Thursday, January 1, 2015

Christianity and the Transgender Person

Quite the question and one which needs a book to discuss-not just a Cyrsti's Condo blog post, but here we go. The motivations to write this come from a couple sources: the recent tragic suicide of young Leelah Alcorn from the Cincinnati, Ohio area, another blog post I just read AND a comment I received from a trans woman friend who grew up under similar circumstances.


First of all, you could say I am a non practicing Christian, baptized in the Methodist church.  Personally, I am becoming a stronger and stronger earth based spiritual person and that is another post unto itself and  not relevant to the topic.




The blog post I read was called "7 Deadly Sins Parents Commit Against Their Transgender Kids" – In Memory of Leelah Alcorn written by Susan Cottrell on a site called "Patheo's"  Here is an excerpt from her number one:  
"When I was 14, I learned what transgender meant and cried of happiness. After 10 years of confusion I finally understood who I was. I immediately told my mom, and she reacted extremely negatively, telling me that it was a phase, that I would never truly be a girl, that God doesn’t make mistakes, that I am wrong. Who said anything about God making mistakes? Why do we keep hearing about God not making mistakes – from the people who consider others’ expression of identity and orientation a mistake? You’re the ones threatened by what you call a mistake."
She goes on to write about misguided treatment by misguided parents operating their lives and the lives of their kids under the guise of Christianity.  Even to the point of using "therapies" which the CIA would have been in trouble for.


One who knows more than a little about growing up in an ultra Christian family is the friend I mentioned above:
"The parents created a terrible environment for Leelah, and that was probably encouraged by their church, and their church is probably telling them now that their 'son' is the victim of being brainwashed by some horrible left-wing agenda. This all would've been swept under the rug in Cinci if it hadn't happened to get picked up nationally. All the Cinci news sources used to say 'him'. When I first saw the story, I was horrified that her note was going to be completely ignored. But all those news sources seem to have been updated to 'her'. This is only because of the national coverage and the fact that they realized they looked so ignorant. Maybe this kind of attention is enough that the parents will learn something, but I doubt it. The aggressive fundamentalists already tend to think that the whole world is conspiring against them, and this will likely just reinforce that feeling."
Thanks Racquel, I agree with her (unfortunately) and she was right pointing out the media in Cincinnati got rocked hard about their initial ignorance when first reporting this. In fact, in the space of three or four hours (from the time Racquel saw the story to when I saw it-the Cincinnati television station we were watching got it right, pronouns and all.

Then :
It always saddens me to learn about a life so young and full of hope being extinguished. Many of us know first hand the torments of growing up in a world that as you put it "Is another hell the preachers make their money sermonizing on".

You are right Michelle- follow the money! I'm afraid I'm speaking to the choir here to even open the door to religion and Leelah Alcorn.  To not do it though would be a huge disservice to Leehlah's memory.  R.I.P, Leelah, I'm sure by now you have found what Christianity was trying to tell you before it got distorted by the very humans it was trying to help.







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