Monday, July 21, 2014

Like Eowyn: #FaithFeminisms

[TW: self-harm discussed.] 

They asked me to write down when I’m happiest. 

Asked that I be honest, real. 

I kind of think they’re not ready, unprepared, mush less wanting my brand of honesty. Exclude the factor that I speak abrasively and rub raw wounds more raw, I have stuff I would say no one particularly cares to hear. People want honesty as long as it isn’t shocking or disgusting to them. And my truth isn’t either but been told that it’s false and therefore ugly. Some bullshit about truth being beautiful and beauty being truthful. 

So, you want me to speak of my happiest, most at peace moments. You want me to speak of the times I feel most safe and home, then let me tell you how I feel most beautiful. Some people have vivid imaginations and I have an ability to visualize and that is where I go to feel beautiful and happy. So, here it goes. 

Don’t be afraid, darling, because this is the only shit I know about myself to be true.

Time I feel most safe and beautiful I see a woman, short blonde hair, wearing a black and white dress with tights and gladiator-esque shoes. I’m not sure if she’s got long blonde hair or a pixie cut. I see a woman with nice curves, slim but not skinny, and has a personality full of beauty. 

Not catching on yet? 

Let me make this simple as all get out: I would prefer. No, not strong enough. I wish to fucking God that I were a woman. I have no clue why that is but it is. I am what I am for no reason and without any seeming causation. Any chance of being male or identifying as such seems inane and false and dumb and terrifying and demanding— 

(I know I could die for identifying as a woman)—

(I’m aware of the attempted suicide stats because I am one)—

(And I know of the high murder rate)—


But I can’t live a lie. 

I spent too many damn years cutting my own body and declaring a fucked up freedom to keep lying to myself. So, if that’s what makes me happy why can’t I be that? I’m scared of every single ideal or thing that tells me that I am not manly enough or that I was born a swear-to-God-on-high man. So, instead, I said I was gay. 

This was close to the truth. 

But I had more awareness of my unhinged womanhood before my bullshit gayness. Eventually I realized the simplest truth of my mortality. That, if I could die for transitioning, and I’ll probably not make it to thirty if I don’t transition in any way, where am I to go? What am I to do? 

I think I’m gonna be a statistic. I’m not sure thirty is likely. Especially when getting to thirty is my only life goal. But if I can’t be the woman I want to be will it even be worth it? Goddamn it. 

I quit.

I have no life goals. I was asked tonight what my goals are and I said, fully honest, I had none. Then I rephrased and said, To make it to thirty. Everyone thought it was funny and I laughed to hide the truth, the not so beautiful truth. But I have no goals, and that’s okay. I fight on. I live on. I continue to exist. I speak my truth because to be a woman in a man's world means shouting till lungs bleed to be heard. I will shout my story and my sisters stories, cisgender or transgender. I will shout of injustice and I will raise a fist and fight back because without fighting I will be silenced and if I am silenced all women will be silenced. 

Stand. Speak. Feminism, Jesus, God, whatever, gave these abilities to you. 

This is my anthem:

I refuse to cut my body anymore, until I need to again. Till I need to cope and function—

I refuse to succumb to bullshit in my own mind— 

I refuse your truth and your ideas and your bible’s—

I write into my soul: woman—

I write and write and write—

No promises made—


(only promise I can make)—

Like Eowyn, I shout: I am no man. 


Sunday, July 20, 2014

Feel: #FaithFeminisms

I remember when I first wore a dress. 
I felt liberated, real, true, even. 
But then I remembered that my feelings were to be viewed skeptically and through sin's omnipotent lens. Sin, I was told, pervades everything we do and that our feelings are particularly susceptible since, well, I actually never heard why this was just that it was. So, I turned rational and tried to think and be very platonic in how I functioned. I did this by reading apologetics, reading Aquinas and other super logical and rational and (seemingly) emotionally cold writers and thinkers. But none of it resonated. It turned into a preaching to the choir within my own head. 
I realized well before accepting my status as a trans woman that I was emotional, a feeler according to Myers-Briggs. I felt more than I thought and the two rage because both are important to me and not mutually incompatible. And then I realized, fuck, the Church is basically screwing women over simultaneously. Because in every discussion I have ever had with men about women's roles in the Church I've heard it said, "They're too emotional/susceptible to things in the wind," and other such nonsense along those lines. So, basically, the Church has told women: you all (always a dangerous statement) are feelers and feel emotion deeply but that's where sin attacks most and is most powerful. So, basically, to be blunt: women you're screwed and need to stay at home because sin over takes you too easily. More blunt: women, you're weak. Even more: women are incapable of rational, "cold" or "objective" thought. This is what the Church taught me. 
To be a woman, then, was to be less. And to be called any type of names associated with femininity, or behavior, was to be lesser and weak. 
I know this because my dad called me a baby and a girl if I cried and got upset and "too pouty". My dad and mom told me to be a man, to know how to be a man, basically that women are there to be sexed. 
And then I realized a truth latent within me: I am a woman. I am a feeler. The latter not because of the former and that I can think clearly too. So, on top of being a a trans woman in the Church and the whole Deuteronomy 23:1 mentality of the Church regarding girls like us, and on top of the murder rate, I was told: you can't be a feeler, you can never ever trust your deepest feelings. 
This is where feminism comes in. Feminism, in caricature and truth, has always been about being strong; being a woman, however the hell you do that. Feminism has always been about how women are human, too. We feel and breathe and think, too (shocker!). But, more importantly, feminism says it's okay to be mad and sad and annoyed. And feminism welcomes me, a trans woman excluded by word and deed from all other places, in. 
Look. I get it. Feminism has connotations which make everyone uncomfortable. But that's only because masculinity is king. And that transphobe Mary Daly was right, "If God is male then male is God." And Christian society is all too guilty of this. 
But there is light. 
There is hope. 
Like when my mentor is a DCE in the Lutheran Church Missouri-Synod and refuses to be a stay at home mom (for now) because she needs to be around people and minister. 
Like when people accept me for who I am and ask for correct pronouns. 
Like when women such as Jes Kast-Keat, Krista Dalton, Sarah Moon, and others are teaching me and redefining what women can do within the Church. Saying, it's okay to be super badass and femme and not so femme and queer and smart as all get out and be a woman, too! 
Like when women in the Church tell their stories unashamedly. 
Like when men step back and let women speak their truths. 
Like when Jesus cries and feels. 
There is hope. Because if Jesus, the embodied God-Man, cries and feels then feelings are not sin tainted and are good. If Jesus feels then we can feel. And I feel okay with that. 
So. Feel, follow your undeceived hearts, know yourself, be brave, be badass, and don't let the patriarchal bullshit get you down. 

Saturday, May 10, 2014

anger towards those who kill us

i can't help but wonder if anyone else noticed
that the serpent in the garden has taken on the 
form of old    white    men and     women in
jean skirts. this is satanic, the way in which you
speak. speak not words of wisdom, listen not
to the wisdom of the beatles. no, instead, perpetuate
the lie that you are god for other people. so fuck you 
satan in all your incarnations. i don't think youre 
a pointy eared devil more like a dirtbag who tells me
im deviant. and if that's the case well then ill be deviant
cause it sure is a helluva a lot more fun than 
following you. 
so here's to you satanembodied i bow at your alter
and throw up a finger to your sacrament of marriage 
and piss on the walls of your church of gender. jesus
christ in heaven raising people up to meet him and i hope, 
as vindictive as this sounds, cause it is,  
its a bunch of queers and their fabulous souls because you and
your idols will be smashed. we are the prophets of the new age
and we will
and tear down all the idols you throw up. 
satan embodied no longer a serpent but a man in a pick up truck
and a woman who cares too much about others to worry about
the two by four sticking out of her eye. 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

About LGBTQ People

I have a problem. My problem is with young gay folks and the pride culture. I have started to see an overwhelming attitude shift from young LGBTQ folks be proud of their identity. Yay! That's awesome. But then I've been told numerous times that, due to my religious stance on being gay and acting on "it", I am ashamed of being gay. Um. No. My religious hesitation is more about what I count dear and submitting to a higher standard than what my penis wants to do. There's no shame about it. I'm trying to take this slow because dating is a huge leap for me. So, dear LGBTQ people, calm down about dating and religion. Us LGBTQ Christians are not all certain of how to proceed. Extend us some grace.

Thursday, January 30, 2014


I talk a big show. I really do. I can talk a mile a minute about the most inane shit. And, frankly, I can do it with some poise and intelligence. But, a lot of this talking lately revolves around certainty. I speak to how I know I'm allowed to have a husband. About how sex will be glorious. But, the whole time, I am the most uncertain person I know. If I'm entirely honest I give more credence to the whole "gay relationships are okay within a biblical framework" side since it's...easier. 

It's a lot easier. That's not to say it's wrong, just easier. The other side, the call for a reevaluation of what friendship is, looks like, and can be in light of celibacy seems much more difficult. And time's like now I feel like I haven't considered it enough. Or, at least, thought that there might be a better more clear way. Either way. I am uncertain. And will be for some time. 

Lord have mercy.  

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Shut the Fuck Up

Trigger Warning: Suicide and self-harm discussed. 

I was called a faggot in the first grade. Too early to understand the weight of the word nor the implications. Too young to have even been called that. But that's what you get when your only friend was a third grade girl who sat with you on a bus of twelfth graders (whoever planned that shit was an idiot in all honesty). I remember crying one day when I got home, walking up my cul-de-sac, listening as the bus pulled away and with it the words "lover boy" and "faggot". I walked into my house, in tears and simply said that the boys were mean to me. No more. No less.


I'm pretty thick skinned. I'm not easily offended. Ideas don't offend me, and, in fact, I don't think they should offend. But, since coming out, I've realized that "faggot" is hurtful. For me, though, it's more hurtful knowing that others around me might be struggling and are gonna hurt. I get annoyed but very rarely am hurt by those words said in ignorance, though ignorance is not an excuse. 


I guess it helps that I have a deep voice, am relatively athletic, and decently good humored. That's probably why I don't get insulted. Who knows. Regardless, I still struggle with body image and self harm. And while I choose to cut I still blame those who have hurt me and insult me. I get angered and triggered by the bullshit that is hatred. 


I wish to god I could tell people that words have consequences. And if they said, Like what? I could point them to the stories of Tyler Clementi and others. Kids like me who were told they weren't okay, beautiful, or good enough. That they needed to change. That they were fags and abominations. Kids who are outed or mocked or embarrassed for something they can't change. Just the thought, the typing of those words in sentences gives me chills. Words have consequences so shut the fuck up when you want to say something harmful or wrong. 


Are those who hurt LGBTQ folks who have killed themselves culpable? Part of me, in brutal honesty, thinks so. 


Thursday, January 23, 2014

Forgive Us (AIDS Memorial)

Forgive the rambling nature of this post. I wrote it from my heart so it's a bit more raw. I want it to be raw and nothing else. It feels honest. 

Being gay feels like hypocrisy.
Like fucking hypocrisy.
Nice, straight folk telling me how I’m supposed to be me, how I am supposed to live.
Nice, straight, Christian folk who don’t take the time to listen to my story. To any one of our stories.
Stories matter. Somehow, though, they’ve been ignored. Stories are being ignored by the one sub-culture which, one would think, would emphasize and appreciate the stories of others.


I realized I was gay in an age of immense and growing privilege for gay and lesbian and bisexual folk (still working for full societal inclusion of transgender men and women). I realized I was gay almost 30 plus years after the AIDS epidemic ravished the American gay community. And the men, who survived it, were affected by this plague, and who live today are living among teens that are coming out. I know they’re proud of how far we’ve come. I know they hurt. Still, part of me can’t help but feel like my generation of LGBTQ kids is as negligent as the average teenager of our predecessors. We come out and are proud of our identities as we should be. But we fail to realize that it’s taken 600,000 plus deaths to get where we are today. It’s taken us years and pain. And we’re still dying by our own hands.
Being gay feels like taking responsibility for the past and the future.
Being gay feels like death which forever lays at our doorstep.
Being gay feels like guilt.


To Christians, please listen. Please, for the love of God. Stop hurting us by your ignorance. “Forgive us for we know not what we do.”
To the men who’ve gone before me, forgive me and my generation who are forgetting you. Forgetting to look to you and learn from you. “Forgive us for we know not what we do.”
To the men who’ve died, forgive us and know your deaths have not been in vain. You’ve helped us to be able to say being gay feels like justice. “Forgive us for we know not what we do.”


Being gay feels like pain and guilt and death ever near and freedom. But it cost us the lives of so many beautiful men.

Lord have mercy.