"The unexamined life is not worth living" Socrates

- - scatterings of ideas sent to my younger self, a sensitive girl who was fooled into believing she was a boy because of anatomy - -

Saturday, 19 January 2019

Christian Education?

I never did or said anything hateful to or about my sister before she disowned me, and I won't now. But, it frustrates me to think that her reason for choosing to put me out of her life had to do with the teachings of a church she and her family attend. This church that calls itself Christian has taught her that I am an abomination as are those like me.

The wife of the Vice President of the United States, Karen Pence, is a teacher. The news says she has taken a job at a school that does what they can to have no LGBTQ teachers or students. The report I read seemed to report this news fairly, but it seems some media have been critical of the "second family". Read about her husband's reaction to the criticism here, or wherever you like via a search of the internet. 

I really don't object to folks teaching where they like. If that place happens to seem bigoted to many and a teacher supports that school's point of view, then I say you shall know them by their fruits to quote another great teacher. 

Vice President Pence is quoted as saying: 

“...  to see major news organizations attacking Christian education, is deeply offensive to us."
"We have a rich tradition in America of Christian education and, frankly, religious education broadly defined. We celebrate it. The freedom of religion is enshrined in the Constitution of the United States. The Constitution prohibits a religious test for holding a public office and so we’ll let the other critics roll off our back, but this criticism of Christian education in America should stop."

What I object to is that news organizations let people get away with this sort of distortion of what it means to be Christian. What major news organizations are critical of is bigotry, not Christianity.

Perhaps those who believe one cannot be Christian and gay or transgender, should check out, then have an argument with the churches around the world who consider themselves to be Christian, and also support LGBT rights. 

More important, in the long term, knowing that the Vice President of the United States only serves some of the citizens of that country must be somewhat worrisome to those who think Mike Pence might inherit his boss's job. Then again, what would change?

Wednesday, 16 January 2019

TIME REGAINED

Caroline is a wonderful friend. Her blog and her comments on this blog were each an early source of support for me at a time when I was convinced that the best I could do was to maintain a male façade. 

She and I have corresponded and chatted for many years, and for most of those years she patiently waited for me. She was supportive, often a shoulder to cry on, but she never told me what I should do. Since my transition, our friendship has grown and deepened. She is a friend who, as Proverbs 18:24 says, sticks closer than a sister. 

This post is linking to her final post, "Anniversary and end of an era ...", because, for some inexplicable reason, her blog won't accept comments anymore, and she richly deserves many. 

Leave a comment here and I shall make sure Caroline gets it.  

Monday, 7 January 2019

I Am Too Old to Change!

Poor old Scrooge. He had lived with his infirmity for so long (being a "squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous old sinner") that he was certain there was no hope for him. The three ghosts in one night did their work for him, however, and ... well, if you know Dickens' Christmas Carol, you know the rest. 

What of the rest of us? What is it that is holding us back? And when are we 'too old to change'? 

For most of us in the 60 and over bracket (about 17% of the population in Canada) the typical things that we correct, that might hold us back, are poor eyesight, and wonky hips, knees, and feet. Taking care of these problems has tremendous benefits for the patient and society in general. Those who are unable to walk properly generally have other co-related health problems. Families whose older members are independent have less to worry about. 

Getting older doesn't have to mean life with pain or disability. 

What of the older transexual? Are we ever too old to change? There are a lot of factors to consider and I don't expect to touch on them all in this post. However, I transitioned as a senior, so I know something of this. If the comment stream demands it, there may be more. 

There is no reason to fear gender confirmation surgery more than you would other corrective surgeries. The risks are there, and you must know them. I would suggest that you be prepared for a long recovery, especially if you are FTM, which requires multiple surgeries. 

Being older often means being alone. As a transexual, you risk losing friends and family very suddenly. You might also lose a whole community. For example, if you are involved in a religious group, you might be shunned. Some might say that those who abandon you aren't worth keeping, but that is an individual choice, and one you must be prepared to accept. 

Unless you have been there, it is hard to explain the imperative that drives those who transition. I had people tell me, when I tried to explain it to them, "You have lived this way all your life, so why can't you just do it a while longer? You don't have that much longer to live." That sort of response made it clear how impossible it was for them to grasp my situation. The fact is, the older I got the harder it became to suppress that drive. I cannot imagine what it would have been like to keep my life on hold for another year, never mind the rest of my life. 

I will admit to being worried that as I age, there might be some 'interesting' consequences if I find myself in a home for the aged. Physically, I will be accepted as a woman, but, if as was the case with my father, there is dementia in my future, what then? Might I become confused and believe I have to present as a male as I did for so long? The answer is 'yes', I might. Hopefully by that time, an initiative taken in North Wales will have spread to health care workers in all civilized nations. A health board there has developed dementia care guidelines for workers who interact with trans patients. 

Follow this link for another perspective on living in fear of dementia as a transperson. 

A really well-written article, 'Age has nothing to do with it': how it feels to transition later in life was published in The Guardian this past November. I would recommend reading it if you are interested. 

In so many ways, living a long life and getting old are not the same thing.