Jesus Loves You, but everyone else thinks that you’re an asshole.
— Schoolyard Taunt
If it weren’t for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all.
— Gloom, Despair and Agony On Me
When you feel forsaken by a world that seems to want to find any reason to slap people like you, losing sight of the blessings, possibilities and gifts that you actually do have in the world is very, very easy.
When you have spent a lifetime being told that you are stupid, that you are an offence to God, on some level you begin to believe it.
The best reason I know to emerge as transgender in the world is because you believe that it gets you right with your creation, revealing the truth of how your heart, your essence was created. It shows people who you have always been deep inside at your core.
Trying to get an “amen” on this view of creation, though, may be the toughest part of emerging as trans. Everyone, it seems, wants to tell you what you are doing wrong, but almost none one wants to say “Amen!” “Hello, I’m trans and I am here to help,” just isn’t something greeted with joy and approval.
As much as you believe you are trying to show yourself as your creator made you, here to help open minds and hearts, revealing continuous common humanity, many people will tell you that you are deluded, sick, perverted and sinning against their God. To them you threaten their children, pollute their communities and promote the spread of evil in the world.
For others, the notion that you speak with any authority from God must be rejected. They have been hurt by believers in the past, have come to reject any invocation of a creator, have come to a strong anti-theist stance. They understand the concept of a creator as an imaginary fallacy, stuck in archaic superstition and ignorance, so they have the power to mock and dismiss any claims made on that basis.
“Your creation is just a load of genes and chemicals,” they say. “How dare you claim spirit!”
That’s a damn heavy load when all you want to do is find a presentation that lets you smile in the world, coming from the best and most authentic place you can.
Transpeople hear the call very early in our lives, but we have been taught, by any means necessary, to resist it. Most of us have resisted calling to the point of self destruction (2003), only emerging when there was no other choice left.
When you feel forsaken in the world, by those around you, by your creator, or both, losing sight of of the blessings, possibilities and gifts that you actually do have in the world is very, very easy.
Feeling forsaken keeps you walking with your head down, always ready for the next blow. We just aren’t ready for someone to be nice to us (2001), just have trouble seeing the care that is possible if we can only open to it, only feel safe enough to let it in.
Dropping those defensive walls, though, is hard and terrifying after you have been taught that another crushing blow can come from anywhere at any time. “Jesus loves you, but everyone else thinks that you’re an asshole.”
When being forsaken becomes an identity, we tend to cling to events and stories which affirm that belief, rejecting or erasing that which might reminds us that good things can and do happen to us. We take a pessimistic view of the world, which colours our choices and limits our possibilities.
Every year, the coming of spring asks us to consider, though, the possibility of rebirth. Can the world really be reborn, new, fresh and colourful, with good things happening again?
No dream can possibly come true until we are willing to imagine it, to tenderly place it in the world and have it grow, changing the limits of the past to the new modes of the future. As long as we cling to our defences, we can change our clothes or change our body, but we cannot change our mind, seeing & embracing the world in a new way.
Transvestism is about changing your clothes.
Transsexualism is about changing your body.
Transgender is about changing your mind.
I know that whenever I speak to other transpeople, I try to give them context about the choices that they are making, often making them unconsciously out of old, stooped and crouching habits. Most of that effort is encouraging them to see and claim the blessings around them rather than staying obsessed with the negative attacks which drove them to hide their trans nature in the first place.
We know how to see the threats, how to take them to heart, how to stay convinced that we are forsaken. We don’t know how to see the blessings, how to take them to heart, how to become convinced that we are worthy recipients of all the good things this world has to offer.
If the struggles of one transperson are the struggles of us all, aren’t the successes of one transperson the successes of us all? Can we support and affirm both the effects of facing injustice and of receiving gifts & rewards inside of trans spaces?
In the way scarcity captures the mind, it is easy for me to believe that I am forsaken, separated and denied. It is easy for me to approach situations with the assumption that pattern will continue, that I will be forsaken again, that bad things happen to people like me and will happen again, and soon.
If I want rebirth, though, I must be willing to cast off that belief and accept that no matter my challenges, I am a worthy human, child of my creator.
And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
— (Matt. 27:46, KJV).
Without opening to the blessings, bounty and abundance available to us, we will always be forsaken. If we do not lift our vision, we will always stay stuck in the same limited worldview.
The history of abjection is written on our skin. Our pain is real and legitimate. Finding support for transcendence is very hard while finding reasons to stay defended and small come along everyday.
Yet, spring comes. Rebirth abounds. Plants blossom. Eggs reveal new life.
Do I want to stay stuck in an eternal winter?