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Showing posts from 2013

Dear Uganda, it's not that I don't care anymore.

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It was with a heavy heart that I chose not to renew the website I created three years ago on New Year's Eve, "UgandaUrgentAction.com." It's time for quiet diplomacy and prayer.

Earlier that December 31, 2010 I read a blog post by my friend Kathy Baldock titled: "Genocide brewing in Uganda." It dealt with the infamous "Kill the Gays Bill" that was being debated in Uganda's Parliament and its passage seemed eminent. It upset me deeply and I decided to write an open letter to all 287 members of parliament, the President, the Prime Minister, and both the Cabinet and the shadow cabinet.
Then I got the idea to create the website to promote a letter writing campaign. I enlisted a friend who is a copy writer to come up with three letters people could choose from and while I waited for the domain to go live, I got busy creating the page. Once it was up and running and all the links seemed to be working, I then sent an email to every person on my contac…

Why I don't look forward to Christmas, but really want to.

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Have you ever considered the irony in the Christmas story with respect to family?
Luke tells us "a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. All went to their own towns to be registered. Joseph went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David, called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child."

Whether this census really took place in exactly this way is debatable. It may have been a more localized census, affecting only the Province of Syria, which included Judea.

Assuming there is some truth to Luke's account, can you imagine a homecoming where you are unable to connect with any of your family, and are forced to find shelter in a stable? If Joseph was returning to his roots because of a decree, one would think his roots would also be aware of this decree and would be anticipating the arrival…

On this solemn day, the 14th Transgender Day of Remembrance, I would like to share this with you

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…And the eunuch asked two pregnant questions.

A passage that has become very significant to transgender Christians is Acts 8:26-39, the story of Philip’s encounter with the Ethiopian eunuch. The narrator of the story explains how Philip was instructed by an angel to intercept a court official of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, a eunuch, on the dusty road from Jerusalem to Gaza.

Why this detail of the person’s sexual otherness is in the account may not be readily apparent to us. It seems a bit odd, after all, how did Philip know this intimate detail? It’s not as if this person had the word “eunuch” tattooed on their forehead. Perhaps the possible lack of facial hair, high-pitched voice, or even attire my have been the clue. But why out this person in the narrative?
This story, therefore, requires that we do a little queering in order to get at the significance and the importance of the story for us today.

Another First: Walking the Labyrinth

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Dedicated to my friend RuthAnn.

Today was the second day of orientation for new students at Vancouver School of Theology (VST) — we had a spiritual retreat.

The morning started with a short worship service as we gathered together. We were then led through a couple of community building exercises designed to get us to know each other better, giving us the chance to share little things about our stories and how we have ended up at VST. 
Not surprising, all of our stories and the paths that have brought us here are uniquely different from the others, yet there is the sense of calling that resonates with each narrative. 
Due to my curious nature, but equally suspicious and reluctant to embrace things too quickly, I tend to ruminate and over-analyze; and It's usually after the fact that I finally make some sense of things. 
Which brings me to my next point. We ended the morning by meeting outside at VST's labyrinth. I won't attempt to explain what a labyrinth is all about, its …

“Do I know you? You look familiar.”

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As featured in Medium.com

Ever wonder what it might be like to change into a different person? I’ve lived in Vancouver for the last forty years of my life, that’s about two-thirds of the total trips I’ve taken around the sun.

During those years I’ve met hundreds of persons, if not thousands. Some were my business clients; a couple were my bosses; dozens were my employees; about three hundred were my students at Capilano College; a crazy number were customers I had the pleasure of serving at my family’s restaurant in Kitsilano, Las Margaritas; another five hundred or so were fellow worshippers in the seven different churches we attended as a family; and several dozen were neighbors, the parents of our childrens’ friends, and the many other people I knew only by first name—the grocery store clerks, pharmacists, postal delivery persons, etc. I haven’t added all these people up and I don’t know how my list compares to yours—is it larger, smaller, average in size?

I have no way of knowing …

The Power of the Paradigm-Shifting Gospel

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Which Gospel do you profess?



As Stephen, the author of the blog "Sacred Tension // A Story of Dissonance" powerfully expressed in his post today ("The Cost of Words"),
"Most Christians believe they speak eloquently and wisely on this topic (homosexuality), but as long as they fail to realize the cost of their words, they will be babbling uselessly to those who are practically dying to hear the gospel of love." As a transexual Christian woman, I can say that when it comes to reconciling our faith to our sexuality, all of us who are LGBTQI have experienced an internalized struggle and fierce debate that would make your dogma run for the hills. 
Growing up in a time when the word “transgender” did not exist meant that I did not even have the ability to understand why I felt the way I did. As the fundamentalist Christian I grew up to be, there was only one explanation, I had a perverse bent that needed high spiritual maintenance.

This was my thorn in the fles…

August 7, 2013 GCN Radio Interview

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I want to thank Justin Lee for this.

GCN Radio GCN's weekly podcast features music, issue discussion, and interviews with guests. Listen to any show by clicking below, or subscribe in iTunes or with our XML feed. New Season 2012-2013
August 7, 2013

Transparently Transgender. Trans Christian Lisa Salazar, author of Transparently: Behind the Scenes of a Good Life, discusses her struggles to accept herself as transgender and the Bible passages that gave her hope. [listen to this show] (right-click to download)

To My Blog's Russian Readers

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I am moved to tears by the fact that my blog's third largest group of readers are in Russia.


As I ponder the impossible situation you face with respect to the criminalization of LGBT persons, where you are not even allowed to gather for mutual support, it fills me with rage.

It is true that many people were outraged when Russian officials announced that all forms of public display in support of gay rights, whether it be something as simple as wearing a rainbow lapel pin or even same sex public displays of affection, would be enough to incriminate you and get you arrested.

Mr. Putin's denial of basic human rights for LGBT people and your law maker's willingness to pass laws that target sexual minorities is a travesty.

What can I possibly do to make a difference, I ask myself. It isn't enough to sit comfortably in the safety of my home and simply shake my head in disgust. I have signed several petitions in these last few days that have gone to places like the Internation…

RETRACTION and APOLOGY

I removed the blog post I wrote yesterday. Upon reflection, I confess that I was too harsh and judgmental towards the subject of a story that appeared in the New York Post about ABC News editor, Don Ennis, who only three months ago showed up at work as a woman claiming to be transgender. And now, according to the latest story, Don was reverting back to male, claiming that he in fact was not transgender.

I felt my criticism and skepticism were justified and the story just seemed too fantastic. But as others have pointed out, we don't know all the details, and more importantly, we don't know the person and what they are going through. I have often said that each person’s story is their own and have advocated for understanding because unless we have walked in someone's shoes, we cannot possibly claim to know what motivates them and what their life is all about.

This is my apology for having jumped to conclusions.

I forgot the pain I've seen in the three persons I know wh…

Tucked inside my Bible, I found this letter:

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A little over a year after my gender alignment surgery, I received a letter from a friend, a retired mechanic with whom I had been part of a men’s Bible Study for close to twenty years. After reading it, I stuck it inside my Bible and forgot all about it—until a couple of days ago. I discovered it while unpacking after my recent move.


























Note: My friend didn't used my name in the letter and used instead the initial for my former male name in brackets (J).I have not seen him since the day I told the group I would not be coming to the Bible Study any more. After I transitioned, they had told me I was still welcome, but you could cut the tension with a knife some mornings and I was tired of being the elephant in the room. His letter arrived a couple of weeks later. 

I post the letter without comment, but I would love to know your thoughts on what my friend wrote.

Sept 2011

A Little Leaven
Confronting a brother about his lifestyle in a self-righteous spirit is never called for, however …

My brush with Exodus International left me exposed

Long before I was able to admit that I was transgender, I spent twenty-one weeks trying to apply the teachings of Exodus to myself.

In 1991 I became aware of a ministry at my brother’s church which was trying to help gays and lesbians change their sexual orientation. The director of the program was a very masculine looking woman by the name of Marjorie Hopper; she had a very painful, complicated and difficult story. For years she lived as a man and worked as a custodian until she was outed at work and her world came crumbling down. She had a religious experience and became a zealous anti-gay advocate, and eventually the director of the Living Waters program at Burnaby Christian Fellowship (BCF). Living Waters was one of the many ministries associated with Exodus International.

In those days, as I struggled with my gender identity, I was desperately hoping that God would heal me and take away all my feelings of inadequacy as a man. The word transgender was just then entering our vocabu…

Do you have a husband?

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As I waited for my sister and my mom to come out to the car so we could be on our way, my mom’s next door neighbor approached me to ask how we were doing.

My dad passed away a few weeks ago at the age of ninety-five and this neighbor was one of the last persons to see Dad alive before he was admitted to hospital. The neighbor's name is Dave, and on many other occasions we had made small talk as we came and went. As far as neighbors go, he is the best anyone could hope for, always willing to lend my parents a hand, the quintessential handyman and Mr. Fixit, friendly and easy-going; and talkative.

From the many years he has been my parent’s neighbor, he has been able to piece together a bit of my family’s history, that we were born in Colombia, how we ended up in Canada, that we owned a California-style Mexican restaurant, how many children my parents had and how that explained all the grandchildren and the number of cars that showed up for family events, filling all the available …

How Deep the Father's Love for Us

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Enrique Salazar-Samper (April 7, 1918 – April 30, 2013)
For the last few days, I have been humming the first few lines of the beautiful hymn, "How Deep the Father’s Love for Us." I cannot help but make the connection between how much my earthy father, Enrique, loved us and how much our Heavenly Father's love flowed to us through my Dad. 
I don't want this post to be about me, but I also cannot help but see my Dad's love for me these last five years that I have been Lisa, as evidence of just how powerful love is, that it can overcome even what seemed impossible, that a man at the age of ninety would be able to accept his fifty-eight year old son as his daughter. I am so grateful and blessed—it overwhlemes me.
Dad lived ninety-five years and twenty-three days...he was the last remaining member of his family to depart. The youngest of seven children, he had no memories of his own mother, who passed away when he was only two.
Along with my many cousins who are scatte…

Pointing Fingers: Out of the Gender Non-Conforming Comfort Zone (an admission)

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Who Made Me Gender-Role Police? The story is titled “About a Boy: Transgender surgery at age sixteen” by Margaret Talbot in the New Yorker Magazine (March 18, 2013). It talks about how many more females are coming out as transgender now than in the past. But as I reflected on the amazing progress trans people have made in recent years, it made me aware of my own subtle bias about gender-role conformity.

Indeed, my doctors tell me that compared to twenty years ago, when it seemed that twice as many males transitioned to females than females to males, today there is equilibrium in the numbers, with as many females as males identifying as transgender. Margaret Talbot says this:
In the past, females who wished to live as males rarely sought surgery, in part because they could “pass” easily enough in public; today, there is a desire for more thorough transformations. The subject of her story is a young transman named Skylar who underwent top surgery at the age of sixteen, a much younger …

Homosexuality & Christianity: Interview with Kathy Baldock

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Here is a link to Matthew J. Roth's interview 
with my friend Kathy Baldock.

If you want to know the etymology of the words "homosexaul" and "heterosexual" and how they ended up in the Bible, you need to read this great interview!


Click on the photo to be redirected.

Equally worth reading are some of the comments. In particular, several by "Tim," which were made in response to "Mark." I've copied and pasted them below:


Comment Stream by Tim:
According to the ancient rabbis, as written in the Talmud, one of the problems in Sodom was heterosexual adultery which is quite different from homosexuality. The example the Rabbis give is Potiphar’s wife enticing Joseph to commit adultery with her in Genesis 39:9.In plainer words, according to ancient Jewish Rabbis, the men of Sodom were having sex with other men’s wives, not with other men. Take a moment to get your mind around that. This testimony from the Talmud is 2000 years old. It’s not somethi…