Just like one side of Mercury is always facing the sun and extremely hot and the other side always faces away and is extremely cold, there appears to be very little middle ground between the two sides of my identity. When transgender people find out that I am Christian, they may be polite, but I can sense it leaves many of them a little cold. And many Christians (or those who identify with the prevailing Judeo-Christian ethic in some way) are incensed to learn that I identify as a transsexual. They are hot with anger.
There are probably people who assume that there is no such thing as a Christian transsexual or that it is possible to be one. Correcting that misconception is part of the purpose of my blog. Some transsexuals, who were raised with some form of Christianity, fled the church because of the negative and even hostile reaction to their coming out. Hopefully, what I have to share will show that there is indeed a rightful place for them in the body of Christ.
My name is Lois Simmons. My first blog post tells you more about me. This page tells about the blog’s purpose.
What was the impetus for starting this blog? Credit must go to the suggestion and encouragement of Dr. Joy Ladin, professor of English at Stern College for Women of Yeshiva University in Manhattan. She is the first (and perhaps still the only) openly transgender employee of an Orthodox Jewish institution. She has also published a number of books of poetry, her usual writing medium.
I am also a writer and editor, but my medium is either non-fiction or historical fiction. Other than dabbling with haiku (undoubtedly appealing to my math aptitude), I find much of poetry incomprehensible and the rest generally uninteresting. So how did this Christian numbers and fact wonk connect with a Jewish poet? I believe it could only be by God’s hand.
What drew me to Joy? What we have in common, besides both of us being male to female transsexuals, is her strong need to reconcile her spiritual beliefs with her gender identity, a need similar to mine that influenced the course and speed of my journey. I am publically acknowledging my profound appreciation for her kind remarks and amazing ability to tolerate my lengthy e-mails since we met.
This will be a site where serious subjects are discussed … often. The emphasis will be on Christian topics … sometimes. The emphasis will be on transsexual topics … sometimes. It will provide personal glimpses of me … sometimes. I will share things I have learned living part-time and full-time as a woman, including items on health care, fashion, shopping, cooking and so on … sometimes. I will share my sense of humor to keep things from getting too serious … sometimes.
I won’t be able to share all of my humorous side, however. You see, in real life, I am an incorrigible punster. But a punster needs someone to feed the straight line, and you have to see the response in real time. The beauty (or groan factor for some of you) of a pun is both its cleverness and its quickness. That combination can only work in direct conversation, whether face to face, on the phone or in an instant message.
Who is this blog for?
- Any Christian transsexuals, to let them know that they are not alone, to provide encouragement, and to provide a response to those who would point a finger of condemnation at them. If time and resources allow, we might even be able to help you dialogue with your current church or help you find a church where you can worship freely that also matches your other beliefs.
- Any transsexuals who were raised in a home that taught a belief in Christ (for example, those who at one time considered themselves Christian, Protestant, Catholic and so on): to let them know that those who denigrated them because they are transsexual had no factual basis to do so.
- Any transsexuals who have a sense of spiritual emptiness and would have liked to explore Christianity but heretofore were afraid to.
- Anyone, transsexual or not who wants to read about another point of view or simply learn more.
- Anyone who has just found out that the person they thought they knew (family member, lover, roommate, friend, colleague, classmate, neighbor and so on) has always known deep down that their gender identity does not match their birth anatomy.
- Pastors and other church leaders who have either learned that one of their members is transsexual, or have heard about such an event in either a nearby church or another church in their denomination. As part of getting wisdom and understanding as you are called to do in your leadership role, you want to learn more to handle your current situation or to be prepared should it happen in the future. Hopefully there will be some of you, after testing the spirits and finding my writing generally sound, will even be willing to take a bold position of support. I understand that sort of thing will take time.
A quick note to my Jewish readers: many of the verses that I will be discussing in terms of the Bible’s views on transsexualism come from what Christians call the Old Testament: (i.e., your Bible). This is not surprising, since these are the Scriptures where God lays the basic groundwork of His message to His people and the entire world. My hope, if you have read this far, is that you will come back for future posts to read my discussions about these verses. But even when I use verses from the Christian New Testament, you might find that they have a close connection to Bible verses with which you are familiar.
This blog will …
- Not be a place to trash transsexuals. We get enough of that elsewhere. This site is to be a sanctuary for members of the transgender community. Questions and differing points of view are welcome if stated respectfully and decently.
- Not be a place to debate the merits of Christianity. That is not the purpose of this site. Either you believe in Christ or you are seeking Him or you don’t believe. I will respect your decision on that matter if you respect mine. This is my blog and what I believe. I am secure in that belief. Furthermore, I have enough familiarity with Scripture to know that I cannot save anyone, and therefore will not try. Salvation is the work of the Holy Spirit. If while reading this blog, the Holy Spirit convicts you and you receive Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior, I would love to hear about it and will rejoice with you. (Please use the contact form that I have added to the top of the page.) But I know that it is the Holy Spirit that deserves credit for it, not me.
- Not tolerate people who are disrespectful to others, who are hateful and hostile in any way, shape or form. If you disagree with me or someone else and you cannot find a respectful, intelligent way to express it, please take it someplace else.
- Not be distracted by other issues. This is not to say that other issues are not important. It is simply that they are not the focus of this blog. I get into enough trouble on my own without looking for more. Christianity and transsexualism will be the topics of this blog, except when I talk about my next favorite subject, me!
I thank you if you decide to subscribe and I thank you for stopping by to check us out if you don’t. I know what it is like to be a lurker, so feel free to do so if that makes you more comfortable. But if you decide you want to become a regular, please find your way to the “subscribe” link.
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven. – Ecclesiastes 3:1