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Showing posts from 2012

The Acceptance Meter: How well are trans persons accepted?

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In preparation for a workshop I will be giving in January, I took a survey of transgender persons to quantify how well they have been accepted. The results were sobering, but not entirely surprising.



The reality seems to be that we humans adapt much easier to strangers than to those with whom we have a history. As the saying goes, familiarity breeds contempt. Even Jesus experienced this when He tried to minister among his own family and neighbors.

In a recent survey that I took I asked trans persons to rate how well they had been accepted/affirmed by three groups: family, old friends and acquaintances, and new friends and acquaintances. On a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 was outright rejection and 10 was unconditional acceptance, the results were, well, disappointing. 
Families scored 5.7 (the ratings were spread across the spectrum), Old Friends/Acquaintances were rated at 4.9 and new F/A rated the highest, at 8. This helps explain why so many trans persons have found it easier to reloca…

En Evening with Kathy Baldock in Vancouver

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I had the privilege of Interviewing Kathy Baldock on Dec, 5, 2012 when she visited Vancouver. 

We spent two hours at Lighthouse of Hope Christian Fellowship. Paul Donovan of Living Productions Inc. generously video taped the whole thing. I invite you to sit back and learn about this amazing dynamo of a woman.

Part One


Part Two


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Has this ever happened to you, that you're surprised by comes out of your head?

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The comments I make in response to stories I read are gone from my mind once they get posted. Every once is a while I stumble across one of these comments and I surprise myself...I wrote this?
Here is one example; it's something I wrote about a year ago:
Mr. Smid's post from this morning and his comment about feeling kicked in the gut resonated with me. My friend Kathy Baldock (canyonwalkerconnections.com) notified me about a comment made about me by Micheal Brown, author of "A Queer Thing Happened in America" in an recent interview. He said, "A husband is supposed to love his wife as Christ loved the church and should be willing to die for her sake." This was my obligation, but I failed as a husband when I chose to transition, according to him. For the most part, I concur with this statement, for it is what I did to the best of my ability for thirty-seven years in my attempt to deal with my medical condition. I am grateful for having had the grace and stre…

Do I really look and sound like that?

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I have not been in front of a video camera very often, to be honest, hardly ever. 

So when I got the email from OnMyPlanet.ca that the video they shot of me last summer was ready for viewing, I took a deep break and clinked on the link.

Here it is.




The folks at OnMyPlanet.ca have been creating short videos of LGBTQ persons sharing their stories. Check out their site to view the other videos.

Will you comment and/or share this post? (thank you!)

Am I happy? Yes, but I'm also full of rage.

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I was recently asked if I was happy (about having transitioned, making the change, paying the price, etc.). I wonder how many of the people who knew me before are equally curious?  

One friend admitted to me that he prayed for me to fail in my efforts so I would change my mind and go back to living as a man, but that was a while ago.

It's now been five years since I started to disclose to my family and friends and I was nearly paralyzed by the fear that my life would be over. I was also afraid for my marriage and hoped it would survive. It didn't. So how to answer the question? The truth is the answer is not a "yes" and it is not a "no." It is both. I have never been as at peace in my own skin as I am today, but that does not mean I am happy with life as a whole.

The loss of friends did not materialize as I had feared, or I should say, it didn't happen the way I feared it would. What actually happened with old friends is that after their initial express…

Behind the scenes of "Ask a transgender Christian"

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A young woman I greatly admire is Rachel Held Evans. She is an amazing author, blogger, speaker, wife, mother and a seriously articulate Evangelical Christian who is not afraid to enter into conversations that would make many others run and hide in their little dogma houses.

Earlier in September of 2012, Rachel contacted me to see if I would be willing to be interviewed as part of her popular blog series titled "AKS A…" Would I be willing to be the target for "Ask a Transgender Christian?"My new friend Justin Lee, executive director of the Gay Christian Network (GCN) and author of the soon to be released book"Torn: Rescuing the Gospel from the Gays-vs.-Christians Debate" suggested me as the person to ask. (In the same way, Justin is the person Rachel chose for the "Ask a Gay Christian" interview.

Having followed Rachel for several months, my initial reaction to her email was one of disbelief and trepidation, given the level of intellectual and t…

Some hoops are not a fashion statement.

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...the M to F thing is one of them!

"Dear Sir,"

This has been the greeting on recent letters from the Canadian Revenue Agency. I placed a call to the CRA to object to the greeting and to request they update their information. The person I spoke to was very helpful but was unable to change the gender marker in the computer. This was not an option she could access. She gave me another 1-800 number to call. After wading through the menu options and waiting on queue long enough to hear the "due to heavy volumes…" blurb several dozen times, I finally spoke to a real person who listened to my request and politely informed me I had to call another government office.

After another 1-800 routine that lasted another twenty minutes, I learned I had to contact yet another office and after over one hour of phone calls I was finally given instructions for what I had to do. This insignificant one-letter-change could only be done by going in person to a Canada Services office and I…

Arrested and tortured for being transgender, a Ugandan government worker gets asylum in U.S.

September 26, 2012 — This story had been previously posted in June of 2012 but was pulled after concerns were raised over some of the details shared. The story has been edited to address these concerns and names have been left out or substituted for security reasons. ____________________
On January 2, 2011, a young Ugandan lawyer, Tom, intercepted an email addressed to the Ugandan president, prime minister, cabinet, and all elected members of the Ugandan parliament. As a political aide in the Office of Presidential Affairs, it was his job to vet emails intended for the president and prime minister.

The email was sent by Lisa Salazar, a Canadian Christian transsexual. In the email Lisa voiced strong opposition to Uganda’s pending “Kill the Gays Bill” (KTGB), challenging Parliament to reject the bill and work instead towards the protection of human rights for Uganda’s sexual minorities.

That night after work Tom sent Lisa a private message from his home computer. He related that all of h…

Even God was willing to compromise.

The headline reads: "Tea party radicals paralyzing U.S., GOP veteran says."

The story is about the longest-serving Republican, Richard Lugar, who got bounced for being too moderate. Lugar has critical of the Tea Party's influence in the GOP, which can be summarized as purge of anyone who would dare compromise with the democrats, further polarizing American politics. Lugar, for his part, has had a record of working for the best of the country, even if means making compromises to get things done; not an unreasonable and unrealistic position to have.

I have always been somewhat dismissive of anyone labelling a person or group (political, religious, or otherwise) as "scary." I've heard liberally minded persons call conservatives "scary," and I've heard conservatively minded call liberals the same. What bothers me about such labels is how they can sabotage intelligent dialog. Saying we fear the "other" is in inself an admission that we do…

Scott Lively's gospel is deadly.

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Enough is Enough. 

We live in a world with a deep need of repair, full of people born into or with many difficulties they never chose for themselves. 

Whether it be same sex attraction or gender identity, or any one of the thousands of things we humans struggle with, it behooves us to be radically involved in building up, rather than tearing each other down—and to do it out of love and respect for the person, without judgement and condemnation. 

Scott Lively has made it his mission to tear down and incite fear, and to do so with discredited studies and sources to bolster his own theories, which he peddles as the gospel truth. If Intolerance, discrimination were not enough, bullying and even death are the fruit of his labors; we need to go no further than Uganda to see the negative impact Mr. Lively's twisted teachings have made. 

As a follower of Christ myself, I am tired of self-appointed arbiters of God who claim to speak for him and for all believers. Mr. Lively's gospel is dea…

Witnessing a Birth of Sorts

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When the moment to start life anew comes, it usually happens in the quietness of one's spirit. Yesterday, February 21, 2012 will mark the moment my friend Tori took that step in the most unassuming way.

In 1999, about the time I was being assessed and diagnosed at the Vancouver Hospital's Gender Clinic, I made a couple of calls to a support group in the area. Their brochure listed a phone number and stated calls could be made on Thursday nights if you needed to speak to someone, otherwise you could leave a message and someone would get back to you. The woman who answered was friendly and explained the purpose of the group an how one would go about attending their meetings and other events. Membership was reserved for those who had been vetted and approved by the membership committee. Confidentiality and security of personal information was very high on the group's priority list.

Given the group's stated purposed was to provide a safe place for heterosexual men to cross…

Hey Mister Tambourine Man

Do you ever get a song stuck in your head and no matter what you do, the melody or the lyrics keep playing over and over like a broken record? 


I think I just dated myself. How many people still remember broken records? I guess the closest equivalent in today's parlance is when a CD player goes into a digital bleep, or when a sound file loops continuously.

Mister Tambourine Man has been looping in one part of my brain while in another region I have been thinking about a conversation I had with a new friend, Alexandra Henriques, director of Generations at Qmunity, BC's queer resource centre. I met her at a recent workshop at the University of British Columbia and as we were learning about each other, she shared with me a bit about the sensitivity training workshops she gives at Seniors residences and care facilities. Up until that moment I had never really thought about aging lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender seniors and the challenges they may face when they move to one …

Bump in the Road, or a Major Seismic Event to Start the New Year?

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2011, for all intents and purposes, was a difficult year for me personally. It marked the end of my marriage of almost thirty-seven years and, consequently, this made Christmas and the year-end festivities almost unbearable. I am most grateful to my friends and especially my immediate family for their sensitivity and love during those difficult days.

The year had started on an urgent note, when after reading my friend Kathy Baldock's blogpost in Canyonwalker Connections titled "Genocide Brewing in Uganda," I was inspired to write an open letter to the Parliament of Uganda in opposition to the anti-gay legislation making its way through Parliament, which carries the death penalty. Wanting to do more, I also created a website to encourage others to send their own letters to the two-hundred plus Members of Parliament, whose email addresses I gleaned from the official Parliament of Uganda web site. I am pleased to report the humble letter campaign did have a modest effect, a…