I had this pretty much finished when I handed it to my teenage daughter to proofread and to ask her permission to include an anecdote about her… then I had to tweak it. A lot.
It’s not that she didn’t give me permission, it’s that she gave me valuable insight.
Thanks to her, I realized something about you and I. You, my audience for this blog post, and I, are ‘dinosaurs, ages 35 years and older’. Yes, we are dinosaurs. Sorry. Those younger than us have an easier time with this topic – we’re the ones needing the extra time and hand-holding to catch up.
Reminds me of the time I was visiting my grandparents at the seniors condo, twenty-some years ago. Grandpa was watching a baseball game and exclaimed, “that coloured guy sure can pitch!”
I thanked my lucky stars that we weren’t out in public, and thought, “Wow, Grandpa! You are definitely from another era.”
I suddenly feel like I’m on the same page as Grandpa was that day.
Realizing I only know my daughter, I assume her friends and other kids their age are the same in how gender identity and sexual orientation isn’t the huge taboo controversy to them that it was when I was her age. My daughter has openly gay friends and it’s not a big deal. Granted, they’re in public school, but that doesn’t change the fact that this is the way our society as a whole is going which is logical as that’s the way science sees it, too.
“It is enough to remember that male/female categories are arbitrary and not absolute. Science is not simple. We try to categorize, but nature is infinitely inventive.” (excerpt from this Science-Based Medicine article), which explains that homosexuality and LGBTQ etc. are also normal variations of the diversity that is humanity. Interestingly, gender identity and sexual orientation are seen on a multidimensional spectrum.
Oh wait. ‘Spectrum’… ‘human variation’… rings a bell to me..
I have an autistic son. I wrote this and this, too. How can I talk about and expect fair treatment, respect and human rights for HIM, yet not also believe the same is due to people with differing gender identity? Autism is also seen as a spectrum, a natural neurological variation. Autistic people are also currently fighting to be seen and treated as equal citizens and also had to (and still have to) deal with people who want to fix/cure them and make them ‘be normal’ and ‘fit in’.
I am going to trust what science is saying before I trust any ideology or religion.
Oh FINE. I didn’t want this to be another ‘calling out Christians’ post but apparently it’s unavoidable. There are probably other mainstream religions that have their panties in a knot about homosexuality but Christianity is the one I know.
I question the belief that homosexuality is a sin – I think the Bible verses where it mentions homosexuality aren’t being translated accurately. I’m not as interested in this as perhaps you are, so here’s the link to a video and article that breaks down each verse and translation.
Why am I not interested, you may ask? The real question is, why are you?
My husband and I have a son and two daughters. Now, I have done ‘exhaustive research’ on this topic (as in, I’ve talked to other families with daughters) and found out that, as a general rule, it is with the oldest daughter that the parents will most likely get to use the phrase “You are not the mother”.
“You are not the mother here. Your input is not needed. I do not need your help in telling your sibling what to do.”
I need to be really clear, it’s not that my daughter doesn’t necessarily know what she’s talking about because she often does. She has her shit remarkably together and has a decent grasp of everybody else’s schedules/jobs/roles/responsibilities, as well. She has saved my slightly (very) disorganized butt more than a few times, which no doubt has reinforced her attitude that she has the RIGHT to know what’s going on and the authority to make judgements and tell others what they should do.
She will correct her siblings. She will speak FOR me, even if I’m sitting right there, because she thinks I am taking too long to step in. She will listen to her parents correcting her sibling and then REPEAT OR EXPLAIN THE CORRECTION FURTHER.
When there is a big-ass scrap between kids I can almost guarantee it escalated to mayhem levels before a parent could break it up because, bless her beautiful heart, Eldest Daughter was simply unable to keep. her. mouth. shut.
The church is basically being the eldest daughter. The Bible is REALLY clear that our job is to love one another, and yet we still lack the collective ability to keep. our. mouth. shut. when it comes to other people.
You think that because you see a verse that *possibly* speaks about something being bad (but definitely is not something that affects you), it is your job to loudly point it out. Well, to be honest this is where the comparison with my daughter isn’t completely parallel, difference being that you’re not actually talking face-to-face with people in the demographic you’re condemning. It’s not like you know any personally. But darn it, you will post that meme, ‘keyboard warrior’ it up online and rant about it among your friends who think and look and act the same as you.
It makes you feel like you’re doing God’s work. Which kinda makes you feel good about yourself and how holy you are, at least in comparison.
It’s a lot more comfortable to go after a strangers’ perceived flaws than to be vulnerable and talk about very real, authentic ones that are a lot closer to home.
Don’t want to talk about pornography addiction in the church?
Don’t want to talk about Christian teen pregnancy rates? How about sexually transmitted diseases?
Don’t want to talk about sexual assault statistics within the church?
I could go on; there are lots of options to choose from in the file ‘There Are People in The Church, Therefore So Is This Stuff’.
Feeling uncomfortable yet? Quick, deflect the attention! Get all wound up about a narrative that is not even an actual problem!
“We need to guard our daughters and wives from letting those transgenders into their bathroom!”
Oh, be honest: transgender people have been using the bathrooms they’re comfortable in since forever and 99% of the time nobody even knows it. They’re far more likely to be the ones attacked if they used their birth gender’s bathroom than be the attackers in the women’s bathroom.
Do you really want to know where to look for threats to your daughters and wives? Family and friends. Statistically the threat is from somebody trusted and is in plain sight. And is after your sons, too. Sorry, the truth is a lot scarier and more uncomfortable than you perhaps want to realize (here’s a link with the sexual assault statistics from a Christian website, even).
Now here’s the thing.
I’m aware that this is way too difficult for some of you and I likely lost you as soon as you caught that I wasn’t ‘on your side’ (or possibly as soon as I used the word ‘panties’).
But just so you’re aware, you’re also part of normal human variation.
Be it genetics or environment, ‘nature or nurture’, you are also part of the diversity that encompasses every part and label and political affiliation there is.
Truly, honestly, I think some people are born with conservative minds and simply can’t change. You need things to fit into neat, perfect pigeonholes and you reeeally don’t like when they don’t.
You simply can’t be someone different, anymore than a transgender person can just decide to be the gender they were assigned at birth. Any more than my son can just ‘cure’ his autism. If I’m going to express compassion for people “born this way” then I must also extend it to people “born that way”. I don’t have to understand you, but I do have to accept that you will not change. Seeing as the conservative point of view is shared by a large percentage of people I’m morally required to speak up to defend the rights of the minorities and marginalized, but I am not morally required to change you into people that I’m more comfortable being around.
Just because I’m a more liberal-minded dinosaur doesn’t make me any less or more of a dinosaur than you; I can see, accept, and appreciate you for the conservative-minded dinosaur you are.
“The beauty of the world lies in the diversity of its people.” – unknown
More articles on the biology and science behind sex and gender –
“transgender people appear to be born with brains more similar to gender with which they identify, rather than the one to which they were assigned.” – Between the (Gender) Lines: the Science of Transgender Identity
Quote that struck me from this article from National Geographic – “One finding in transgender research has been robust… children and adolescents on the autism spectrum are seven times more likely than other young people to be gender nonconforming. And, conversely, children and adolescents at gender clinics are six to 15 times more likely than other young people to have ASD.” – How Science Is Helping Us Understand Gender