This post is going to make some people angry. Some people will get upset with me. Others might write me off as a friend. But I am done. Done, done, done, done, done.

556c7a224ae56e586e457d3e_vf-cover-bruce-jenner-july-2015This is the image that has brought this to a head for me. This is Caitlyn Jenner. After years and years and years of confusion, frustration, anger, hiding, and fear, Bruce Jenner decided he was finished with lying & pretending. He decided he was ready to share his journey with the world.

And, as expected, there has been hate spewed at his reveal and subsequent introduction of Caitlyn. People using words like “monster”, “monstrosity”, “gross”, “creature” and other derogatory descriptions. I’m sure she expected it. But that doesn’t make it right.

Let me set down a few foundation stones here so you understand where I’m coming from. I am a born-again Christian. I love Jesus Christ and have accepted Him as my Savior. I strive to be more like Him, see myself the way He sees me and to treat others in Christ-like manner.

In 2003, I had a baby. A baby that I thought would be like every other baby. I was shocked and leveled by the realization, at 2 weeks old, that this beautiful baby has Down Syndrome. Through no fault of his own, through no choice, through nothing I did wrong, my son jumped from “normal” to “different” in the span of a second. In that second, I realized that my entire worldview needed to change. I needed to be an advocate for my son – for who he is, what he is, what he does, and what he can do. I realized, through the thoughtless and hurtful words of others, that I had no control over how others viewed my son, what they thought of his “disability”, and (thanks to an “I’ll pray for healing” comment) their ignorant & short-sighted viewpoints. From that moment, I decided that if I wanted to have a world for Henry that gave him all the opportunities he deserved, I had to work on changing how people saw him. Letting them “know” him – either personally or through my blog. And that’s what I did. I will not tolerate others using the word “retarded”. I will not stand by and let others treat my son like he has a disease or he’s catching or he is somehow less deserving of love & acceptance.

As I grew older and became close to (mostly) young people I knew who were gay, lesbian, bisexual or in any other way “non-traditional” in their gender identity or sexuality, I realized something. How hypocritical I’d been. These people I knew, came across online, or saw on TV no more made a “choice” about these issues than Henry did in having Down Syndrome. Than Steven did in having Asperger’s. Than I do in having brown hair. This is who they are. You cannot convince me otherwise. When someone knows these things at 5, this is not a choice. Nobody would choose this. Years of confusion, self-hatred, denial, hiding, all of it so they could….what? Why would you choose those feelings?

Anyway. I made a decision that I haven’t really talked about. And you know why? Because I’m afraid. I’m afraid that my friends who are also Christians would attack me. Would judge me. Would feel it’s their duty to convince me I’m wrong. Throwing Bible verses at me.

You know what it is I do? I love people. I accept them where they are. I encourage them, build them up, and allow them to be who they are. Because THAT is what Jesus told me to do. Not to lecture them or tell them they’re wrong or who they are is a mistake. (Digress: Can you IMAGINE? Spending your whole life being told that who you are and what you feel is wrong on every level? What that would do to your mind, your soul, your spirit? THAT is what so many people in this community have felt all of their lives. And don’t tell me “well, people feel they should be able to have sex with children or animals – is THAT okay?” Because that’s just ignorant. I won’t even bother to explain why, because if you need me to, you need more than I can give you.)

THAT is my choice. I will absolutely, unequivocally, with my whole heart, LOVE people. Straight people, gay people, bi people, trans people, ALL people. I will acknowledge that who they are is who they are. I will never make them feel small or wrong or a mistake or anything other than acceptable JUST AS THEY ARE. I know there are people out there who will talk about sin and sinners and “hate the sin & love the sinner” and “The Bible says….” and all sorts of ChristianSpeak. Here’s what I have to say about that. If my going to heaven rests on making sure that other humans on this planet know that I think who they are is wrong? I DON’T WANT TO GO. I have zero interest spending eternity in a heaven filled with self-righteous, stone-throwing, hate-filled souls who spent their time on Earth crushing the spirits of others.

I choose love. I choose encouragement. I choose edification. I choose support. I would rather be wrong about an issue and have a legacy of love than be right and have some person’s suicide on my heart. And as far as Caitlyn Jenner goes – congratulations. Accepting who you are is a huge thing. Speaking out about it in a world that wants to call you names and tell you you’re wrong is very brave. Bringing all of yourself into the light is empowering. I myself haven’t done this fully. But others would encourage me to do it and that I should and “who you are is great!” Why do I deserve that, but Caitlyn doesn’t? Because you think it’s wrong? Great. Think it’s wrong – that’s your business & your right. Nobody is asking you to be a transgender woman or man. No one is asking you to be gay. No one is asking that you change anything about yourself. They’re simply being who they are and asking to be it. Does it directly affect you? Then why are you so upset about it?

“Oh, but what do I tell my children? Why should they have to see this???” Because the world is diverse and filled with differences. You know what? I’ve already explained it to my 5 year old – and HE GETS IT. People are different. Some boys love boys. Some girls love girls. Some boys realize they’re actually girls. Some people have Down Syndrome and look different and can’t do everything you do. Some people have autism and can’t handle loud noises. Some people are smaller than you’re used to. It affects you in absolutely no way. Just accept it and treat them like you’d want to be treated.

How can I ask it for my children and not give it to others? Answer: I can’t. We are all just people trying to get by on this Earth – trying to love and be loved, trying to explore, learn, grow, experience, and make connections.

Oh, and if you feel it’s all being “shoved down your throat”? This is me totally not caring. ALL of the people I’ve mentioned (including those with DS and autism and other “acceptable” differences) have our “normality” shoved down their throat every freaking day – for the past 2000+ years. They see it played out over and over in everything they see, hear, smell & taste. Plus, they get our judgment SHOVED DOWN THEIR THROAT as well. They’re not asking for much – just to been seen and acknowledged as fellow humans. So, if you have an ounce of humanity in your body, do that. Please. Not only for them, but for you. Your world will be changed. Opened and brightened and made more rich & full. God loves differences. If you cannot accept that, then I hope you never, ever HAVE to embrace it.

ETA: While I appreciate and respect the differing viewpoints others have shared here (at least the ones that were kind & respectful), I’ve made a decision. I do not believe that I want comments on this post – that is my post about my feelings and my viewpoint – that continue the tradition of making sure those who are different are told that they’re wrong. I believe they have come across that particular idea enough in their lives and do not wish that this post is another place that they must hear it. Therefore, I am removing comments of this ilk and will not approve further comments like it. I have received personal, private emails from people who have bared their souls to me. Sharing their stories of hatred, bigotry, discrimination, and despair. I cannot allow more of that to happen on my blog. Please understand, I am not trying to censor anyone’s viewpoint. This is MY blog and I do have the right to make a decision about the comments. You have a right to your opinion and there are plenty of other places on the internet where it can be shared. Oh, I’m also going to change my sentiment of “shut up”. Because that was rude. Thank you for understanding. 

  • Eva Cutler

    It is not about WHAT it is about HOW. Every person has their God given right to BE WHO THEY ARE or perceive themselves as in this case and many others as we learn .The problem I have with Bruce/Caitlyn is the manner and obvious desire to make headlines with a broadly publicized pin-up girl image NOT BEHOOVING THAT OF A PERSON who DESIRES TO BE SEEN AS A WOMAN. I, as a woman take that an insult at my age for that is NOT what women are about.

  • Nora Haile

    Beautifully stated. Thank you for putting it together so eloquently.

  • Mike Nugent

    I am glad I read this. It was uplifting. I often think that the people who suffer from “disabilities” are those who have to catalogue people into boxes

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  • It’s not that I believe them to be wrong. It’s that I’m thinking primarily of the people who have contacted me personally regarding this post. Their stories of discrimination, hatred & disgust thrown their way, families disowning them, etc., has touched me so deeply that I decided I did not want those people to have to read that AGAIN when they came here. It kind of negates the acceptance I’m offering if, when they read the comments, all that gets pushed in their face again. I decided, after much thought, that I didn’t want that to happen. There are so many places online where that point of view is repeated and because it’s my personal blog, I decided to err on the side of being respectful to those to whom I’m referring.
    Does that make sense?

  • Thank you for your comment, Milton. I don’t know to what it’s referring, but I’m guessing you either didn’t read my post or you’re choosing to ignore what I actually said. Have a great day.

  • inkedjeepguy

    brilliantly said. this gay-buddhist salutes you. nameste

  • LamontCranston

    As a writer, a person of faith and a 74-year-old transgender person who kept my true self secret for almost six decades, I appreciate and greatly admire what you have accomplished here. I’m going to post a link to it on my “Transgender Truth” Facebook page.

  • Matthew Ramsay

    I just found this article via a Trans website. I just wanted to say how happy I was reading your blog. You are a beautiful person, and I’m so happy for your son that he has you as a parent. God bless you 🙂

  • Absolutely. Our sermon today was on James 2:1-9 and showing favoritism (or discrimination). Jesus didn’t play favorites. He didn’t discriminate. He LOVED. Whether He agreed with them or not. Judging and hating will never prove the love of Christ to someone.

  • Silver_Witch

    I think you are a wise woman and were all christians like you I would join the parade. It is refreshing to see someone say what I believe Jesus would say – “accept those different from you as I am different from you“. Walk in peace my sister and may you and your children find much joy!

  • Silver_Witch

    What a beautiful post – thank you for share this….

  • Elain Moria

    Jesus answered by saying, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and most important commandment. The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the law and the prophets depend on these two commandments” (Matthew 22:37–40).

    Nowhere in there does Jesus say anything about making a judgment about another human beings worth or status with him… When you take it upon yourself to believe another person is going to hell because of their life you are making a judgment about that person and unless I am mistaken (which I am not) you were specifically COMMANDED not to judge.

    Matthew 7:1-3King James Version (KJV)

    7 Judge not, that ye be not judged.

    2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

    3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

    And you are like the Pharasees of Jesus time and he had this to say about you….

    23 You Pharisees and teachers are show-offs, and you’re in for trouble! You give God a tenth of the spices from your garden, such as mint, dill, and cumin. Yet you neglect the more important matters of the Law, such as justice, mercy, and faithfulness. These are the important things you should have done, though you should not have left the others undone either. 24 You blind leaders! You strain out a small fly but swallow a camel.

    25 You Pharisees and teachers are show-offs, and you’re in for trouble! You wash the outside of your cups and dishes, while inside there is nothing but greed and selfishness. 26 You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of a cup, and then the outside will also be clean.

    27 You Pharisees and teachers are in for trouble! You’re nothing but show-offs. You’re like tombs that have been whitewashed.[c] On the outside they are beautiful, but inside they are full of bones and filth. 28 That’s what you are like. Outside you look good, but inside you are evil and only pretend to be good.

  • Mischa

    Wonderful Blog!!! I couldn’t have said any of this better!!! I’ve never understood how Christians claim to love Christ yet, discriminate against God’s children and go against Jesus’ teachings of love! Every child born should be loved whether they are LGBTQ, Autistic, Down’s Syndrome or any other thing that makes some people discriminate against them!!!

  • Dottie Mae Atkins-Neikirk

    LOVE ~

  • Guillotines of Progress

    I don’t think of transgender people too often, but I absolute hate this fucking family.

  • Perfectly stated. All of it.

  • Vince Bradbery

    “When you take it upon yourself to believe another person is going to
    hell because of their life you are making a judgment about that person
    and [you have poor theology]”

  • Elain Moria

    As I am not a christian that point is completely moot for me anyway. I don’t believe in a heaven or a hell. I was simply throwing their book back in their faces like they seem to love to do to everyone they disagree with and pointing out to them that while they like to use their book as a weapon against everyone else.. it can also be used as a weapon against them. As for having a poor theology… you are right… they do have a poor theology. I’d personally say a horrible one.

  • Vince Bradbery

    Yet, you don’t have one yourself… interesting.

  • Okay. I’m deleting these posts, because I really don’t want my post to become a place where theology is argued back and forth. No one will persuade the other and it only devolves into insults. I respect your opinions, but I don’t want arguing.

  • Elain Moria

    *nods* I wasn’t arguing.. more discussing and laying out my views with the gentleman. However this is your blog and perhaps that discussion should have occurred elsewhere. Thank you for your blog btw. I found it to be quite reasoned. ~E

  • Christy

    Thank you, Elain. I’ve sent you a more detailed thought process via email.

  • Vince Bradbery

    I would be happy to continue elsewhere then, Elain (Facebook proper, perhaps?). Up to you, though.

  • The thought that a church would turn away a grieving family based on how someone lived or died is absolutely reprehensible to me. How does such a place still exist. I don’t understand these people.

  • This has nothing to do with the article in question.

  • Asteriix

    Author, you are right, I don’t love my mentally handicapped boy like Jesus does. How can I fix it? I tend toward “love is action,” so: we can continue struggling with the school system as needed, work slowly on his food sensitivity and his screeching, continue with ST, keep on the diaper changes, play with him more, etc., but people are still doing to tell us we’re doing it wrong. Will calling Caitlyn Jenner “she” help?

    It won’t help him, since he doesn’t talk. It won’t help Jenner, who will never hear me, and if he did, well, he’s a highly successful Olympic gold winner. There’s no way he’s going to be crushed if someone uses the same pronoun he’s been using for himself all his long life.

    So I have no way to go forward. If I actually hated Jenner, my son, and handicapped people everywhere, I’d have a way out: I could stop. Since I don’t, I’m stuck: like it or not, simply by not having the ability to believe that a decision plus a Photoshop job can change a venerable man into a young woman, I become your enemy, the kind of “self-righteous, stone-throwing, hate-filled soul” that you’d skip eternity with Christ Himself just to get away from. So we’re split into monsters like me and loving, accepting, generous people like you. Is that what Christ wants for his church?

    Based on the comments here, it’s what He’s going to get. They will know we are Christians by how we blame each other and thank God that we are not as other men.

    And based on your post, you’re pretty set on your alliance with the Accuser: “This is me so not caring,” you say of people who object to it. You’ve blamed those who are different from you, pointed to your own virtues (you love people, accept them, encourage them, etc.) in contrast to their blaming and lack of caring. That is, you judge others and don’t care: you’ve become the very thing that you hate. (Doesn’t that always happen?) It’s not just me you’ve put into a box; you’ve put yourself there as well!

    I urge you to stop spreading division, judgmentalism, and superiority, and not to put too much stock in the apparently near-universal acclaim your post has received. (You know what you should think when all men speak well of you.) You are perfectly capable of loving mentally handicapped people and LGBT without Pharasaical loathing of those who haven’t gotten with the world’s new program on this. Well, you may not be, but then neither am I; we’ll need divine help. Matthew 7:3 shows us how to begin. Will you try? Because this post isn’t it.

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  • Steve Basile

    Beautifully written and wonderfully reasoned. Would that more who follow Christ act more like the Christian you describe!

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