It’s Been One Year
It has been one year since I came out as transgender. Many people have been supportive. Some have been critical while others have just remained silent. Fundamentalists have been my most vocal critics. The decision to write my blog was called narcissistic, exhibitionistic and immodest. All are words of judgment, something at which Fundamentalists excel. Nevertheless, you cannot hear such attacks without questioning yourself every now and again. But as I have written, embedded within my identity are responsibilities, and I believe it is important to provide an alternative picture to what the mass media portray about the trans journey.
To write this blog I have given up a few things. The most precious is my privacy. My readers have watched me trudge from denial to anger to acceptance. All I have written has been honest, but some of it has not been pretty. I have also given up any possibility of anonymity. I could have chosen to live a stealth life as Paula. There is a blessed freedom in the times I am able to move about in a world in which Paul was never known. But when I chose to transition publicly, I forfeited that opportunity.
I do find writing to be therapeutic. I have tried to maintain a balance between keeping readers informed and maintaining some modicum of dignity. When the subject is so deeply personal, however, it is difficult to maintain balance. Blogs, not to mention Facebook posts, can become little more than diarrhea of the keyboard, self-referential and superficial. While I have tried to avoid such self-indulgence, it has occasionally been present. I do appreciate your grace and forgiveness when I cross the line.
I do not want my trans journey to be the only thing about which I write. I wrote over 500 columns for Christian Standard magazine, and I enjoyed writing about all things theological and church-related. Some of my recent writing has returned to those familiar themes. I have always liked wrestling with life’s spiritual issues and the tribes they spawn. As time goes by I am confident I will return to those themes with greater regularity.
The vast majority of you, my readers, have been very gracious. Even when you have not understood my journey, you have given me the benefit of the doubt. You have been warmly encouraging, steadfastly loyal, and unendingly supportive. With all the difficulties of the past year, I do not know what I would have done without you.
Life is linear, not circular. As I continue this journey with its twists and turns, obstacles and opportunities, I deeply cherish your willingness to come along as fellow travelers. Your companionship will never be taken for granted and your love will never be forgotten.