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Tag: human rights

An LGBTQIA+ Story

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Hi there. My name is Carla.
(pseudonym: Esmeralda Marie)

My wife’s not much of a talker.

Yet, the past few years had been engulfed in more silence than usual. She had shut down, even to me. She sat in front of a computer screen, her face turned to stone; her body always felt like it was holding on for dear life.
Her eyes darted to and fro, and I realized she was frightened. Of what, I could not tell.

I began to assume that perhaps it was me that frightened her. Maybe she realized that taking care of me was too much for her. (I have Cerebral Palsy, so I use a wheelchair to get around).

I had put on weight since my miscarriage and was no longer social as I usually was. We were buried beneath life. Only, we could not put our finger on where the pressure had come from.

Eventually, she started to tell me things.

She told me she felt ugly. She felt like she was disfigured. She was uncomfortable.

She would often tell me how badly she wanted to be the spouse I deserved: a spouse that was capable of giving and receiving intimacy, that wanted to be my friend, a spouse whose flesh did not turn to ash when I touched her.

I awoke on December fifth, 2018, with hope, which was unusual, to be honest.

Actually, it was the day my wife came out to me and told me that she was a transgender woman. This would explain why the ‘man’ I loved all this time was uneasy, unsettled, and absent.

This would explain a lot.

I am not unfamiliar with the LGBTQIA+ community. I have always been an active ally, and I understood the fear that was associated with coming out. I am supportive of her transition.

Admittedly, though it did take a while for my perception of her to adjust, after realizing she’s still the same person, the fear of losing our marriage de-escalated.

Since coming out to her family, she was told that she would not be able to visit ‘if she had titties’. She was told that she could ‘dress up’ in her room, but that she would never be accepted as a woman. It has not been safe for her to see her siblings.

She has since had to take on three jobs so that we could make ends meet, and family that we both cherish no longer has a relationship with us, because we’ve been “ghosted”.

As her wife, it has also been painful to hear the assumptions about us. It has been assumed that she has had an affair, that she has betrayed me, that she has used me. Of course, this does little to make a tough situation easier to navigate.

I would like to make it transparent that I am not angry at anyone. It is not my objective to point fingers at or to shame anyone. There is enough of that to go around and I don’t intend to spread any more negative feelings surrounding something that has brought so much light back into my wife’s eyes.

I am not suggesting that everyone should be ashamed of themselves for not knowing the proper terminology or etiquette, for not being as loud as me in my support.

What I am saying is that we need to start treating each other as people. All of us. Stop making assumptions; stop living in fear as soon as you can, and be brave enough (and courteous enough) to ask appropriate questions.

As someone in a wheelchair, I am often faced with similar discrimination, including gatekeeping. Therefore,

It is not only about what we identify as. It is not about fighting fire with fire. It is not about the obstacles or about the questions we face, but in the questions we choose to answer and in how we choose to answer them.

God loves all of us. God loves questions because questions lead us closer to him.

Most of us, including myself, feel that there is something wrong with misunderstanding. There is nothing wrong with not knowing; none of us have all the answers.

However, choosing not to do better is our own responsibility. Choosing to remain ignorant even after a human has said,

“Please, try to understand me. Please, call me by my name. Please, love me, because I love you, please acknowledge me as a living, thinking, feeling, human being, because I accept you”,

is a choice we must live with. It is a choice. We all have the right to make them. No one can take your choices away from you, nor should they try to.

By asking you to acknowledge the existence and the validity of transgender human beings, I assure you with all sincerity that I am not trying to change your mind, or your beliefs, or your faith for that matter.

I am asking you to love them.

Love requires acknowledgment and acceptance of the entire person.

Loving the sinner, but hating the sin is an excuse. It is a poor excuse for a person to say, “I love you, but I don’t love all of you“,

or “I’m afraid of what my love for you will do to my image, but I don’t want to be seen as unloving,” so I will say this to avoid fear.

It is simply convenient.

Human existence is not convenient. Stores are.

I am asking you to step out of your comfort zone and into the love zone. I am asking you to lose your life to find it.

Again, I’m not here to change your mind. I realize that no amount of reasoning can change a set mind.

I’m here to lift your mind. If I cannot change it, I can lift it.

My wife has spent every day since 2012, bathing me, clothing me, and loving me despite her own fears, despite her internal struggles. My wife has shown me more love than I have ever been shown in my entire life.

My wife is a transgender woman who has shown me more of what Christ resembles more than anyone I have ever been around in my entire life. She did this by loving me.

She did by this clothing me when I had a bad day and took it out on her. She did this by bathing me when I was too sick to do it myself. She still does today. We have lost everything, but in losing everything we have found joy in recognizing who we really are and what we’re supposed to do with our lives.

So, when someone tells you, or someone you know that they love someone, but their opinions prevent them from doing so wholeheartedly, please tell them of my wife.

Tell them that her existence, and yours, is not and will never be an opinion.

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Real Odd Love

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It’s 2:39 A.M., people. This post is an attempt to sort things out in my own head. First things first. I’m a volunteer crisis counselor for Crisis Text Line. (You should really check them out. There’s never been a time since I started that I’ve regretted it.)

Second of all, I’m married to a transwoman, who I had known as a man for almost five years before they came out to me. We are still together. We also previously had a child together which, unfortunately, I miscarried. HRT prevents biological children like 99% of the time, and for quite some time I was inexplicably angry, especially after I had gone through this entire transition with her and then was barred from going in to see the doctor with her.

Honestly, that’s the only thing that still really devastates me to my core. I wasn’t mad because I wasn’t allowed to go in. I was mad because I was treated like ‘the red-headed stepchild’ rather than her fucking wife who had recently carried and lost their only biological kid. I felt insecure because a lot of people see us as some scandal or a bad joke. I felt as if I were a beard, a ploy, a decoy, a means to an end. Now that I’m more secure of who we are, things have gotten better. We’re in group and couples therapy and have literally the greatest MFT I’ve ever been to. In August, we’ll have been married for five years and I would not change a single one of them.

WE ARE REAL. WE ARE VALID. SHE HAS NOT ‘HAD AN AFFAIR’.

I do not care that she’s trans; I only give a shit about whether or not she’s a good person. She always has been. I know that seems hard to believe, but she has literally wiped my ass for almost a decade now. I can’t reach my butt all the time ’cause I have, like, T-Rex arms. You can bet if she ever got sick I’d do the same for her.

Oh, yeah I forgot to mention, I’m also in a wheelchair. I have Cerebral Palsy. I moved around a lot when I was a kid. We found each other and she never left my side. Day and night since August 18th, 2012 she’s been, my hero. She bathes, clothes, cooks and cleans for me with zero complaints. We’ve each been a handful to each other but she is still without a shadow of a doubt, the best person I have ever met in my life.

LOVE EXISTS. REAL UNCONDITIONAL LOVE EXISTS AND IT IS MAGICAL IF YOU MAKE YOUR OWN WANDS. 

If you are trans, you are not unloveable or any other negative thing those shitty people, who aren’t right for you, made you believe about yourself. If you are physically disabled, you also are not unloveable; you are more than your body. You are mind. You are a soul. You are already made to love and be loved in return. There are people in this world who will be absolutely devoted to you, even if you think you resemble a potato, okay? You are not too broken. You are not too flawed. Who you are is exactly who you need to be.
Own. That.

Also, holy moly, the number of people waiting for us to get divorced is quite appalling. #StillDon’tGiveAShit
You see, I don’t give a shit because I realize that people are people, and, they can do whatever it is that they want or need to do to better themselves.

Also, I haven’t asked her to pray anything away. I’m saying this in the nicest way I possibly can: If you are asking someone to pray an essential piece of their being away, God will never answer in the way you want him to. God understands you, and he will give you the strength to change perspective if you wish to do so. Before you start throwing bricks through my window and all that nonsense, let me say this:

I am a Christian. I believe in God. I love God just as much as you do. However, in my opinion, asking God to take something away from another person is unjust. You cannot intervene with God’s will for that person. God knows his child is trans – that’s between that person and God. It is not your battle.

If your argument (or someone else’s argument) on why trans people are sinners is because “God doesn’t make mistakes” then… that kind of falls apart on itself because God doesn’t just peace out because his creation, his fearfully and wonderfully made creation needs to make some changes to feel better and to be better. If he does, then that’s no God I would choose to put my faith in.

God will meet you wherever you are, and he cares for you no matter what your situation is. The amount of depression and anxiety that my wife has been freed from since beginning HRT is astounding, okay? She had lost her will to live. If she had kept on living as a man, she would have taken her own life. You cannot serve God if you are dead on the inside as well as the outside. Now, since HRT has put her feelings, thoughts, and spirit in order, she can serve God better than she could before, because she doesn’t spend her days in a mental fog with crippling gender dysphoria.

In fact, the only thing I’ve ever felt the need to pray for her about was that people loved her and accepted her as much as I did. I did not ask God to make her a man or to stop her from transitioning. Instead, I talked to him. I told God that I was scared for her and that if this was truly the road she needed to go down, that he walks beside her and grant her clarity to make her decisions. I prayed that he keep her safe. I prayed that he provide her with the strength she would need to travel down a seemingly lonely road. I prayed that if this was not his will for her, that he help her make a U-Turn.

We all have lost nearly all support, save for a few long term friends. We have lost almost everything including our jobs, our routine, our life as we knew it. It is only now that we know the meaning of losing our lives in order to find them. Though the world seems to be crashing down around us, we know a carpenter. 😉

If loving her is wrong, I don’t want to be right.

YOU ARE LOVED.
YOU ARE SUPPORTED. 
IT REALLY DOES GET BETTER.

If you are a trans person who is struggling, please reach out to https://www.translifeline.org/
If you are a family member/friend/ally who loves a trans person, and you’re looking for help coping, please reach out to https://pflag.org/.

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