This post is months in the writing. I have been pondering how and when I should compile it. Here is a warning: do not read any further unless you are willing to expand your ideology and attempt to receive a different perspective on a highly controversial topic.
At the end of last school year I had a “chance” meeting with a mom I had never met. She came up to me and said “I’ve seen you around at school and events and wanted to introduce myself”. I was thrilled with her kind (and sadly rare) initiation and proceeded to exchange the regular questions; i.e “what grade are your kids in, who are their teachers, names, etc. When she told me her child’s name I asked if it was short for something. Mom replied ” Oh, you don’t know?!
“Know what?! , I asked. She began to explain to me that her daughter is transgender. Being new in town; I had been tipped off to this during a brief conversation about a transgender child being disallowed to participate in a gender-divided group discussion at school-but I had never actually seen or met the child. This encounter was about a week after Caitlyn Jenner’s Vanity Fair cover; we laughed that she was “on-trend”.
I was curious to learn more about their journey and she graciously obliged. Mom shared that from the time her child was a toddler she exhibited female personality, behavior and characteristics. As a small child she was perpetually sad and always felt she was in the wrong body. Like any parents, mom and dad were confused and wanted to help their child. They joined a support group to access more information regarding the situation.
The moment of finality came after their child blew out his birthday candle, when asked “what he wished for”, his somber answer was “to be a girl for just one day”. That’s the moment he became she. I asked Mom what it’s like being in such a small town like ours and going through this transition. She insinuated that it had been a disappointing experience.
We walked side-by-side down the park hill to join the school group. My heart connected with hers and I shared that I am a devout Christian. I empathized that people can be really unkind and it’s mostly because they are uninformed. We gave each other a big hug as if we had known each other for years. I insisted that as Christians we are “to love first“! “Love”! The Bible asserts that “this is how people will know us”! “It’s by the way we love”. (1Peter 4:8) It is that simple. You don’t HAVE to understand being transgender to show love.
As we approached the large group of parents and students I discreetly asked if Mom could point out who her daughter was; as if on cue, her child, adorned in a flower crown came skipping up and wrapped her arms around her mother.
I was dumbfounded!
This child looked JUST like a little girl! Had I not known I would have never guessed she was transgender.
I felt so privileged to have run into Mom that day. Of course in life there are no coincidences. I was meant to just “grab something out my car” at the same moment she approached me.
While watching a recent episode of I am Cate -Jenner’s docuseries; Caitlyn’s friend, when referring to dating said, “we live in a world where we don’t belong”. My heart sank. The suicide rate is astronomical in the transgender community. Some argue that it’s because they’re struggling within themselves. This is partially accurate. Based on primary accounts, the direct correlation is linked to how others perceive their gender status.
Jesus was notorious for communing with those society deemed “the untouchables”-like lepers. In 2015, transgender people would fit this description. Jesus said “whatever you did for one of the least of these, you did for me.” (Matthew 24:40) I’m exploring how God can use me to show love to these sons and daughters and help them feel like they do belong.