Done.

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. 

Share
  • Lynn

    I’ve read your article several times. How did you arrive at your interpretations of what Jesus would do? Thanks in advance for responding!

  • ” 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 don’t want to go to that heaven either. Get enough of it on earth to last me eternity.

  • Laurie Lightfoot

    very well stated…more people need to follow your lead!

  • Mabel

    I am sharing this post everywhere I freaking can. BRAVO. *clapclapclapclapclapclap*

  • Mabel

    *snif* :’}

  • MJAtlanta

    Amazingly well said! I go to a Presbyterian (PCUSA) church in Doraville, GA and we have transgendered and lesbian members who are every bit as welcomed as the next person, And that is by young, old, men, women, GOP or DFL, and different colors.. Most amazing church I have had the privilege to be a part of – and I can’t wait to share your message with them and others. Thank you so much for sharing this. God bless you & your family.

  • Rebecca

    So beautiful. I wish every Christian person could see what you see. Thank you for sharing.

  • I wish more people of all religions felt the same way you do. Thank you.

  • JennaPowell

    That was one of the most wonderful things I’ve read recently. Thank you for being such a great example of what it really means being a Christian. Its nice to know that there are people out there that are following Jesus original example and showing love to everyone, no matter who they are.

  • josh_arseneau

    Why can’t people be accepted, not judged, and happy with the body they were given? I think Bruce Jenner is doing great work in breaking barriers and giving voice to the misunderstood transgender community. For that I applaud him. But to transfigure yourself through cutting, slicing, and thousands of dollars of plastic surgery still screams narcissism to me in which 20,000 years of humanity have not had the luxury of indulging. People are born how they are born. They are all worthy of love and acceptance. I have a big nose, and I am fat. Cutting myself up to change that does not make me a hero; it makes me insecure and weak.
    “How much larger your life would be if your self could become smaller in it; if you could really look at other men with common curiosity and pleasure; if you could see them walking as they are in their sunny selfishness and their virile indifference! You would begin to be interested in them, because they are not interested in you. You would break out of this tiny and tawdry theatre in which your own little plot is always played, and you would find yourself under a freer sky, in a street full of splendid strangers.” Chesterton

  • Leanne Waldal

    There is nothing “non-traditional” about being LGBT.

  • Excellent point, Leanne. I meant in the eyes of the “mainstream”, but I hear you.

  • Katherine Hahn

    Thank you for this. I’m UU; I grew up in an Evangelical home. I have a child with CP who is transgender. I can’t tell you how grateful I am to read your thoughts. It’s how I have always felt about my children. They’re not broken, they don’t need to be fixed. They need to be loved. They need us to recognize the glorious beings that they are. Thank you.

  • Paula Rivera Ainge

    Beautifully said. Sometimes it can be very hard to get our christian brothers and sisters to see that it’s ALL about love and to remember the Lord’s grace in our lives. I am sharing in the hope that eyes will see and ears will hear. God bless you and your family.

  • ChloeAlexa Landry

    I am a Taoist the philosophy and agree with your feelings totally. Sad that many Christians did not receive Christ’s messages, as they are what all Humans share, and want. Well stated with LOVE. THANKS FOR CLARITY>

  • ChloeAlexa Landry

    I too shared a service like that for a minority friend and a group of us did the same as yourself. It was really appreciated to be a part of the service. You really need to be there to witness what can happen.

    RIGHT ON APPRECIATE YOUR REPLY.

  • Lynn

    @bluehen95 – thank you for your remarks. Prior to your post I asked the writer how she arrived at her interpretations of what Jesus would do. When I read the piece, I was struck by the multiple logical fallacies in this piece. To avoid logical fallacies in one’s own arguments is both valuable and increasingly rare.I look forward to the writer’s response.

  • Jennifer Rogers

    Thank you so much for this
    The noise of the few, loud bigots sometimes makes us forget that the world truly is mostly filed with decent, caring folks.
    You reassured me today, and I got in a good cry in the process.
    <3

  • Not A Farmer

    It is all fine and dandy wanting to show who your really are but the Media air brushing Bruce looking glamorous is not who he will look like on a regular basis.

  • noel_one

    wow. Thank you. You will still get ‘hate mail’ I am sure but, please know that I think what you wrote here is one of the most representative, truly ‘Christian’ things I have seen in a long while.

  • Laura Ward

    Shared your post. Awesome.

  • Diane Keller

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! As someone who loves a transgender woman with all her heart, I go between being heartbroken for her, and mad as h*ll on her behalf. You’ve stated just about everything I think and feel on a daily basis.

  • ChrisDC

    Don’t worry. I got what you meant. And, honestly? The first step in figuring out how to talk to somebody is to figure out what’s already going on in their heads. Which you just did.

  • ChrisDC

    That was amazing. Thank you.

  • Calanthe Wilson-Pant

    For me, when Jesus says, I am the Truth, the Way, and the Life, he is referring to himself as God’s Love Incarnate. Love is the way to find God, which is what belief in Jesus is supposed to be concerned with. You exemplify for me the step onto the path of true enlightenment. Thank you for sharing your experiences and growth as a person. thank you also for confronting those you care for and risking the loss of friendship to say this.

  • Paula Champion Jones

    BRAVO!

  • Christina Mays

    Thank you!!!! Being the mother of 2 LGBT children (1 lesbian and 1 MTF, who is also autistic) I have to say this brought me to tears to see a Christian write such supportive words! Thank you, thank you, thank you!! I can not express that enough.

  • Watsonsmom

    Beautifully stated.. so much of what passes for Christian values today is so far against what I knew as a child. That the teachings of the bible were “treat others as you wish to be treated”, “the greatest of these is love”..etc.. I am part of a growing number of Christians that is trying to turn back to the teachings of Jesus from all of the haters who are spreading a message of hatred and using Christian values as a shield.. “we” the compassionate Christians, that is.. are growing in number and we are not going to be silent any longer!

  • Bobbie Jo Justice

    Great article. I wish more christians were like you.

  • Suebob

    You’re my kind of Christian.

  • I applaud you. But I think the fact that you, as a Christian, are scared of saying you’re making the choice to love EVERYONE shows that there is something wrong with religion. You shouldn’t feel scared. I thought Christianity was about loving others. So why don’t ALL Christians feel the same way as you?

    When this first happened a friend of mine, who is Christian, shared a post about how you shouldn’t fix what God gave you. And all her friends, also Christians, applauded her. When I put in my 2 cents, that children are born with things that require surgery, and that I thought Christianity was about love, I was not only shot down but also bullied. It just makes me sad and it’s a big reason why I don’t attend church or see myself as any particular religion. Because too many people use it as a way to hate people who aren’t like them.

    Anyway. I didn’t mean to use your post as a soapbox. I just want to say that I love what you said here.

  • Mary Marks

    Such a lovely blog. Your thoughts are appropriate not just for Christians, but everyone. I am Jewish and I would like to add that Psalm 139:13-16 says G-d Himself weaves us in our mother’s womb. He formed our innermost parts. That in itself should make every believer strive to accept differences as part of His wonderful creation. Judging G-d’s decisions is not only self-righteous and limiting, it is cruel.

  • Melissa Vanden Bout

    I wanted to take the opportunity to say “I’ll pray for you” in a context you might not have heard it before.

    I will pray for you, not that God will magically make you gender-conforming, but that the Father of all mercies, the Holy, sovereign Lord who watches over us with a love as ferocious as a mother bear watching over her cubs (Hos. 13:8), will be with you through every step, will comfort and keep you, and will send flesh-and-blood ministers of his kindness to walk beside you.

  • Amy West Davidson

    Thank you for sharing. The world would be a better place if everyone could be so loving and accepting.

  • Kelley Thurston Lively

    I have so many of the same feelings that you do and finally felt like I had to post something about how I felt to my timeline. I ended up deleting it due to the comments and just how ugly they were getting. I live in the bible belt and I am a Christian, my heart is filled with nothing but love and as much understanding as I can have for anyone, especially those who are bullied for “coming out” as nothing but the person God made them. My God is a God of love, that’s what he has put into my heart, love and acceptance. My favorite hymn, “Come As You Are” not like we want you to be. Thank you for your articulate and beautiful essay.

  • RaeAnn Banker

    I went to one of those funerals. There are just way too many of those funerals. Let’s treat each other well before another funeral becomes necessary.

  • DeborahYG

    PLEASE look up a book called “red: a crayon’s story”. It’s an awesome book. my favorite children’s book yet. A blue crayon has a label that says “red” so everyone demands him to be red. it’s amazing. really. anyhoo, thank you for your post!!!

  • KlytusSoothsayer

    If more Christians were like you, this world would be a far better place. Bless you.

  • Chrissie See

    The Bible can be twisted to justify just about anything you’d like it to, including, in the Old Testament, the murdering of young children. (Be careful who you tease!)

    While I respect anyone’s right to interpret any religious text he or she wishes to, I reject the attempt of some to twist teaching of tolerance and love into justification of the exact opposite. YMMV.

  • BlueHen: As I stated several times, this post is representative solely of MY feelings on this subject posted on my blog. I not only do not have to allow comments that continue to make those who are gay, lesbian, transgender, or any other “difference” feel marginalizied, minimalized or hated; I believe my choice to eliminate those is done out of kindness and love. There are hundreds & hundreds of other places on the internet where this viewpoint is easily found, therefore I am not preventing anyone from hearing what you consider the true. I unequivocally must do NOTHING but talk about what I think from my point of view on my blog. Please do not attempt to speak for me or put words in my mouth. I said exactly what I meant and meant exactly what I said.
    You will notice I never claimed any sort of theological or spiritual authority nor did I claim to be “right” in my position. I was sharing my feelings. There is no reference material for that. There are no statistics. There is no “ethical presentation” of that. These are my feelings which have instigated a decision for ME.
    I find it almost comical that you claim that I have to provide some sort of discussion commentary or critical analysis of my post. Not only do I not have to do that, but it would be pointless. Feelings just are. They aren’t open to logic or anything you’ve suggested (demanded) I do.
    Anyway, thanks anyway for reading & commenting. You certainly are welcome to disagree with my feelings. Oh, and I certainly do not consider you a pseudo anything. I don’t know your heart, nor do I claim to.

  • Lynn, please see my response to bluehen above. I have no intention of backing up my feelings with anything. I’m sorry if you feel I’m being false, but feelings aren’t logical. I’m not making an argument. I’m explaining my feelings and how they developed into my decision about how to live my life. My apologies if you find that lacking. Thank you for reading & commenting.

  • Iris Rodriguez

    Well said Christy, I’m grateful for your statement on so manly levels… I truly belive most people are good and have the ability the accept all individual’s unique wonderful differences. Our world is made up of differences; so allow me introduce myself. Hi, I’m Iris. I’m a hispanic active female Captain in the Houston Fire Department, an active 1SGT in the U.S Army. In both professions I believe and strongly promote the following: Respect, Kindness and Defend everyone! I have traveled the world and the one common thread in all cultures or deity is without a doubt, love for one another. You are a breath of fresh air. Thank you!

    “Essayons”
    Iris

  • Katherine Walton

    <3

  • Milton

    This was one of the most unpersuasive, judgmental, hate-filled lectures I have come across in quite some time. Made even worse by all the love language employed to mask your contempt of those that would dare disagree. And yes, I know you will remove this post but I feel it important to speak out against hate and darkness pretending to be light and love.

  • Milton

    bluehen95, that was a clear, cogent and respectful response to Christy.

  • Janice

    Standing ovation. I have ben criticized so many times over stating my feelings for her bravery. I end up removing my comment so I can stop being beaten up over my approval of it. Your words are spot on!

  • Vickey Lynn

    Thank you for a beautiful writing and what a great message to share with everyone. We all should love each other as Jesus had wanted for all of us. We do not get to choose who we are but we do get to choose to love and live by love in our hearts.

  • Pam

    I couldn’t agree more!

  • bluehen95

    Hi Christy, thanks for your reply. We respectfully disagree and that is fine. I would just point out that there is a discrepancy in “…nor did I claim to be ‘right’ in my position” and the fact that you delete comments that are in opposition to your viewpoint. If you are not “claiming to be right”, why would you delete the comments of those you believe to be wrong?

  • Miller Davidge III

    Thanks. I write a blog for a friend. I wouldn’t change her for the world. My perspective is as a Christian writing for another Christian that also happens to be a Lesbian. I can not find, in Christ’s words, anything about the topic. I find, as you do, words of love and kindness. I find that we are told to focus on our own actions and not those of others. I also know, from talking to her, that being gay was not a “choice”. Thank you for your words of support. I’ll pass this one on to her.

Menu