Who Decides if it Hurts?

Who determines if something is harmful – the person speaking, or the person receiving the information?

If someone flings a slur at another person, does it matter if they intended it to hurt or as a joke, if the person hearing the terms is genuinely distraught/threatened as a result?

I initially intended this to be in support of those who are gender expansive, or talk about race, but dang if it doesn’t just apply to all of us, all the time.

My Dad shared this old adage:

THINK

What an amazing world we would live in if everyone measured their words by these 5 checks.

I believe we can, even if just one baby-step a day.   Let’s try it for a week and report back, what say ye?

 

Starting a Convo About Being Trans and Christian

I know this amazing kid “W” who is coming out as trans. W is 16.

W is one of the 1.5-3% of US teens who identify as something other than the Male-Female binary system we’ve been raised with. Numbers are guesstimates because there are no formal nationwide studies yet.  “Gender Expansive” includes:

1) transgender – born one gender but identify as the other

2) gender fluid – identify some days as male, some as female

3) agender – identify as neither male nor female

Note – this is TOTALLY different from “what is your sexual attraction – are you gay, bi, straight, etc.”. That is who you are attracted to – gender identity is who you ARE.
Some of you may be revolted by this idea. “You are what God made you and that’s that.” Gender-expansive people of faith may answer “Exactly. God made me this way.” Battles, criticism, etc. may ensue.
Here’s what I ask – just love them.

W is a great person – has always had a giving heart, nurtures others in their challenges, has gifts a’plenty, and desires to serve God throughout their lifetime.

“I could never call her a he” … “I don’t know what to say to her.. him..”. I’ve found being neutral has helped me with this challenge. I often just use the name, “the Kiddo”, or sometimes “they/them/their” – as in “someone is coming to dinner” “Really, what do they like?” (no gender! no problem!)
Treat W like you would any teenager. Engage in conversation – how is/was school, what are your plans for summer, doing anything cool, tell me about your trip, have you read any good books lately, are you still into art, etc.   Just like I don’t sit down and talk with people about “how is it being a (gender) today?” it doesn’t have to be a topic of conversation.

“But I believe they’re doing wrong, and you’re doing wrong for encouraging it.” Well… this is where we have room for discussion. I look to the Bible for guidance – the Big J himself, when he spoke to the Samaritan woman at the well or the woman about to be stoned for committing adultery. I want to model how Jesus talked to them. He was calm, tender, and gentle. No brimstone, no browbeating “you VERY NAUGHTY GIRL YOU WILL BURN UNLESS YOU TURN!”.. no threats – just healing, and a call to eternal life.
The name for this is grace. Grace is extended to each and every human being, no matter our sins, over and over throughout our lives. Every one of us slips away and the shepherd brings us back to the fold.
Whether that looks like W ultimately identifies as female or male or whatever is between W and God. I do not know what His plans are for W or what W will go through on that journey. As a confidant – my role is to love, teach, guide, and encourage the best I can (and pray a lot!).
I’d also like to make an invitation – if someone you are close to is going through a similar thing, and you’d just like to talk with someone in a supportive environment? Let’s talk. We can support each other. And don’t worry – if you’re not a church person, that’s cool – I won’t preach at you. This is just me talking about my own experience and how I’ve found peace with it all. Your path my vary 🙂
In short – Always remember these timeless words of Abraham Lincoln:

#trans #christian #grace

#972: The Return of the Draining Boyfriend Of Yore

I adore Captain Awkward
“Don’t pour your beautiful selves into other people’s empty spaces. There is nothing there for you.”

Captain Awkward

Hi, Captain!

I’ve got a nice, awkward, many-years-running situation for you!

So when I was in my early 20s, I dated someone I shouldn’t have dated, whom I’ll call Dean. I dated him for five years. At the time, I was so isolated where I lived that it became a kind of “well, it’s better than not dating anyone” thing, until it became a love thing, and then an inertia thing. He wasn’t right for me in so many ways, but he wasn’t exactly bad to me either…and I was 23 and had very little relationship experience. Partway through the relationship I relocated to a major city for grad school, and took the opportunity to break up with him. However, after a few months and some insistance from him that surprised me (because he’d always been so passive), he moved to be with me again. We lived together until I…

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