Monday, October 27, 2008

How to handle the question of religion?:April 14, 2008

Well, this past Saturday the Trans/Partner group that I’ve been attending had another meeting, and we were out all day shopping for a dress for my daughter. And I suggested that we go after doing some shopping. I went to the Transgender T Project (trans photo project) committee meeting before the regular meeting and my daughter joined later for the regular meeting. She showed up on time and I felt great having them there as I wanted to introduce her to a few friends of mine. It was great, Steph did her best to use the proper pronouns. What was great about that was I never asked her to, she took it a pond herself to do this J . I was feeling great at that point, and an ½ hour into the meeting the partners split up and went to another room for their own meeting. Well, we had a nice meeting and when they came back I noticed that Steph had a tissue in her hand rolled up (looked like it was used). I meant to ask her about it on the way home, but we got talking about other things and it slipped my mind until we got ready for bed. I asked her if everything was alright today at the meeting and she said it was, but she did cry a little. She asked how to handle the trans issues and her religion. She was brought up in a Catholic house and had always been very close to god, and I believe this had caused her a lot of issues in the beginning. She said that she asked how to handle this because she believed the bible says that being trans, gay or lesbian was not right. I forgot what she said the group told her, but I tried to explain how I felt about it. I told her that I felt that me being transsexual could not be a sin since I have felt this way since I was so young and that I felt I was born this way. I went on to explain how there are many birth defects (not sure if I feel comfortable calling it a birth defect, but it will do for now) in life and I could not see how god could turn his head on someone that had one. I used intersexed individuals as one example, and went on to explain what that meant (to make sure she understood).

We talked last night tell 2am about all this. She still seems to be behind me, but I was wondering if anyone has had to deal with the question of religion and being trans with anyone and how they have dealt with it and explained it to the other person. I guess I am just looking for some advice for the future, in case the subject comes up again as it may when I begin to come out to her cousins and aunts. It looks to me like she has gotten past that question, but I thought if I could reassure her in some other way it may help her along even more. Please help with that question, any advice would be appreciated.

I also talked with my daughter some more today and asked her if she has talked to any of her friends about the trans issues. I heard a rumor she was afraid I didn’t want her to tell any of her friends. She told me so far she has only talked to her boyfriend (gee whiz that sound so weird to hear me saying boyfriend when I talk about my daughter, lol). He was ok with it as he knew of several trans kids in his school. I thought that was awesome, because I have been trying to hide my chest when he has been over, lol. Sine I didn’t know she talked to him and as ok with it, I didn’t want to disturb their relationship until she was ready. I was glad to hear that she talked to him about it. I also told her that if she felt she wanted to talk to any of her other friends about it, that I didn’t mind and I’d rather her talk to someone (if not me) then keep it all inside. It’s good to talk about these issues. A few years ago, I think I would have told her not to say anything, but I believe I’m ready to step out of my comfort zone now and start reaching out to others and hope that they will learn something and try to make it a positive experience for them.

Well its been an interesting week with the move and all the talks I’ve had with Vicky and Stephanie. I’m just glad to be home and I hope the positive things keep happening between us. Well, I’ll close for now, I hope you all have a great week. I hope to do another Vblog soon, so keep an eye out ;).

Hugs Michelle

Doing my part for the community. Please see the following if you live in the Tri-State New York area:

The Loft LGBT Community Services center is overseeing a multi-media exhibit called ‘The T Project’ that seeks to answer the question of who comprises the “T” in the LGBT Community. By utilizing photographs, written word and video, we are setting out to counter the media’s often lurid and sensationalist portrayals of transgender individuals. ‘The T Project’ will present framed black-and-white photos of transgender individuals in various forms of mainstream life – with parents, spouses/partners, children, at work, in religious service, etc., - with accompanying testimonials from family members, friends, employers, etc. it is our hope to show the communities we live in just who we really are – their neighbors, co-workers, students and teachers, friends and family.

With a scheduled September, 2008 roll-out, the exhibit will then travel to a number of highly visible trans/LGBT friendly venues in Westchester Co and neighboring counties, residing for public viewing at various locales before moving on to it next destination. Initially the project is slated to run through the end of the calendar year, although that may change according to need.

We are currently seeking participants who would be comfortable participating in such a project and could contribute an accompanying written piece, and photographers willing to work within the project’s framework. (Please note: The T Project has no monetary-compensation component, although all photographers will receive public credit for their work.) Subjects under the age of 18 would require to have a legal guardian sign a photo release form as provided be the Loft.

Please feel free to contact Stephanie Bonvissuto or Ms. Shelly Abbott, head of the Creation committee, via The Loft’s Helpline at 914-948-4922 x14, or at, for official criteria guidelines, or with any questions you may have.

Thank you for you consideration. Together, we can make a difference. Together, we will be seen and heard.

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