There is no vida more local than our bodies. The majority of us grow up complaining about these temples, we’re too fat/thin, our mouth is too big/small, our hair is too straight/curly. We’ve all got a beef.
But there are those whose beef is bigger. Their self is completely out of alignment with their body. And that’s torturous. Society is only slowly beginning to be aware of this struggle. In small pockets, people are beginning to listen to their children and come to terms with their truths. Watch Katie Couric interview Jazz, a 14-year-old transgender youth.
But others are frightened by this and too many transgender folk pay a horrendous price for being who they are. Our fear and transphobia too often causes them to hate themselves. I couldn’t find the exact figures for the statistics on suicides and attempted suicides, but, here are some fairly stark facts (from Equality PA)
- 74% of transgender people report experiencing harassment or mistreatment at work;
- 74% of children in grades K-12 who expressed a transgender identity or gender non-conformity experienced harassment at school and 23% of those students experienced physical assault; and
- 49% (nearly half) of transgender people were verbally harassed or otherwise disrespected when seeking public accommodation such as eating in restaurant or getting on bus.
I’m so lucky to have Bill Stayton, world renowned sexologist as a member of my congregation. He’s leading/teaching/supporting us, at church and in our valley, as we come to terms with a life that is far larger than we’ve understood.
Everyone deserves to live in Peace. Transfolk have a hard journey to make. We may not understand, but we can be part of creating a world where there’s enough Peace for them to work through to who they are. We can be present to them as they become fully who they’re meant to be. Peace. Let’s make it. And let’s bear witness as people make it for themselves.