The Mean Streets of Baltimore Look Like Human Hearts

I haven’t said much about Baltimore…others do it far better than I.

Clearly, something is very very wrong…and all the things I have been speaking about related to privilege and patriarchy pretty much determine whether you see this or not.

And let me (once again) be clear:  my own eye-opening is a matter of about the last 5 years, and it has been accompanied by plenty of mourning and sorrow for the many lost years…just had to say that since there are those who think I merely ape the views of others and have a free pass from consequences…consequences I have been paying longer than these accusers have lived on this planet…but I digress.

Baltimore:  what is there that the likes of I can say?  So instead, I will post pics of the thing that makes the most sense as a response to what is taking place…and vicariously post this as my own cleansing ritual over my own soul and heart in order to be divested of the pollution and defilement of the past month.

Here is a novel idea…it would actually resolve Baltimore…and other matters as well:

Do Justice.  Love Mercy.  Walk Humbly.
Love, Charissa

 

A woman burns sage on the streets of Baltimore – 

Shameeka Dream walks along a line of Maryland State Troopers stationed on North Avenue while burning sage in the wake of protests for the death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore, Maryland on April 28, 2015.19

Please: Try to Grasp This, And Change…

Constance, this quote below…just this.

All you have is your experience in this world.  The good…the bad…the whole and broken…add to that the sorts of experiences that the quote speaks of.

I would add one thing:  dysphoria is a real condition that exists, of utter dislocation that transcends understanding, acceptance, and action.  It can be managed and worked around, even built into certain things?  But it can never be thought away, prayed away, or believed away.

The brain and body of a person with gender dysphoria will never flow together
They are oil and vinegar.

As such, they can be a fabulous and tasty dressing…but they will not find the congruence that is present with a cis-gendered person.

So all the crap and stuff that all humans endure?  Differently abled people endure all that with additional conditions placed on their lives…dysphoria is one of them.

That doesn’t give me or any dysphoric person a pass…because each human has conditions on them that are invisible to everyone else.

So be tender hearted…understanding…full of forgiveness…and above all be kind.

Lives depend on it.

Of all the things I keep trying to tell cis people, “don’t presume your child’s gender” is the one that they consistently, deliberately refuse to understand and it is so deeply telling.

You cannot truly understand the transgender experience, and cannot count yourself an ally, until you accept that the trauma of being transgender is not inherent, it is a product of being coerced into thinking that you had absolutely no choice but to be the gender you were assigned.

Not “born with”, not “biologically”, the gender you were assigned.

The problem is assignment. The problem is doctors and parents believing it is their place to dictate their child’s gender, starting before they can even conceptualize what a gender is, let alone have the mental development necessary to object to what they’re given. This defines a child’s entire life, cuts short countless possibilities. It etches itself into the fabric of our developing minds and it is a ticking psychological time bomb for those children who are given a gender assignment that they cannot or do not wish to live with. This culture of dictated identity must end if transgender people are ever to be regarding as whole and equal members of society.tumblr_nlge4suDYH1rqi803o1_540

Trellis of A Future

Hush, Angel…
what?  Oh, that…
yes, you are my angel
and always with that stardust
brushed on your heart’s eyelids
like Heaven’s mascara decorative and blessed.

I know you
built the walls
(you used my flesh
and blood as brick and
board and stone and mortar)
and your hands are covered in the stain and effort.

Never mind,
do not try to tear
it down, or dismantle
what you did not see you built.
I HAVE A PLAN!  See, Ima grow
up and down and in my Lady’s Chambers

and cling
to divisive bricks
and cursing stones
and hangman boards
and bloody bones, in beauty
and covering all with fragrance

the fragrance of forgiveness
and love forevermore.

I Will NEVER Not Believe

I will never not believe,
my dearest one, who, sitting there

in lashings out and shifting blames
and broken memory
and cursed names…tumblr_nmxsy40oMQ1tp8egbo1_1280you hate me for most everything
and hate the things I hold most dear,
the only Things that kept me here,
for that you hate the most, I fear
for I did by Them to Life cling
and midst death’s horrors tune and sing.tumblr_mxvhxcDh2c1qadx22o1_1280There is nothing I can say
I have no avenue or road
though if I could I would,
and time thus slowed

to return to each and every time
to lay me down and pray the Lord
my soul to take in payment there
to give you wholeness now, my dear.tumblr_nlais89Dc31upmhfmo1_1280but to not believe? Never…
it’s not that I would not give you
the gift you think you need, I would
but I cannot, because They can
in “my life”, this dead woeful run.tumblr_mxg4a0SSTf1shqs68o1_500No matter what is said or sung,
no matter every fist that shakes
or heated voice above the fray
I always wait for coming day
to shatter this long “marish night”
oh this is me, Childe of the Lighttumblr_n10ceb4aZy1rxq5upo1_500and I ever will believe
that Jesus will my pain relieve
and heal the wrongness of my hands
and gather all the scattered sands
and run them back into the glass
and help you regain memories
of glad joy, life, of you-and-me’stumblr_ndqdibPKdN1skelofo1_500I will never not believe
I will ever just believe
while ravens pull my innards out
may this restore something in you
if there is anything called grace
may it give you back your face
and everything that got ripped offtumblr_nn65aprWoq1tbs5tuo1_1280restoring everything to you…
mostly I wish you had your history true
and shared together with us but

I will never not believe.

Nevertumblr_n2vydq86xI1t2po5ao1_1280

Give me Ayin Tovah!

Give me Ayin Tovah!
Please oh LORD!
I need that “good eye bright”

to see clearly in that glad light
the world and all that lives therein
more clearly than my dull blind sin!tumblr_n2iappSj2j1r0f8s4o1_1280I choose that which is most dear,
that which is higher than the rest,
that which is pregnant with the best of best,
OH!  Give me river sight like waters
that rive 
out canyons deep and great
and beautiful 
in what has quick
been seen and then removed!tumblr_nk3x02fyaf1txde3xo1_1280yeah, I admit it’s true, that siege

of heart and soul by warring sides
with all opinion to the south
and every thought discordant lurking
dead north in sly quick ambush!

But it’s okay, I’ll use this pain
to myself remind to keep my eyes
wide open, kind and wider still
than the mouth of Jonah’s whale
and my heart here open wider in this gale.tumblr_nn0hrrh4u11r2zs3eo1_400This is the key to our city on the dungheap
our city of ruins and all about is strewn
our cut off-ness from rich gold transcendence!
Because there is always persistence
of good, of beauty, and truth shines bright
and its pure light is all around us!

All I have to do is rest my naked eyes
on the most mundane things and not
blindly ignore that jarring exhibition
of our propensity for estrangement!tumblr_n58agq7P2R1qg4kx9o1_1280If I can manage to keep my eyes stripped
of fear and fig leaves, then I can manage
the gentle gifts and unveiled grace implied
in every true glimpse of beauty and wisdom!

“All human nature vigorously resists
grace because grace changes us
and the change is painful,”
wrote Flannery O’Connor, 
lost
in one of those times when God woos

slowly with beauty, grace, and grandeur, woes
like seeing evulsive rivers woe and woo
the earth, moving in a manner
that is missed so easily by busy lives
or critical lives so readily distracted
in a focused pointing elsewhere
(or any other where, for that matter).tumblr_n58alvXEN21qg4kx9o1_1280In those mad times we are the mere
commuters between here and there
in Metro stations oblivious
to the works of Art before us, and
our estranged stony faces
miss the manifold displays
of a many-splendored God’s great graces
in such singular eternal entirety!

But other times, alas
it is we who find ourselves
moved nearly to blindness,
as we labor to take in
the glory of this God
in every startling moment,
like Moses or Isaiah lost
in deserts or in visions…

…Give me Ayin Tovah!
Please oh LORD!
I need that “good eye bright”

to see clearly in that glad light
the world and all that lives therein
more clearly than my dull blind sin!tumblr_m5z0ntTwTe1qa6xujo1_1280

Blue Beneath My Feet

this old stone house,
so grey and brown,
rough in texture,
tough in time,
shingled by
moments.

I finally got
the electricity on inside,
I finally see
from room to room
and everything
between,

and just when I found
the windows and
the verdant greens beyond and
the aqua blue beneath

it all went orange and then
began to change to red.
All red, all around
and blue beneath my feet.

The doors are locked (for now)
and windows blocked
and I am trapped inside

the stone and brown
beneath the shingles scratchy
and surrounded by the red
that fades to brown
and then to nothing

But it flows,
that blue stream
alive and cool and sweet
and whispers to me
of a place where all is true
a place where all is blue

blue beneath my feet

I Cannot Do This Alone by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

I Cannot Do This Alone
by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

O God, early in the morning I cry to you.
Help me to pray
And to concentrate my thoughts on you;
I cannot do this alone.
In me there is darkness,
But with you there is light;
I am lonely, but you do not leave me;
I am feeble in heart, but with you there is help;
I am restless, but with you there is peace.
In me there is bitterness, but with you there is patience;
I do not understand your ways,
But you know the way for me….
Restore me to liberty,
And enable me to live now
That I may answer before you and before men.
Lord whatever this day may bring,
Your name be praised.

Amen6a00d8346998ff69e201b7c76f23e9970b

 

What Is Love?

Do you love someone?

What is that like for you?  When they please you is it fantastic?  When they hurt you, whether intentionally or inadvertently, do you want to just pull away and cut them off?

What is love?

I really don’t know what it is for other people.  But I do know that love for me is constant and present in me for those I love, regardless of what happens.  Regardless of words spoken, or words withheld.  Regardless of indictments scathing and maybe not even true.

I am haunted by Love…it never leaves me.  It burns true and sure in me, though it has the hardest time getting from inside me to outside me thanks to the plethora of flaws and foibles present in me.  But it carries me…Love does.  Right straight past the wreckage strewn pile-ups and blood everywhere.

I recently heard someone talk about how they couldn’t believe in someone anymore…someone they had professed to love…and I thought about all the times that my beloved has let me down, all the times I have let her down.  I thought about all our times together in the midst…and how even in the pain, NO…especially in the pain Love burned even brighter inside.

Love is your choice to set stock on someone.  Love depends on your choice, and it has nothing to do with the one you choose to love.  And after that?  Love doesn’t even really notice when it is wronged or misunderstood or maligned.  It bears all things…believes all things, hopes all things…endures all things.

Love never fails.

Sometimes I feel like a fool, loving.  That way lays pain and sorrow and let down.  But that way lays truth too…lays joy…and ultimately lays victory.

Hey…if you are out there?  If you ever stop in here to read?  If you are curious, or if you need to stoke your rage?  Just in case you ever stop in…

I love you.  I will never stop loving you.  Til my dying breath, with the last drop of my sweat.

And my one and only prayer is that God in Their Grace would give you a revelation of the actual state of being of that love, and maybe even a lil insight into the terrible tributaries it had to traverse to even get to the outside world.

I have so much more to say, Loves, and yet there is nothing I can say or do right now that isn’t bound up a priori…so I am swallowing, and holding my face bare and still, and brazen in its love for you

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Anonymous: Her Blood is on your Keyboard

Constance…I am sobbing deeply right now.  Another transgender person dead, dysphoria eats another one of us, and what’s worse but not at all unusual is the way that the cis-world egged her on.

I cannot imagine the cruel hearts of the people who said such horrible things to her.

But I will be blunt:  everyday, you need to remember that most transgender people are treated with staggering othering and policing.

I myself am shunned, and my history is distorted and fabricated.  My narrative is hijacked in service of a myth that allows people to feel good about the indifferent uncaring way they choose to live.

It weighs on a person, it does.

Constance, everywhere around you someone is suffering, someone is laboring.  How about just be kind?

Please?

Someday you will wish you had been, if you’re lucky.

Trans woman, 23, kills herself after being attacked online | Gay Star News.

Trans woman, 23, kills herself after being attacked online

#HerNameWasRachel
RIP Rachel Bryk.

A young trans woman has killed herself after being attacked online.

Rachel Bryk, 23, jumped off the George Washington Bridge, the bridge between New York and New Jersey, on Thursday night (23 April)

An eyewitness is believed to have seen the young woman leave her purse on the bridge and jump off into the Hudson River.

Bryk’s body has still not been recovered. A funeral will be planned when her body is found.

Her shocked mother Lisa Bryk, from New Jersey, found out on Friday morning.

‘She was super smart, really good with computers,’ she told Gay Star News. ‘We’ll miss her.’

Bryk was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis at a young age and lived with chronic pain. This meant she was unable to get a job or keep to a regular schedule.

She found her life in anime, nerd culture and computing. She helped develop an emulator that allows you to play Gamecube and Wii games on your PC.

But because Bryk was talented, and hard-working, and open about being trans, it meant she left herself open to online attacks.

When she said on 4chan that she was considering killing herself, she did not receive support.

‘DO IT, if you’re such a weak willed thin skinned dipshit then fucking do it,’ one anonymous commenter told her.

Even in her death, some on 4chan have described it as a ‘victory’. On news of her death, some commented that she was the ‘whiniest fucking faggot’ and ‘any tranny death is good riddance’.

Such comments clearly left Bryk severely depressed, who would often call herself ‘worthless trash’ on her Ask.fm page. Her Twitter bio page read: ‘[Trigger Warning]: suicide on everything i say.’

At Friday midnight, this was posted on her Twitter.

Rachel Bryk Tweet

The people Bryk worked with mourned her.

‘She will be missed greatly by everyone. We are stronger, better people thanks to knowing her,’ one said.

And another: ‘Rachel was more than just a great programmer. She was a great programmer who always managed to put a smile on my face. I don’t think that there ever will be anyone else quite like her. Rest in peace.’

When we asked Bryk’s mom how the family dealt with her daughter’s transition, she said: ‘It caused a lot of worry, because the world is not a kind place for people who are different.’

If you are considering suicide, please call the US National Suicide Prevention Lifeline on 1-800-273-8255. The LGBT National Helpline is on 888-843-4564, with the Youth line on 800-246-7743.

– See more at: http://www.gaystarnews.com/article/trans-woman-23-kills-herself-after-being-attacked-online270415#sthash.jcThC57T.kXWTRJ3X.dpuf

7 Things I Wish I Knew About Christianity Before Becoming A Christian

Straight talk from the erudite Stephen… He helps debunk “cheap Grace theology” Christianity. Thanks Stephen!

Stephen Mattson

Christianity comes with a lot of expectations. Some are biblical. Some, we’ve grafted on.

Sometimes we have unrealistic expectations of what our lives will look like after accepting Christ into our lives. We think seasoned Christians have it all together, always feel close to God and never doubt.

But it doesn’t take long for those illusions to be shattered. We soon realize that following Christ doesn’t look exactly like we expected.

Here are 7 things I wish I knew about Christianity before becoming a Christian:

View original post 906 more words

Spring Grey Me

here…coffee and cats, warm and sweet
and the window thin and clear
between me and out there
clouds close and quiet
and laying soft, snuggling over rainy earth

and you, thoughts of your life
snuggling in the base of my throat
sweet and thick, hurty-hearty present
and I morosely serene…staring
out the window at this grey new
spring morning.

thinking of beach bright you,
spring grey mesgm

Kánte Dikaiosýni̱s.  Agápi̱ Éleos.  Perpatí̱ste Tapeiná.
Charissa

Haunting Beauty, Redux

it has long been rumored
there was a night, that night
when Juliek, on brink of death
played Beethoven so hauntingly
in the dark for dying men, starved,
doomed to meet dark doom so soon
but regaled in that lurking dark
with beauty’s fire unquenchable…2008-5-10 Auschwitz No 5 - 6-24-2008 750I heard he played his violin
as if his very life was song
and offered as sacred lament
for each life draining there,
for each life straining there
on every holy note eternal,
every sacred note, sublime…

I heard the guards were sullen
and secretly afraid,
I heard they occupied that purgatory place
between beauty and brokenness
untouched by either one
and thus forever damned
until time finally ends…tumblr_nmaugjGTCt1u19ezpo1_400But some of them were haunted
then, always ever after
by beauty’s power to stop them
from ever being blind again
to human hearts and faces
to human agony,
to God’s beauty unstoppable
and to the aching horror of
the absence of plain beauty…

That common ache within us?
that longing inexplicable,
seemingly accidental
seemingly mere abstraction
but pregnant hot inside us
for such great transformation
that we can rest assured forever
that beauty is not accidental
beauty is not random,

but Divinely Transcendent
Transcendent and Eternal
Oh Beauty, Haunting Beauty.tumblr_nlmnsxwovO1thfeewo1_400

Haunted, Haunting Beauty

and now, here in
these modern spaces
defined by “beholder’s eye”
and beauty tenuous and lost
somewhere in between
there and nowhere
we only feel the loss
of that ancient place,
that ancient ideal
equally abstract
but oh so much more real!tumblr_lwz05n924V1qflyrno1_1280The place of Beauty
in a broken, breaking world,
how to recognize it
rather than define it,
those moments that stop us
dead in our fatal tracks.

Do you know beauty
is conducive to stillness?
It isn’t that which excites
or makes us want to replicate it.

No, it simply makes us exist,
makes us be, as though this being
is our deep quest and meaning
to exist for just this moment
and always just this moment
in longing, in fulfilment
in full participation
together with the aching
the longing for another taste
the needing just another glimpse…tumblr_n6akkn7ghY1s4e9y0o1_1280another glimpse
of haunted, haunting
Beauty.
much deeper than what’s pleasant
far starker than the pretty,
the common ache of beauty!
the common wound of beauty!

It’s beauty that transforms us,
it’s beauty so divine, like God.
For God’s beauty is such a beauty
able to embrace life as well as coming death,
a beauty both heart-breakingly
entwined with our sad brokenness
and offering us something more
transforming, more ne’er broken.tumblr_nmnjt0Cfxl1qa7gx5o2_r1_1280My precious dear, draw close
and listen with your heart:

wounds are meant to heal us,
broken parts of life are not okay, no
wholeness is our stubborn longing
and a most profound brave calling.

We were made for wholeness, dear
and beauty with us, in us near
Oh Beauty, Precious Beauty.tumblr_niyqycZwvG1sorugto1_1280

Never Ending Irish Rain

You still look cold.
You should probably
come closer
to the fire before
it burns out.

I know you don’t remember,
no, you can’t remember,
can you?
But you love this
Never Ending Irish Raintumblr_nn3cvkEnbH1sooy9go1_500pouring down so green 
and soft all cloaked around us
no matter where we are
in all of the whole earth
or time from the beginning blue…

you have jamais vu, my darling:  
not remembering something
you always see each day, but
you forget as soon as
it is out of sight,tumblr_nn2a2lpnUY1thfeewo1_1280and then you turn your head
your beautiful estrangéd face
to the other side of midnight
and behold that silky rain
(as if for the first time)

that Never Ending Irish Rain
fell green across the golden waters
and washing down those greying sands,
quiet, themselves ablaze, a-falling
like stars straight thru the night
tumblr_m8vyav6kyj1qdnleko1_1280your eyes glow with delight

your heart goes green with grace
and all time is this moment
on your estrangéd face so wet
til you forget again

this sweet and spicy curtain
this velvet mist refreshing
…this cry of your true Celtic Heart…
Never Ending Irish Rain…
your Never Ending Irish Rain
tumblr_nmnxhtV2Lj1thfeewo1_540

3 Lies We Need to Stop Telling About ‘Negative People’ — Everyday Feminism

3 Lies We Need to Stop Telling About ‘Negative People’ — Everyday Feminism.

Very good article, and it addresses yet another binary prison.

Constance, your pursuit of happiness is not going to be actualised in the elimination of people you think of as negative…

…and this is largely because true happiness is something that has everything to do with who you are or are not, not others.  Haven’t you noticed yet that every single “rilly rilly kewl” person you meet eventually does something or says something or is something that is unpleasant or (gasp) *negative*?

And I will say this, but speak for myself alone:  I take a certain pride and joy in interacting with “Eeyore” people, and then bringing joy to them.

How in the world is anyone ever going to influence anyone anywhere for joy?

People who are toxic and will destroy you if you let them?  Okay, those people you would be wise to avoid if possible, or if not then be suited and booted around.

But people who are simply “negative” are likely reminding you of something about yourself that needs changing, and so Charissa says keep them around, and learn to grow!  Give them some grace.

Someday you’re gonna need some for yourself.

Do Justice.  Love Mercy.  Walk Humbly.
Charissa

How Living With and Loving Bruce Jenner Changed My Life Forever | Linda Thompson

How Living With and Loving Bruce Jenner Changed My Life Forever | Linda Thompson.

Umm…okay, so this was unbelievably difficult/wonderful for me to read.

Just soo relate to many things, and so impressed by this amazing woman’s compassion for Jenner.

May they both be blessed with compassionate days.

Bruce Jenner’s Special With Diane Sawyer On ABC’s 20/20 Sets New Bar For Reporting On Transgender Issues

Constance, this is a pretty dang good analysis of the Jenner interview.

*I am calling this person Jenner for now…while Jenner has given request for male pronouns to be used for the interview and identification currently, Jenner has also unequivocally declared as female.  I remember those early days myself, and my mindset that I could/would accommodate everyone else, whom I mistakenly assumed were acting in good faith that matched my own…I was wrong to assume this, and wish now that I had just asserted myself*

*Just in case this is true for Jenner too…I will simply use Jenner’s surname until it becomes clear where on the spectrum Jenner connects in*

Bruce Jenner’s Special With Diane Sawyer On ABC’s 20/20 Sets New Bar For Reporting On Transgender Issues.

Gabriel Arana is senior media editor at The Huffington Post.

Re-Posting Nicole Mott on Bruce Jenner

Constance, here is a post from a Facebook friend concerning Bruce Jenner.  While the opinions about Jenner as a person are hers, the concerns/facts about that vast majority of transgender people are quite real, and she so articulately expressed them.

Thanks, Nikki!  Your words RAWK!

So, Bruce Jenner.

I am so tired of hearing this person’s name. So sick and tired of it…

There’s been this stuff swirling around across what I’ve dubbed, the “Transphere” concerning idols, and all of that…what a crock…

Let me first state that being trans is NOT who you are. It is a PART of who you are like having brown eyes, or green skin (I dunno, maybe you do?). A lot of people choose to make it central to who they are as people, and that’s fine…you know what? Those people can do whatever they want to do, but it STOPS there, with them. I’m not in that box.

When someone sees me, I don’t want the light bulb to go off, “Trans.” in the same way someone else you might see triggers something else. When this happens, we surrender our person hood, in exchange for an issue. We are no longer people, but instead representatives of an issue. Try doing that, and having a meaningful existence…I dare you.

I am me. My life experience has taught me that while being trans may be a permanent part of who I am, and always was, it does NOT define me, and even if it did, that definition it yields for me is vastly different from that of another person who is trans.

When most lay people hear the term, “Transgender” they tend to think it means someone like me, for example, someone just like me.

“Oh, I knew someone who became a guy. That’s cool!”

or,

“Yeah I have a friend who became a girl, he’s still my best friend!” (Obvious gender pronoun errors, because who their friend is, and identifies as isn’t important to you, only what they mean (or meant) to you. Grats on being selfish, and inconsiderate or someone’s inherent self-worth and dignity.

In both of these examples, what’s happened is that people think that transgender means one thing, and my oh my, that couldn’t be further from the truth.

I will say this now, and I seldom ever just post it on my wall, but I was diagnosed with transsexualism, and that was treated under the care of a team of doctors via gender transition everything ranging from Hormones to Surgeries. My lived experiences are absolutely NOTHING like this person’s.

My personal feelings on this “Bruce Jenner” crap comes from a place of protectiveness. I am sick of this story getting air time, and these well-to-do 1%’s feeding their lusts for attention. This isn’t a game!!! People get hurt because of the attitudes propagated by this garbage….and that is EXACTLY what this is.

My protectiveness comes from the suffering of people who are trans. The people who deal with the shit from ground zero EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. We have the highest suicide attempt rate IN THE WORLD with almost ONE in every TWO people attempting. Then you have this person creating a circus of non-sense giving Cis people and others who have no idea what Trans is, so much ammo to continue the abuses, the bullying, the murders, the legally oppressive laws for us to go about our daily lives.

I AM SICK of it.

What’s more important to mention here, and I did hit on this on a previous post on a friend’s wall, is that as a “community” there really is no “trans” community, but more of a loose grouping of people defending human rights, specifically gender identity and expression. We can not agree on anything at all concerning who or what is trans, what that means or doesn’t mean…possibly because there is no categorical way to classify the breadth and scope of the human experience.

Fact is: We are all people, and gender identity and expression, while an innate part of who we are, is not the defining characteristic of who we are…but a smaller component of a much larger entity.

Get this crap out of the media already. There’s no doubt going to be a negative impact because of it, and I can see it all over our local news station’s Facebook pages.

I do not like this person being in the news, and I think it serves to do more harm than good. Most of my posts are usually much more supportive than this, but we’ve seen too many train wrecks with public figures, and I just don’t want, nor do I care to see social attitudes decline and make life more difficult for every day people like those on my friend’s list.

I feel the same way about this, that I do when someone with Autism commits a murder, and they try to lump all people who are autistic into the murderer categories.

Bruce Jenner is NOT an idol, and needs to go away. ASAP.

/rant_over

Now, I’m going tend to my garden. Have a blessed day heart emoticon

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“Who Are We To Judge…”

Constance, I likely will not post an awful lot about the Jenner Transition Announcement until she gets further underway.

I totally, utterly get where she is at right now.  She is thinking things about how she is not that worried about pronouns, and how she is willing to overlook the othering and policing that is going on right now, yadda yadda yadda…she feels a responsibility to other transgender people to effect a graceful transition with dignity.

But deep down inside…all those things are hurting her, affecting her, wounding her.  She doesn’t need me adding to the cacophony of noise surrounding her (and all of that exacerbated because of the family dynamics she married into). Eventually, she will begin to find her bearings and her voice, or if she already has, she will begin to express it in her own unique ways.

But I will be commenting on things that orbit her transition, things that are revealed and illuminated as a result of her decision, and here is one of them:

On my Facebook page, a friend linked to an article about her transition.  That article is here:

Bruce Jenner’s declaration creates an opportunity

What was telling was in the comments on the Facebook post, all generally very supportive, but one stood out to me.  It simply said “Who are we to judge…”

“Who are we to judge…”

Constance, do you see why that comment jumped out at me?  Yes?  Jot down your thoughts about it…or No?  No you do not see anything odd about that comment in relation to gender identity?

Well, Cis-Constance, imagine yourself being introduced to someone, and them very kindly and sagely assessing you and then saying to you and everyone “Who are we to judge…” and then shrugging as if to say “to each their own”…

 

as if your gender identity is something that is up for judgement in the first place!

as if your gender identity is an article of clothing that you simply decided to wear that day.

as if your gender identity was a moral choice you made or make.

Gender orientation is put into the same classification as sexual orientation and then judged as a moral choice, and this is simply incorrect and unfair.

There is orientation that is a given…and then there are behaviors that descend from choices that we make as creatures who are moral creatures and subject to moral constraints as determined by God and current cultural climate (and those are rarely congruent, btw)…the behaviors themselves are what I choose to do…but the orientation is who I was born to be.

Orientation is not moral behavior.  It is simply the given baseline.

You as a cis-gender person are never subjected to the statement “Oh…you say you are a (fill in your biological chromosomal state).  I see.  Well, who am I to judge?”

And that, Constance, is the very epitome of cis-gender privilege!

Don’t get me wrong…I love the compassion that is at root behind the commenter’s post…but gender orientation is not a matter subject to judgement any more than race is, or that there is a brain in a skull, or that there are arms and legs on a human.

The deep underlying ignorance that is being exposed in the light of gender-education right now is the notion that gender-variance is a moral issue!  The deep presupposition fostered in our binary is that any person who is cross-gendered is by definition subject to moral assessment should they decide to authentically live out who they are in spite of the external casing they are housed in!!

Do you see this?

The commenter is correct:  we are not the judge of one another and should not judge one another.  But the issue that she applied this moral principle speaks volumes of how far we have to go yet as a culture, and why we transgender people are subject to such tremendous othering.

Even the way we are supported is often times OTHERING!

I have the same internal response when people say to me “Hey, whatever makes you happy makes me happy”…and they are sincerely “for” me in terms of their willingness to accept me.

But they have no idea just how deeply they sentenced me to more time in the gender penitentiary.

“Mr. & Mrs. Cis-Gender Constance:  Tear down this wall!!2008-5-10 Auschwitz No 11 - Final 2-1-2009 750

My Stance Regarding The Past, and The Distortions That Are Clung To

Just because your pain is understandable, doesn’t mean your behavior is acceptable.
Steve Maraboli, Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience

Keep this one in your back pocket for the next time someone acts like an ass and then tells you they’ve been through a lot of stuff. Respectful and yet still firmly keeping respect for yourself.

Respect for myself…this is new to me, for I have not really ever been aware of a “self” to respect!  The self I knew was more a naught than a presence.  What I was not plus who I was not added up to me equalling naught, and thus I never respected myself.

I do now…and taking responsibility for shortcomings does not make me responsible for the distortions and poor choices of others in reaction to them.  I can joyfully embrace my opportunity to express my true remorse in not being the perfect person I desired to be and not being “the best (fill in the blank)” I could be…

…but then letting someone add cruelty to this?  Allowing them to dehumanize me, devalue me?  Diminish me?

Nah, I don’t think so…not going there anymore.  Respect for myself means that I own my behavior and let everything else go, and oddly, I think this sets other people free by placing them in accountability for their own choices in how to respond to my shortcomings and places a responsibility to respect themselves by acknowledging their own failures.

Hey, if Victor Frankl can overcome what he did, choose a proactive life in spite of those grave horrors?  So can I…and so can you.

Do Justice.  Love Mercy.  Walk Humbly.
Charissa Gracetumblr_nn05mm9MLU1slipiho1_500

A Thoughtful Implication In Favor of Relationship…

Constance, this lil essay below illustrates a similar experience that I have virtually everyday, except from the other end of the spectrum and working back.

I liked it, for it did a great job of revealing the underlying obligations that the paradigm encumbers all of us with.

Please chew on it awhile…and then think about how you can take people for who they are as the inside soul reveals, rather than how the outside accoutrements imply…one involves assumption, and one involves relationship…

“swanjolras:

okay, i have been trying to say this in a way that makes sense for ages, so here goes:

a lot of hatred of dresses, pink, stereotypically “feminine” stuff is based on internalized misogyny. and that’s definitely something we all need to look at within ourselves and address and work on.

but: a lot of hatred of dresses, pink, stereotypically “feminine” stuff is based on the fact that femininity is compulsory for people who are assigned female at birth.

like, this is a fact. this isn’t something i’m making up. femininity is compulsory. i have to wear dresses and makeup to be taken seriously when i go to job interviews, when i go to social occasions, when i present myself in any formal setting. when i don’t do that, people notice. they’re rude to me.

when i shop in the men’s section, store employees and customers glare at me! my relatives press feminine clothes on me during the holiday season because they think i should dress in a more feminine way! when i go to get my hair cut and ask for it to be cut in a certain style, the woman cutting my hair literally ignores that explicit instruction because it’s “too butch”. femininity is compulsory! i am not allowed to present my gender the way i would like to present my gender!

it’s not the fault of femininity that it’s being forced on me. and the patriarchy does devalue femininity. and the current rhetoric of “you can wear pink and skirts and still be a feminist and still be queer and it’s other people’s fault for not taking you seriously, not yours for dressing that way” is great.

but i’ve heard people say to me, “you can wear lipstick and dresses and still be a feminist” about a thousand times, and i have never, ever,ever heard someone say to me, “you can refuse to wear lipstick and dresses and you are no less of a woman than someone who does wear them.” i had to figure that out all on my own.

i’m allowed to be angry at the cis women who force me to present myself in a way that i don’t want to present myself. i am allowed to do that.

I will scream the bolded from the rooftops for you if you want. <3″

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Disconnected Fists

they are visible, don’t worry, it’s now clear.
you’ve made them known to us, you’ve brought them near.
you’ve parted the black night to show their flurry
you’ve pierced the darkness with them, they are here
in front of me, swinging in violent sphere
and they connected judgement with rank fear.

those hard bones writhe, they crawl beneath your skin,
those bones now brittle with the pain within
and become sharp-edged, cutting thru the din
with angles, planes, indictments of old sin
imagined, perceived lurking deep within
and cloaked beneath your tattooed skin so thin…

and seeing those determined self wounds glare,
those prison house tattoos inflicted…where?
haha!  where not is more the likely question!
those long years harboring the things you think
and living with that historical stink
to birth your athenaeum of hot ink.

yes, I see them hanging, disconnected fists
I see the ritual mutilating notes
written on you, canvas once so soft
and now a record of your fists aloft
and shaking clenched, like Charon’s fated boats
attempting to defeat the smothering mists…

i beg you…let your hands let go of you
and let the ink run backwards up your arms
and let forgiveness work her healing charms
and let your face be wet with grace’s dew
whatever…regardless, I love you
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Patience is a virtue…and so is Grace

I don’t chase people anymore. I learned that I’m here, and I’m important. I’m not going to run after people to prove that I matter.

That’s me…Grace.  Charissa Grace, and I did my best and better than most.  If you twist that, you would twist anything and thus I am free of your ravings.  I am sad that they are your crooning seducers.  I am sad they deny us the honor of growing thru difficulty because they distort normal brokenness and a lot of really great things into melodramatic horrors that never happened.

But I am not grovelling any more.  Slur me as you will.  I am still me, the same one who was faithful to the utmost to stay alive in the face of gut wrenching horror.

I matter.tumblr_n1l2fsmtwp1r28mvbo1_1280

If You Are A New Reader…

…I want to invite you to look back thru the months to dip into prior posts.  There is a plethora of plenty there!  Poetry, posts about a wide range of the issues faced in life that are poignantly illustrated by gender orientation, theological musings and spiritual experiences recounted.

You can discover who “Constance” is…and you are invited to join her if you wish.

You can definitely see growth and development in me, as I live and breathe in transition from a not-out but self-aware very dysphoric transgender woman who is perceived as a white male of power, position, and privilege to a more congruent and out transgender woman who is now regularly othered, policed, and yes occasionally even perceived as who I actually am and received in joy.

You will see the journey of nearly every transgender person who endures the loss of so many things, so many people, in the desperate quest to gain themselves.  You will witness how this quest is defined by the defenders of the paradigm as selfish and self-centered…when it is far more about finding a fort of safety from suicidal ideation and death.

But above all…hopefully…you will find a person who is making the transition that every single human being must find a way to make:  that transition from death to life…from works to grace…from self-centered ego-oriented pursuits to other-oriented sacrificial service.

And maybe, just maybe?  That life motto of mine can at the end of it all be found true:

Yielded Vessel Yielding Blessingtumblr_nlflo6rI7y1rrvadyo1_1280

Do Justice.  Love Mercy.  Walk Humbly.
Much Love, 
Charissa Grace

PS:  The best way to investigate the archives of Grace Notes is to use the calendar at the bottom of the blog page…or utilize the search function in the right hand margin.

Tears of Violet Flow

Tonite the rain
seeps 
from the sky
in windy swells
and shower sighs,
oozing sideways
thru the grey
and slowly
watering 
this day
and watering me,
here, watching.tumblr_n3twukp8la1txnrn6o1_1280you, sitting there,
on that strange bus
going…where?
Oh why’d you ride
that carriage dark,
Ah, why’d you treat
it 
like a lark
to ride 
that sterile
Mystery Train
of darkling Truth,
forgetting lessons
learned in youth…
and me, stood there,
near, watching?tumblr_nn0ix69kSK1qat5pio1_1280Your brother ran

that show, so full
of twisted fairy
tales 
for fools
who 
should know better,
don’t know worse
so they make sow’s ears
from silk purse,
intricate, smoke,
his modern show
of life and leisure,
ending bound up
in
 truth-mal-seizure
and me, in agony,
there,
watching.2008-5-10 Auschwitz No 2 - Final 6-24-2008 750
But then you turned,

you saw me there
and your face crumpled
as you stared,
and understanding
bum-rushed you
and carried you
from Timbuktu
into the truth
of you 
and me
and what our hearts
had knit 
together,
free and 
flesh
of flesh, and 
bone
of bone, 
you saw
me, 
stood,
there crying.tumblr_n9g7cv6wQk1r2tfp0o1_1280and then your face
turned inside out
and I saw your heart
all heliotrope
and bloodstone it
did drain 
back towards
the skies 
and then
it pushed out 
of
your eyes, 
and violet
tears ran 
down
your cheeks 
as your soul
broke 
in both
our grief 
while I was
there,
there, waiting.tumblr_n4zmziYZZM1rue7wuo1_1280And you ran fast
towards the door
and it did open
then, 
what’s more
you knelt and fell
down to your knees
and wept so bitter
in your lees
and I ran to you,
there, crying.tumblr_nmm2173GmL1r3t8ico1_1280and you on that step,
wracked with sobbing
to beat the band
and me on that
hot pavement sharp
and biting, crying
harmonic to
you sighing, and
your face covered
in tears of violet
flow somewhere
between red, blue,
purple, and grey,
like your eyes,
of velvet, violet
grey…

and then I woke
before we could speak
the words our hearts
broke to say
and never cease to say

and you were gone
midst tears…
midst tears of violet flow
and me left,
there, cryingtumblr_nmqb8alChS1trfg04o1_540

The Reality of Transgenderism: A Stern but Necessary Critique of Carlos Flores’ “Stern but Necessary Critique.”

Constance…PLEASE hurry over and read this article! It is a powerful examination of the issue of gender orientation.

One of the things I like about it is that it highlights how the intersex condition of so many human beings by definition illustrates that the location of gender orientation is NOT in the presence or absence of any body part! Because why? Because lots of intersex people have both sets of body parts present, and yet identify themselves still as male or female!

This observation is a basic one, and is not exclusive of others who identify even more fluidly, but they illustrate the point as well: awareness of the incredibly complex and intricate issue of gender orientation is growing, is expanding, and as with so many things in history, is changing as our medical technology has the ability to reveal the previously hidden realities of humanity, who is fearfully and wonderfully made!

You might find yourself very comfortable with Flores’ simplistic and presumptive thinking…until you finish the article, and if your mind is even a bit open, you will have much to chew on.

Constance, I know you to be open minded, thoughtful, and committed to understanding, so I am confident you will be enriched by the experience…Reader? You? Well, you still show up here, don’t you? For whatever reason, you are still making tracks to Grace Notes! So buckle up, take your courage in hand! Mindsets are far more elastic than you previously knew, and God is far bigger than the box you built for Them! You too…press into this article, and let the truth continue to set you free!

Much love and bountiful Grace be unto you,
Charissa

Catholic Trans*


 The Reality of Transgenderism:

A Stern but Necessary Critique of Carlos Flores’
“Stern but Necessary Critique.”


It’s time to address a piece of writing that’s made quite a stir in the small intersectional world of transgenderism and Christianity. Carlos Flores’ article “The Absurdity of Transgenderism: A Stern but Necessary Critique” is what Baptist professor Denny Burk calls a “sharp argument for sharp minds,” and while it’s ostensibly a grade above most anti-transgender polemic out there, it still falls short on a number of levels. The questions Flores brings up are entirely reasonable, but his analysis is still fundamentally flawed.

In short, Flores argues that public policy must be made to reflect truths about the human person, and since transgender identities are obviously delusional, and delusions are necessarily antithetical to human flourishing, public policies should actively deny trans* rights. He goes on to compare gender dysphoria with anorexia…

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