I have reflected over the past several days over where this journey is taking me. In my bible discussion Tuesday evening, I shared that being transgender certainly was not in my plans. Crossdressing wasn't even on my radar. Sometimes our plans may not be what God has in mind for us.
There is a verse in Romans 8:28 which says that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. I always knew that there was a purpose in life for me. I didn't know what it was but I never doubted for a moment that there was a goal or need to I was to fulfill. It may account for the life long feeling that I was different.
I remember times when nothing seem to work out. The trials and travails of life led me to a personal relationship with God. I remember the dry periods where nothing seemed to quench the parched landscape of my heart. I remember the several years of yearnings, struggles, and disappointments prior to my coming out. It was as if I was wandering through the wilderness with no direction.
All throughout history, ordinary people have performed extraordinary acts. It resulted in the improvement of many lives. Many of the scientific, social, and economic advances never would have happened if someone wasn't willing to step out from among the crowds. I could have chosen to reject the fact that I was transgender. I would have missed out on meeting people who are ostracized because of gender identity and sexual orientation. God does not create clones. No two people are alike.
Just because our original plans may not have worked out doesn't mean that our lives are over. Life never goes in a straight line. It's not that difficulties won't come but it's how we respond when challenges do come. I am so happy that I chose to embrace my gender identity. The result was inner peace and contentment. I have also come to love a group of people that aren't always loved.
God has always loved the poor, the downtrodden, the foreigner, the widow, and the fatherless and motherless, and the oppressed. I believe that glbt people are among them. I am so glad that my plans didn't work out.
I have been thinking about this word all day. It is a heartfelt prayer that I have for all my transgender sisters and brothers. The fiery darts of hate and negativism are thrust our way almost daily.
I'll never forget that day in August 2006. I was strolling through the park enjoying the warm weather. A warm feeling swept over me. I felt relaxed and serene with my surroundings. For the first time, I felt that I could call myself a transgender woman and emphatically mean it. I was content with my identity. The inner angst was gone. Peace filled my heart. I was truly complete.
As the birthday of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King is celebrated today, there are many words that can describe this great man. I was a twenty year old college student the day he was assassinated. April 4, 1968 is a day forever etched in my mind and heart.
Commitment is the one word I associate with Dr. King. People who are dedicated and committed to a cause have always been favorites of mine. Frederick Douglass, Sojourner Truth, Jesus, William Tyndale are four other people besides Dr. King would sacrificed everthing to improve the lot of others. I know a young woman who has dedicated about fifteen years of her life to helping to create an independent media that addresses the needs of poor and working class people.
Dr. King was threatened, jailed, arrested, and lambasted by racists, and yet he stayed the course. He used non violence to bring about change to the lives of black people in America. He sought to improve the lives of all people, regardless of race.
Committment means sacrifice, work, educating one self, selflessness. It means carrying on the work despite failures, criticism, a lack of resources. Committed people see the bigger picture. Dr. King saw the big picture. He said that if a group of people are oppressed, we are all oppressed. I believe that Dr. King may have referred to transgender people.
Commitment means that we are willing to reach out to people who may not agree with us. Committed people are respected for their efforts though folks may not agree with them. I have seen that throughout much of my life. It's amazing how Dr King's committment to justice brought the civil rights, peace and labor movements together. I sincerely believed that change in this country was within reach. An assassin's bullet ended it.
Dr. King showed all of us that commitment to a cause can and will bring about change. He reached out to people and changed hearts ad minds. I see many who are committed to changing the lot of lgbt people, and transgender people in particular. Transgender people of color make up many of the transgender murder victims.
Dr. King was a voice for oppressed people. He committed his life to changing the lives of all people. When I think about Dr. King, his commitment to justice entices me to do the same.
January isn't over and already I see that there will more changes in my life than I imagined. When they will happen I don't know but they will happen.
Circumstances have forced me to challenge myself and really work on my home business. I need to overcome some fears I have and move ahead. My thought process will need to change. I see the same analogy in regards to how I can best utilize my talents in working for the equality of transgender people. I already write for an online magazine. The magazine has encouraged many and I'm thankful for that.
I have mentioned that transgender people will need to do things for themselves. I'm thankful for all our allies and I love them but transgender people will have to do things for ourselves. Writing is one way I can help in the fight for equality. I am a member of a couple of organizations, yet I believe that I can do more.
Part of what drives me is that much time is wasted on petty differences. Transgender Day of Remembrance demonstrates that much remains to be done. I came out in my mid fifties. I don't know how much time the Lord has given me but I want to make difference. I'm thankful for young people become active and I applaud and support their efforts. I believe that many glbt organizations have become too 'status quo'. If the protests on the passage of prop 8 is any indication, I believe that some goals and ideologies of some glbt organizations will need to be examined.
I don't know why I am writing like this but i see that 2009 is a pivotal year for transgender people. It would be a shame if in 2010 we are just an afterthought.
Yesterday, I was having my devotions when I read the something that describes my journey as a transgender person.
Our lives are journeys that often detour us to places we least expect. But that's all right. Journeys rarely go as planned. Having a guide is better than making it alone. Thanks be to God who endures with us, and the Lord Christ who, if asked, travels with us wherever we go.
~ from the Devotional Day By Day, Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Already I see that 2009 will be quite different from 2008. I wrote down the goals that want to achieve, but I see more development, education, and trials ahead. Whatever will help someone else is certainly worth the effort.
I'm reading the book 'Transgeder History' by Susan Stryker. After I finish this book, I will reread 'Crossing Over:Liberating the Transgender Christian' by Vanessa Sheridan. I read these two books within the past year plus. They are chock full of information that I need to read these books again. Educating the public is still a great need that I must act upon.
My relationship with God is the most important part of my life and I will not neglect that. I also see that my mind and spirit needs to be stretched and challenged because we are in the midst of one of the greatest times in history for transgender people. I have been seeking the scriptures for guidance. With all the falsehoods and misinformation going around as fact, I cannot sit idly by while people are dying.
In the past I have emphasized the point that no one should be ashamed of who they are. Neither should they be made to feel ashamed by others. This year I will be more outspoken about this because I'm tired of people dumping on us because of who we are. When I thought it this could be a matter of life and death for someone. I see myself doing more writing like never before. My heart burns within me because there's so much to say.
When I began my journey I understood that I could never go back. I see some twists and turns ahead but it won't deter me from where I need to go. In the end, I pray that another person will be helped.