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.