10 Things You’re Actually Saying When You Ignore Someone’s Gender Pronouns — Everyday Feminism

10 Things You’re Actually Saying When You Ignore Someone’s Gender Pronouns — Everyday Feminism.

Constance…immediately pass this on to every stubborn person who is important to you.  It is that good, and it does give the basic and true message communicated by those who refuse to use proper pronouns.

I know in my life?  So unfortunate, but the people that I love, was willing to sacrifice for and even die a bit for, well, they did not feel the same way about me and they engaged in terrible acts of betrayal.

So, weirdly, it set me free.

Now?  Well, thanks to them, and my wonderful horrible very own haters who come as dementors, I have toughened up…and here is the truth:

When you gender-shame me with improper pronouns and hate filled speech, you identify yourself as a hater, and make the whole thing easy for me.  I can save my love and effort for those who are engaged and loving.

“But wait!!”  I can hear the haters right now.  “Wait!  You have to love your enemies and be kind to those who persecute you!”  Well hater…I will after you do.  You stop showing up here spewing your crap, and show me how to love…and in my case, I am not even your enemy and have never done a thing to you, have never even met you!  So you have the easy down hill…you simply be nice and love me…and then I will think about it.

“But what can I do to love you??” asks the hater…

Use the proper pronouns.  We’ll start there.



Transgender Children – Transgender Stories – Woman’s Day

Transgender Children – Transgender Stories – Woman’s Day.

Okay, I just bawled my way thru this story…Oh Mama, please bless this woman for her faithful love of her son and of you.  Please honor her for praying that prayer “Change my heart”, instead of wreaking havoc by climbing up on the throne and trying to change everything and everyone else!

Love, Charissa

Calling My Poetry Lovers

Hii Pamela!

(LOL…so if “Constance is my shorthand for “Constant Reader”, then I shall make “Pamela” my shorthand for my poetry readers!)

So listen…I am putting a call out.  What is up with my poem Hummingbird Hurricanes?  There really have been crickets on this post, and this surprises me…oh I am never really sure if a poem is good or not, but what I am sure of is how I feel after I write a poem, and how there has been a strong correlation when I feel one way about a poem and the kinds of reaction a poem gets.

When there are lots of comments and reactions to a poem, it matches a certain feeling inside.

And I had that feeling over this poem.  I was excited, could not wait to post it…and…

*crickets in the gutter*

So I want feedback!  Tell me, is it really that incomprehensible?  Are the metaphors convoluted?  Is its belt too tight, shoes too small?

If it is too incomprehensible, well…this time I am doing no lexicon, no Rosetta stone…there are very easy and simple keys here.  It relates to prior poems, it is on themes I very often am drawn to…it deals in 3s…and there are 3s scattered all around us.  Spiritual 3s, 3s of humanity, 3s of indivdual human beings, 3s in intersecting things in my poetry.

Ah well…sometimes I guess we just miss it as poets…if that is the case with this one, alas.

At any rate, I like it very much and am proud to have birthed this poem in the difficulties and I find myself in…it is a good indicator that I will eventually bounce back and live, and not die.

Love, Charissa (the insecure poetess)


Are You Real?

“Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit.
“Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful.
“When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.”
“Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,” he asked, “or bit by bit?”
“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse.

“You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”

– The Velveteen Rabbit (or How Toys Become Real) by Margery Williams, 1922


Going Beyond the Western Gender Binary

Hi Constance:  This came across the transom today, and I found it fascinating!  Clearly, the phenomenon of gender variations has been extant as long as gender.  I am quite interested in reading of how this has been lived out socially in other times and places, cultures and spaced.

I hope you find it enlightening as well.




Going beyond the Western gender binary – unlearning our backward cultural conditioning 

In Western colonial society (which dominates many aspects of the globalized, capitalist world today) we operate under the presumption that there are only two genders, male and female. But gender is a social construction. One’s options for what gender they identify with are shaped by the culture they are born into. Biological factors are most-often the primary driving forces that choose among the available socially-constructed gender categories.

Cultures around the world have different ways of talking about, thinking about, and identifying gender. It’s often a challenge for (particularly cis-sexual) Westerns to think about other ways gender can be socially constructed. Westerns have the false equivalency of gender and sex drilled into their eternal psyche from the time they are very young, and re-enforced through examples in popular culture. There is no biological reality to gender. Many Westerners have the bizarre belief that one’s XY-sex-determination should also inform one’s gender identity, a socially constructed role in society.

In some cultures, there is no distinction made between gender and sexual orientation and the same can be said for sexual orientation – our culture socially-constructs the options and our biology helps us identify which socially-constructed option feels most ‘right’ and best resonates with us.

I’ve attached some photos to offer some examples of non-colonial, non-Western construction of gender. They’ve all been uploaded onto our Facebook page photostream in case you’d like to ‘like’ or ‘share’ them there. There are literally hundreds of ‘third-gender’ identifying peoples around the world. The eight I’ve chosen are mostly examples I remember from some of my anthropology courses but if you google ‘third genders’ you can find many lists and examples.

Who cares? Why it matters.

The most obvious reason to care about the way our culture has constructed gender and sexual orientation is to deepen one’s capacity for solidarity with people who identify as transgender, transsexual, and others whose gender or sexual identity exists outside of binary Western culture.

But there are other reasons as well. Western culture’s binary nature often creates non-sensical, problematic binary identity constructions that are inherently problematic. For example, I believe that Western masculinity (dominance, aggression, lack of communication, lack of emotional expression, etc) is inherently problematic. I believe that to be the reason why most acts of large-scale-violence and terror are committed by men (see: 100% of the mass school shootings in the United States), and I believe it fosters a degree of internal misery within people who heavily adopt these particular ‘masculine’ traits.

In the age of information, and the age of global connectivity, there is no longer any reason (particularly for young people) to feel isolated or restricted to Western definitions of gender, sexual orientation and identity in general. I think the social ramifications of a generation where more and more people begin to identify outside of the gender binary would be tremendous, and I think we should all consider how we can unlearn our cultural conditioning to embrace other, perhaps less exploitative and dominating identities.

Background information on the identities depicted in the above images:

Hijras are male-body-born, feminine-gender-identifying people who live in South Asia (mostly in India & Nepal). Many Hijras live in well-defined, organized, all-Hijra communities, led by a guru.

Although many Hijras identify as Muslim, many practice a form of syncretism that draws on multiple religions; seeing themselves to be neither men nor women, Hijras practice rituals for both men and women.

Hijras belong to a special caste. They are usually devotees of the mother goddess Bahuchara Mata, Lord Shiva, or both.

Nandi female husbands
Among the Nandi in Western Kenya, one social identity option for women is to become a female husband, and thus a man in society’s eyes. Female husbands are expected to become men and take on all of the social and cultural responsibilities of a man, including finding a wife to marry and passing on property to the next generation through marriage. Female husbands may have lived their lives as women and may even be married to a man, but once she becomes a female-husband, she is expected to be a man. Women married to female-husbands may have sex with single men uninterested in commitment in order to become pregnant, but the female-husband (who is often an older woman, often a widow) will father the child of said pregnancy and treat the child like her own.

Two-spirited people
Two-Spirit is an umbrella term sometimes used for what was once commonly known as ‘berdaches’, Indigenous North Americans who fulfill one of many mixed gender roles found traditionally among many Native Americans and Canadian First Nations communities. The term usually indicates a person whose body simultaneously manifests both a masculine and a feminine spirit. Male and female two-spirits have been “documented in over 130 tribes, in every region of North America.”

In South America (with a large presence in Brazil), a travesti is a person who was assigned male at birth who has a feminine gender identity and is primarily sexually attracted to masculine men. Therefore, sometimes the distinction between gender identity and sexual orientation is not made. Travestis have been described as a third gender, but not all see themselves this way. Travestis often will begin taking female hormones and injecting silicone to enlargen their backsides as boys and continue the process into womanhood.

The work of cultural Anthropologist Don Kulick (a gay male by Western definitions) in Brazil demonstrated that gender construction in Brazil is binary (like Western gender construction), but unlike Western gender construction, instead of having a male-female binary, there is a male-notmale binary.

In this particular construction of gender:

** Males include: men who have sex with women, men who have sex with Travestis but are never on the receiving end of anal sex, men          who have sex with men but are never on the receiving end of anal sex.

** Not-males include: women, men who receive anal sex from ‘male’ gay men or from Travestis.

Fa’afafine are the gender liminal, or third-gendered people of Samoa. A recognized and integral part of traditional Samoan culture, fa’afafine, born biologically male, embody both male and female gender traits. Their gendered behavior typically ranges from extravagantly feminine to mundanely masculine

Waria is a traditional third general role found in modern Indonesia. Additionally, the Bugis culture of Sulawesi (one of the four larger Sunda Islands of Indonesia) has been described as having three sexes (male, female and intersex) as well as five genders with distinct social roles.

Six Genders of old Israel
In the old Kingdom of Israel (1020–931 BCE) there were six officially recognized genders:

Zachar: male
Nekeveh: female
Androgynos: both male and female
Tumtum: gender neutral/without definite gender
Aylonit: female-to-male transgender people
Saris: male-to-female transgender people (often inaccurately translated as “eunuch”)

Australian scholar of sexual politics in Thailand Peter Jackson’s work indicates that the term “kathoey” was used in pre-modern times to refer to intersexual people, and that the usage changed in the middle of the twentieth century to cover cross-dressing males, to create what is now a gender identity unique to Thailand. Thailand also has three identities related to female-bodied people: Tom, Dee, and heterosexual woman.


EDIT: So let me clearly say that in no way am I intentionally encouraging white people (or anyone else) to appropriate these identities.  Rather, I hope that this post and conversations like this will lead to an understanding of cultural diversity and other gender constructions/identities and an understanding that there is no biological reality to gender, and that gender manifests itself in many beautiful ways across many cultures.

AM encouraging people in colonial society to have a less-binary, more nuanced approach to gender that doesn’t lead to so much domination and exploitation.

I also understand that in order to talk about these things, words like ‘male-bodied’ or male are inherently western concepts. Each of these societies and cultures have other ways of talking about these identities. Although I wasn’t born in the U.S. I have spent most of my life and the entirety of my adult life in the United States. I speak no languages other than English. There are concepts that I can’t understand, that my language limits me from even talking about, and in order to communicate these ideas, I am restricted by the only language I have available to talk about these concepts with. My perspective is etic. I do not belong to the above cultures, so when I talk about these things and use the English language to describe them, I am limited in my options for describing a concept as abstract as gender. The very categories of gender and sexuality belong to the cultural lens through which I view the world and I could not possibly provide a comprehensive emic analysis of the way the things we call ‘gender and sexuality’ actually are understood (if at all) within these cultures. In that way, mine is a very limited perspective. But it is geared toward other people living in Western society and it is aimed at changing this culture, not to appropriate these others but to not be so terrible toward gender and sexual variant people in this culture and to begin to question the implications of how we define gender and sexuality both personally, and as a whole culture.

Also, there’s some problematic stuff in the way I framed this and some of these only have one source.



3 Common Complaints About Political Correctness That Completely Miss the Point — Everyday Feminism

3 Common Complaints About Political Correctness That Completely Miss the Point — Everyday Feminism.

This thoughtful and informative article jumped to the fore when I saw it…recent encounters have featured the bandying about of this term “Political Correctness”, and the brandishing of it as a weapon of online aggression.

I encourage you all to read this article and try very hard to get past knee jerk reactions to things not liked or preferred, and then attempt to connect with people who may be a bit different than what you know or who you know.


Hummingbird Hurricanes

all was hushed and quiet, so still
that the fiercely beaten air fanned by that
ruby throated hummingbird became a hurricane.
her breath was fast and furious
in crimson jeweled puffs darting,
diving streaky panting gasps,
her wings whirring, fluttering frantic
roaring in the looming silence,
in my towering still moment
me so quiet here, so settled and so solid
that Nia-gara Herself would whimper
and under her breath would mumble
terse and choked, reduced to churny tumble.

then a solitary cricket
just erupted into singing
and then nothing dared to stir
dared draw breath or dared to move…

and there,
in this space of cricket clamour,
in the hurricane of hummingbird winds blowing
but so far away on lost lamenting shores
(in the edges, in the edges)
and an instant comes, arrives

when a wave is born and rises up
no longer sea but now itself
and knowing time and longing
to emerge and run forever
to the moon and to the shore…

this kinetic stillness stretches
in this intersecting moment
touching time and touching timeless

from the whirring wings aflutter
and the cricket in the gutter
and Niagara’s jealous mutter

to this wave leapt up from clutter
hanging on that crucifix there
not yet broken by its futile try

to fly across the endless sky
to kiss the moon and touch
her golden placid face…

the moment…the wave


no more sea from which it heaved
but not yet broken and unbalanced,
not yet shattered on the edges

not yet fractured there forever
to be that wave again…

that one moment of moon passion
and that rushing exaltation
(in the eye, in the song, in the mutter of this matter)

and then the moment shatters
and foretells a falling future
and the wave loses its option
has no way to retain wholeness
and just slide back unobtrusive
to the silver sea unbroken
there to merge again with nothing
and unknowing.

and the hummingbird is stricken
in the sound and in the breaking
of a moment and a wave
in a hurricane of movement
midst the singing of the cricket
and the mutter of that falls
and it darts away, is gone,
trailing airy sangre breaths
and the cricket falls asleep
and Niagara is emboldened
to again assert Her tumble
and the hurricane is gone,
yes the moment it has broken
and the Voice of God has spoken
in the quiet, in the mist.

but for me, well moments still
string together into prayer beads
slipping smoothly thru my fingers
as I mutter like Niagara
and I sing the cricket song
with my hurricane-heart flutter,
wings a-beating with such longing
for another rising moment
to arrive and to break over me
in knowing soft moon passion
and a promise of redemption
and release to finally rise
and fly away, my spirit panting
in red puffs and exaltation
when I reach the shore so broken
I can be no more there broken…

until then, well I will live,
midst the whirring,
in the singing
thru the muttering
in the breaking
on the shores
of Golden Morning.


8 Things Parents of Trans Kids Want You to Know | Brynn Tannehill

8 Things Parents of Trans Kids Want You to Know | Brynn Tannehill.

Posted without comment, on advice from my bff and my baby.

Constance, please read this…please hear hearts



No Room for April Flowers

I haffa…reblog this.

I am rent…I am slain…this poem is what I aspire to write


You left in Spring,
my favorite season
when love
and everything with petals,

You said you would be here
on birdsong mornings
for coffee
and conversations I could only have
with you.

I couldn’t listen to Elvis
because every strum stroked that place
where pain meets pulse and promises
of porch swings on Sundays

took a back seat to fate.

I feel you in the wind and see
all these fluttering things
you appear to me in;
all with wings,

and I know why.

I left part of my soul in those forget-me-nots
that I can never get back;
syllables resting, floating in rivers
of too many words left unsaid.

Thank you for Autumn’s crunch
and the tickle of snowflakes,
(rare for a Texas Christmas eve),

but, March will never rain the same
without your hands
holding my white roses.

They tore out the bush you planted

and left…

View original post 12 more words

Powerful Quote…Charissa Perspective

“Do not fall in love with people like me. I will take you to museums, and parks, and monuments, and kiss you in every beautiful place, so that you can never go back to them without tasting me like blood in your mouth. I will destroy you in the most beautiful way possible. And when I leave you will finally understand, why storms are named after people.”
— Caitlyn Siehl

WOW!  This quote gets to the heart of a very salient, perhaps the salient aspect of Love…it transforms us.


Once you are loved, you are never ever a “not-loved” person again.  Oh, you can lose all your friends…acquaintances who were kind can turn on a dime and revile you as evil and lost (Charissa waves her hand and says holla!  Been there…am there)…but then you will be one who was loved who is no longer…and thus still one who is/has been loved and thus never “not-loved” (or maybe to say “has never ever been loved”).

There are many things that masquerade as love:  desire, lust, hate, fear, anxiety, courage, wanderlust, romance, religion, law…and many others,  Each one of these things affects us, impacts us…but to transform us, now …that is a completely other thing.

I am speaking here of the transformation that is of this order:  tadpoles into frogs, caterpillars into butterflies, ice into steam, plain water into tea or coffee, one who has never reproduced into one who is holding offspring, one who was totally spiritually dead who is not alive with a life not of this worldy order and frame, but with a Life that comes from Beyond the Universe…transformation.

So now re-read the quote, and you can see there that what she is saying to you is that if you show yourself to her, she is going to give you everything, no holds barred, nothing held back, come what may…and she is promising, no…she is covenanting with you that you as you are right now in yourself will be transformed…or “destroyed in the most beautiful way possible”…

I get that.  I get what she is saying…and I want to be this kind of person, but with a slight but important twist that would read something like this:

Count the cost
if you find me interesting
and want to know more.
If you really want to be in my life,
we will be together, and in that place,
everything looked at will never
be seen by one again!

We will see it, from now on!
Works of art well known
will seem strange and alien and
need explanation and interpretation.
Long familiar haunts of ancient peace
will be new and turbulent and full
of glorious upheaval as they
settle underneath the feet of we.

You will never again
taste anything as it once was…
it will taste always of peaches in hot sun
and fudge in cold snow,
of salt in rainy days
and honey in times of sorrow.

Every moment
I will be present with you
and the me I am
will be an always kiss
of your heart,
to your soul,
of your vital you.

I will never go away
until death sunders us,
and in that moment
you will hate death
as deeply as I do,
and vow to join my side
at the arena wall
when He stomps death dry
and disappears it forever.

Count the cost,
and if you still want,
then I love you
and let us go laughing.”

Love, Charissa Grace and all her sticky bleeding heart


For the Taurus, who is an honorary Scorpio

Thanks to you, Sissa…your beautiful calm reassuring spirit was medicine for me on one of the most difficult and bleak days I can recall every having survived.  On October 1st, my naming day, I looked like this:



And then, less than 2 weeks later I was torn and empty and befuddled…branded with names that are not me, with deeds that are not me and with words that were not mine…and somehow in all of it I was seen as the cause.

And then you took time today and found my heart.  Truthfully, I felt that it had been torn out and stomped on and I couldn’t find it!  But you did…you found it and spoke life.  I owe you a debt of love, and intend to pay!  🙂



Thanks for being there…for knowing what it is like, in the dark night, and for keeping the faith!

Love, Rissa

Terminology and the problem of unintended offense (Part One)

Constance, I think I will be okay to post about this, as it is unrelated to the other issues I am dealing with in my life.

I want to talk about terminology…and the way that an issue is presented, discussed, talked about and written about has such a profound effect on the overall zeitgeist of what the issue actually is.

Let me build on the article I posted yesterday (right here is the link again:  Gender Confirmation Surgery:  What’s In a Name? ), and tell you a bit about what it is like to be someone like me…or really, someone from any minority group that is little understood…but I only know about mine, right?

Imagine if you will that suddenly, for no reason that you could tell, everyone you met began calling you by the gender other than the one you identify as…if you are a woman, they called you a man, and if you are a man, they called you a woman.  What would you do?

First, you would correct them…but wait, then you see the looks of confusion, or puzzlement, or irritation, cus no one likes being corrected for anything.

So then you will think, well, I just wasn’t careful enough…what is obvi to me is hidden to them, for whatever reason.  So you decide to explain a bit…and the eyes glaze over, or they roll cus you sound so condescending and pedantic in your convoluted attempt to explain you are the gender you are.

Next, you will check yourself…your dress, your pants, your shoes, all the visual cues you can control, your voice and your walk and gestures…but nothing works.  No matter what, you are still called the opposite gender.

No…really try to take a moment…don’t just read the next line.  Please stop:  imagine…there.  Now you are getting a scintilla of the experience, minus the wonders of the gut-grind of dysphoria.

That is the first thing.

The next thing is say that it was permanent for you…and you needed to do something or die.  You began transition, and you found others who are like you for support…and then lo and behold the culture begins changing a bit.  You discover allies!  Even friends!!  YAAAAYYY!!!!

But you also find that there is a lot of simply uninformed thinking operative in those allies and friends.  You feel like you already are getting so much forbearance from them that it seems nit-pickish to point out their well intentioned but inaccurate vocabulay…or the truly supportive but incredibly wounding comment…what do you do?

Correct them, to save them future embarrassment and feeling bad because the support they intended ended up wounding just like the bullies who misgender on purpose?  Or overlook it, and continue to try to educate as a context for the relationships so they can soak it up and find themselves in the right spot organically.

I will be vulnerable and tell you all something:  whether I am misgendered by a bully who does it on purpose to hurt me, or whether I am misgendered by a friend who literally has no idea, it hurts just as bad.

And it is a defeating hurt, a deflating one…punctures, drains, and then, nothing but empty and worthless…the shell seen and nothing inside.

I don’t know what is right, so I will just tell you what I am choosing here:  I am going to try to gently, gracefully and lovingly correct.  As I do that, I will ramble and say waaaayyy more than I likely need to…cus I would rather err on that side than the terse too brief and too open to question posting of “just the facts” Joe Friday style.

Part 2 will continue below.  I hope the things I write here have some impact…honestly I often feel like it is shouting into a canyon and what I hear coming back is just the echo of my own voice in the lonely stillness.  But that is nothing I can control…I write, so that is what I will do, regardless



Terminology and the problem of unintended offense (Part Two)

Hi!  🙂  Still with me?  GOOD!  Let’s move on now to a very sensitive and very important understanding you need to have if you are a trans-ally and/or friend:  the misunderstanding that a transgender person is “changing genders” or “changing sexes”.  You simply have to get this right, because the proper understanding of this is what will give you the heart connection with the plight of transgender people, and begin to expose the presupposition that biology is the locus and genesis of gender.  If you need some information about why that is not so, it is readily available on line.

When you as an ally say to your other friend “I have this friend Charissa that I really love…she is changing sexes from male to female”, you think you are saying something affirming and supportive, right?  And I get that.  I do!  You want to help explain what is occurring in my life, you want to show an identification with my quest, and you want to support me.

But here is the problem:  from my standpoint I am not changing from male to female…because from the time I became aware in the world, I have never ever thought of myself as male!  And that is the core of the horror itself!

When you as my friend tell someone “My friend Charissa was sooo brave today.  He had the courage to be himself and paint his nails and wear his female clothes”, you think you are speaking of my courage and my grit…but you are actually wounding me very deeply by not really really grasping that your friend Charissa is not a he…and has never been a he…in spite of how I look.

I look the way I do because at puberty my body was flooded with testosterone…and if you are a natal female, the exact same thing would have happened to you!  Think about that for a moment:  imagine all your hopes and dreams as a young girl growing up, excited for the moment you began to blossom…and then instead you sprout, and sprout, and poke out, and other things worse…

Please…I am not trying to be a jerk!  I am not trying to be that shrill on-guard defensive lashing out at everything anyone says sort of person.  I am trying to let you know that if you really do care for your trans-friend or family member, your words will be life or death to them, regardless of the intent behind them.

I posted to the really good article on Gender Confirmation surgery in Part One…I want to say a little about my own feelings on this topic: it hurts me when people say to me I am changing sexes…even when they mean well.  It hurts when I am afraid to correct them because it might hurt their feelings.  It hurts me to not correct them because they will continue to speak the way they do in complete innocence but sadly rooted in total ignorance and will thus continue to wound not only me but any transperson they run across.  And it hurts the worst when they finally figure it out, and they are then horrified and wounded that I never said anything.

That is my dilemma…I feel like every option is a bad one for me, except for maybe the possibility of writing about it here in one of my interminable mewling whining posts that drones on and on…

I am pressing on:  it has been called “Sexual Reassignment Surgery”, and “Gender Reassignment Surgery”…but as you hopefully can see now, to me as a transgender woman that would be an inaccurate name, because I am not changing sex, or changing gender.

I have never identified as anything other than a woman.

So that was me…long winded and trying to be as gentle and kind as I possibly can, bleeding and feeling like it is an unwinnable battle…trying to educate on trans issues

Constance…I really am trying to help you…really, even though it seems like I am trying to school you or correct you, I am not.  And frankly, right now I just want to run away and never come back and let the world just roll on.

But I have pressed thru too many times of discouragement to not know that tomorrow is another day, and joy will always find a way.

So in the meantime:  your transfriend is who they say they are.  They want to be loved by you if you say you love them, and they want to be talked to the way you would talk to anyone.  If they are female, then they are not getting a sex change male to female…they are undergoing the medical treatments their body needs to live a fulfilled life (just as you would if you were natally female but you had a hormone disorder and didn’t make estrogen naturally, or you made too much testosterone)…

I am Charissa Grace…I am confused, discouraged, hard pressed…and I am determined to not go away and let the pain that has already been spent to all be wasted.

Sowing in tears, hoping to reap in joy, and seeing more clearly than ever that my name is my only hope



Reposting a Poem that moved me very deeply

Hi Constance…I am on this roller-coaster of de-tox and healing as I go thru these waves of feelings.  If you have been in abusive situations/environments, and then determined to walk away and heal, then you know what I mean.  Rage, Incredulity, Bewilderment, Angst, Mourning/Grief, Sorrow, Guilt, and moments…of peace.  And then it starts over again…and again…and again…

Life has enough ups and downs as it is, right?  Everyone goes thru crap in life, everyone has moments and moods…but there is something different about this, something I have never experienced, never saw…cus I was inside the belly of the beast.

I suppose that eventually this will be a precious priceless gift.  Cus I won’t just know of the things people who have been abused and victimized go thru…I know, now.  I know.

Anyway, in this moment right now, this poem written by someone else whom I credit, has moved me deeply, and appeals greatly…guess it is a Charissa Snapshot of today…and I am dreading this week, it feels like an unhinged, unmoored time.tumblr_ndrlprYaIl1txj8zfo3_250


Et je porte en mon sein…

Il est des silences qui remplissent le vide
Portés disparus dans les limbes de l’absence
D’un aveu insipide au regret des distances
Quand dans le sang coule un poison doux et acide.

Il est des larmes qui ne périssent jamais
Sur les joues de l’espoir au milieu des grands vents
Elles finissent toujours par un « je t’aimais »
Et gardent en elles l’essence d’un tourment.

Il est des démons à la nuit venue emportent
Les esprits démunis par tant de solitudes
Fidèles garants du jour qui ouvrent les portes
Dont le mystère allonge les incertitudes.

Il est des soleils embrasant à en mourir
Si beaux que le corps croit tenir l’éternité
Chaque mot calciné , vecteur du vers vieillir
Se meurt comme un mirage au creux de sa beauté.

Il est des déserts aussi féconds qu’une femme
Jalonnant de fleurs la cuirasse du monde
Et la pluie irradie le plus profond de l’âme
Quand plus rien ne pousse aux minutieuses secondes.

Il est des lunes qui harpent la folie
Doucereuses et amères au regard des géants
Elles figurent au premier plan de l’ennui
Endorment de leurs rais le sablier du tant.

Et je porte en mon sein le risque de tes lignes
Comme un linceul de toi , souvenir au cœur tendre
Un secret sur ta bouche à l’ombre de tes signes
Jubilant des psaumes qui jaillissent des cendres.

Le 17 Mars 2011

Ce texte est la propriété de Mystic4Ever Tous droits réservés ©



27 Signs of a Good Relationship

Constance, in general, I think that the stuff I am posting below is pretty good stuff…certainly my baby and me have experienced fruit in all of these ways and areas.  And it is a good friendship guide as well, filtered for the obvi romance stuff.

So what about it?  How are your relationships?  Maybe this guide can help…and if you find a trouble spot, maybe you can isolate it and then dress it so it heals.  Hey, when you get a sliver, just take the dang thing out, right??!!???  No need to cut off the finger!



27 Signs of a Good Relationship

We’ve all asked ourselves the same question at least once in our life: “Is this relationship going the way I want it to?” Finding someone unique, someone who stands head and shoulders above all those who came before can be an exciting prospect. It’s all too easy to cling to the hope that the special someone you’ve been seeing is actually the one you’ve been looking for, and sometimes it is necessary to think logically about what that person offers, and how both partners behave when in each other’s company. Here are 30 signs of a good relationship.

#1 You can be yourself

In daily life, we put up walls to block out the people around us, and it can be difficult to let our guard down once we find someone we genuinely want to spend time with. Often, relationship woes are the result of this internal struggle. Being yourself is one of the toughest things to do- not only in relationships but in everyday situations. We sabotage our own chances of relationship success when we shy away from being ourselves, and the mark of a great relationship is one in which both partners don’t even feel the need to alter anything about themselves.

#2 You are able to tell them everything

If a couple meets for the first time and they are comfortable enough, they often get a crazy, sudden urge to come clean and reveal all of their dirty little secrets. At some point, both partners will have to decide whether or not to succumb to this urge, and the choice they make can have a huge impact on the relationship. The type of impact it has can tell you a lot about the nature of the relationship. If both partners are able to open up to each other and reveal things about themselves that they wouldn’t dream of telling anyone else, it is an extremely positive sign. It means that they both genuinely want to be with each other no matter what. The mark of a great relationship is one in which both partners don’t even think twice about it, they “come clean” with each other, about anything and everything.

#3 Strong emotional connection

A strong emotional connection with someone is hard to describe in words, everyone experiences it in a different way and everyone thinks they understand it. It can elude many, slipping out of one’s grasp easily, and there are many things which masquerade as a truly strong emotional connection. But nothing comes close to the real thing and when you have it, you know deep down that it’s real. This is an essential part of every good relationship. If both partners aren’t fully committed to each other and don’t truly care about each other, then it is a waste of time for both parties involved.

#4 They’ve been through a lot together

Sometimes a person’s true qualities are revealed when they are faced with serious, perilous situations. Sooner or later, a couple will be faced with such a situation, and the way that situation impacts their relationship is a sign of how strong the connection is. Sometimes a couple already has a long history of hijinks together, even before the relationship began, as in couples who have known each other since early childhood. In any case, shared experiences between the two partners strengthen the relationship immensely, especially if they are success stories.

#5 They’ve rarely fought as in really fighting; their arguments are usually playful and helps build their relationship

Fighting is never a good sign, but sometimes it is necessary, and never is it a good idea to keep concerns bottled up without expressing them. Communication is key in any relationship. It is imperative, however, that the need to express oneself does not overstep the boundaries of communication into physical violence. People who truly care about each other do not inflict pain on one another. In some relationships, levels of passion run so high that people are driven to do wild, uncontrollable things. Sometimes this is unavoidable, although still completely inexcusable. As long as there is no violence or abuse whatsoever, a fight can actually build tighter bonds and prove to both partners that intensity is present in the relationship.

#6 They both can trust each other

Trust is a crucial part of any relationship. One could even go as far as to say it is the foundation of a good relationship. Without trust, both partners will be fighting an uphill battle until they resolve this part of the puzzle. Trusting someone means believing in someone, it means casting aside all doubts and diving headfirst into the unknown. This is one of the hardest things to do in any relationship, because it means risking everything. That is why only the strongest of relationships exhibit true trust, because both partners risk betrayal and heartbreak when they put their trust into someone, but they do it anyway out of complete faith in their partner.

#7 They sleep together

Sleeping together is an essential part of a healthy relationship, and has been proven to provide many health benefits. It has been shown that sleeping together reduces stress in the human body by reducing blood pressure. It also has been observed that people who sleep together get a better sleep and an improved immune system. It is a way for the two partners to reaffirm their interest in each other, reassuring themselves that there is still life in the relationship. If a couple is sleeping together, it signifies a strong emotional bond, trust, and true unbridled passion.

#8 They get each other

Communication is a key part of any relationship, but it is also necessary that the message itself is understood. There must be some level of empathy between two partners, and the mark of a great relationship is one in which couples can finish each other’s sentences and put themselves in each other’s shoes. Sometimes this can manifest in an eery, almost telepathic connection between two people, in other situations it can be more of an unspoken understanding. If at least a basic level of understanding is maintained between two partners in a relationship, unnecessary misunderstandings and worries can be avoided entirely. A mark of a great relationship is one in which a couple is crystal clear about each other’s feelings at any given time.

#9 They take care of each other

When a couple are in a loving relationship, they are completely devoted to one another, each hopelessly dependant on the other. In a way it weakens them both, and in a way it makes them both stronger. They cease to be two individuals and become one whole. They take care of each other because if one partner is suffering, the other feels it as if the pain were their own. Indeed, it is almost as if they both exist as a single body, and one does not allow harm to come to one’s own body. It is a mark of great endearment when both partners take it upon themselves to look out for each other and put their partner’s best interests first.

#10 They can rely on each other

A couple’s trust is truly tested when the need arises for one to come to the other’s aid in times of dire need. Actions speak louder than words. It is one thing to claim devotion to someone, and another thing altogether to actually follow through with it. Even the most unreliable, forgetful and inconsistent person will still pull themselves together for someone they truly care about. A mark of a great relationship is one where a couple has no doubts about putting their fate in each other’s hands, because both partners will always deal with their own needs and desires only after the one they care about is satisfied.

#11 They don’t really keep secrets

A great couple is always confident that they will have a strong connection no matter what. Fear of rejection and abandonment can sometimes lead to one partner keeping secrets from another. This fear is understandable, because one partner doesn’t want to lose the other, but in the end it will always be detrimental to the relationship. People who truly care about each other cannot stand to feel the guilt that arises after the deception of one another. When a couple keep absolutely no secrets from each other, it is a sign that they truly have faith in the strength of their relationship.

#15 They commit to each other

Unless two partners are truly committed to each other, their efforts to please each other will undoubtedly be half-hearted. To be considered a great relationship, a couple must be overjoyed by the feeling of causing each other comfort and pleasure. It must be a top priority. Commitment can also mean being unafraid to shoulder increased responsibilities and taking more serious steps forward in the relationship, like moving in together or having a child. Commitment is present in every great relationship, and it means that a couple is devoted to making each other happy and plans to continue doing so for a long-term period of time.

#16 They have pure love

Ghandi once said that the strongest example of love on this earth is the love between a brother and a sister. A brother and sister have pure love, they care about each other and it simply because they care about each other, there is no other factor involved. Pure love is not loving someone because they are pretty, rich, famous or visually appealing. It is the love of who a person is, plain and simple. It is the intrinsic value of a person’s soul which inspires true love. Great couples have a strong emotional connection with each other based on who they are, not what they are.

#17 They don’t really need others to validate their relationship meaning approval from friends/family

In the classic tale of Romeo and Juliet, two lovers from rival families fall in love and although their relationship is ultimately doomed, this is a great example of how two people who are truly passionate about each other will always find a way to be with each other, no matter what they risk and no matter who objects. A truly great couple will never put the wishes and opinions of their friends and family above their own and those of their partner. It a great sign when two people in a relationship overcome the opinions and objections of the people around them and persevere through faith in one another.

#18 They sacrifice for each other

A willingness to change things about one’s self, and to make concessions in order to please one’s partner is a sign that the relationship is a strong one. One should not feel the need to become a vastly different person in order to please one’s partner, or to spend lots of money on them, but in a great relationship both partners are willing to make sacrifices for each other. Sometimes this can end up improving both partners’ lives, especially if one is forced to give up a bad habit to please the other. A couple’s willingness to put their own needs after each other’s is a sign of a great relationship.

#19 They don’t focus on the past and when they do it’s more a matter of something they’ve accomplished

Couples who are truly content with each other’s company will always remain positive, no matter what has happened in the past. In a great relationship, two partners who are in good health will always be happy with the fact that they are together, and right then in that moment, that is all that matters. They count it as a miracle and a blessing that they have each other, and that feeling is so sweet that it makes them focus only on the here and now, the present. Often in great relationships couples are proud of the long road that it took to get them where they are, and count the path that lays behind them as further testament to the strength of their bond.

#20 They don’t expect each other to always be strong

A truly great couple can break down and cry together without fear of losing face. Neither partners tries to uphold a facade of being a superman or woman, they accept each other’s humanity and realize that life has its struggles, and that we all can feel low sometimes. A couple who truly care about each other doesn’t lose respect for one another when they see each other suffering, instead they try to understand it and help them through it. A mark of a great relationship is one where both partners have experienced firsthand each other’s weaknesses, and they have persevered with each other’s help.


#21 They ‘ve thought about as far as if their significant other is not around, they wouldn’t want to be around too.

Couple who are truly serious about each other often think about what kind of effect the loss of their partner could have on them. It is almost unthinkable for both partners in a great relationship to have to go through the pain of losing each other, it is not something that they even want to think about. This is because in a great relationship, both partners are such a huge part of each other’s lives that without each other’s presence their lives would be empty and meaningless. the acceptance of this sad truth is one of the things which makes a great relationship.

#22 They both appreciate each other’s flaws and bring out the best of them

It is often said that people are attracted by good qualities in other people which remind them of their own good qualities. On the other hand it is also said that people are repulsed by bad qualities that they observe in others which remind them of qualities they don’t like about themselves. In a truly great relationship, both partners are able to put these feelings aside, and instead focus on simply who that person is at their core, rather than what that person reminds them of. If in fact partners in a good relationship remind each other of their own flaws, this feeling is not met with reluctance but acceptance, and it can even inspire both parties to improve themselves and accept their own flaws.

#23 They don’t really try to make you jealous.

If someone feels the need to make their partner feel jealous, it is sometimes because they are not sure whether or not that person cares about them, and wants to see how much their partner will suffer after seeing them acting intimate or friendly with someone else. Other times, it is simply because they want to see their partner suffer and squirm. Either way, this behavior is not a hallmark of a good, functional relationship. A great couple is truly confident that they are desired by each other, and doesn’t feel the need to reaffirm this fact or prove it to anyone.

#24 They don’t take each other for granted; meaning each moment is something they appreciate.

One doesn’t simply get bored of a genuinely meaningful relationship. When two partners are truly captivated by each other, everything seems new and meaningful, nothing is routine. If the passion fades with time and a couple feels like they are just going through the motions, then the relationship is not a truly worthwhile one. In a great relationship, a couple may come to assume that they will always be together. Too often however, is the assumption made that this enables partners in the relationship to get away with all manner of wrongdoings and still be able to count on the one they care about to still devote themselves to the relationship. Truly great couples do not take the affection of their partners for granted, and will never abuse their partner’s trust.

#25 They feel like life is worth while

As long as two partners with a strong connection are in a relationship, life will always be worth living to both of them. If one feels dissatisfied or unhappy with their life and is currently in a relationship with someone, then the person they are in a relationship with isn’t someone they truly enjoy spending time with. A couple in a great relationship could be completely broke, going through the worst spell of bad luck imaginable and still love life, because in spite of all their difficulties they still have each other.

#26 They help each other stay grounded

Couples with a strong attraction to each other sometimes experience the strange phenomenon of being reminded of their true self when in each other’s company. It comes as a kind of heavy realization, that a couple only feels like they can truly be themselves when in each other’s company. Indeed, it can feel as though one’s whole life previous to meeting one’s partner was merely a false prelude to one’s true life. The mark of a truly great relationship is one where both partners feel at peace with themselves, each other, and the world around them when they are in each other’s company.

#27 They constantly empower each other

Couples that have a strong connection beleive in each other. Partners that are in great relationships never belittle or patronize each other, they take each other seriously. They might playfully tease each other or joke around, but it never becomes mean or distasteful. They are constantly encouraging each other to succeed and to try things which they might not believe they are capable of. A mark of a truly great relationship is one where each partner never looks down on the other. When people truly care about each other they compliment each other and constantly reassure one another of their potential


The P Word

Why I Don’t Suppress My Gender Identity in the Workplace — Everyday Feminism.

Constance…I met this book store owner a few months ago.  She was so amazingly kind to me and showed me immediate kindredness and welcomed me into her heart with open arms, to mix my metaphors kookily!

She has kept in touch and has written me personal emails frequently…and one came today that had this link.  I read a lot at Everyday Feminism.  It is a really intelligent site, and they have a plethora of writers who basically box the compass on all issues we face today, with emphasis on a broad definition of feminism.

This one is so fabulous, because it gets to something that I got hammered with a lot…the P Word.  Professional.

Go…check it out…you just might find ways that you yourself have been othered, or worse.


‘Gender Confirmation Surgery’: What’s in a Name? | Loren S. Schechter, M.D., F.A.C.S.

‘Gender Confirmation Surgery’: What’s in a Name? | Loren S. Schechter, M.D., F.A.C.S..

Hi Constance… I just referred to this in a comment over at Dani’s blog, which hopefully I handled in a graceful and kind way.

I thought you all might enjoy reading it as well.




Related to THE Gift post…

‎’Slut’ is attacking women for their right to say yes. ‘Friend Zone’ is attacking women for their right to say no.
And “bitch” is attacking women for their right to call you on it.

Constance, recall how I have written of my axiomatic belief regarding sexuality…if you aren’t familiar with it you can scroll a bit and find it pretty easy.  Well, in light of that I would obviously look at any sexual encounter other than a seriously contemplated and abstractly chosen one when not under the influence of feelings or hormones stirred up as a less than wise choice likely to result in brokenness and sorrow.

That is not to pass a moral judgement on that choice!  It is, rather, a wisdom-oriented outlook assessment of a choice.

Having said that, I think it would be easily inferred that I would consider sexual behavior that exemplified in a true sense any of the words I am going to list as a less than optimal choice:  Stud, Slut, Horn-dog, Whore, and any other similar slang.  Okay, we clear on that?  I am not affirming those choices as wise.

BUT:  the quote I posted is powerful, because it confronts the way the current paradigm uses words, labels and the sexual choices of women as clubs to beat them with and bars to bind them with.  And as such, I oppose using those means to abrogate the essential and legitimate right of women to choose their own destiny and fate with every last bit of right and permission from Them as any male has.  Period!

And once that is settled, there is a true basis to dialogue together as human beings on how to empower everyone to make choices that best poise each one for wholeness and fulfillment.

Love yourself before you love everyone else…especially all ye who love to “speak the truth in love”…start with your own heart first, in all its towering deceitfulness before you start on anyone else’s…I think we each have enough to keep us busy without needing to start in on others whose hearts we cannot even see let alone truly know.

Love, Charissa


In Light of my BFFs post on the T-Word…

Constance, here is a lil web comic that might help out…several of Dani’s readers indicated that they were deeply desirous to reach across the divide, but uncertain how to do so without offending…I think this may help.

Love, Charissa









The T Word: Transgender

Constance…I have no words to express what this means to me…what is being said to me…both in the post and in the comments. I simply will repost this, and let you know something: each of you is a potential ally in someone’s life. I an so very blessed to have the one that I do, and she knows how I feel, who I am, and our welcoming, beckoning road…and thus for me to say anything more is inappropriate, in that the only legit words for to say are uh-MAZED and broken thank yous…55 years of loneliness is a long time.

Dani De Luca

You don’t get to decide the truth. Other people have their own experiences, just as valid. This is easy to forget. Your slice of life seems so large and unmistakable, like a mirage of wholeness from where you stand. But it is your job to know better and not confuse your small piece for the whole, even if you sometimes forget. Life is big—much bigger than just yours. This is the only note to self: other people are real. That’s all there is to learn. 

— Frank Chimero – The Only Note To Self

At an event earlier this month, I sat reading over the only flyer available: an advertisement for The New Three Tenors.  As I glanced over the neon page, I saw two sandled feet standing inches from where I sat.  I found the feet peculiar, noting that the toes weren’t bare but layered with seamed stockings, and…

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So true…but the headwind, ohhh…the headwind

Saw this just now, and wow did I relate…the quote, I related to it in that I have some blessings in my life who assiduously refuse to allow me to beat myself up (if they see it! lol), and the pic…well that is just life right now.

Stop beating yourself up. You are a work in progress –
which means you get there a little at a time, not all at once.


Calligraphic Gesture

Still and quiet sits the morning soft in drizzle,
shadow shades shroud drowsy trees lulled by turning leaves
singing of the coming great descent…
Clouds cling low and skulk about as mists,
as fogs, as wisps and scraps of rainy lace
over Autumn’s aged hallowed face,

and she lays still,
lines, marks and comments made undone,
unmade each day one by one
until she is unmarked, undrawn,
unmasked her surface still and flat
mysterious unasked, her tranquil secrets told,
and then retracted, written and redacted
as days grow short and night walks
in smoky peace longer in the stillness,
lingers fragrant in the moment
and into morning coffee.

My mind, it too is still like Autumn,
and yearns to walk in Autumn’s graceful backwards glance,
her slippered foot fall soft and earnest in her dance,
it reaches for my heart’s desirous dipper to pour out…what?

Words…tears…love…me, yes. Me…my heart’s dipper
pours me out like waters into Water
and then those ripples run,
those ripples push like still wind against
the placid growing unmarked surface…

and I push off neat and quick and skim
across her glory fading into stillness,
my heart my skiff, my words my oars,
my poem my tribute there and gone.

My heart’s hieroglyphics stutter,
eternal and undying until they swoon
and into slumber they are flying
to be swallowed once more into her bosom,
until she wakes again and my heart rises up again
from deep within her waters running ever,
I wake my poem cunning, fleet and clever

to row again, to draw again
my quick calligraphic gesture
to signify eternal her bright blue
beautiful vesture


The Only Note to Self

Constance, I like this quote.  Read it carefully…

On it’s face, it is tempting to view it as a relativistic statement, which, if you have read here much, you know that I have issues with that approach.  Oh it is not that I think that I have the market cornered on truth…it is just that I cannot wrap my mind around an approach that says all things are relative and there are no absolutes…or there is no absolute truth and each person’s choice is absolute truth for them…

BECAUSE..these statements both have an absolute premise as their pre-supposition.

Do you see it there?  Yes?  Good.

No?  Well, let me help:  the first statement that there are no absolutes can be rejected, because it in and of itself logically is an absolute statement…and the same with the second!

So philosophically I don’t give serious weight to anyone who says or thinks in such short cut ways…for that is what they are:  short cuts to deeper and more prescient observations and the potential for wisdom gained.

I do think that what this quote is saying is far closer to where we want to go.  It is basically exhorting you to understand that you are not God, the all-knowing all-encompassing author of all things and thus the only One qualified to discern ultimately, decide ultimately, and judge/rule ultimately.

And here is the kicker:  as beings created in Their Image, we have a “Junior G-Man” version of this authority!  It is an honor, a wonder, and a responsibility!  In all ways we must emulate Them…all ways that is, but one:  humbly accepting that our view is limited by the scope of our enlightened awareness and consciousness combined with what Grace They have given to each of us to be Their ambassador in our space and our time.

So that’s why I love the quote below…it saves us from hurting a lot of people…it saves us from hurting ourselves.

Blessings, Charissa

“You don’t get to decide the truth. Other people have their own experiences, just as valid. This is easy to forget. Your slice of life seems so large and unmistakeable, like a mirage of wholeness from where you stand. But it is your job to know better and not confuse your small piece for the whole, even if you sometimes forget. Life is big—much bigger than just yours. This is the only note to self: other people are real. That’s all there is to learn.”
— Frank Chimero – The Only Note To Self



LOL! DEFINITELY me and my baby, and me and my bff as well!

OMG…I sooo love this quote.  It really takes the difficulty and sacredness of establishing true heart connectedness and lends a levity to the process, it is self-deprecating and thus liberating.

Thanks Baby, thanks DDH!!

“Maybe a relationship is just two idiots who don’t know a damn thing except the fact that they’re willing to figure it out together.”


I Sail In a Boat Big Enough

Remember “Jaws?”  The movie? And that moment
when Richard Dreyfuss shouts in shocked alarm:
“We’re gonna need a bigger boat!” The sound,
his voice, the realization he was up
against something more brutal, more unknown
than they had realized…had dark suspected…
Well, I was thinking today about boats
about Mama’s Boat, Her Clipper Ship Sailing…

and She’s not limited to oceans only…
She can sail up rivers, onto trails,
trod by shaggy elk and ancient Indians…
Her Masts are tall, majestic, She sails over
Groves and Glens, She sails over vistas foul
and fair, views of beacons, of hills and lanterns
red with hateful thoughts the redder still
beneath the clingy ivy choking love.

But if She sails on stormy weather inland
from seas Pacific o’er mountains to the deserts,
or She sails in from long Atlantic shores
across those Carolinas south and north,
so fair, so foul, riddled with love and hate
like starlight thru bullet holes…glowing bright 
lovers of kindness constant in that night…
Mama knows, She knows!  Her boat is big enough!

Her Boat transcends the sharks of sea and land
Her nets are tensiled taut titanium
I’m safe on Her Ship “Big Billy Goat Gruff”
and trolls that lurk like land-sharks there beneath
henley flannel bridges near the mills
the waterwheels revolving in the waters
called clearwater but in fact so stagnant
infected with mosquitos like the plaguetumblr_lfr3wa3xsf1qcjp3go1_1280

the trolls will jump and thrust, strain viciously
and find their revelation in such smallness,
their petty crooked goblin-cruel teeth,
their flat black piggy eyes that never blink,
their taste for tender flesh, for stumbled children
tripped on blocks becoming dread millstones,
they jump, show off their sleek and ugly snouts
that bristle row on row with rancid knives…

they shall find that shackles slickly slipped
over their necks and chains meant for the others
have doubled back and clicked closed there for good,
and those land-sharks, those south of Charlotte trolls
at last are cast into the slate grey sea
awaiting eager, quick to swallow up
and ne’er a trace seen e’er again of them
and thus the children run to Them so free.

I sail in a boat big enough, I sail
in Mama’s Good Ship Big Goat Gruff and Glory
and ever I will sing Her Mercy Story.


Last Post for Awhile…last request

Good Morning Constance…

Many of you have asked how I am doing…I am not the best one to ask…I have never been thru something like this.

My therapist early on asked me to consider domestic violence as a proper analogy for my last few years…and how would I counsel myself…well, however one who has been in a toxic relationship and gets out feels, that’s how I feel.





Failure to finish the race I began.


Lots of waves pass over me, wash thru me, and my challenge is to distinguish between the waves and me, between the abuse and me, between the toxins and me…as I detox, dry off, and let the bruises fade and the broken bones heal.


I am still gonna write…though my poetic muse is in one Munch-scream of agony and cannot stop shrieking.  The closest I can get to a poem is to comment on my sister’s beautiful poems, and be grateful they are sturdy enough to bear me away.

I will try to post pics and quotes…but I have been advised by wise, authoritative and capable people that the best move for me right now is to not post here.

I shall miss you all very much…

One thing I would be very blessed by, however…if you could find it in your busy schedules to start a dialogue over the “Charissa and the Dementors” posts…and comment on my questions and the “homework assignments” I posed.

That would be soo helpful to me.  I am particularly interested in comment from thoughtful and scholarly christian thinkers regarding the issues I poised there…

A. The issue of godly conduct towards others, particularly in the area of “correction” and “speaking the truth in love”, and how appropriate it is to issue said correction to complete strangers.

B.  The issue of using NT verses that are a listed compilations of various manifestations of a corrupt and unredeemed heart, all illustrative of the one thing that will get you to hell (that heart unredeemed)…and how the prurient item on that list captures all the hatred and rage in that it is easier to pin it on others and avoid the ways that the other ones have deadly life and are quite in play as qualities…even of redeemed hearts that are still in the shallows of the seas of sanctification.

C.  The issue of gender orientation and how, where, why, what, when…followed closely by the issue of transition

And then I would be interested in all points of view on the various things I was accused of.  I do not think that I am guilty of what the dementors allege…but then again I am inside me, right?

So…please pray for me, that I would receive wise counsel and that our actions would be fruitful…and if I am honest?

I truly desire that my actions for the last 10 years specifically and the last 33 years in general be vindicated, and my name cleared.

I took the name Charissa Grace, because I thought that it not only spoke to who I have already been, it points to who I want to be as well.

Pray that I would see the goodness of God in the land of the living, for They have been nothing but good in my life.

In sorrow, turmoil, confusion, relief, and Hope…




Applies to friends, OR lovers! (Not my writing, reposting)

Relationship Wisdom Notes:

In life there are a number of truths to live by. Some are obvious, while others require a little bit more thoughts and life experiences. At the end of the day these are the things that make life easier, and make life more enjoyable in the long run because you’re spending less time being focused on things that shouldn’t have your attention in the first place. This is especially the case when it comes to understanding other people, especially when we’re talking about a relationship. Here are 5 pieces of wisdom that everyone should know in relationships.

1. If he doesn’t answer a text message, he probably doesn’t care.

If he wanted to talk to you he would, and you would be receiving more than – at best – 2 to 3 word responses. If someone cares about talking to you they will be genuinely interested in sparking, and maintaining a conversation with you. They might make it obvious that they’re trying to keep the conversation going, or maybe they won’t – but either way, the conversation is kept alive, and you’re not wondering where you stand.

2. People will make time for you when they care about you.

This goes for friends, and potential significant others. If he says he’s too busy, or is constantly dodging hanging out with you then you should have a fairly good idea where you stand. And that might seem blunt, but ultimately it’s the truth and it isn’t a secret that people make time for others that they care about, and that they genuinely want to make time for. Don’t take it personally. Learn and grow from it.

3. Don’t let him physically touch you on the first date.

Maybe a kiss at the end of the date, but if he’s looking for something more, or something that you are not there for – particularly a hook up – then the date was happening for the wrong reasons. Understand what you want out of a date, and keep yourself at those limits. Someone who actually cares about you will understand your own boundaries and limitations.

4. You can learn a lot about someone from their favorite book.

If you ask them what their favorite book is, and they say “none,’ or “I don’t know,” then perhaps it’s time to reevaluate what you’re doing, or who you’re investing your time in. A book tells a lot about a person’s personality, life experiences, and what they want out of life.

5. Ask questions that are uncomfortable.

Ask about really bad experiences, and really great ones. Ask about regrets. Ask about their childhood. Ask the important things now and open that door before it closes. Connecting with a person goes far beyond just running through typical legs of conversation.



Fear. Pain. Doubt. Shaking Hands. Voice Trembling…STARTING!

Start now. Start where you are. Start with fear. Start with pain. Start with doubt. Start with hands shaking. Start with voice trembling but start. Start and don’t stop. Start where you are, with what you have. Just … start.
Ijeoma Umebinyuo



Charissa and the Dementors (Part One)

Constance, I have decided to give you here at Grace Notes a taste of the kind of thing that  gets flung at me via commentors and other uninvited contributors to my experience of life.

I want to ask you to carefully read thru what has been written and said, and weigh it in your hearts.

I particularly want to appeal to my readers who would call themselves Christians.  You all are important in a couple of different ways:

1.  First of all, you will know the culture that this comes from, and the “type” of person who slings verses around to proof-text a prior assumption.  I would ask from you all, given that I have never actually met any of you (phone calls with some), and given that how I report my marriage, fidelity, and my pursuit and daily relationship with God is true (and it is, btw), and given the overall whole of Grace Notes, from poetry to worship songs to devotionals to teachings to rants to naked sharing of hurt and sorrow to open insistence on following after God in the face of all, to spending long hours with people who actually know me and are here to see my life and thus have some standing upon which to desire an accounting of my decision to transition

…given all those things I ask rhetorically:

A.  Is it appropriate from a biblical perspective to communicate to someone you literally do not know in anyway or have any actual experience whatsoever with in such a way as these individuals have with me?  Is that like Jesus’ actions, either to sinners, strangers, His friends or His enemies?  Does that activity follow Philippians 2?  In light of the givens, would it be appropriate to wrench Matt 18 out of context as a pretext?

B.  Am I in sexual sin?  Am I in immorality?  I have had sex with one person in my life, and am married to that one person.  This is TMI, but in the interest of full disclosure, neither of us has much interest in sexuality right now, and thus we are living a loving, close, tender celibate life together and have never been closer or more “married” than we are now.

C. Given the thing I just said, if someone then said that I was lying and speaking from deception, would that be a claim either appropriate from a christian conduct perspective or from a truth perspective?  Would that comment reveal more about me, or about them?

D.  After careful filtering for the rainbow of reasons someone may be on my path (including the one that one of my dementors listed as her own driving obsession and burden to be freed from), is a genuine medically verified transgender person sinful or immoral simply by being thus?  If yes, on what biblical basis?  If no, is a person who chooses to avail themselves of the medical technology which has a verifiable efficacy in addressing the horror of dysphoria sinning?  If yes, on what biblical basis?  If yes, is someone who pursues medical help for any of the myriad reasons extant in this world of woes also in sin?  On what basis?  How does one know which ones are permitted and which ones aren’t?

E.  In light of the spectrum of plumbing and wiring varieties, and in light of the fact that each of these people has a sense of what gender they are, where does gender reside?  In DNA, which can be both or almost even neither?  In genitalia which can also be both or neither?  In the brain and heart and soul which cannot be measured or weighed?  Does the Bible say where gender resides?  If in the cases of people who have a physical range and blend of both genders, or a DNA that mismatches their genitalia, we allow them to “choose their gender”, is it wrong to allow others who very strongly do not identify gender wise with their body to choose their gender as well?  Why or why not, and again, from a biblical basis please support your answer.  Be prepared to properly exegete the passages cited.

F.  Is it a common thing, as the argument of extremes states in alarm, for people to discover in a liberty to identify gender wise as they know themselves to be, for bunches and bunches of people to just shift back and forth, hither and yon like people do in sports teams allegiances, or food preferences, or clothing fashions? Set aside the question for a moment of if this shifting back and forth would be a sin and unbiblical…I think there would be difficulty in making any case for or against strictly on the abstract question if it should or should not be…the more relevant question is this:  do the majority of people in the world want to change gender (the answer is emphatically no)?  If no, why not?  Is it because gender identity is wired so deep that the thought of being forced into the opposite gender role is so repugnant as to be unacceptable?  Is it because the majority of people in the world believe it is sinful to do so (which would assume that the majority of people in the world also read and studied the bible and held it authoritative and that the bible spoke authoritatively and clearly on the issue)?  Or is it because gender is so hard-wired into our beings that they just will not do it…and thus granting freedom to identify one’s gender orientation represents not a threat to all but liberty to the ones it applies to?

G.  When the bible says that God knew us in our mother’s womb, is it defining us by our physicality, or by our eternal status as a soul?  In being intricately knit and wonderfully and fearfully made, what was God up to in the case of humans who suffer from innate deformities, syndromes, failures of DNA to form properly, etc. etc?  And in the burgeoning number of such conditions that we have been gifted with the grace to medically address and literally fix, are we allowed to do so?  If no, on what biblical basis?

H.  When we read someone’s posts on the internet, someone somewhere in the world who has some life unseen and unknown, unseeable and unknowable, is there any biblical basis for us to claim knowledge of their faith and its veracity?  From a biblical basis, would one who did this be exemplifying the actions of a wise person (a topic that the bible is quite vocal about), or a foolish person (also a topic heavily addressed in biblical literature)?

I.  What do loving actions look like?  From a biblical basis, what is loving correction?  When is it appropriate, and to whom by whom?  Would it be biblical for me to administer corporal discipline to a stranger’s child because my own interpretation of the bible said that the child’s actions were endangering them of  going to hell if I did not “beat the foolishness from their heart?” (Yes…sigh, the Proverbs do indeed say that…see how tricky it is to take eternal words and truths which were spoken and given in specific cultural times and practices that are not eternal or true and distill them and then apply them in totally different cultural times and practices that are no more eternal or true just because they are ours and current)?

J.  Is it appropriate to speak harshly, painting in broad brush to a person you have never met, do not know except by a few words online not even written to you, and then to say things that are flat out judgments that given the lack of even a scintilla of relationship are impossible to make with any integrity, and then conclude by saying that these actions are the most loving because they are “speaking the truth?”

K.  Remember Constance…all I just wrote is for readers who think of themselves as professing christians who are serious about wanting to live a Christ-like life full of the fruits of the Holy Spirit (yes, I do remember that I call Holy Spirit Mama, and no, I do not receive accusation that it is sin to do so…at worst it is the action of an air headed child that causes the parent to give an eye-roll and shrug, and at best…well maybe I am right and She is quite pleased to have half of humanity step up into an equal access of the divine image and thus be that one step closer to the whole earth being filled with their glory?

Now…to all readers who do not identify as christian but still are drawn here to read, by my heart and love of people:  do you act the way these people have acted…?  Is this how civilized people dialogue and arrive at truth and consensus? Would you want our teachers to treat your children this way, your employers to treat you this way (well, not a good example for me…sheepish and hurting chuckle), our government officials to treat you this way?

Would you like to be in a congregation of people who wanted to pursue true religion and spiritual growth and have some person like these there to “help you” and “speak the truth in love” to you?

What does “speak the truth in love” look like?

Okay…the preface is here…go to the next post for what I experienced and why I wrote this post!

Do justice.  Love mercy.  Walk Humbly.


Charissa and the Dementors (Part 2)

Back in late April I posted here about a book I wanted to recommend…

This book is by a woman named Stasi Eldridge and it was so challenging to me, so ministering to me, so full of life and hope.  It took me 5 months to read the whole thing, as I had to stop often to digest and even more?  I had to figure out how what she was writing translated to a transgender woman like me.  Many things she wrote about assumed riches and legacies that are part of the given riches that accompany a biologically female body, and may of the trials and resulting insights arose from dealing with the particular conditions that being biologically female present too.

I want to say right up front how I admire Stasi’s vulnerability and humility.  From years and years in leadership in various churches, and from some travelling ministry as well, I am all too familiar with the tendency of humanity to set people up on pedestals and elevate them improperly into lil demi-gods.  I continually resisted that effort, using self-deprecation and humble vulnerable openness about my own failings and issues as the ways to avoid being elevated into something I am not.  Stasi does this too, and does it well.

I read most of the book as “a colleague”, understanding a lot of subtext in technique and approach…but I received the book as a gigantic deposit of wealth into my bank account of womanhood…and then I got to thinking…about the other women like me, who could benefit so greatly from these kinds of ideas…which got me to thinking one step further:

What kinds of books is the church writing to christian trans-women, trans-men?  Stasi’s husband writes books to men (I have read them and taught from them, btw…they are very good too).  Are transgender women openly invited and welcome to christian women’s spaces and events?  If not why not?  Do transgender women have hearts that need touching from Jesus, from their Father, and from Mama…and sisters too…sisters who know how to do make-up, who know how to skillfully handle when men act like, well, men…would transgender women benefit from the fellowship of sisters who would receive them into corporate worship together as half of God’s Divine Image in humanity and thus help them to be more fruitful?

What about…what about…well, if you read here you know Charissa’s lil pea brain when it gets churning.

So I had the bright idea to write to Stasi, and short email telling her thanks for the book, a bit about myself, and my thoughts regarding trans-humans and the church.  Oh, I was so excited!  I checked in with Mama, and got a nod and a kiss on the forehead and She shooed me away on the  task, and I was so bubbly and excited as I sought to locate a means to communicate with Stasi.

A pretty thorough search was fruitless in obtaining an email address to write to.  Oh, I found plenty of Contact Us forms that are administered by others, but as the topic is delicate for most Christians because they assume a priori that being transgender is evidence of sexual sin somewhere, I was reluctant to use those forms.  I eventually did give it a shot, but was quite general in what I wrote in the desire for discretion and giving no occasion for someone to take offense.

It is important to know that I did do this, as you will see later…a dementor “knows” that I didn’t and “knows” that I ended up writing where I did for nefarious reasons that she lists…it is illustrative of the way of functioning that I alluded to in part one, and the deleterious effect of such way of being.  More on that later though.

I eventually found a blog that Stasi writes for and thought “Bingo!”  I can leave a comment and then she will contact me if she is interested, or merely not post the comment if she is not.  I did what Heather tells me is a great quality and a weakness:  I looked for and expected the best in people, and then foolishly expected they would act or speak in similar good faith.  See…that happens here at Grace Notes all the time.  People get in touch, want to correspond, and so I take it off the blog with them and we do our best to connect and build relationship or discuss concepts.  Right?

Obvi that is what would happen.

So…with Stasi alone in mind, not even thinking about anyone else who reads, I went ahead and wrote the message that leads the next post…and then in chronology I will copy the entire comment flow.


I will tell you why…I want to expose to a different audience the way of functioning that goes on in christendom…the insidious and hateful way that othering and policing operates and all in the name of love, or speaking the truth.  It is neither loving or truth telling…and often the perspective that the dementor type comes from is not even true in the first place, except to them in that it is their truth.

I wanted you here to see for yourselves the use of ad hominem attack, straw man arguments, and about as many other formal fallicies in argument and rhetoric as their are.  Sadly, the biblical truths that all souls are equal at the foot of the cross and that all biblical truth belongs to everyone and not just privileged clergy sets many people up for these errors.  They do not invest the time and study into the topic, or if they do, they do so in the effort to prove an already assumed point of view, which does not make one an expert on a topic but an expert on their own view of that topic.

Generally, when resisted or disagreed with the reaction is to other the disagreeing point of view with judgment…either of heart, of motive, or or status as “in the light” or “in deception”…and that othering is not based on any biblical teaching regarding ways of discerning truth and dealing with controversies but in the person’s own emotional investment in the topic.

And lastly, I share it here because it also is exemplary of the kind of comment that comes to my blog a lot and that I simply have kept to myself as part of the price to be paid in being transgender in a cisgender world that is being dragged into a paradigm shift kicking and screaming…Some trans people have a different style:  they post every hateful comment and nuke it with their own emotion and experience.  I have a different sense of what is effective and what I am called to.  But know that I deal with the bullying and trolling and threats mostly by just trying to be above it.

OK…read on for the comment flow…


Charissa and the Dementors (Part 3)

All of this was previously written over the last couple of weeks and posted at http://www.ransomedheart.com/blogs/stasi/beauty-secrets-free-be-me

It is possible to click on hyperlinks and see things about the commenters.

I ask you to look for the following:

Identify the ways that love is shown
Identify the truth that is supposedly spoken in love
Analyse the claims made

Search for the specific, authoritative biblical teachings on gender orientation, gender location in a human being, God’s involvement in an intricately and wonderfully made person who suffers in this world where evil is permitted to occur, from evil deeds to variants defined as illegal or not legitimate.
Note the verses used, what they say, and pay particular attention to ones that have whole lists which include many other things that are given a different weight and place in the sanctification process than ones related to sexuality
And also note ways that they apply to me and those like me who dealing with gender issues in ways completely apart from issues of sexuality and immorality.

Pay attention to mentions of obedience, walking in obedience, and ask from the context of the writer what exactly is it that constitutes disobedience…and then find the biblical teaching on obedience, what it is, how one is obedient, and who it is who knows when one is obedient and disobedient…and then the silly but obvious glaring question of how based on the short post I wrote anyone could know anything about my level of obedience or even if I am obedient.  If I am not, what ways specifically am I not obedient? (Yes, of course it is evident that in the writer’s mind I am disobedient because I did not do exactly as she has done, and that she believes her own life and experience the template for all issues of gender orientation and sexuality in relation to being a follower of Jesus).

Find the ways that the story one commentor presents of her life apply to my own situation and thus assume authority in my life as prescriptive commands or even wise exhortations/loving reproofs.
Look for ways that the commentors seek to police me, and ways that they other me.  Know that this sort of thing goes on in christendom on such a tragically frequent basis as to explain why the apostle Paul said that christians were biting and devourning one another.

Identify anything that I said that was similarly cruel, illogical or unreasonable, or lashing out…if it is there, please let me know, as I endeavored to keep my comments free of such pollution and agenda.

Find ways that I attacked and vilified “the church” (as opposed to christendom, the collective aggregate of christian culture and cultural expression in history that is often wildly divergent from the actual biblical teaching regarding the spiritual organism known as “the church”).

Identify my agenda for posting here at this place…and then identify any way there would be to accurately discern that agenda to be anything other than what I said it was…and then consider the proclamation by these dementors of what they have decided my true agenda is.

Watch for things that would be illustrative that I dwell in a victim mentality…particularly in this thread, but then, if concerned, in my entire blog here at Grace Notes.

Thanks Constance, and by the way, the things written are hurtful…hurtful words and indicate a hurtful state of being in each one.  Of course I wonder if one of the commenters protests too much and is still in dysphoria hell:  the statistics concerning the efficacy of reparative therapy in conjunction to transgender issues are not good.

Read on………

Continue reading

Why Not Mama?

“I do believe in an everyday sort of magic—the inexplicable connectedness we sometimes experience with places, people, works of art and the like; the eerie appropriateness of moments of synchronicity; the whispered voice, the hidden presence, when we think we’re alone.”
— Charles de Lint

Constance…what a great quote.

NOW:  here is Charissa’s lil pea brain whirling round and round:  there is a sweet and awe inspiring privilege in being caught up in this mystery, awake.  And there is no loss, is there, if that is all we have…that connectedness inexplicable and synchronicitous. If there is only that, when we die we will be glad for it and made the richer as we found courage to dive in to the Mystery, the Mystic, the Hidden and the Made Known Without Words.

But my Q:  Why is there such resistance to the idea that there would be a Personal God, Infinite in power and presence and horribly wonderfully finite in its involvement with us…and that God is so personal that it chooses to manifest itself in 3 persons, so as to be available to everyone of us…and then in that availability and pursuit, in that Quest for communion with us more arduous than lovers, why cannot They be the magic, the connectedness, the whispered voice, the presence?

I have never met anyone with a problem with the God who talks to me…literally.  Either they love Her-Him-Him, or they think my God is just part of me, but a creative and wonderful and fairy-tale ought to be sort of “Charissa Imagination”.

Every person I have met who has a problem with God has been raped and abused and dehumanized by a god presented by evil people wearing masks and a name that their heart violently murders in each beat.

Constance…would you do a favor for me?  Would you read the quote, and then imagine, what if God was just like that, and would talk with you, dialogue with you, listen to you, and then connect you with magic?

What if….

….well, then you would have met my Mama…my beautiful and wonderful blessed Mama Holy Spirit.

Deepest love, and written in tender crushed pain right now but bleeding gratefulness to Mama, who loves me




My Previous One Post about sexuality

The idea that sex is something a woman gives a man, and she loses something when she does that, which again for me is nonsense. I want us to raise girls differently where boys and girls start to see sexuality as something that they own, rather than something that a boy takes from a girl.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie


Constance, I have written precisely one time on my explicit beliefs regarding sexuality and love.  You can find that post at Love, In a Sexual World .

I reference that post, because it is saying very similar things to this lil quote I posted…

…the key point in this quote and the absolutely essential thing to grasp is this:  sexuality is something you are given as your very own, and thus it belongs to you.  It is a state of being that is held in potential, and when you choose to engage it, you forever are altered…just like when you get married, or become a parent.

Oh…marriages can end, but you will always “have been married”…children can die, but you can never “un-become” being a parent.

And to take someone’s sexuality…to let it be taken…well, that is the greatest act of theft that can occur:  either the person taking it the greatest thief or the one letting it being taken the greatest thief from themself.

Recently I have been beset with acts of betrayal and broken trust.  And in another place where I attempted to contact an author whose book raised many things, I found myself accused again of sin…sexual sin, mind you…simply for being open that I am transgender.

As a matter of fact, sexuality is actually one area that is pretty darn together in my life, thanks to Mama and my darling holder of my heart.

I will soon post about the awful and hateful things that were said by complete strangers…but in the meantime, seeing this quote reminded me:

teach your children that they possess the gift of the ages:  their sexuality and the right of its dispensation.

Love, Charissa Grace

bleeding and cut, bruised and battered, but refusing the bribes of defeat


Too Close to the Edge

My amazing fellow poetess Lynda…my Sister in our Sea of words and frolics of similes on seas of metaphor…my fellow anguisette turning out beauty for ashes and good old love for indifference

thank you Lynda, you are a godsend to me and Someday you will know how vital are the things you too often deem as meagre.

With Deep love and appreciation, Charissa


When a winding staircase
seems to be never ending
like climbing rain clouds

o n e



lightening striking once, twice
wondering, dreaming
if third time is the charm

that finally washes all the cares away;

too close to the ledge,
and the crowd wants you
to jump.

That bridge seems so far away
from redemption
when pain, then indifference
washes over you,





Suddenly, there is no place
further to fall and you hear that song,
open those hazy eyes and see all of the colors
that were faded, before,
faces of strangers look familiar,
trees sway to the beat

and you get out of that car,
song still playing

and just run

through fields of happy weeping,
acres of flowers and their sun

until your feet find your soul home.


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As youngster transitions from girl to boy, family shifts between challenges, calm – Entertainment & Life – poconorecord.com – Stroudsburg, PA

“It challenges our sense of orderliness,” said Berne. “We can be fearful of anyone who is different.”

via As youngster transitions from girl to boy, family shifts between challenges, calm – Entertainment & Life – poconorecord.com – Stroudsburg, PA.

Constance, many thanks to my Sissa Kat…honorary member of the Scorpio Patrol (us lil crabbies and scorpions haffa watch out fer her hooves tho, being the Taurus she is!  🙂  )

She blogged this over at Dandelion Fuzz.  Check out her blog.  It twins with this one, but is the unconvoluted form…giggles

Love, Charissa

Image 003

‘Max’, a fourth-grader whose name was changed to protect his privacy, has an after-school snack with his twin sister on the porch of their St. Louis County home. Born biologically a girl but identifying himself as a boy, his family began referring to him as a boy in 2013. (Robert Cohen/St. Louis Post-Dispatch/MCT)

Clear The River!

“Be wild; that is how to clear the river. The river does not flow in polluted, we manage that. The river does not dry up, we block it. If we want to allow it its freedom, we have to allow our ideational lives to be let loose, to stream, letting anything come, initially censoring nothing. That is creative life. It is made up of divine paradox. To create one must be willing to be stone stupid, to sit upon a throne on top of a jackass and spill rubies from one’s mouth. Then the river will flow, then we can stand in the stream of it raining down.”

― Clarissa Pinkola Estés
Women Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype


For my baby AND my bff AND my Magic Red Door Woman!!

Does she scare you a little? Good. She should make you fear her love, so that when she lets you be apart of it, you won’t take it lightly.
She should remind you of the power that beauty brings, that storms reside in her veins, and that she still wants you in the middle of it all.
Do not take this soul for granted, for she is fierce, and she can take you places that you never thought you could go; but she is still loving in the midst of it all, like the calm rain after a storm, she can bring life.
Learn her, and cherish her, respect her, and love her; for she is so much more than a pretty face, she is a soul on fire.
T.B. LaBerge


The Lost Christian Art of Giving a Damn | john pavlovitz

The Lost Christian Art of Giving a Damn | john pavlovitz.

take away quote:

Christians, as much as we want to claim otherwise, the hard truth is that quite often, we really don’t give a damn about people anymore.

sorry…wish i had something more to say, but this man says it best of all.

if you have any sense of the relevance of christianity, you must read this.  if not, move along, nothing to see


Seven Lies About Christianity

So just love this…too exhausted, too emotionally drained, too bereft and sorrowful to do other than say amen, and go to sleep

Stephen Mattson

My recent piece was featured on Sojourners, and as of a few days ago it was their most popular web piece of all time! It garnered lots of interesting discussion. What do you think?

Dennis Kuvaev/Shutterstock

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Protected: Charissa will be working on this outfit…

Charissa will not be buying this outfit, or any others, for a long while. Charissa is paying an all too real price for being openly transgender…the loss of job, the loss of people known 3 decades who now think I am morally corrupt, and the difficulty of walking out not being bullied in balance with loving those more important than the pain is painful.

Charissa's Grace Notes

Saving my dollars and pinching my pennies…tumblr_mtb10kgHdU1sdsh9do1_500

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My Only Way Out Today: an Anti-Poem

Pray that I hit the hole

when I am hurled violently,


that I roll like cats
and land soft on paddy feet
that I swim like otters free
and surf like Icarus of the sea
and waterproof

i dangle now
stuck in and out
and bleeding
upside down
and reeling
eyes throbbing red
red red red dark


today will be a birth
or an abortion
a hand or
a sharp knife
and liberty
or lambasting
and sentenced
to Kafka penitentiary