Dear Reader

Dear Reader,

Now I have gotten the responses I expected. A lot of you from the church world are really, really angry. You have made that clear. You are “disgusted,” “embarrassed” and above all else, sad. Some of you are sad for what my family and I have been through. Most of you are sad I have disappointed you. Today’s blog is for you.

Here is the truth. I will leave you alone. I will not try to return to your world. No one has to visit my blog. If you like, you can block it on your computer. I think we will both be happier.

But the subject is not going away. People like me are in your church right now. They are struggling and feeling hopeless. Almost half are considering ending their lives. I have heard from them. There are far more than you think. They love their church, but few are offering them any real hope. They are likely to either lose their own lives or lose most everything else. I know you would like them to go away, or you would like them all to be flamboyant cross dressers or drag queens you feel you can easily dismiss. But they are not. They are good people trying hard to be better people. You can pretend they are not there, but most of the developed world has come to realize it is time to let them live in some semblance of peace.

Time magazine recently suggested we have reached the tipping point on transgender issues. Just about every professional medical society in the world sees Gender Dysphoria as a legitimate diagnosis. Even the DSM V declassified it as a disorder. You can believe all these people are wrong if you like. It’s up to you.  But I would ask you to think about one thing.  In the rearview mirror, prejudice looks pretty ugly, from Galileo being placed under house arrest for his belief in a sun-centered solar system, to African-American people being forced to the back of the bus, to women not being given the right to vote.  Unfortunately the church was the culprit in the first, and complicit in the latter two.  Hardening of the categories is a dangerous illness.

My guess is that most of you will be furious with me for a while, and then you will forget about me, shaking your head when someone brings up my name. It’s all right. I knew that would happen when I chose to come out. And you will not take the time to really study what it means to be transgender because, well, you have more important things to do. Most people probably feel that way.

It’s not that I do not understand your anger. I was a person of influence. People trusted me. You feel I broke that trust and you are afraid my influence might remain among people who are more vulnerable. I understand where you are coming from, and I respect your right to see life as you feel God has led you to see it. Obviously, I see it differently.

So, let’s simply part ways. You don’t try to contact me, and I won’t try to contact you. I will build a new life, and you will go on with yours. And the world will go on turning.

Paula

PS.  For those who choose to remain, I will continue to write a weekly column.

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.

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