Any More Clarity?
Today I am going to answer a few more of your questions.
Since going public with this news, how have people responded?
I have been overwhelmed by the support I have received. It has been amazing and life sustaining. I am embarrassed to say I did not expect it. It has been a source of great encouragement.
One of the more surprising revelations has been the discovery of how many people saw me as a father figure. I had no idea. This news has taken many of them to a difficult place. Can they trust what they learned from me about being a man? Who am I to them now? These are difficult questions, and I wish I could be of more direct help.
Do you plan to continue working within the Christian church movement?
I have worked with Christian churches my entire life. It is in my DNA. However, every church and organization with which I served has chosen to end their work relationship with me. I am still called to that work, however, so I will find a place in which to do it. It pains me greatly that it will not be in the movement I love so much.
Some have suggested you are “advocating for something,” or “trying to justify yourself.” Are you, in fact, trying to justify yourself?
I did not see those accusations coming and I have been surprised. All I have wanted to do is explain a very difficult reality. That is what I have always done. I am an explainer, one who takes complicated material and makes it understandable to a broader audience. I have absolutely no expectation I will convince anyone of anything.
People tend to make up their own minds about these types of issues. Most choose to get on the cultural bandwagon that travels through their neck of the woods. If it is supportive of trans people, they are supportive. If it is not, they are not. Life is complicated. We can only personally study so many issues. On some subjects, particularly those we are inclined to see as esoteric, we let someone else decide for us. Do I believe this subject is esoteric? No. Do I wish everyone would study it for themselves? Yes. But most will not and I understand.
Do you have any more clarity about how you plan to proceed?
Yes, I do have more clarity. I have decided that moving forward authentically means moving forward as Paula. I am integrating Paul into Paula. I know legions will disagree. I am sorry. As I said before, I do appreciate the advice of people who have not walked a mile in my shoes. But they have not walked a mile in my shoes. If the life I have lived is not enough to convince people this decision is all right, there is nothing I can say or do that will convince them otherwise.
How do you feel about the days ahead?
I pray I can move forward with wisdom and grace, and find the strength to speak the words of Dag Hammarskjold – “For all that has been, thanks. For all that shall be, yes.”
Copyright c 2014 Paula S. Williams. This document is not to be reproduced or conveyed in any media, neither print nor electronic, without express, written permission of the author.