Let me make something very clear. I solidly identify as a follower of Christ. I hold the scripture in high regard. I also identify as a transgender woman. I affirmed that identity after decades of work, training and service in conservative schools, churches and ministries as well as years and years of counseling to “manage” the dysphoria. That affirmation also came after being being pushed to the brink of suicide over the depression and anxiety that comes with an inconsistent identity and intersex-related health issues. I’m a survivor sexual abuse and I’ve been diagnosed with complex PTSD, though after affirming my identity, the symptoms have been less prevalent. I set all that out there to say that I both understand your thinking and am currently in your cross-hairs.
So with a solid background in your own backyard and an intense journey of discovering that God is so much bigger than we ever allowed Him to be, I’m officially calling “Bulls#!t” on the rhetoric, “policy advice” and “research” being propagated by you as the “Family Research” Counsel. I’m not one to throw curse language around lightly. But occasionally it has a place in making a point. This is one such place.
And just to be fair, this could also be addressed to you, “American Family” Association – although you don’t speak for my family, and you “The Heritage Foundation”, though I have to say not all “heritage is worthy of a foundation – see also America leading up to the 1860’s and 1960’s – and countless other organizations that apparently misunderstand the directives we have been given as followers of Christ.
You criticize the Obama administration for focusing on dismantling legislation that has sparked threats of violence and intimidation against my people, claiming they should instead focus on international terrorist threats.
Need I remind you that it was not us, but your camp that turned the national spotlight on where I relieve myself.
And you did that only after unsuccessfully “defending” “god’s plan” for marriage (little “g” intentional”). The arrogance of your organization to presume to know the mind of the God and act on His behalf to infringe on the true religious freedom of Americans in order to protect your own comfort zone is astounding.
You blame the backlash to the South Dakota and North Carolina laws on those of us who espouse a “transgender ideology.” My life and experience are no more a mere ideology that are yours. The fact that mine don’t aline with your established comfort zones is no more my problem than where you choose to worship on Sunday or Saturday or Wednesday.
And in terms of “research”, for the sake of your own integrity, please consider dropping this word from your name. I remember in the early days of your organization when it may have been relevant. The fact is I have not seen legitimate research coming out of your organization in years. The information you disperse is “reporting” at best, but not even good reporting at that. You are an organization that was created to perpetuate an ideal, one that is falling out of popularity exactly because of the control over freedom of thought and expression it demands.
You want to fight terrorism? Great! You can start by ending your terrorism of LGBT people. Our local republican candidate for sheriff took to Facebook a couple of weeks ago to declare that he would beat me (transgender people, but by default, “me”) to the point I would “wake up in what ever hospital they drug me to” if he saw me coming out of what he believed was the wrong bathroom. He further stated that if he be being attacked by another person, “someone else would have to arrest them.” He publicly stated that he would not do his job as an officer of the law! And just to be clear, he already carries a badge as a Texas Ranger (law enforcement, not baseball). You may not endorse his words, but media campaigns like you have been mounting are giving he and those of his mindset permission to behave this way.
You want to do some actual research? Great! Look at the numbers documenting how trans people are ten times more likely to be the victims of violence, sexual or otherwise, than they are the perpetrators of it. TEN TIMES!!! Ask yourself, as my brothers and sisters in Christ – are you really part of a solution or part of a problem?
Terrorism, by definition, the control of people by introduction of fear into their everyday lives. You and your cohorts have mastered that technique and disguised it as protection of “religious freedom” and “personal safety”.
Once again, the name of Christ has been deployed to enforce the power of the noisy on the well being of the marginalized. It’s a disgrace. You want religious freedom. Go – be free. Nothing is stopping you or standing in your way. Worship where you want, think like you want, marry who you want; you are free to be all your idea of religion asks you to be. Right up to the point you choose to inflict that on those who would dare to disagree with you.
Stop creating fear where there is no threat. Start fighting for justice: fight against domestic violence, stand up to actual sexual predators and the justice systems that slap their hands and sends them home to prey again, address the needs of families in poverty (you shouldn’t have to change political affiliation to do this, and if you do, shouldn’t that be a red flag waving in your face?).
I am making you a promise: If I ever see any of your children in danger from an actual predator, in a bathroom or anywhere else, I will protect them with my life.
I won’t ask their faith or how they practice it. I won’t ask who their parents voted for. I wont stop to investigate the motivation of the predator. I won’t look at the color of either or their skin. I will step in and stop the wrong from happening. Would you do the same for my children? Would you start by publicly denouncing the violent threats and rhetoric you and these legislative policies have encouraged?
You have every right to be as passionate about what you believe as I do. But as for your inconsistent criticism of the current administration and your participation in messages that create fear and encourage vigilanteism, I’m calling you out. Enough is enough.
Let’s move forward as a people of God united, committed to loving not condemning, choosing messages of His hope over our own fear.
I’m far from perfect. God still has great refining work to do in me. My gender identity is no longer something on that list.
For anyone reading this who is still on the fence and have a desire to understand, let’s talk. Open, honest discourse has long been the friend of faith and civility.