It’s Been One Year

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.

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9 thoughts on “It’s Been One Year

    • Having known you for over 40 years I know somewhat of the fiber you are woven of. Your gentle, kind heart demonstrates the love of Jesus Christ in a world that so desperately needs your words of wisdom and experience. The church is forced continually to deal with issues whether it wants to or not. Thank you for another blog that makes us think and look within our soul for the answers that keeps us moving forward. Blessings my dear friend. DEEinCinci.

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  1. Paula, you are one of a kind! Beautifully gifted with words to express and capture YOUR journey. You bring something to this earth that no one ever has and no one ever will! You are a unique GodSpark and a Golden Thread in the tapestry of life!

    We are in an age now where the things that are holding humanity back from true oneness are being called out. I see it in myself, as I would have sadly been one of those judgemental Christians in your life just five years ago. But I’m not willing to defend the old ways anymore that never produced what I wanted anyway, and only served to promote separateness from others.

    As those things are called out in me—they fall from me like wiping crumbs off my lap after a meal. This surprised me at first, as I thought there should be a struggle.

    All this to say—we are all one. Anything that separates us is not worth defending. And I believe that first statement I wrote for *every* person on this planet! (Just swap out “words” with whatever divine expression God gave YOU) And so does our Creator. I pray that we will all have God’s eyes to see all our inherent beauty—and the crumbs on our laps.

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  2. Although I do not pretend to understand your journey, I applaud your willingness to share it with so many, whether they be understanding, confused or downright mean. I am learning much from your blogs and being educated about any issue helps move conversations forward.

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  3. Paula, you are one of the most courageous people I know. Your integrity inspires me. Your friendship nurtures me. Your wisdom & intellect enrich & challenge me. Love you.

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  4. I have most, if not all, of your Christian Standard articles. Everyone very helpful. I have read all your writings this past year, both here and the other site. They have been helpful. I have a similar, but not identical, struggle as yours. I have not had the courage you have shown. But you have been an encouragement to me. I heard you speak in Indianapolis, Indiana, several years ago. It was a blessing. So has your writing been a blessing to me.

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  5. I’m grateful for your writing. It has helped me to understand so much, not only about you, but about myself – hence, good writing. I’m grateful to understand better the challenges of your journey. I hope it makes me more empathetic and compassionate. There were times this last year that I wanted to counsel, esp. when I saw the anger. In those times I’m glad I was silent. You did move through those classical stages of grief. Well done.

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  6. When an old friend ranted and raved about your transition I knew I had to know more about you. It made me wonder: if he valued your wisdom before, why didn’t he still? Yet, I already knew the answer–the narrowness of mind, and smugness which are too often the byproduct of the atrophied Restoration mind. During the years you wrote for Christian Standard I never read the magazine, so I only know you as Paula, and know you are a seeker of spiritual truth, never satisfied that you have arrived or needing to defend the same old hallowed ground that has been occupied forever by you and your forbears. Thank you for sharing your newness of life, your struggles and your continuing spiritual journey.

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