21 May 2015

Re-Named In The Church Of England?

"It's a girl!"

I sent a "birth" announcement beginning with that line after I woke from my gender-reassignment surgery. For the time of my "birth", of course, I mentioned the date and hour my surgery was completed, and that I was "born" a healthy girl who weighs "I won't tell you how much".

Of course, that message was meant to be humorous--at least somewhat.  You see, I felt as if I had been born.  Surprisingly, a female colleague  who had given birth not long before then believed, perhaps more than anyone else, that I had indeed been born.

Now it seems that some clergy in the Church of England understand--and want to recognize--our births into our lives as the people we really are.

Reverend Chris Newlands, the vicar of the Lancaster Priory, has proposed a motion to the General Synod to debate plans to introduce a new ceremony.  That rite would be akin to baptism and mark the new identities of those who undergo a gender transition.

Rev. Newlands was spurred into action by a young trans man who asked whether he could be re-baptized.  "Once you've been baptized, you're baptized," the priest said.

"But I was baptized as a girl, under a different name," the parishioner explained. 

As I understand it, the Church of England is much like its American offshoot, the Episcopal Church, in that the official church view on transgenderism, or many other issues, is that two opposing views "can be properly held".   That gives local church and parish officials a lot of leeway to interpret doctrine.  So while there are priests like Reverend Newlands who see the need for a re-baptism ceremony, and individual parishes that welcome trans people, there are still conservative clergy, officials and congregations that will not accept gay clergy or same-sex marriage. 

So, while I am glad Reverend Newlands has trying to start a discussion of the issue, I think it will be a while before we can tell whether the motion he proposed has any chance of passing, let alone whether the church will adopt the ceremony he has in mind.

20 May 2015

Transgender Girl Scouts!

They're letting boys become Girl Scouts!  No....

No, it's not happening.  But that's what all those hate "socially conservative" and superstitious "religious" groups with "Family" in their name would have you believe.

Boys in makeup and dresses!

How many times have we heard that canard?  They are not boys or even "boys who identify as girls".  They are girls who happen to have been assigned the male gender at birth.

Boys in the tents with girls!

See above.  They're not boys.  And, contrary to the fears being mongered by all of those "family" groups, there's not a single report, anywhere, of a trans girl or woman sexually harassing, assaulting or molesting anyone.  We may not be angels, but we frankly have better things to do.

Whoever's in charge of the Girl Scouts of America seems to understand as much.  At least, that's the sense one gets from this statement on their website:

Girl Scouts is proud to be the premiere leadership organization for girls in the country. Placement of transgender youth is handled on a case-by-case basis, with the welfare and best interests of the child and the members of the troop/group in question a top priority. That said, if the child is recognized by the family and school/community as a girl and lives culturally as a girl, then Girl Scouts is an organization that can serve her in a setting that is both emotionally and physically safe.

Of course the bigoted Christian right won't let that one lie. They believe it's a
slap in the face to Christian parents."

Ah, yes--that canard again.  Whenever we get some of the rights other people have, "Christians" cry "We're being persecuted!" 

Let them howl. The Girl Scouts are, at least, being the leadership organization they say they are.

Maybe I'll buy some more of their cookies.  Let me tell you, the Somosa's are amazing.  So are the good old-fashioned Thin Mints.  And the Rah-Rah Raisins.  (What was that about my diet?)

19 May 2015

I Heard About This Rumour...

There's a Rumour in the NBA...

No, that's not something a British sports journalist wrote about American professional basketball, though it could be.  (As to what that rumour might be, I'll leave it up to your imagination! ;-)).  Actually, it's the dream of a 12-year-old boy in Kentucky.

It just happens that the boy's name is Rumour. Still, this story--of a 12-year-old boy who wants to play in the NBA--would not be remarkable except for one other detail.

Since you're reading this blog, you might have guessed what that detail is. Yes, Rumour was assigned the female sex at birth. But, from the moment he could talk, he has insisited he is a boy.

The last time he wore a dress, at age 5, he insisted, "I'll never wear this again." He traded dolls for tools, and likes to ride dirtbikes and play in the dirt.  

"We fought it for as long as we could," says Brandon Brock, the stepfather of Rumour Lee Setters.  "We finally gave in" and, he recalls, realized his son wasn't going through "a phase".  Now his mother, Rachel, says, "I wouldn't have Rumour any other way."

Whether or not he makes it to the NBA, it looks like he's already experienced victory.