2019: 3 unthinkable things

2019 was mostly an excellent year. I achieved an older goal and a newer one, both which had seemed insurmountable, even unthinkable. Along the way, another unthinkable thing occurred, one that cut deeply.

I’ll get that one out of the way, so that I can end on a high note. In the spring, I was told that if I continued to go the local transgender support group, there were some who would not attend. Because I did not want to be a roadblock for anyone, I elected to stop attending.

Julie and I started going to this group in January 2015. We attended most meetings. We received support and provided it. Because Julie was able to grasp transitioning in a loving, compassionate manner, she was especially helpful to SOFFAs (significant others, family, friends, allies). With my pastoral experience and natural gift for gab, and because I experienced every step in transitioning, I too offered my share. Indeed, the Christian faith was a familiar topic, especially those suffering rejection by Christian family members, and I regularly provided insights and understanding.

A year earlier, I had resumed living as a male, so why would I want to continue to attend? The reasons were numerous. This had become my group. I had made some good friends. Retirement from the ministry had ripped me away from people; this group filled a void. And, because I like helping others, I could continue to be helpful.

Even more, what I experienced in feeling male after transitioning proved beneficial. As I related what was going on, others opened up. I broke the ground for some to admit that they don’t always feel strictly male or female, and it sometimes scares them because they transitioned.

A young trans woman approached me about what she was experiencing. She visited at our house a few times, where we had long talks. Soon, she resumed living as a guy. He’s doing fine now, feeling he’s sorted through things. I was happy to help him.

Others admitted that my detransitioning scared them. I suspect that one or two didn’t want me at the meetings because they feared what happened with me could happen with them.

One of those trans women unfriended me on Facebook, without saying a word. She and I had been close. It hurt a lot.

Indeed, the Facebook unfriending became rampant. No one told me, of course; they simply did it. I had to figure it out, recognizing I was no longer seeing them in my newsfeed.

Many didn’t unfriend me, but they’ve kept their distance. Only one local trans woman has acted the same toward me as she did when I was a trans woman.

I found it all so absurd. Some of the same people, who cry for acceptance, now rejected me. I was the same person I always had been, but by no longer identifying as transgender they turned from me.

They turned from me the way they hate how others turn from them.

And so it goes. There is no one group of people fully able to do for others what they ask from them.

My final meeting came right after I received my memoir in print. I brought it to the meeting. Before leaving, I addressed the group. I read some paragraphs, showing them how I was still supporting them. My final words to them were, “Whether or not I see you again, I will be speaking up for you and educating wherever I can.”

In 2020, I will publish my second book, Ministering to Transgender Christians.

That’s a nice segue to the older of the two major goals I achieved in 2019. I had long been wanting to write a book, which I thought would be a novel. (That sits in my computer, unfinished and untouched for years.) Ever since my therapist, in 2013, told me to write what I was experiencing with my gender dysphoria, I had been compiling my memoirs. In September 2018, I completed the first draft.

At that time, I knew nothing of self-publishing, so I had no clue whether I would be able to get it into print. When I learned that I could, cost free, publish it through Amazon, I was elated and took the plunge.

The other previously unthinkable goal, which I’ve only had since taking up jogging year-round in 2016, was to log one thousand miles in a year. I hit the mark the first week of November. As I type this on December 30, the following screenshot from my app reveals where I stand for 2019.

My 2020 goal? 1,200 miles—to average 100 per month.

My second 2020 goal? Publish my second book.

My third 2020 goal? Get cracking on promoting my books and my program of transgender education.

6 thoughts on “2019: 3 unthinkable things

  1. I am sorry to hear about your support group. I wonder if what happened is much the same as what happens to those of us who are gay and yet, because we hold to a biblical view of sex, choose celibacy. Our stories become weaponized in the so called “fight against homosexuality.” The fact is that I really don’t mind if two guy or two women want to marry. My choice for celibacy is for myself and myself alone. But, because people like me are held up to LGBT people as “examples of how you should live” or existence, understandably, makes people upset and we are seen as “the enemy” by many LGBT people, even more so than they view straight Christians. I do understand their feelings and would probably react much the same way in their shoes. for this reason, I do not blame them nearly as much as a I blame straight Christians for doing violence to me and my life by using me as a weapon.

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    1. Hey, Matt~

      Thanks for your thoughts. I suspect you are onto something. Indeed, while I fully identified with these trans folks, I also stood up for my traditional faith and view of God’s Word. Thus, when I resumed living as a guy, some likely had enough of me, even though, in every meeting, I constantly supported them and offered whatever counsel I had on a topic.

      Yet, as I stressed with them, I didn’t CHOOSE to now feel like a male, just as I hadn’t chosen to feel female, and just as they had not chosen to experience themselves as they did. Even so, some of these very people said to me, in reference to my resuming living as a man, “I hope you made the right decision.” Argh! I didn’t DECIDE to feel like a male.

      As to your closing thought – “I blame straight Christians for doing violence to me and my life by using me as a weapon” – I am with you. Lord, have mercy! Lord, grow in these Christians the heart of Jesus Christ!

      Happy new year!
      Greg

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  2. Hi there –
    Three things come to mind (oops, now 4, no 5… – lol):
    Phillipians 4:13 – I can do all things through Him (Christ) who strengthens me.
    John 8:7 – “Let him who is without sin be the first to cast a stone at her.”
    Romans 3:43 – for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
    Isaiah 64:8 – But now, O Lord , you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.

    This journey is hard, but God is always there to strengthen you – and bring you closer to Him through the suffering and rejection (like he himself endured – Isaiah 53:3 -He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.)
    Perhaps, for whatever reason, God has decided the time for this group has come to it’s end. Regardless of whether it was God or sin (or both), I trust He will use it according to His good and gracious will.

    Perhaps the time has come to help other people gain understanding while simultaneously increasing their discomfort level. 😎

    Prayers ascending for clarity in this area in 2020. Happy New Year!

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    1. Thank you so much, Diane for this lovely, Gospel encouragement!

      My ongoing prayer is “Lord Jesus, show me your good and gracious will, and help me to follow it.” I speak Psalm 25:5 “Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.”

      Hmm, increasing the discomfort level of others – dare I suggest, of those who need it!

      Diane, I count meeting you among the wonderful things to happen for me in 2019. Happy New Year to you!

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  3. I think it goes along the same line as why most trans people never discuss the struggles we all do have. The second you show a crack in your armor, it’s prime time for religious conservatives to pounce on the mental illness / it’s a choice attack vector. The interesting thing is if you identified as nonbianary instead of male, it wouldn’t have raised any concerns in those people. Its a sad reality that you were rejected AGAIN, but there is so much fear on both sides of the aisle :(.

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    1. Well said, Mariah. Thank you.

      I began writing out some reactions, but deleted them, preferring to allow your thoughts to stand on their own, because they deserve no rebuttals or expansions.

      Thanks for writing, and I wish you all good things in the new year!

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