“Mine is the sunlight, mine is the morning
Born of the one light, Eden saw play
Praise with elation, praise every morning
God’s recreation of the new day.” — Cat Stevens/Eleanor Farjeon
Sometimes you need the lime wedge before you take the tequila shot. Sometimes you need it before, after, and then again a few minutes later. That happened when I stumbled upon a news story that a friend stumbled on yesterday. It seems someone in the Texas state legislature really doesn’t like transgender kids.
Of course, that’s not the way they would describe it. They would say they are looking out for children. The story in question references a bill that has been proposed before the state legislature. It seems they want to remove kids from their parents if they get a gender reassignment. They consider that tantamount to child abuse. See, I told you that you needed that lime wedge.
I can’t hardly decide where to begin on all of this. Should we take this on its merits or should we address the strategy behind it? The person (I’m not dignifying them by name) knows this has no chance in passing. So, why bother? Well, they are making a political statement and a social one as well. They also want to distract us from what is really going on in the legislature. They hope we will expend our energy defeating this monstrosity of a bill and ignore the real stuff they are trying to do.
Texas has done this for years. They take real issues like education, infrastructure, and the energy crisis and throw them on the backburner for wedge issues only a few care about deeply. Most of the time it is a bill allowing a three year old to bring a semi-automatic machine gun to daycare or having women that seek abortions drawn and quartered. You’ve seen them before. They are the type of bills that make you wonder if a majority of Texans are just stupid, mean, or if they are breathing at all.
However, this gets to the heart of what is inside the typical conservative. There isn’t much going on upstairs and what lies inside the chest is black indeed. I get the discomfort. We have a few students on campus that are transgender. It can be hard to deal with how you address them or what to talk about with them. I get discomfort on that level.
Acceptance and comfort are two different things. I also get an uneasiness that comes with reconciling believing in a God that doesn’t make mistakes and dealing with someone that feels like they are one. However, this is where the ignorance rolls in. Transgender people don’t go down to the local Walgreens, take a pill, and then become what they want. They don’t get cut from the basketball team, put on a dress, and then try out for the girl’s team. Yet, this is how this bill and others that have actually passed state legislatures seem to think about the process of reassigning your gender.
I don’t know everything that goes into it, but I have some idea. Parents aren’t demanding their kid change genders and they aren’t buying hormones on the black market to get it done. This involves doctors, mental health professionals, and probably counselors. It involves deep reflection, soul searching, and numerous intermediate steps. Parents and children willing to go through with it deserve much more than what they are getting. It takes courage for a parent to let go of what they thought they had to allow their child to become the person they feel they need to become.
I can only empathize at this point. I am a parent and I know how much our conception of our daughter is wrapped up in her identity as our daughter. Should she want to become our son there would be a lot that would need to be sorted through. Yet, keeping our child would not be one of those. Loving our child would not be one of those. It would be a cold day in hell before anyone would take her or him away from us.
So, at the end of the day it is difficult to imagine what is more detestable in this case. Is the thought process itself the most obnoxious thing? Is the ignorance about the process of becoming transgender the most obnoxious thing? Is the hypocrisy of citing a loving and benevolent God while completely ignoring the love that he taught us to show the most obnoxious thing? It could be all of those, but it could be the simple truth that they want us talking about these things while they rob us blind behind our back. Either way, feel free to go back to the top and suck on your lime wedge. If you’ve made it this far you deserve it.