Thursday, December 13, 2012

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

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 strength to pull it off for as long as I did, and though I wish I could have stayed on that course until the day I died, I was not able to.
What those like Michael Brown, who point out that my obligation to my wife should trump all my needs fail to realize is that there is also another principle at work—the principle of transformation. Jesus does not expect us to live a life full of resignation to our fate and I believe His very ministry and words offered us hope for this very reason, we can be transformed. We are not defined by our fate, nor are we expected to resign to it. His claim to be the physician for the sick explicitly points to this principle, otherwise why fix what is broken.
On a more graphic and perhaps horrific level, when he declared "If your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell," was He simply talking about spiritual purity and sanctification? I'm of the opinion there are other implications, and one of them is that we are sometimes faced with making very painful decisions in order to free us from the shackles of fate, or whatever it is that produces a hellish existence.
One would not deny 'radical' medical treatment to a person suffering from some illness if the alternative was either a continuation of the pain and suffering or inevitable death. Why does Brown argue that persons with gender dysphoria are an exception? Today, there are many conditions for which medical science has been able to eliminate and or to minimize their impact on those who suffer from them. What may have been a life sentence for some in the past is now possible to correct and therefore improve the quality of their lives. Yet, the reality is many of these remedies exact very hefty prices and require very serious decisions be made with all kinds of consequences. This is where Jesus' declaration rings true, but in the end, the price paid may prevent a person's hell to continue.
When I came to my breaking point about four years ago, something had to give. Brown doesn't believe the choice I made to transition was the correct one because he insists in Christ all things are possible and accuses me of failing as a husband. To him, the thought I might do something to save myself from my form of hell is contradictory to what Christ would have done. This insistence on His part is tantamount to setting himself up as my judge, and I have no other option than to appeal to Christ.
Yes, the price I paid for transitioning was ending the wonderful relationship I enjoyed with my wife of thirty-seven years and knowing my decision would inflict hurt on her, my best friend. I agonized over this before I transitioned, and I agonize over this today. Yet, the hell-like existence marked by self-loathing, shame, confusion, guilt and depression, all of which I learned to white wash so as to appear as perfect as possible had to end, and it has. I thank God there were medical options for me, even of there was a price to pay.
The long and short of it is that the biggest surprise comes form the fact that I almost failed my English composition class in university. I was hopeless when it came to stringing two or more sentences together. I think cutting and pasting has given me the tool I needed in those days. Being somewhat of an obsessive perfectionist, starting over on a new sheet of paper was the only recourse I had then, and I think that is what defeated me—starting over.

It's kind of ironic that is what I have done with my life, after all. I've started over.


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