TRANSGENDER – NOT A DISGUISE, BUT AN IDENTITY

BECAUSE WE CAN MOVE BEYOND THE MOST OBVIOUS TO FIND THE MOST PRECIOUS, WE SHOULD DESIRE TO.
I knew it would happen to me one day. I secretly admired believers who seemed to have no barriers, or be animated by a more mature love than I toward LGBTQs. It’s been a long journey, and all I could do was to state over and over where I got stuck, what I knew to be obvious, testing my own opinions against a tide of contrary ones with both passion and frustration. Today, the dam broke for me. I want to express my gratefulness to Simon Wilson who broke my isolation with one sentence, without insults, on a Facebook thread.
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I had wondered and was seeking to engage (again) in a conversation, to learn from those of the opposing view. Needless to say, my (debatable) delivery was almost all  that people could see. And immediately the knifes starting flying in my direction. But since when do I have to espouse all the thinking and opinions of one group of people I may share similarities with? Aren’t we all people of contradiction? Yes we are. Still, something in me was restless, I hated not being able to move beyond my disapproval of the polarizing “politics of the gay agenda” which tries to impose its views through unilateral legislation, and equaling suspicion of – or actual – discrimination with being homicidal, pushing people toward suicides, or inciting violence toward LGBTQ, and the other side of the coin (in my case, Christianity) where Jesus teaches us to love one another as He loves us.
 
I’m always shocked and saddened by accounts of violence against gays, youth suicides, substance abuse, excommunications, murders, etc. IT WILL NEVER BE OK. We all want to be understood. We all want to be the hero at least once. We all want a place of honor, to be welcomed, included, find a home. It’s no different whether we find ourselves on one side of an issue or the other.
 
I’m nowhere near the sweet spot of walking in love as I wish I was, but I will never be ashamed of having walked this journey with as much integrity as I could muster, despite being insulted, mocked and ostracized by people who, for the most part, hardly ever took the time to get to know me. Ironic, isn’t it, that coming from people advocating equality…
Going forward will follow the same pattern: being real, even if unpopular, accepting that I cannot go at it alone, and trusting that the Holy Spirit will drop drops of light on my journey in due time. As I believe He does for everyone. It’s a matter of responding to it, I think. And I’m saying yes to being changed. This is too serious.
 
I will respect the right of everyone to pursue the sexual partner they choose, that is not my place to legislate on that, although I do personally hold to the traditional man/women configuration. But I also will expect to be respected to not agree with everything having to do with that. And the freedom (‘sanity’ seems a more fitting word) to wrestle with my opinions and that of others.
 
In closing, I’m offering a glimpse into my past to set a backdrop to my own dilemmas, and the maturing process of personal opinions:
 
I was molested as a boy, and as a pre-teen, I cross-dressed once or twice as a teenager “for fun” (which teen hasn’t?). I had homosexual encounters as a young adult (wrapped in a spiritual meaning of some kind), I lived in Montreal’s Gay Village for about 2 years, but I never embraced homosexuality as a lifestyle, nor did I ever experienced desires for men. But when my first marriage broke-up, the first book I reached for was Leanne Payne’s “Crisis in Masculinity.” That’s my story. It has contributed in shaping not only my perspective, but I believe also my need to touch ground under my feet if I am to move into a different direction. Being sure of why I believe what I believe is as important as what I believe.
 
I also have experienced the dark and violent systematic hammering of the “political” gay agenda, while serving in a mostly gay university community radio, who for years has seen heterosexual males chewed up out of the station or out of a job, with a sizeable cost to these men’s health and energy, social engagement and even reputation. Maybe it is something that isn’t talked about much, but it exists. There is a powerful solidarity from those “inner circles,” I have been on the receiving end of it. LBGTQ are people too, some good, some not so good. Let’s not sugar-coat it for the sake of argument.
 
As this phrase came to me today while I started to find myself freed to stand in a place of grace I had never been able to access, I share it again here. “Transgender is not a disguise, but an identity.”
 
Transgenders are people too, no matter the side of God’s law we may determine them to be found by us. I have two words coming to mind: Jesus wept. And He alone can restore identities, and lives, in HIS time, in HIS ways.

Let’s guard against defaulting to the favorite slogans or one-liners published by the fear-mongering Christian Right (that one-winged evangelical agenda bird, flapping in circle) that is monopolizing the oxygen in the Upper Room, and let us welcome the Holy Spirit’s brilliance in giving us the light we need… for the sake of love.

Consider this. in closing:

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Peace to you, hoping this was helpful in some way…

Andre Lefebvre

p.s. I write imperfectly. This isn’t a Bible book, but my own musings and sharing of my journey…

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