' between the church and the GLBT community.

I must admit that this is all new to me because even though I only transitioned recently in view of my age, I existed in a self-imposed cloister of sorts, and avoided immersing myself in trans (and GLB) politics.

I can be accused of reaping the benefits of all the hard work done by others. But I am appreciative and need to make it known that I do acknowledge that if it had not been for the advocacy and hard work of all those who have dared to navigate the uncharted waters, that my ability to transition and finally enjoy 'congruence' as a person would have been impossible.

At least in Vancouver, and in Canada in general, the laws, medical services and the general attitude of the people, are all contributing factors in making our situation more bearable, compared to wh…

Open Letter to the (9th) Ugandan Parliament

Dear Sirs and Madames,

I am writing to you, as I did earlier this year to the members of the 8th Parliament, to express my concern for the proposed anti-gay legislation as well as for some of your recently passed laws that criminalize sexual orientation.

Mr. David Bahati, who has introduced the bill to Parliament, has based his position on discredited sources which erroneously and maliciously blame all manner of dangerous behaviors towards children and declare that homosexual behavior can be eliminated.

I urge you to distance yourselves from those American fundamentalist Christian Right, anti-gay extremist who have descended on your country and are fanning their homophobic agenda, which could have grave consequences for your country's human rights. They have not done your country any favors.

I am a Christian myself. I am also a transsexual. But more importantly, I am grateful to live in a city and country that has afforded me the ability to live without fear. Additionally, I am gr…