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Showing posts from 2015

For me, transitioning was the equivalent of committing career suicide.

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My letter to the editor was published in today’s the Province newspaper; it’s reposted below. I wrote it in response to a full-page feature story that appeared in Sunday’s (Nov. 29th) edition, titled ‘There’s a revolution going on’.

Lisa Salazar: Despite Caitlyn Jenner, many people still struggle with ‘men in women’s clothing’

While I am always grateful for positive press regarding trans issues, especially when I happen to know some of the players in the stories, my hopes for greater understanding and acceptance continue to be tempered by the lived realities of most of the trans persons I have come to know. The revolution University of B.C. student Cormac O’Dwyer alludes to in Province reporter Glen Schaefer’s article on Sunday is, unfortunately, nothing more than a tempest in a teacup.

While it is true that Caitlyn Jenner’s coming out caused a 100-per-cent increase in the number of people who claim to know a transgender person (to 16 per cent from eight per cent), being aware that som…

Applying for a job on-line feels like joining a dating service.

I’ve got a profile in Linkedin and half-a-dozen other job banks, and after months of sending out resumes and cover letters, I feel my self-worth declining. 
My morning routine is to pour myself a cup of coffee and sit at my computer for a couple of hours to see what new job postings appear in the above mentioned job banks and send out cover letters, resumes and the link to my website. My Google search is simple: “graphic design jobs in Vancouver, BC.”

These days, many graphic design job descriptions include so many technology qualifiers, they might as well be advertising for computer programmers and engineers who like to use other fonts besides Arial Times Roman and Comic Sans, and can take photos with a real camera.

What really gets to me, however, is how f**k**g impersonal this on-line job application process has become. 

The adage “It’s not what you know. It’s who you know” must be true. Even Psychology Today has talked about it. One gets the feeling it doesn’t matter what you can …

What's next for Uganda, even if the "Kill the Gays Bill" never passes?

I must confess that it was not until January of this year that I invested any think time on the situation in Uganda.

Yes, I had heard of the crazy "Kill the Gays Bill," but I was focusing on personal stuff and I simply shrugged my shoulders and said, "I'm glad I don't live in Uganda."

To say that I did a 180 degree turn out of my own convictions and outstanding character is not what happened. The truth is I was surfing the web on Dec. 30th and went to a friend's blog post titled, "Genocide Brewing in Uganda," in which she summarized what was taking place and how imminent was the passing of this insane piece of legislation. She provided links to CNN, Amnesty International, BBC, Time and a few other news organizations. I spent the next two hours going from one link to another and I was horrified.

I emailed my friend and asked if she had any links to where I could send an email to; I needed to scream at someone. She replied that it may be a lo…

Today’s Lament (on trans equality)

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At times I feel like weary, bitchy and annoyed at my world.

It’s easier, if not safer and less painful, to keep it vague and generalized than to think of actual persons in my life. It’s like looking at a large, indifferent audience without trying to make out individual faces for fear I might see my friends in the crowd.

This is what evokes my lament today:

What brought it on was a friend’s innocent question of his Facebook post this morning. He shared an article from The Guardian entitled Church of England to consider transgender naming ceremony and asked if I had any thoughts.

I was going to start out by saying, “Wow, that is amazing!” Then I remembered this idea is not really new. In fact, it’s been suggested for at least a dozen years. Why has it taken this long? Consequently, my response became more somber—and longer. This is what I said:
In 2003 Justin Tanis published "Trans-Gendered Faith: Theology Ministry and Communities of Faith." In the Appendix, he offers liturgic…

Herding cats might be easier.

This post was inspired by my friend Candace Chellew-Hodge’s opEd. The headline read: PEW CONFIRMS LGBT REJECTION OF RELIGION: WHY THAT’S A GOOD THING

Her piece was in response to the latest Pew Survey from the Pew Research Center, which found LGBT persons have abandoned religion big-time. This was also the finding of an earlier Pew Survey of LGBT Americans (2013). The problem with these two studies is the relatively low number of trans respondents, the latter only had 5% trans participants.

By comparison, the study I just completed for my Master's degree polled only trans persons; it found very few trans individuals interested in any kind of church participation, much lower than the Pew Research findings for LGBT. Only 15% include church involvement as one of their intentional spiritual practices. What this means for pastors is they don't have to worry about trans persons breaking down their doors if their church should ever become affirming.

Significantly, the study also foun…

A note to fearful pastors: Don't worry, trans people aren’t likely to break down the doors to your church any time soon.

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Some thoughts in the aftermath of a young trans girl’s tragic suicide on Dec. 28, 2014.
A recent survey indicated close to 70% of transgender persons wanted nothing to do with organized religion. You don't need to be a rocket scientist to imagine why this may be so. I would not be surprised, given the viral reaction in the trans community to Lelaah Alcorn’s death, if that number isn’t 90% by now. If you haven’t read the story, here’s the Google search link.Or see this on MSNBC
Interestingly, one reality that is emerging in my research is that the church is not seen as a place of refuge by trans persons. As a matter of fact, most trans people would rather stay away—forever. Who walks bleeding into a lion’s den?

Despite the fact that there are conversations happening, they are likely to be akin to “preaching to the choir.” Churches that genuinely want to be or are already inclusive will continue to be few and far between. It’s wonderful there are conversations taking place and that…