Sorry folks. I disappeared from blogging. This summer has been hectic. But Seminary starts in 2 weeks and I am so excited. I will definitely be blogging to keep everyone in the loop.
To recap the summer:
- Had an awesome mission trip with my youth group
- Supported one of my best friends- Rev. Benjamin David Hutchison as he was ousted from his position as a pastor for being openly gay.
- Visited family
- Went on a personal leave from my position at Lowes with the intent of leaving officially by next summer
- Have read a few books: New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander, Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates, and The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin. I’m trying to get educated on Racial Justice issues.
- Started a GoFundMe for my transition: http://www.gofundme.com/z5g3a5n
- Played a lot of Splatoon on the Wii U
- Prepped for Seminary and completed online work
- Really started to use twitter a lot (follow me- emkelley39 )
- Officially am now a Member in Discernment in the United Church of Christ. One step closer to ordination!
Hope all are well. Will be sharing more soon!
I’ll admit, once upon a time my wife and I did binge watch some Kardashians on Netflix while we were both sick. I can’t pretend it was not a guilty pleasure. But we haven’t followed much of their lives since (besides the occasional Kanye & Kim news). But suddenly, the whole world was drawn in by the gossip about whether there was something going on in the family. Did a family member have a big secret? The world has since gotten to know Caitlyn Jenner.
As I followed the story on social media yesterday, I couldn’t help but reflect. Anything that Fox News Correspondents link to the decline of the Civilization must be a good thing. And I also saw people on Twitter freaking out that Caitlyn was being called brave, and not the troops (honestly I don’t understand peoples logic about how calling her brave takes away from anyone elses bravery)- but if it was making people flip out on social media for stupid reasons, it also had to be a good thing.
So, everyone acts like some huge accomplishment happened yesterday.
What actually happened?
1) Caitlyn is now able to live her life authentically. Anytime anyone can do that I think it is a positive.
2) A Trans Woman made international news with her journey… It’s my hope that spurring conversation is a good thing.
3) Hopefully some young trans kids see that there is hope for their journey. Transgender people have a 41% attempted suicide rate… if Caitlyn gives any trans kids some glimmer of hope, it is good in my book. I wish I had seen visible trans women growing up.
4) Caitlyn is an example of the daily misgendering that many of us face. I know I am sick and tired of being called he, sir, and my birth name. She is dealing with the same. Hopefully people reflect and see that what they are doing is hurtful both to her, but also to friends and family members in their own life.
What did not happen?
1) Transphobia and our societies unjust treatment of Trans people did not suddenly end. Real work for social change needs to happen.
2) Trans women of color are not suddenly saved from the very high murder rate that they face.
3) Trans people every where are for the most part not extremely wealth, with most either living in poverty or barely making a living wage. We did not all suddenly come upon great wealth which would enable all of us to have our transitions make us fit societies expectation of what a man or woman looks like.
4) Trans youth are still proportionately higher in facing homelessness due to rejecting families. It is nice that Caitlyn has a good family, and it’s great to have them demonstrating to the world what acceptance is- but most trans people do not have that reality.
Overall- Best of luck to her. She has done a fairly okay job at her sudden expectation of being a trans spokesperson. I have seen her say “not everyones journey is like mine” and she has tried to discuss violence towards trans women of color. I hope she grows and uses her fame, and wealth, to help make a difference for the trans community. How do you feel?
First off- sorry for the delayed blog. The holidays kept me busy. I am a bit tired out after a very active (and fun) weekend.
My thoughts may be short today.
Yesterday, I was browsing through my twitter feed, reading about the bombings in Gaza, and it had me thinking. “Remember when you were unaware of things going on in the world?”. Coming out as trans shook my image of the world. Confronted the privilege I grew up with.
Even this last year, being confronted with police brutality, and finally confronting my own internalized self hate, and confronting my own part in our messed up system.
It’s challenge, admitting your own guilt. Admitting that you are part of the problem. But only if you do that can you truly help make lasting change.
I won’t lie that their aren’t days that I wish I was unaware. Its so hard sometimes to see negative all over the place. To realize that things are messed up. I grew up thinking that Israel was God’s ordained country in the middle east. Now I can’t stop thinking about the innocent children in Gaza who have their lives ruined by state sponsored terror. Do I wish I could go back to my privileged lack of awareness? Sometimes. The world is easier when you don’t deal with the negative. But I would not change a thing. I feel called to make a difference in the world, and I can’t do that if I don’t confront the real problems of the world.
I’ve been trying to piece together this blog this morning, but much like the last blog it may end up being somewhat of a stream of consciousness blog. So bear with my thoughts and hopefully they are coherent.
As I’ve come out and as I’ve mentally transitioned and as I’ve transitioned to living as the real me this year, some things that I do and ways I act have changed. When I look at it, I see it as me taking off the old mask and act that I had built up over the years. It was something I had to build up so I was not outed. I knew what to do to be seen as a guy.
So, as I’ve embraced authenticity in my transition, I find myself stepping back to make sure that I am not simply building up a new facade based on what society has told me about being a woman. While it is impossible to separate yourself from social pressure, I believe it is important to step back and examine your life often. I don’t want to dress or act a certain way just because thats what I am told, I want to do it because it is who I am and how I feel most comfortable.
I do believe that is what I am doing at this point. I am not transitioning into another facade, rather I am transitioning into authenticity. I am embracing the real me.
It is so nice to finally feel somewhat comfortable in my own skin. It is nice to be perceived by others as the woman I’ve always known internally that I was. There are adjustments that I have to make mentally- getting used to things that cisgender women grew up with- like the male gaze or having fashions that show way more skin then I ever did growing up. But my mind is so much more at peace now that I have transitioned into authenticity.
Anywhoo- thats my reflections for this Monday…hope any of it made sense to you. I’m off to go watch the new Taylor Swift video again.