The struggle for LGBTQ civil rights is like a great symphony now being played. The singular notes below, struck together, make for a sweetly moving chord in that majestic orchestration.
This past Saturday I received this, from reader Matt:
Hi, John. I’m just writing to share some great news! My partner is a transgendered woman, and on Monday she leaves to fly cross-country and have SRS (Sex Reassignment Surgery). This is a big step. After this, she will finally get the green light to change her driver’s license, birth certificate and other documents to “Female.” She’ll get to take estrogen and progesterone at full dose. And her transition will be all done!
She’ll finally get to live as her authentic female self.
She has known she was a girl since she was 14, and she is now just shy of 22. I am very excited for her, but also a little apprehensive. The surgery is no walk in the park; it is six hours long, and there is always the risk of complications. She will be away for three weeks recovering, and I cannot be with her because of work. I will miss her enormously.
Will you please join me in praying that everything goes well and that three weeks from now she comes back, whole and complete in herself?
I certainly did say those prayers.
And then yesterday morning I received from Matt this:
The last few days have been an absolute roller coaster of emotions. Many of my family and friends don’t understand, and I can’t talk about this at work. But I just had to share this with someone.
The surgery has gone so well! But what has gotten me the most was my partner’s reaction. I heard (secondhand through our friend) that she now has the letter “F” for female on her hospital bracelet, and that she saw that she broke down with happy sobs.
When I heard that I, too, sobbed so hard my jaw ached. I miss her so much, but this was worth every bit of heartache and strain. She talks about what she can do now: Shop for clothes that fit, go swimming without shame, bathe and shower without emotional pain, finally be completely with me (in every sense of the word). Complete strangers will now call her “Ma’am” and “she”!
She and I both spend most of our time crying at the moment, mostly sobs of relief and happiness. Our friend has gently reminded me that I need support, too, so I’m just writing you to help get it out.
Nothing can touch me right now. All the hate against the LGBTQ community, and against transfolk in particular, just flies right past me at the moment. They’ll never know this love I feel, this profound joy that fills me to overflowing. Even if my partner died tomorrow, she would die as herself, the most beautiful thing to happen to a human being. And oh, how I love this human being in particular!
Anyway, hope this brings a smile to you and Catherine.
It did bring a smile. And a tear or two.
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Last night I got in this, from the same Blake whose letter I presented in my post “So basically I’m gay. I clearly don’t know how to start this.”
John! I finally came out! It went great. I made an It Gets Better video, and gave you a shout out! Thanks for being awesome. Love, Blake.
And for Most Lovable Guy Ever in a Video, the winner is:
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As you may know, last month the United Methodists voted to maintain their denomination’s stance that homosexuals acts are “incompatible with Christian teaching.” (On the other hand: Group of Methodist Ministers Succumb to Gay Agenda!)
Just now underway is the West Michigan Conference of The United Methodist Church. (Because, apparently, you just can’t meet often enough.)
Reader and loyal Methodist Carol VanderNat sent me this picture of herself in the lobby of that conference, where for at least two days now she’s been holding a symbolic vigil.
Our pastors cannot perform same-sex weddings in the churches, or they will be immediately de-frocked. Our LGBT friends are prevented from exercising their faith, and from being married in a church—and the voices of those who wish to include everyone in the United Methodist Church were squashed and not heard. The people at this conference will have to walk around me, ignore me, speak to me or not, but they will have to see me. There are several people—friends, clergy and laity—who will come and sit with me off and on. I know that this action probably won’t change too many hardened hearts and minds, but maybe someone seeing me with my hands tied and my mouth taped shut will think twice about what the word “marginalization” really means.
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And finally, this morning I heard from our Taiwanese friend Ting Lin (from the recent A Taiwanese lesbian everyone should know):
I am doing all right. I am glad to have met so many people via email. I hope to meet more of them, and to learn their stories.
Just as I expected, I’ve also gotten in some “advice” about my “sexual weakness.” (As usual, those kinds of letters all came with no author name.)
For two days now I have been waiting for my parent’s reaction to the blog post. It will be the last time I have any hopeful expectations from them about this. No matter what happens, I will keep going.
Besides, read this good news!: Taiwanese rights group to propose alternative marriage bill.
I am excited about it, though we all know that we might yet again only end up disappointed.
Meanwhile, an influential organization called the “Chinese Christian Evangelistic Association” has actively mailed all churches and ministers a letter in which they spread the same old rumors. (I have been to many fundamentalist churches here, and they always teach how the legitimization of gay marriage will surely lead to sinful gay people getting married today and then divorced tomorrow, followed by our next demanding the legalization of polygamy, zoophilia, and pedophilia.
If you are interested in seeing this letter, let me know.
I told Ting Lin that I did want to see the letter that the Chinese Christian Evangelistic Association sent to all churches in Taiwan. I also asked her to send me a letter representative of those that she got in offering her “advice” about her errant ways. I was curious to see them; I wondered if such letters were the same in Taiwan as they are here.
Alas, they are.
And guess what? I don’t care. Reading them was like listening to a tone-deaf derelict playing a kazoo in the parking lot outside of a symphony hall in which the greatest orchestra and choir in the world is performing, say, Mahler’s Symphony No. 8, (also known as Symphony of a Thousand).