9 political cartoons by Dr. Seuss that are still relevant today.

Well hello there Supporter of ttaf!  

Here is the good doctor who you assiduously made sure I read.  In fact, you taught me to read from his books!

This is a great skill to have, and it takes a much more active brain than watching Fux News all day ERRR FOX NEWS…

It stuns me that in this time of information access unparalleled in history, you have stuck your head even deeper into the sands of superstition and suspicion.

I finally understand what you mean when you say “Make America Great Again!”

You liked it better when racism was explicit and unconcealed!  You liked it when you could call people of color whatever name you decided…like “negro” or even worse…when you could “Jew prices down”, when you could mock Asian people’s beautifully shaped eyes…all the while telling me Jesus loved the little children of the world…

You want to go back to the days when people of color were “allowed” to live so long as they kept their head low and slunk around out of sight knowing their place, and you liked being able to shake your head sadly when some “boy” forgot his place and got hisself lynched.

Well, I am glad you gave me the tools to free me from your heinous ignorance and xenophobic fears…and I weep for you, whining and crying all about how you are getting cheated of your golden years when you can just be an old crank and vote for whoever you want.

You do have that power…the problem is you are voting for an out and out racist who is committed to harming people who are Other (whether racially, religiously, or identity)…

you are voting for a misogynist who wants to erase and kill your very own child…because the funny thing about evangelicals is they keep producing children who are variant:  sexually, gender, ability variant…

because you want an indulgence…

I am revolted by your callousness.

The legendary children’s author had some thoughts about “America First.”

Source: 9 political cartoons by Dr. Seuss that are still relevant today.

A Podcast About Gender And Science

Hi Everyone…

I have been listening to this podcast which is pretty good about getting some of the latest research out here where it can be digested and grappled with.

It is highly affirming of gender as being a continuum, both in existential experiential terms and in physical biological terms.

I highly recommend it, especially to that one from the past who reads here and makes an annual contribution of double grace.  This will be very good for you as you are growing and jelling in your realizations.

Radiolab Presents: Gonads

What It Will Take

ttaf supporter, you have been wondering “What will it take for relationship to be restored?”

Simply, it will take something like what Steve Schmidt has done…a lifelong deeply committed member of the Republican party who puts integrity and truth over ideology and money.

You promised me that if ttaf and his hoodlums tried to hurt me and my community you would renounce them.  You really never DID get it that your vote for them was a huge slap in the face to me…you trusted the lies of people with something to gain over the life experience of me whom you have known my entire life.

This was such a huge betrayal.

But there IS a way to begin to repair it…if you have the courage.

Read the link below…and know that I am waiting…

i am the moon | Charissa’s Grace Notes

I am posting my own poem again…because I have new readers and I want to introduce you to my true core rather than the prophetic broadsides I am compelled to post in the times of ttaf and monsters.

This poem speaks about what it is like to be “Othered”.

as i sit in tall grass
silky-lashing back and forth
quiet like tiger-tails talking
in air with movement

i think about the earth
spinning in space
circling the sun
amidst the stars
(but none of them close…

Source: i am the moon | Charissa’s Grace Notes

The Trump administration is bullying trans kids, and it’s up to us to stop it.

“…Efforts to attack trans students should be seen for what they are: politically opportunistic bullying. All these students want is to live their lives in peace, not to be political pawns, especially of the right.

“Trans people need support. I have faith that people will see through the lies of those who attack us, of those who try to use our children for political gain. If you’re ready to take action, there are real things you can do to help trans students and trans people.We need your help to fight back against the bullies…”

Source: The Trump administration is bullying trans kids, and it’s up to us to stop it.

State Dept. Retroactively Revokes Transgender Women’s Passports

Remember how you said you would fiercely oppose anyone who attacked me or my friends, colleagues, or those who share my status, oh supporter of ttaf?

I am expecting your communication telling me that you now believe me when I warned you of their intentions of evil against us in the LGTBQIA community.

In what may turn out to be yet another front of the Trump administration’s war on transgender rights, some transgender U.S. passport holders are claiming that the State Department has denied renewal requests even after the applicants already listed their gender as female on previously approved passports.

Source: State Dept. Retroactively Revokes Transgender Women’s Passports

Repost of A Call To Repent

From 2016…my thoughts on the popular evangelical christian “shotgun passages” they use to blanket condemn anyone who is not cisgender and heterosexual.  I am reposting this because I sense that there are many readers from the past, several of whom have issued blanket condemnation of me and others like me…and who I have not seen or exchanged a single word with for many years…and yet they somehow know the state of my eternal destiny and current connection with God…

It makes me so sad…but not for me, actually!  For THEM!  So cocksure, so sage and sad, caressing their chins ever so mournfully and yet so piously, rubbing their beards…and wallowing in their own human pride and selfish piousness.  People who claim titles like apostle and prophet, pastor and teacher…

people who Lord it over one another and practice a spirituality that is actually “homo-sect-uality”, and in fact the epitome of that abuse of power that Paul describes in the 1 Cor 6 passage, wherein an older powerful man exploits a younger and vulnerable boy…

I have seen (and experienced) that very exploitation myself.

It is my true hope that scales would fall off their eyes, as they did my own…where I discovered that the REAL transition of my life was transition from a self-righteous pit of death and striving towards a humble and broken compassionate vessel of the Love and Generosity of God.

There is also a link to a blog post by John Pavlovitz, and his listening experience to true christians who have been condemned by others…

“…Now, let’s see: I spot behaviors in this passage, behaviors that all focus on choices of the will…choices to commit various sexual sins (still not talking about orientations), choices to break commitments made to God and to other human beings (adultery and idolatry, which is a VERY tricky and subtle fault), choices to be envious that result in theft and coveting other people’s possessions, choices to become drunk and pursue a lifestyle of choice to indulge escaping from mature and fruitful living, choices to speak with anger and intense hatred in bitter speech to other human beings (yunno, like the comment section of articles), choices to THREATEN PEOPLE INTO DOING WHAT YOU WANT THEM TO…like the shunning that YOU REGULARLY DO to those whose ORIENTATIONS are imagined by you to be behavioral choices…

and yet somehow, ALL of the above choices you extend Grace and Mercy to, and almost all of those choices you have almost certainly been blood-guilty of yourself!! But you sit cheek and jowl in the pew with your fellow “unrighteous” and allow for yourselves and your cohorts in unrighteousness to participate in the Righteousness of Jesus and thus not only be forgiven, but in your mind EXCUSED from scrutiny…and you are content with the understanding that each person must scrutinize themselves with God (oh wait: Paul said that he did not judge even himself, for God is Judge)…”

Source: Love Wins (at John Pavlovitz’s blog) | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Blind Bartimaeus and You | Charissa’s Grace Notes

I am reposting this prose essay that I wrote in 2015.  Based on current readership, I think it might hit some hearts that are perhaps now harrowed by grief and plowed by sorrow, and tender, softened by trial to receive seeds of humility that may grow and blossom into the fruits of compassion.

At least…I hope so.

May we all find the grace to become as Bartimaeus.

It is clumsy and has arthritic hands when it speaks and cannot hold small fine brushes or move with nuance, and so it paints with a broad brush in generalizations and caricatures…it is cartoonish, buffoonish…it is guffawing and backslapping……and the absolute worst is that it advocates the very hatred and othering and policing against others that has wounded and killed so many in LGTBQ circles.

Somehow, hatred and othering is okay because “they have it coming”.

I would say that I am embarrassed for the individuals to whom I refer, except that I am so deeply dismayed embarrassment is too embarrassed to show her face.  I think it is clear that hatred is a human heart problem…and will never ever be conquered by more hatred…ever.  Hatred can only be driven out by love, and when love is met with more hatred, the only secret weapon it has in its employ is grace, as displayed by forgiveness and then more love.

Constance:  if you fail to grasp this essential truth, then you will be doomed to circle the constellations in this galaxy of ideas and ideologies that provide us with cosmic meaning and orientation, and you will dwell in one thinking it is finally the one with no idiots or haters present inside it…until you hear the voice of hate and bigotry emanating from within the very halls you hallow and inhabit!

Source: Blind Bartimaeus and You | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Those Awful Contradictions

This graphic simplifies a complex issue down pretty well…that of how nearly all evangelical christians are so blind to their own internal contradictions that do not follow in the slightest their own dogma that masquerades as “God’s Will”.

Look, it is no secret that in the days of Caterpillar Dude, I was right there in the bunch (at least, I was dogma-wise and mentality wise:  I taught the typical reflex on these issues and I made jokes and comments that were horribly evil and wrong, homophobic and transphobic and terrible…thank God I can say in all truth that when I spoke with actual humans who struggled with these issues I was compassionate and merciful in interaction…I was not able to go all the way and actually STAND with them, but at least they could regularly talk with me and I shared their burden)…

but after CD (Caterpillar Dude) entered the Chrysalis I was born…and in order to be born I had to confront my internalized transphobia and assumption that being transgender was the same thing as being a cross-dresser (which was assumed to be evil), or being a transvestite (which has LAYERS of assumption that had to be confronted)…

and as I studied the Bible, I utilized my grid of wisdom that I have come up with over the years with the multitude of issues that confront us in a modern world complex beyond the wildest dream of any single person whose words or writings contributed to the documents that are now held as sacred writing and containing God’s Word.

I start off with asking the question:  “Is this forbidden or spoken against by Jesus in explicit terms?”  Next I broaden the question to “Is this forbidden by the Epistles?”  Lastly, I go to the Old Testament and ask the same thing, but with a much different standard with OT writings…they are but the shadow of the NT…they are not authoritative ever again as far as being a prescriptive behavior standard!  They simply are not.  If one comes under the Law for ANY point then one has denied the efficacy of The Sacrifice of the Incarnate One…in EVERY point.

After doing due diligence here with the Bible (and using all tools I have available) and making every effort to be true, I can move to the next question:  Is this wise, practical, etc…does it fit with seeking first the Kingdom of God, with serving others, those sorts of things?

Next, I look at what the collected wisdom of humanity has to say about it, things like how other cultures and peoples have viewed this thing, how views have evolved in our own culture (and why), what the latest science shows us, what technology is revealing, etc.  An example of this would be how epilepsy evolved from being thought to be demon possession just a few hundred years ago and is now understood to be a simple issue of brain chemistry…and there are countless other such examples which each one demonstrate how superstitious and fearful the so-called elect of God are on a continual basis!

Next, I move to the circle of trusted people in my life:  what do they think?  And this one was very difficult in terms of trans-issues because of the depth of internalized transphobia and assumption that it was rare that anyone made it past the “of COURSE this is evil” to “what does the Word actually say?”  This is a perilous stage, because on the one hand you can deny the wisdom of counsel…and on the other hand you can deny the truth due to the fear of humans…it is my current view that it comes out in the wash, and only Jesus is capable of judging and knowing.

It is interesting how vindictive so-called friends and “brothers and sisters” are in this stage…when a friend of over 30 years tells me our friendship is over and never speaks to me again (all because he “loves me” of course…cus that is how you show love to a person…GAH!)…when another friend of 25 years never talks to me or contacts me even though I walked with him thru the darkness of panic attacks, the pain of doing deep inner wound work, stood by his wife as a friend to her and was told by her that I was “different than other men” and that my “leadership style” was different, and received…

how others from the past check in at Grace Notes like it is a soap opera (or are they like Nicodemus, wanting to approach but only under cover of night)…

and it completely and utterly confounds me how they all can “just know” that I am cursed to hell without even exchanging a word with me or seeing what work God has done!!  Like…it shows the depth of hypocrisy!

Finally I look at the feasibility of some decision personally, at the very end of the process mentioned above…and at that point I take stock, make my move, and live it out.

As I did this with the issue of gender, I inevitably had to examine my assumptions and convictions regarding sexual orientation and expression…which I followed the same pattern…the big difference being that I looked at more sources and commentaries and points of view when it comes to the NT aspect of the subject.

Jesus said nothing about it.  Period.
Paul lists off a particular expression of a relationship that was a power-abuse relationship that took form in a homosexual relationship between a powerful older man and a vulnerable younger man…and that expression is buried in amongst a number of other power-abuse acts that humans engage in.

I have written about this at length previously and you would be best served to look there for my deeper thoughts and discoveries…

And I came to understand that in the same way that something happened to me as I grew and I was just become at birth as I am, so too this happened/happens to people in regards to sexual orientation and that my understanding of The Gospel and of Love and most importantly Humility had to change, to grow and shrink!

So here is the problem, evangelical christian:  your contradiction is showing SO HUGE!!  Because on the one hand, you defend ttaf, offering him what you understand to be forgiveness and he understands to be a free pass to be a monster…yet on the other hand you deny that same pass to LGTBQIA people…

…and again, remember that I find your stance problematic on theological grounds as well as consistency grounds…both

I have not witnessed in my lifetime a deeper depth of debasement and hypocrisy by christan people than that which has been surfaced by the appearance of ttaf…the same people who pledge fidelity to him as “God’s anointed” would weep and wail and gnash their teeth if every single thing charged about ttaf were exactly the same, but Hillary Clinton’s name was there instead.

Try it.

Step out of your bubble of fear which imprisons you to Fox News and ONLY Fox News (even though you ignore the massive defections going on there by people of true integrity and courage who recognize ttaf is a monster)…and pull up any summary of the allegations/charges/actual true things that ttaf has done and is accused of…and have your own “refutation sources” ready…and then just simply exchange the names:  Clinton for ttaf…

what do you think now?

See what you have swallowed, what you have become?  And that you are aged and sick and tired and want to hold close the lies and deceptions to preserve a sense of honor for yourself makes it all the worse, having run strong this far only to at the end bend over and kiss the boot of the tyrant and honor satan with your acceptance of lies!

See…any application you seek to make that condemns the LGTBQIA people to hell a priori is also an indictment against ttaf…and any sop you offer to condone and expiate ttaf must also be offered to LGTBQIA people in toto!!

It hurts me in my deepest hurt as I imagine you taking stock of your capitulation when you are leaving this world, knowing that you sided with evil at the end…

“…and in those days even the elect will be deceived…”

This is far more you than me right now.

God grant my eyes stay open and my heart tender…and that I err on the side of the weak and broken and that I resist Empire.

 

A Lil Note To Followers of Grace Notes

I am truly honored and not a little surprised that anyone reads here…let alone FOLLOWS here!

Lately, I have been working on a book of my original poems, handwritten and hand painted…thus, a lot of my creative impulse is expressed there these days.

Fear not! LOL!  I have many drafts for poems, and when I get this book done I will return to my typical writing.

I also write a lot on Facebook these days…so you can find me there and read more of my thinking (unless you are a troll or a person from my past who supports trump the absolute fucker, or a person from my past who says I am going to hell…we will have a contest, you and me, on Judgement Day.  You, like the prophets of Baal will have all your writs, your decrees, your dogmas and fears and traditions and hatred, and you shall testify mightily while They listen to you.

And I?  When it is my turn, I shall simply say “I plead the Blood of Jesus and Confess His Mighty Name”.

We’ll see who wins).

Anyway, thank you for reading here, this accounting of a life in transition, trying to be close to the Ones I love most…and trying to deal with the loss of the ones I love most.

Carapace | Charissa’s Grace Notes

I wrote this 4 years ago…a lifetime ago…when I first began to see I really really REALLY had a shell over me…and that it was possible to live free.

I want to challenge you today, especially if you are cis-gender and not transgender:  what shell are you living in?  What transition must you make as a soul, one that is not a transition of gender, but your own answer to the call to “cross-over”?

Are you called to cross over into creativity and leave behind the world of grubbing for money?

Are you called to cross over into true relationship with God, leaving behind the shell of conservative evangelicalism that is nothing more than a gateway to the gas chambers, with a sign over it saying “Welcome to Hell?”

We all are called to trans…from death to Life…from works to Grace…I pray you find your courage and begin!!  Cus the water is fine.


“It caged me in its cold confining bars.
Long have I been its lost and longing thrall,
its tenant-serf of weary plodding on.
It’s clung, tentacled round my throat, my eyes,
and darkness was its cruel confederate
who caged my strong uprising Ne’er-Say-Die…”

Source: Carapace | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Pence secretly drafted Trump’s latest transgender military ban – ThinkProgress

You told me that you would stop supporting them if they did anything to hurt me or my friends…

Money, meet mouth.

Junk science informed the new order, not military readiness.

Source: Pence secretly drafted Trump’s latest transgender military ban – ThinkProgress

A Look Back That Inspires

Something happened today which prompted me to want to repost something that I wrote in January of 2014…so long ago, and yet only 4 years…

In order to understand where I am at emotionally and spiritually in light of the event which transpired today, you need a bit of a refresher…an understanding that the repost at the bottom of the page was written BEFORE so much took place:

I wrote the words I am reposting before I wrote about the beginning of the shunning from the spiritual culture as defined by the vast majority of Christian Evangelicalism…these words, which talk about the nearly total experience I have had with Christians from my past (there is one…ONE person who has verbally, physically, emotionally and spiritually received me who is from my past.  She did so with tears of joy and literal kisses all over my cheeks and forehead, and was stricken as she thought back to the prison I was in and she was amazed that God had loosed this captive so wonderfully).
I wrote them before I wrote about a baby step of coming out that was looming…and ended up being a devastating attack and shunning by the time it played out.

I wrote them before I wrote about the shunning that happened on a monolithic totality in regards to every single friendship from the past which happened when I came out…I received a letter from a person that I had known for 30 years…a person that I had worshiped beside, shared many meals with…a person who had lived in our home…a person who I had walked alongside as they sojourned thru the valley of the shadow of an addiction which nearly destroyed family and self…a letter that shunned me in the Name of Jesus, The One Being who welcomes me constantly and says that His Blood is enough and more than enough for me…

I wrote them before I wrote of the public shunning that happened, when it was the searing abandonment in public circles.

I wrote it before the 21 Gun Salute took place, that professional execution I endured…that death, and the subsequent resurrection from those Phoenix Ashes…

I wrote about it before the horrid attacks coming from supposed Christians which were filled with literal perversions, profanities, and exhortations to kill myself…all given in the name of Jesus of course.

Yes.  That literally happened.

So what happened today that precipitated this reminiscence?

This:  there is a man from my past, a person that I met in the late 80s and who I was in close proximity with until the year 2005…this man operated (and perhaps still does?  I really do not know.  Lord knows that I have grown up, been pruned back, become more and become less, been adjusted, and healed of terrible blindnesses…so I do leave room for the possibility that this has happened with him as well.  But I do not hold out a shred of hope, or a scintilla of expectation that this has happened, for the need of those who are deeply in thrall to a certain assumption and paradigm to punish me and punish me utterly is far greater than the ability to actually live out the sacrificial Love of Christ that went straight for every single person who was “yet dead in sin”…and not just to the so-called righteous)…

This man operated under a deep orientation that assumed all the doctrines related to “submission”, and truly felt it was the loving thing to enforce that notion…I have many many hurtful memories of those years, from the comments regarding my supposed “cheesy grin” that I supposedly wore (likely, it was whatever mask was on me during the deep dissociation of living trans in a male role and carrying the burden of remembering every detail so I could forget that I was a woman, and thus related to the fracturing events of early childhood) to the interactions which accused me of seeking to utilize my role as a worship leader on Sunday morning in service of self, to the utterly devastating final blow given in such “sad sorrowful tones” which said that my father was suffering and dying in the way he was because I was not properly submitted to “the leader” of this group…

There is no doubt whatsoever in my mind that every single one of these actions was done from true conviction that it was the right and loving thing to do, based on the paradigm in which he (we) swam…indeed, I myself interacted with people who approached me for help and counsel as they struggled with their sexual orientations in light of the teaching assumptions we were under…and I gave the “answers” I had learned…and I grieve over that…so deeply…

I myself bought into attitudes and distortions of good teachings that I sincerely and 100% believed, and I thought those with other understandings to simply be sinners who were seeking to justify remaining in sin yet still retaining connection to God, and I simply…well, I simply did not have an ounce of compassion…

I shared the privileged view of the privileged…and had NO CONCEPT of the Other…

And it wasn’t until I was no longer “one of them”, not because I resigned membership in privilege, but because when I transitioned I was executed swiftly…

In the personal-relational realm
In the spiritual-religious realm
In the professional-economic realm…

So I know that the intention of those times was, within his own heart and self, “good”…

We also shared many other times too…good times where somehow who was submitted to who wasn’t that important and was never even thought of…such as working on each other’s houses…putting out a fire that started on a hill and nearly burned the entire area down…eating meals together…

Those years…I believe it was about 17 years…during those years I did a lot of dying, and had a lot to die to…and that place was the crucible of purification, in which I gained much wisdom thru death to self.  I was so fractured…so young…and so deeply in the grip of dysphoria and dissociation which was the hidden reef under everything in my life.

He did not know anything about this…neither did I.  And looking back, sooo many things just SHOUT it out so loudly, and while it is occasion of grief and mourning looking back, it also is comforting to know that at least there was a reason for it!

Well…Charissa’s Grace Notes is a public blog.  And this man is a reader…regularly…how frequently, I really could not say, but based on my own internal tools I have as the creator, I suspect it is fairly regularly.

How did he even know I had a blog?  I have not exchanged a word with this man for years…a good 7 years before I even transitioned, and certainly not a word since transition….God forbid!  I am pretty sure he would not, and I KNOW I would not because I decided in 2014 that I would never again submit myself to spiritual abuse and attack from anyone to whom I was a priori a demon-possessed hell-bound apostate.

It is obvi that he found out about my blog via word of mouth…because it is funny:  the biggest evils that scripture has volumes of teaching about (the tongue, the heart) are so easily ignored in Christendom in order to condemn the phantom evils which scripture never even speaks about (gender variance and orientation)…and wowsa did the word spread like fire!!

In fact, the person mentioned here even swore to me that he considered it his spiritual service and duty to God to out me to every single person he met, lest he be tainted by my “sin” of intentional self-deception and thus have my blood on his head.  Yes…these sorts believe this:  “If you see your brother approaching destruction and you do not restrain them, their blood is on your head”.  They interpret this old Proverb as the license to attack anyone doing anything that is to them “a sin.”  He told me that he needed to warn every single person he could that I was anathema and not to be received among “the brethren”…

try and imagine how this felt, and feels…

So anyway, I know that the man I am writing about this morning found my blog fairly easily, but after hearing the words of the tale-bearers, those morsels of gossip that go down so sweet and titillating…

But he has stuck around…and has been reading…for a long time, if I am guessing right…and because I am made who I am, and because of my heart towards God and understanding that I have been made thusly to break down walls and uproot lies and then to plant and build true kingdom attitudes, I have held out hope…a very very teeny tiny shred of hope…

…that maybe he has done the work, read the research…maybe he has examined the scriptures and his own assumptions…maybe he has the courage to know that in spite of anything he might believe about gender variance, the person he knew was truly a child of God and is still one now…that maybe he has met other transhumans…

I am not optimistic about this, or myopic…the odds are VERY slim.

But this man has done something, not once, but twice.

He has contributed money to my transition fund, each time choosing an amount which is significant to me as the number of my name.

But I am leery.  It is not inconsistent with the old assumptions of that paradigm to do acts of charity or service for those considered lost and perishing.  It is thought of as heaping coals of fire upon the head…it is thought of as setting an example…and sometimes it is flat out a genuine expression of God’s heart of love.

How do I know this?  Because I have been there, done that…myself.  Previously.

I am also skeptical and very wary because one of those donations referenced my children…and there is a huge assumption in play in those circles that a righteous relationship with God is able to be detected in the condition of relationship with one’s children and other family.

(Remember the remark about my dad suffering because I was “not submitted” and “rebellious”?)

It is not by any means whatsoever a stretch to see that particular donation coupled with that particular remark about my children as the “coin of unsanctified pity” and ultimately as a dig, a cut, an arrow shot in hopes of providing a wound that cleanses and restores…and if it was that, it was an arrow that shot and wounded and brought death because there literally is not a cleansing and restoring relatable to gender variance and orientation.

God knows there are plenty of areas in my heart that need adjusting and cleansing…it just so happens that being a woman who was assigned male at birth is not one of those areas, anymore than anyone need repent of their gender orientation, or their hair color, or leg length.

So I am very wary.  (Oh yes:  the donation this morning simply said “thinking of you”…and that was both a very simple comment and a very pregnant comment.)

The first time it happened, I accepted the donation, spent it on my legal costs in fact…yeah, dude…you helped me change my birth certificate, a great day in my life!!  LOL!!!!  But I did not reply or interact with the person, because I do not expect that interaction to be life giving and healing, but rather to be a battle and ordeal.

And then it happened again, this morning, and this one is significant to me…

…you see, just before the end of the year, on New Year’s Eve morning in the early morning, I dreamed about this person!  In the dream, Jane and I had a place we were building up in the hills.  We went up there one day to do some work in our structure, which was framed and roofed and wired and plumbed, but lacked sheetrock or siding and finish work trimming…and when we got there, we were shocked to discover that the entire area around us had been developed and had structures on it of various states of completion…all told, the area had around 30 houses, where there had just been ours and a lot of wild land.

We looked around a bit, confused and concerned, when who should approach us but this man who donated to me this morning!  He walked up to us and called out to us…and looked me full in the eyes and greeted me with “Hello, Charissa, may I walk close to you?”  I was very taken aback that he used my true name rather than my dead name and that he knew he needed to ask permission before moving close to me!!!

I said yes, and watched as he approached, and saw tears in his eyes.  He extended his hand to shake hands, and I impulsively brushed his hand aside, greeted him by name, and gave him a hug.  He did not shy away from the hug OR from the double reminders of who I truly am…and then he broke the embrace and held my by my shoulders at arms length and said that it was really good to seem me, Charissa…and his tears were streaming down his face.

I motioned around me and said “So what is happening here, and why are you up here?”  Meaning the development and his presence where there had been nothing but our house and no one but us.

He looked down in what appeared to be sorrow or shame or conviction or regret, I really couldn’t get a good read on it…and then he looked up and said to us “I am so sorry, and I have been wrong.  God has been working in my heart…in our hearts…and we wanted to learn.”  I said “Who is the we you refer to and what are you sorry for?”

He said he was sorry for all the same things that I sorrowed over about what I used to think regarding LGTBQIA issues and Christian teaching, he was sorry about the same things I sorrowed about in terms of the expression of God’s heart in such a cancerous and poisonous way that evangelicalism has become…and that most of all he was sorry that he had automatically condemned transgender people to the label of (fill in your favorite slur, I am not using it today)…

and he said that the “we” he referred to were all people from this little group that grew up, insular and inbred, from a “school” that he helped to start and keep going…that around 30 people all had this deep repentance and wanted to walk away from that old set of beliefs, and that he had bought all the property around us, in order to live close to us and learn from us…

…and would we please teach him, teach them?

Well, Jane and I looked at each other, shocked, suspicious, wary, and on the verge of running.

(Credit: Tyrus Wong
Tyrus Wong, Bambi (visual development), 1942. Watercolor on paper)

But one this is so clear to me…more clear to me than nearly anything I have ever heard from God:  It is completely and utterly inviolate to me that God Themself planned and intended to create me as I am from the start:  A Transsexual Woman, who would grow up wounded and fractured and driven to God as my only hope of salvation from despair and ruination…and that it was a very sobering thing to Them to do this, for They knew full well the horror and pain this would be to me…and each of Them stepped forward and said “I am enough for her”…and the reason for this is that They had assigned my life destiny to be a prophetess to the people of God who forgot the Heart of God…to speak to them of God’s Heart for the ones who are slaughtered in every realm and sacrificed on the altar of gender…

and that it should be easy for those people to receive me and God’s message, for in those old days I doubt any of them would have thought I was hell-bound, and in those days virtually all of them thought that I heard from God regularly…even though “there is so much wrong” with me LOL!

And so because of that mission, that quest…and yes, the desire to set them free of their blindness and prejudice and hatred, we did not run…but stayed…and said that we would consider it, but had many things to be worked out, many boundaries to be defined…

The man was joyous in our response and agreed to this…

and then I woke up.

Of course, since this was a dream, I interpret the details and events symbolically. I got up from bed and sat and thought and prayed for awhile, wondering what in the world I was dreaming about that dude for!!!???  I had not even thought about him for a couple of years.  Jane held similar puzzlement about it…and we both thought that it was talking about “a neighborhood of understanding/teaching/thinking/transformation” rather than an actual sub-division, and we saw both the man and the people he referenced as symbolic of that whole group of “white, cis-gendered, straight, evangelical Christian conservative” human beings who literally have NO IDEA how much they are bequeathed things on the basis of their race, their sexual orientation, their gender purity, and their religious understandings.

So we said a quick prayer…and I promptly forgot about it.

Until this morning.

Here is this comment “Thinking of you” and this monetary amount…and the dream rushed back…along with all the wariness, suspicion and other emotions which come from the experienced trauma and trial of those years.

The crucial thing to know is this:  a bell, once rung, cannot be unrung.  A woman who gives birth is always a mother, even if the child dies.  There is no “going back” because there is no back to go to.

It is this way with me:  I will never go back.  He is dead, Caterpillar Dude…he is no more.  He is the “back” and is gone.  So there is no “going back”.

Any “kind indulgence” will not “induce to repentance” because there is nothing to be repented of in terms of my transition!  As to repentance of any kind?  Oh yes…the continual joy of beholding Jesus and being transformed by degrees from the glory of the letter which kills to the glory of the Spirit which is life…yunno…the same repentance we share in common.

I am not sure what I will spend this amount on…probably on my HRT, and this is a valued and well received gift.

I am always open to the generosity of heart and spirit that flows in God’s economy from they that have abundance to they that have need…and would always in that spirit welcome such donations/gifts…other gifts I have actually passed on to others in far greater need than I.

But if the spirit and intention of the gift is anything related to “getting me to go back”?  To “repent” of “gender heresy” and “assume my old name and role?”

There is not a chance.

Those things are further from me than East is from West.

And if that spirit and intention is thus impure, then I consider the donation to be “the spoils of Egypt” and still put it to good use.

Wow…what a ramble, eh?  If any are still with me, thanks for reading patiently.

Blessings to you today from our wonderful counselor and our comforter and the lover of our souls,

Charissa Grace White
God’s Graceful Gleam

 

via Updates about my life

My Only Way Out Today: an Anti-Poem | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Shudder.  SHUDDER.  SHUDDER!!!!!  This was written moments before that event, that seminal event that was the deepest violation, betrayal, and opportunity all rolled into one.  I forgive the ones who did this seminal penetration…but I will never ever be around them, ever again.

**********

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

Source: My Only Way Out Today: an Anti-Poem | Charissa’s Grace Notes

If LGBTQ People Were Handguns

Supporter of ttaf:  I tried to warn you that ttaf and his evil minions wanted to harm me.

You denied that, and told me that you would never support anyone who wants to harm me.

The decisions made by his administration prove this beyond a shadow of doubt.

I’ll expect your apology and your declaration of opposing ttaf due to his hate of your loved one…waiting…waiting…

Hmmm…gotta wait until Fux News tells you so?  I see.  Well, while you wait, chew on this notion the author puts forth and it may well give a differing perspective to you than the one you so blindly cling to.

Btw…it is simply a fact that yesterday Jeff Sessions argued that transpeople have no protection from discrimination in their job.  See, he thinks the right to not be discriminated against is something that doesn’t apply to transpeople.  He thinks being free from discrimination is for some people…but not for all people.

It’s a matter of time before you find yourself in danger as a consumer of resources and no longer a producer…or whatever other reason hate finds to exercise itself.

So ya got that going for ya…

It’s a real shame LGBTQ people aren’t handguns.
If LGBTQ people were handguns, this President would treat them with kid gloves. He’d be ever so careful with his words so as not to offend them.
He’d exercise the rarest of restraint, to avoid angering those who love them; couching his words in every moment, being…

Continue Reading If LGBTQ People Were Handguns

Source: If LGBTQ People Were Handguns

Mama You Told Me | Charissa’s Grace Notes

This poem is the sister poem to another one I wrote on the exact same day, several minutes earlier.

It was three years ago, and it was the day of my court hearing which would change my name legally…it was a huge day of excitement and anxiety…and it led to my professional execution less than 2 weeks later.

Ohh, but even in the loss of so much, it is worth it…for in it were the seeds of becoming.

I hope you enjoy one of my own personal faves

…and me…spit up and emptied
and waiting for You
to fill the silent spaces
that ate grace and jeered
while feasting on my food.
me emptied, waiting …
and my heart,
ego-stained and washed clean,
captured
by Your face,
Your gift,
Your grace…

waiting…for that one grain of sand
to start an avalanche within me
of hope, nay!
of Hope…

Source: Mama You Told Me | Charissa’s Grace Notes

After More Than 20 Years as Conservative Leader, Paul Williams Comes Out as Transwoman

This story is very parallel to my own.
I encourage reading it, especially for the understanding
of a Gospel of Incarnation rather than a Gospel of Law.
“Transgender teens with unsupportive parents have a suicide rate 13 times higher than their peers. They are the most at risk group in the nation. Most of those unsupportive parents are Evangelicals.

“I have been in personal contact with thousands of LGBTQ individuals and their families from seven countries on four continents. Almost without exception these souls are Christians who have been ostracized from their churches and/or families. They always ask the same painful question, ‘What do I do now?’ I feel the weight of the responsibility.

“In my previous work, I hoped to save people from spiritual suffering. In my current work, I hope to save people from dying.”

Paula went on to state: “I do not care about their (evangelicals’) brand of orthodoxy.””I have no interest in debating it. It is of little interest to me.

However, I do care about their orthopraxy, how they practice the Christian faith. I find it lacking. I find any religion lacking that leads with judgment instead of leading with acceptance and love.”

Source: After More Than 20 Years as Conservative Leader, Paul Williams Comes Out as Transwoman

Unfurling From A Set-Free Throat | Charissa’s Grace Notes

I am gunna begin reposting older poetry, here on Grace Notes…because Facebook is a wasteland of the driest thirstiest most stingy desert sand that has ever been. Proverbs would say that Facebook has two sisters:  “Give” and “Give”.

My older work is good…at least, in my own internal scales of what I like and do not like, it weighs out as treasure.  I feel it in my bones…it RINGS of true truth.  But it is unwieldy, this blog, in getting to those older poems…one must make time and space to even find them, let alone to eat them and digest them…

…because my poems are not immediately burnable carb calories…

Anyway…here they are, such as they are.

This particular poem is about finding my voice as symbol of finding myself.  It examines paradigms and presuppositions, and advocates for freedom from old superstitions and lies…and freedom to timeless Truth.
I still struggle to dig it out,
that splinter you shoved into me,
down my throat without so much
as a shot of whiskey or
a shot in the dark.

and you are so certain, sure
of how to walk the world an…

Source: Unfurling From A Set-Free Throat | Charissa’s Grace Notes

List: If People Talked About Other Things the Way They Talked About Gender Identity – McSweeney’s Internet Tendency

This is pretty funny…and it shows just how arbitrarily the binary was imposed on gender orientation(s) strictly based on the most commonly presenting genitalia!

Source: List: If People Talked About Other Things the Way They Talked About Gender Identity – McSweeney’s Internet Tendency

CHECK THE SCIENCE: BEING TRANS IS NOT A ‘CHOICE’

I am posting this for those readers who still may not understand the complex physiological and psychological factors that work together to form our gender orientations.

In light of the fact that the Bible is utterly silent regarding the so-called “morality” of gender, this article could be especially helpful for those of you who claim you love Jesus and yet treat transgender humans like Hell.

May God spare you the kind of treatment that you have handed out to others in the name of Jesus…but that is not how it works, is it?  The fact of the matter is that the exact standard that you employ to show your rejection and hate of transgender humans is the one that Jesus will hold up for you on your day of dawning…

http://www.ozy.com/pov/check-the-science-being-trans-is-not-a-choice/69726?utm_source=aah1&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=pp&utm_content=inf_17_92_2&tse_id=INF_0b1151f026b511e7ab1b4bd69f1788b7

The unlikely Texans fighting anti-trans bill SB6 | Fusion

For all who want to:
A:  Understand transgender issues and origins
B:  Want to be allies in the granting of human rights
C:  Believe that being a christian precludes hateful condemnatory behavior
D:  Have a trans loved one(s) that you wish to support

This article is for you.

I personally have experienced every single thing mentioned in this article.  As a full grown middle aged human…the loss of family connection;  the loss of employment;  the loss of social standing, the hate-filled behavior towards me of literal total strangers; physical violence…

…not to mention the sort of thing that happened when I was little, and my choice of dissociation from myself.  Only God can ever really measure that damage done as a child…damage that was not “intentional” but was fully empowered by the cultural forces of the binary and thus did no less damage.

This mom literally tried all the things that transgender rights opponents espouse…read her story.  A conservative christian family with bona fides that may well make St Paul’s head spin!  The accusation that parents’ poor parenting is responsible for the “mental illness” of the child is revealed as the false belief that it is.

This child is amazingly strong and persistent.  I did not have that strength…I caved…and nearly died for the next 50 years.

All this damage, all this death…all because of clothing, genitalia, and bathrooms.

And trump supporter?  Please pay special attention to the reporting of the trump administration’s specific and deliberate plans to take away transhuman rights!  Just exactly as I told you.  Supporting this absolute fucker taking office is the deliberate empowering of someone who wants to hurt me…

as if you could what…beat the trans out of us?  Pray it off of us?  Be sure and notice in the pull quotes below the full grown relative who vows to send this little kindergarten kid to the hospital on a stretcher if that child was in a restroom that his 22 year old niece was in!!!

That is literally flabbergasting to me!  Really!!???  What is a 5 year old child gunna be able to do to a 22 year old woman??

No matter how many…no, even if you slaughtered every single transgender person?  We would be back in the next generation…because we are a function of human reproduction, and not a function of “social engineering”

Kai and Kimberly Shappley in the backyard of their house in Pearland, TX
Kai and Kimberly Shappley in the backyard of their house in Pearland, TX

“…No matter how much punishment this kid got, you couldn’t beat it out of her,” Kimberly said. “You couldn’t pray it out, I couldn’t cast it out.” Indeed, Kai was having none of it. Sometimes she would wait until Kimberly was on the toilet to taunt her from just out of striking range: “You know I’m a girl.” Other times, she began praying within her mother’s earshot that God would “let Joseph” (Kai’s former name) “go home and be with Jesus.”

Kai’s prayer was Kimberly’s breaking point. That, and learning about the sky-high suicide rate for trans kids; according to one study, 41% of trans youth had attempted suicide—a rate almost ten times higher than their cisgender counterparts.

“There are so many trans kids who don’t have her persevering, persistent spirit,” Kimberly said. “And if Kai didn’t have that spirit, I would have succeeded in breaking her, into conforming into what I was trying to make her be. And we would have all been ok with that until she killed herself, at 14, or 13, or 11, or 20, or 50….

“…Still, the social fallout for Kimberly was swift. Trans advocates often say “everyone loses someone” when they transition; Kimberly’s family lost almost everyone. While one of Kai’s uncles helped his niece pick out new outfits, most of her extended family distanced themselves. One aunt threatened to call CPS on Kimberly. Other relatives shared a Facebook post from a Houston-area preacher, proposing a training day where the church would teach children how to spot and report trans kids at their schools. A cousin sent Kimberly a Facebook message warning if he ever saw Kai in a bathroom with his 22-year-old daughter, Kai would “need a stretcher.”

“A best friend from the family’s church, where Kimberly served in ministry for years, stopped their years-long 5 AM prayer phone calls. When Kimberly attended a school board meeting last June to discuss the accommodation of trans students, she said one pastor from her church showed up to speak out against them…”

Source: The unlikely Texans fighting anti-trans bill SB6 | Fusion

trump is an absolute fucker

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I will never, ever be able to accept that someone thinks that they can support me while not only supporting trump, but condoning and extolling him and what he says and does.

I have no fellowship with him, in any way, shape, or form.

trump and his kind wish to not only hurt me, but also eradicate me, as if they can make it so that “there is no such thing” as transgender people.

And there are people who refuse to see this.

It blows my mind.

To list the ways, the deeds and the decisions that add the substance to the statement would take a month…but it is all easily found, at least it is easily found by anybody who uses other media sources than FOX and the so-called “Christian” Broadcasting Network (or some variant thereof).

Truthfully, I have such a sinking feeling that were it ever to become “illegal” to be transgender (as if that twisting of words could somehow ever define me), said individuals would think they were doing a work of God when they joined the Roman soldiers who killed all boys under two years old in the time of Jesus’s birth…and I would be dead.

trump is an absolute fucker.
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Oh Brazil! You Never Knew Me!

I recall writing this in somewhat of a fugue…for my bestie Dani.


Landscape of Disruption and thick Decadence
washing ever over me in those thin emerald waves
teal and deep blue, muddy yellow and tan.

Your streets of light and music,
aimless, drifting bacchanalia…

Source: Oh Brazil! You Never Knew Me!

Living Above the Curse (Part 3 – The Curse of Man)

Here is part three.

All three parts of this series are written by a brilliant, insightful and passionate human being of the female gender…and she uses the FULL RANGE of her palate to express these truths.

Hey dudes…listen the fuck up!  Pull your heads out of the sands of fear and your fingers out of your ears and shut yer pie-holes from babbling all about the estrogen the estrogen and LISTEN.  You do not get to pass judgement on sumfin cus you are either comfortable or uncomfortable…you are under the same standard of restoration as the rest of humanity…is it the Way, and is it the Truth, and is it the Life? Whether you LIKE it or not…whether it makes you FEEL GOOD or not…

Thank you Jennifer.  Your words are truth and life.

We all know the Venus and Mars stereotypes. Women are complex multitasking nurturers, men are singularly-focused aggressive hunter/providers.

Woman: with the flu, a cramping, hemorrhaging uterus and a baby attached to her boob pushes through her daily myriad of responsibilities to take care of the family

vs.

male: devastated by Man Cold.

Source: Living Above the Curse (Part 3 – The Curse of Man)

Living Above the Curse (Part 2 – Desire)

My friend Jennifer over at Cage-Free Christian continues with her 3 part series on the Curse of Knowledge…that there IS good and evil without knowing WHAT that good and/or evil is…and how this affects us in different ways.

Her insights into the ancient text and what it speaks to in timeless truth about who women are, who men are…who we are not…are prescient and powerful.

I heartily endorse her writings…and for the record?  I find the commenters in Part One and Part Three to be officially full of SHIT!!

Are all men jerks? Of course. So are all women. We’re all assholes – foolish, narcissistic assholes, every single last one of us. Sexism in every form – misogyny, misandry; bigotr…

Source: Living Above the Curse (Part 2 – Desire)

Dread and Presences

I am reblogging this poem from 2 years ago…here is the key passage:

“I step to the rail and look back
peering intently into the fog
thick and lingering,
but 2014 is shrouded, hidden
and if I hadn’t lived it
I wouldn’t have believed it
was anything more
than a dream.

It was a year that hollowed out
thinned out, emptied out
but never declared its intention.
I don’t think it ever knew
or if it even could…”

Charissa's Grace Notes

Dread.

I feel it still.
Laying at the base of my throat and throbbing
dully, quietly slumbering with one leering eye
cocked open always and leaning towards my heart.

My heart…
chipped and worked, touched and chilled
by the frozen fingers of dread

and shards of it lay scattered at my feet
clear, jagged glimmering
broken.tumblr_nf01s3Hemc1sjr8bdo1_1280

I step to the rail and look back
peering intently into the fog thick and lingering,
but 2014 is shrouded, hidden
and if I hadn’t lived it I wouldn’t have believed it
was anything more than a dream.

It was a year that hollowed out
thinned out, emptied out
but never declared its intention.
I don’t think it ever knew or if it even could.

It was a year without windows
but many doors
and ladies
and tigers.

There is more to life than meets the eye,
more than can be measured by the senses or a census
but this morning there is just the fog behind
and…

View original post 115 more words

Silken Tears: Written in the memory of Leelah Alcorn

As a poem…I love this one.  I was blessed to capture some delicate and beautiful imagery, and it emerged in a nice meter that is augmented by the rhyming patterns and their shifting nature…matching the shifting nature of the poem.

Frankly, I was envious of her…and horrified with myself that I was so…this was written in Leelah Alcorn’s memory.

I cannot read this without weeping.


i saw her there, in the dark woods,
so fair of movement, fair of face
she walked beneath the milky moon
and bathed in silken light like lace.

she glowed with beauty’s blessing kist
upon her b…

Source: Silken Tears: Written in the memory of Leelah Alcorn

To All From My Past Who Read Here

Hi.

If you are someone from my past and you read here, I want you to know something.

You are welcome to read here.
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If you are someone from my past, and you are genuinely open to learning new things, updated understandings of the ways that technology has revealed realities regarding gender and DNA…if you are willing to meet me…Charissa Grace White…and truly receive me as you would any human being you had met and were getting to know, then you are welcome to be in contact with me.

But know that my choice to transition is not up for debate…it is made and done.  To debate that with you would be as silly as debating with you whether or not it was the right thing to marry the person I chose.  So I will not allow this…I will not put myself at the end of your firing range to become your scapegoat for the social ills you so deeply dread.
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And finally…if you are someone who reads here while thinking of me as that freak who is a “man” but is deceived and deluded by the devil and is now under demonic influence for thinking “he is a woman”, then just GTFU…ur dum.  Holding this position is like boasting about how stupid, intractable and ignorant you are of the incredible body of literature on the subject.  You ought to be asking yourself why you are so deeply upset over this!  Why does it bug you so much?

I am by far a better person than I ever was before…more of what people have always loved about me and less of what people have always despised about me.

Just go away if you are in that latter category…I don’t care how long I have known you.  The length of time you have known me is directly proportional to the ought you are obligated to in connection with me!  You ought to be more compelled to read the literature…you ought to be more compelled to know the open flower and stop worshipping the tightly closed bud.
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There is a male who flat out broke off a relationship that was over 3 decades old, because I “had crossed a river he would not cross”.  He has had zero contact with me since.  This in spite of how his actions violate the very gospel he claims to love.  This in spite of the countless hours we spent together, the countless actions of service and love and support, the walking thru darkness on his behalf…

…clearly the issue is on him.

But I bring him up to tell you that his is the party you want to go join if you are in that latter category.

I am me…free…and flying.  You can fly too, if you would actually take responsibility for your choices and your failures to choose…your fate is in your choice, and may you find surrender to Love as you choose…
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ever Spring, ever Autumn

it looks the same to you
whether you stand
in winter or summer

…the gate of my heart…

stark and golden and hot
against that steely variegated sky,
all clouds and light run thru God’s Grater
and piled up in slivers and shavings
of glory and stellar glimmers

of more…
The Great Gate

I stand in spring and autumn
my feet in water and my face in fire,
my roots ever fed with freedom
and my branches ever shedding
the ends of growth and fruitful life
blossoming, falling, spilling to earth
in cascades of truth and fevered dreams.
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my angles and lines seem stark to you
and you miss my curves and swaying
limber-love and hurly-heart throbbing
with the promise of harvests coming
and heavy with the presence of harvests here.

walk thru and look…
if you see me you will know
and if you do not see me
step away and scratch your head
with lightening bolts that shimmer
and strike the earth and the sky
and the glittering diamond waves
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and wander,
wander
as you ponder
how I look
the same from
all sides

(to your blind eyes unimaginative)
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or walk in awe
with leaping eyes
and hungry heart
marvelling how vast
is the territory and
how beautiful the land

Beyond the beyond

that you
just entered
into like
a child

with
eyes
opened
wide in
wonder
wriggles
harriet tubman

enters
into this
vast untrammeled life
and running from nothing
to the endless Something
of that great
ever Spring,
ever Autumn.
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On Ghomeshi, Memory and Trauma

I simply have to press this…I am the victim of stories that intimate people tell about me that are lies.

Flat out.  They lie, because of many reasons, and I think all of the reasons are understandable:  my transition, their own cognitive dissonance, it’s easier to scapegoat me than accept that their life is the way it is as a consequence of their choices…it doesn’t matter why they lie.

I still love them, because I cannot do otherwise.  I am incapable of not loving them.  But the consequences of that lie are stunningly strong and toxic.

My only hope is that they come to their senses in a way similar to what happened here in this article.

************************************************************************************

Have you ever had a moment when you suddenly realize that your memory of an event is not actually what happened? A few years ago I was talking to someone about a pretty life-altering event that happened…

o-COURTROOM-facebook

Source: On Ghomeshi, Memory and Trauma

Post Script To “The Aggregate”

I just read a blog post of a new friend…oh, I have known her for quite some time, but recent events have birthed a friendship, I sense…

Her blog post broke my heart for her and her loved ones, as I intimately know the road that she is venturing down…I survived it.  It rose up in me so fiercely, so thoroughly that she not walk alone on this road…

…and I know that I have a reason to persist against the aggregate.  Maybe by pushing back and pushing back hard I can make a space, make a place for the ones who are coming behind me to walk in peace and liberty, and not have to every learn the equations of the aggregate.

Take heart, Sparkle Mom…I love you guys!!  ❤
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“Oh, you’re trans? But you look so good!”

What Cis People Say To Trans People Vs. What We Hear

“Oh, you’re trans? But you look so good!”


Rory Midhani for BuzzFeed News

Meredith Talusan is an LGBT Staff Writer for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Meredith Talusan at meredith.talusan@buzzfeed.com.
Illustrator:  Contact Rory Midhani at info@rorymidhani.com.

A Performance Lecture on the Theology of Gender

I have seen this wonderful man in person and very much enjoyed his presentation.

I am posting this for anyone curious about a theological perspective about matters of gender, presented in dramatic performance and gentle words.

 

When Your Violin is Supposed to Be a Cello | Let’s Queer Things Up!

“In a single scale, I broke my own heart.”

Ohhh SAM!!!  This.

THIS!!

This article captures it so very well.  In a single article, he made me weep!

Source: When Your Violin is Supposed to Be a Cello | Let’s Queer Things Up!

Yes, clothes matter. | the girl inside

Source: Yes, clothes matter. | the girl inside

This is a well written article and I recommend it

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Hear Me Screaming (Transgender Remembrance Day 2015)

I am a ghost wandering in the dark
and you don’t even know,
you don’t even see.

Wandering lost and in sorrowful shades
and you don’t even know,
you don’t even see.

I am a wailing voice keening in grief
and you don’t even know,
you don’t even see.

Wrapped in a funeral shroud black and white
and you don’t even know,
you don’t even see.

You walk into the nook, seeing me here
but you don’t even know,
you don’t even see

you don’t even hear me screaming.

The Truth About Transgender Suicide | Brynn Tannehill

“Suicidal behaviors in LGBT populations appear to be related to “minority stress”, which stems from the cultural and social prejudice attached to minority sexual orientation and gender identity.

“This stress includes individual experiences of prejudice or discrimination, such as family rejection, harassment, bullying, violence, and victimization. Increasingly recognized as an aspect of minority stress is “institutional discrimination” resulting from laws and public policies that create inequities or omit LGBT people from benefits and protections afforded others.

“Individual and institutional discrimination have been found to be associated with social isolation, low self-esteem, negative sexual/gender identity, and depression, anxiety, and other mental disorders.

“These negative outcomes, rather than minority sexual orientation or gender identity per se, appear to be the key risk factors for LGBT suicidal ideation and behavior.”

Source: The Truth About Transgender Suicide | Brynn Tannehill

This.

I am sharing this truly scintillating essay, and the pull quote above is the core for me.

I just wanna say that I was raised white, though thru my father there is a truly multi-cultural heritage biologically and racially…but I was…raised white. Fortunately for me, I was never inculcated with racist bull shit, to the point that in college in the 80s I had a dear friend literally shock me when he told me I was the least racist person he had ever met…and yes, I did hear and note his use of the word “least”…which said volumes to me but in a language that I could not decipher or understand.

Well…since coming to terms with myself and understanding my gender journey, my life has changed in shattering ways, stunning and transcendent ways…but most importantly of all I was delivered from the ocean at last…

and became aware of so much that I never knew, could never see, even as a fish in the sea has no clue that it is in the sea.

I understand the comment of my friend now…”least racist”.

I wish I had the words and ways to let my friends, acquaintances and loved ones who are subject to that which they are subject to for the absolute worst and most insignificant of reasons KNOW that I get it now…

Oh, I will NEVER get it for the reason that they are made subject, anymore than any cis-gender person will ever “get it” in any way other than developing a deep and sincere sympathy and resolute commitment to love and live that love…

But I do get it now, the persecution, the othering, the abuse, the hatred and the fucking demonic unreasoning irrational stupidity of those besotted and drunk on the luck of the draw and the fate of biology.

My friends, and you know who you are…this post is for you…may I always find the joy I have found in solidarity with you and the love of your deep suns of being that shine undefeated and undefeatable! May I always have the heart, the eyes to see and to be inspired time and again with your indomitable spirit, will, but most of all your LOVE which just fucking never quits, CAN never quit.

You have no idea, the moments you have dragged me thru…you bearing the hate directed at you due to skin and me bearing the hate directed at me due to a variation on skin but essentially a common thing we walk in…times I was on the way out, and I would read sumfin, hear sumfin, think of sumfin…and be inspired and lifted up in your heart of hearts.

Now? I can at least have the means to find the remaining privilege I have and divest myself of it intentionally…it doesn’t always go, it is stuck to my skin color…but at last it is not stuck to me.

I regret only that it took as long as it did for my understanding and seeing eyes to catch up to what my heart must have known for my friend to tell me what he told me. We intersect…and for the rest of my days on earth I am expanding that intersection with every ounce of love, faith, hope, grace and mercy that is mine.

To the rest of my friends: please take it in faith that your privilege is there, is stuck to you, and is a legacy that you can use if you will but set your heart in a frame of humility and ask that your eyes be opened…hopefully you will gain insight without experiencing it being ripped away…but if that is what it takes, it is better that this occur rather than go thru your life blind while thinking you see.tumblr_lh6nzks1YS1qgnixvo1_1280

The astonishing village where little girls turn into boys aged 12

Source: The astonishing village where little girls turn into boys aged 12

I have never heard of this before!

But!!!

Do not miss the salient point here!!  It is NOT what is between the legs that determines gender, but what’s between the ears.

What’s the Science? | Trans-Parenting

Source: What’s the Science? | Trans-Parenting

This is a good resource page for anyone to be able to find good sources to help explain what our current technological state reveals about the physical side of gender-orientation and the reasons for this particular point on the continuum of the intersection of gender and biology.

Take a look…it will settle you if you are uncertain, and affirm you if you are already an ally.

02, 9/11/12, 2:49 PM,  8C, 5360x5432 (392+1312), 100%, Custom,  1/15 s, R49.0, G34.0, B57.0

02, 9/11/12, 2:49 PM, 8C, 5360×5432 (392+1312), 100%, Custom, 1/15 s, R49.0, G34.0, B57.0

The Crucible of Grace

If you seek to extend grace and love to cover over a multitude of sins, the worst thing you can do is undercut that extension by talking about it and pointing it out.  Right?

This weekend has been excruciating, because the long-awaited and much dreaded article outing me to the entire world was published.  And I am letting it stand uncommented on, because the person who wrote it apparently needs this as they deal, process, and move forward in becoming.tumblr_nj9hjr55am1sodq0ro1_1280But it is awful having my voice stolen from me…it is awful being portrayed as a cruel caricature of who I am and who I was…it is tragic to see the consequences of what I chose and lived twisted so tragically as life spins on by and the gravity of the Fall pulls everything to that fierce collision with nothingness…and it is heartbreaking to see the person that I literally would instantly die for, right now this moment, if it would restore them to wholeness, flail around trying to recover their bearings and watch as they grapple with emotions and choices and basically just suffer a sort of death process.

The place this article was published did not contact me (though if they had, I would have said to go ahead…my loved one needs to speak unfettered)…the things that were written, well let’s just say that one person’s account sounds right until another person in a situation gives their lived experience, and then things are usually a lot more complicated and delicate in determining “what happened”.tumblr_n892glA3he1rmz4wdo1_1280Mostly what happened?  The binary.  The binary punished me from the beginning of my life, it trapped my parents into seeing me as someone I wasn’t…it tore my soul in half and left the only option forward for me a dissociation from self and adopting performance as my currency and agency in the world…it left a bloody gaping void within me that never ever could heal, and in which the Love of God was sufficient, but only just…it led to the birth of children who deserved more and got less in spite of me trying to give them everything…

What happened was a flawed imperfect person full of hope and love and wanting only to have kids and love them and raise them up into life did her best in the skin and role of a man…and is now vilified and excoriated for this…what happened is that I was born in a time and place and culture, and practiced the things that I thought were right and true and proper, and those so at odds with what I know now, what I matured into, grew into, and yet how does that undo things that happened 30 years ago?tumblr_nrqhpzN6nu1s5u2cno1_500And what happened was so much pain in my decision to transition that an entire narrative had to shift to account for the horror and the loss of a father…and I read of things, and am painted in ways that just do not match up with what I lived, what I remember, what emails and letters say to me, what other people who knew us and were around us a lot recall…

What happened was my dysphoria and depression and despair did indeed affect my heart and soul, and that affected everyone around me, and likely was the metaphorical equivalent to belts and abuse so does it really even matter if I never did the actual things I am accused of doing?  Actually no…it doesn’t matter that I never did them, because it is clear to me that I was them…poisonous, toxic, radioactive, damned for being absent and cursed for being present and above all accountable for every last ill in those lives so precious to me.

I never really understood before why God’s answer to the horror of the Fall was to come as Jesus to this world, and suffer and die…I do now though.  Because there are no words that I can say that would explain it, justify it, make it right, make it better, disappear it…all I could do would be to simply die in their place…tumblr_nu4nj5Mkg51rdq2opo1_1280…and if I could do that, I would want it to happen hidden, without anyone knowing, and the provision of that death simply being wholeness and happiness for my hearts…

I love you, hearts…I will grieve until the day grief itself is satisfied and all things are made new.  Say on.  Whatever you need, whatever you want, whatever you must.

I only ask Mama, please hold me close and sustain me in Your Love.

Posting A Very Sobering Reflection

All…this is a post from a tumblr blog I follow, not my own writing, but her concluding question echoes many things I have written about, namely that all the “Remember the Dead Trans-girls” rallies change absolutely nothing.

We don’t want to be remembered.
We want to live…be fruitful and share life.

I don’t want you to say my name when I am killed…I want to say my own name in the zest of life!  Without fear of attack, policing, othering or rejection simply for being born.

I echo Jen’s question:  since last weekend’s events, what has changed?

PS:  Language alert!  If you are offended or defiled by scatalogical language, proceed with caution!  F-bombs and other such things are in evidence!

Maybe if…

smartassjen:

Maybe….maybe if every man who has ever hired a trans escort, if every boy who has ever beat off to trans porn, if all the guys I and thousands of others have hooked up with via Craig’s List, if the millions who fetishize our bodies, who enjoy us on our knees in bathrooms, who press us against hotel windows, who lay with us in our beds, if the men who adore me and my sisters, but only behind closed doors, would STAND THE FUCK UP AND SPEAK OUT…maybe 21 year old women just enjoying an evening out with friends wouldn’t be beat to death.

Maybe if all of you who read this, our allies and friends and colleagues and family, would call out when others make jokes at our expense, even when we’re not around, if you’d tell advertisers and producers and journalists and writers and comics that you’re not okay with them making trans women nothing but the punchline of jokes or tragic tossaways, that you know us, that we’re not disposable….maybe groups of people would stop feeling so free to harass me and my sisters, maybe crowds wouldn’t just laugh when a man spits at me, or just watch when two young men chase me down the street yelling “shemale”…maybe if you ALL stood up and said enough, maybe a young woman just being herself wouldn’t be beat to death in the streets of the supposedly best place on earth to just be yourself.
Maybe if all the gay men who act as if equality means marriage, if all the white feminists who only serve those that look like them, if all the queers who drop “TWOC” like a shibboleth but don’t know or talk to or walk beside any actual trans women of color…maybe if all of you saw what was happening here and how your actions allow it, how every moment of silence, of waiting for people of color to start the conversation about race …maybe this child could have enjoyed a few more years of being beautiful among us.

A 21 year old was beat to death in our streets. It happened because she is a woman, and of color, and transgender. It happened because our men won’t admit they love us, because our friends aren’t speaking out against the thousand little dehumanizing actions of others, because our own “LGBT” community isn’t comfortable talking about race and class.

This has to change. Now.

http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20130822/central-harlem/transgender-woman-dies-after-savage-beating-cops-say#video_modal_13772731841756

I wrote this two years ago.

What’s changed?

Death Don’t Have No Mercy In This Land

I want to say something to you, cis-gender friends. Please PLEASE hear this heart, and not a strident voice. Do not mistake my intensity for blathery emotional anger-slinging.
Do you know that the number of murders of transwomen has already surpassed the TOTAL for 2014?
I am talking about people…just like me.10888800_860222750703458_5712320641834860244_n
For the last few years every time there is another murder of a transwoman the news gets pushed around in trans-circles with sorrow and shock and outrage accompanied by cries of “this HAS to stop!!”
And yet here we are…in mid-August and already surpassing the totals for last year…and this is just murders, by the way…the numbers are even higher if you throw in suicide.
My dear friends: this is not ever going to stop until YOU decide it must. It is on YOU.tumblr_n1l8erJ0Tc1rlcnpko1_1280
Because what power do we trans-women have? What standing do I have? When I am spit at for simply walking in public? When I am hated on with eyes for holding my head high and forgetting about gender for a moment and just flowing in being like any other person can?
And then there is the intersection of race and gender variance, and ohhhh the absolute tragedy of how the blind become even more the blinder…
…because it is the same with race too…the stink of that zombie that lurches freely thru our society eating hearts like rotten apples and screaming for more, that stench is even greater than the sheer indifference shown to the plight of transwomen, so if you are a transwoman AND a woman of color?tumblr_ndcafcJAat1qdrgtco1_1280
Well, to know just how that is, simply read of the condition of the remains in some of these cases…faces bashed into a bloody mash…dismemberment…stabbed with an ice pick repeatedly…dumped in the trash…lit on fire…
Cis-friends, until this is no longer okay with you, we shall continue to be harvested by death with impunity.  Our blood cries out and will never stop, never cease.  Until you choose to use your privilege for someone “less than”, then the wolves will continue to hunt and the transwomen die.  And the rest of us will continue to flap our gums about what “has to”, knowing full well that stop is not a choice a ravenous beast makes.

How many is it gonna take to push you to the place where you yourselves will step up?  One a day?  Would that do it?An Indian worker removes the petiole from red chilies at Shertha village, near Ahmadabad, India, Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012. A worker earns around ten Rupees ( 0.20 USD) for removing the petiole of 20 kilograms (4.4 Pounds) of red chili. (AP Photo/Ajit Solanki)

How about a hundred a day?  One Hundred Women a day…marched to the town square and shot dead at dawn.
Will that do it?  And if so, then what is the difference between a hundred a day and one a day?
What is the difference between one a day and one a week?
What is the value of a transgender life?tumblr_nnlmpdE8Q91sthjo3o1_1280

small collection of trans education resources

small collection of trans education resources for cis allies who are interested

Note:  I am posting this as an fyi, and I expect that you will read this and parse it for yourself.  My posting it here is not necessarily an endorsement of any specific person/lifestyle choice, etc.

Rather, it is in the interest of educating you that there are far more variations in that gender spectrum rainbow that stretches between those 2 poles of humanity’s gender, female and male.

The only way to respond to my transgender child’s desperate plea was with love – The Globe and Mail


The only way to respond to my transgender child’s desperate plea was with love – The Globe and Mail
.

Oh Constance…oh.  This.  I felt this myself, and I rejoice in the knowledge that this child can benefit from the progress we are making in understanding gender identity and what it is, where it is, and how to live and be fruitful when the body and mind are at opposite ends of this spectrum.

Oh Reader:  the stories like this are multitudinous…how long will you dwell in that territory staked out by your ignorant and obstinate predecessors who labelled the epileptic demon possessed or the sufferer of birth marks on the face as touched by satan?

Reader, how long will you add the talmud of your own carnal mind to the Word of God and then use that as a club on your fellow image-bearers who are different than you?

How long will you continue to push your chips into the middle of the table and bet on a losing hand?

It makes me sad…it makes me glad that I have been delivered from that place, and yes, I have “lost all things” but here is what I have gained:  knowing what it means to walk with Jesus “outside the city”, having counted all things loss for this Honor and Delight.  He cut off all other sources of life, and all the more to His glory that it would be not me who lives but Christ who lives in me.

But keep reading…maybe one of these days it will penetrate your fear that nothing can separate you from the love of God:  not even swimming in rivers that you imagine I have crossed.

(c) Salford Museum & Art Gallery; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

(c) Salford Museum & Art Gallery; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

The Triune Choice of Transgender Humans in a Binary World

I wanted to press this because I admire the courage of this person, and I wanted to call attention (again) to the plight of transgender people.  Sadly, we are limited to just a couple of options:

1.  Be true to ourselves, and get harassed, bullied, and very likely even assaulted and/or killed.

2.  Hide, and be subject to awful harassment, bullying and assault from ourselves from inside our own being.

Of course there is the 3rd option, the one I took:

You can always just rip yourself in two…dissociate, so you don’t “know” about yourself (and neither does anyone else), and you can simply study the prison that you have been given and called life and learn how to perform.

Perform well, and get rewarded with praise, affection, what is termed “love” (and from the perspective of the givers surely is love, but from the perspective of the dissociated person it’s never really known for sure if they’re loved), and all the privileges accorded to one who conforms to their prescribed role.

But the fallout from this…the gender role half life, if you will…is terrible.  Stress, dysphoria, depression, and ultimately despair.  The ripples of that rending of the soul in twain go forth from that moment…

…but they don’t diminish with time, they magnify, grow larger and have increasingly more destructive results in the lives of all who intersect with that person.

I know.  This is what I did…and I’ve been informed by those who had the grave misfortune to exist in those waves and troughs that I ruined them forever in my cowardly and hypocritical choice to dissociate rather than displease (or worse) my parents.

Hey, I was 6 years old…I shoulda known better…I did know worse…eventually.

So there you have it, folks…the 3 fold option for prisoners of the gender binary back in the mid 60s.  If you know a family with a gender variant member, and they are seeking to grapple with it now in a world that is slowly growing more flexible as attitudes and superstitions change…reach out and give them love.

They will certainly need it.

Do Justice.  Love Mercy.  Walk Humbly
Charissatumblr_npuxgzCrCq1qg4kx9o1_1280

riverheadlocal.com

Transgender youth skip school rather than face discrimination, humiliation from educators and peers

The N.Y. Civil Liberties Union is calling on the State Education Department to provide detailed guidance to public school districts on preventing transgender youths’ discrimination and harassment by students and teachers.

Many trans* youth don’t get the education they deserve due to undue harassment and discrimination from both educations and peers.

This is why EVERY school should have a fully inclusive non-discrimination AND anti-bullying policy which protects youth and educators alike on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity and gender presentation.

The Triune Choice of Transgender People In a Binary World

I wanted to press this because I admire the courage of this person, and I wanted to call attention (again) to the plight of transgender people.  Sadly, we are limited to just a couple of options:

1.  Be true to ourselves, and get harassed, bullied, and very likely even assaulted and/or killed.

2.  Hide, and be subject to awful harassment, bullying and assault from ourselves from inside our own being.

Of course there is the 3rd option, the one I took:

You can always just rip yourself in two…dissociate, so you don’t “know” about yourself (and neither does anyone else), and you can simply study the prison that you have been given and called life and learn how to perform.

Perform well, and get rewarded with praise, affection, what is termed “love” (and from the perspective of the givers surely is love, but from the perspective of the dissociated person it’s never really known for sure if they’re loved), and all the privileges accorded to one who conforms to their prescribed role.

But the fallout from this…the gender role half life, if you will…is terrible.  Stress, dysphoria, depression, and ultimately despair.  The ripples of that rending of the soul in twain go forth from that moment…

…but they don’t diminish with time, they magnify, grow larger and have increasingly more destructive results in the lives of all who intersect with that person.

I know.  This is what I did…and I’ve been informed by those who had the grave misfortune to exist in those waves and troughs that I ruined them forever in my cowardly and hypocritical choice to dissociate rather than displease (or worse) my parents.

Hey, I was 6 years old…I shoulda known better…I did know worse…eventually.

So there you have it, folks…the 3 fold option for prisoners of the gender binary back in the mid 60s.  If you know a family with a gender variant member, and they are seeking to grapple with it now in a world that is slowly growing more flexible as attitudes and superstitions change…reach out and give them love.

They will certainly need it.

Do Justice.  Love Mercy.  Walk Humbly
Charissa

riverheadlocal.com

Transgender youth skip school rather than face discrimination, humiliation from educators and peers

The N.Y. Civil Liberties Union is calling on the State Education Department to provide detailed guidance to public school districts on preventing transgender youths’ discrimination and harassment by students and teachers.

Many trans* youth don’t get the education they deserve due to undue harassment and discrimination from both educations and peers.

This is why EVERY school should have a fully inclusive non-discrimination AND anti-bullying policy which protects youth and educators alike on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity and gender presentation.

It’s The Wonder

Lately it’s been getting harder,
harder to breathe…my chest
is burdened, weighed down,
constricted and heaving
and breath, a woman writhing in labor,
gasps and tears at air so thick
it only gives up in pieces ragged
and jagged and grippy.

The older I get, the harder it is
to breathe.

Doctors call it asthma, they say
I’ve had it all my life
(who knew?  Not I!)
And me none the wiser, I just
worked so hard and suffered harder
and swam straight on thru strife.

But recently, I coughed real hard!
And what I thought was sputum
was really a fresh bud coughed up
and then spit out for good!

That’s when I realized, my lungs
have turned into a flower bed
of Mama’s Blossoms Fragrant
and oh so beautiful.

Here’s What’s Okay (And Not Okay) to Say to a Trans Person – Once and For All — Everyday Feminism

Here’s What’s Okay (And Not Okay) to Say to a Trans Person – Once and For All — Everyday Feminism. Dear Constance, this article will be good review for some, and a great beginning for those who are interested but don’t know protocol.

The one that is most crucial to me?  The one that says my story is mine and not yours…and you have no right to out me to anyone…even though people have done this to me. It’s sorta weird to meet someone I knew then and hear that there is all kinds of gossip about me happening…that means that the paragons of virtue who told me I was beyond a river they refused to cross and that I was demonized?

They started the rumors and passed them along…and likely think they served Jesus in doing it. The trouble they caused me…I weep still at times over things that I could have shared in my own way and time that got shared and soo distorted… …but that’s the way it goes when you deal with the privileged…whatever they say is God’s will becomes God’s will…

because they say so (which makes them God, I guess).
tumblr_mvq8fapdjW1qzwnc1o1_1280