Becky's Home Page
"The Real Life Test" -
A True Autobiography
A List of Therapists Who Treat
State - By - State Instructions
For Changing Name And Sex
On Birth Certificate
Topics Related to
Lefty: A Short Story
Parallel Lines: A Tribute
1998: Christmas Remembered
1999: What's In A Date?
2000: Peace On Earth
2001: Dark Days
2002: The Little Things
2003: Shop Till You Drop
2005: What Are You Waiting For?
2006: Peace In Our Heart
2007: The Greatest Of These
Five Years Later
The Grace Letters
One Day At A Time
Strength Through Weakness
Play It As It Lays
The Way We Weren't
Share It Or Bear It
I'm Not One Of Them
What Have We To Fear?
God Don't Make No Junk
Work It Out!
What's In A Date?
Life In The Leper Colony
I Love You IF...
One Thing I Know
The Least Of These
Believing The Lie
The Greatest Of These
Facial Plastic Surgeons
"Feminization of the Transsexual"
Douglas K. Ousterhout,
M.D., D. D. S.
The truth shall make you free.
But does it always?
The guys from my Bible study group were gathered in the den, cheering or groaning according to their team preference. Not I. Liberated from the burden of watching football, I joined our hostess and the other women over coffee in the kitchen.
In a group of formerly married women, the conversation often turns to the demise of the marriage. I listened with sympathy, careful to avoid using certain words in my replies, particularly "husband."
"Construct a past history," I have heard it advised for persons who have undergone gender transition. "Know what you will say about your periods, your hysterectomy, your husband and children."
I can't do it. Building such a fabrication is an active falsehood. I was married, but I didn't have a husband; so I refer to my "ex" and my "former spouse," and I use the pronoun "they" rather than "he."
Is this a passive falsehood - lying by omission? Is it always necessary to tell all my past history, to "out" myself? I say it is not. I don't deny my past if asked, but I don't always volunteer it either.
The Bible tells us that, early in his ministry, Jesus withheld some information about himself.
He drove out many demons, but he would not let the demons speak because they knew who he was.
This does not mean that I equate my human circumstances with Jesus's divinity. I do believe that his actions serve as an example to be prudent about our disclosures.
People perceive me to be a woman. Guess what: they are right. I am! My past history is, in almost all circumstances, irrelevant to my present life. In a similar way, people look at a recovered alcoholic but perceive that person to be sober. It is not necessary for either one of us to publicize past events that may cause distress and confusion to persons who know us superficially.
I did not transition in my former home, but moved to another state. I have chosen to disclose to a few close friends and co-workers, all of whom have received the news with acceptance.
If someone special enters my life, of course that person will have to know. It would be totally wrong to withhold anything from one who loves me.
I have chosen to blend into society as an ordinary woman. I spend most of my time dealing with persons who are not in good physical health. They don't have to be accepting and understanding, and it's my calling to care for them with all my skills and empathy. They trust me. Most would still trust themselves to my care if they knew everything; but some would not.
Perhaps even writing this column puts me at risk. If so, it is a risk I must take. I would consider it hypocrisy to discuss a subject such as this anonymously.
Many of my friends have chosen to be completely open about their transition, accepting the risk of discrimination and rejection. In the long run, this may be the best and most truthful option.
Which course is correct? Do we "lie by omission"? Some have called it "blending into the woodwork." Is it really just living in a gigantic closet?
Neither course is inherently wrong, and my plans may be inappropriate for you. I suggest each of us seek guidance from the Holy Spirit for our actions.
If we choose to blend in quietly, we must also be prepared for the possibility of being "outed" by persons or events we can't control. The proper course then is the truthful one, acknowledging without shame or guilt. Our friends and colleagues will still respect the person they have known.
Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.
Salt adds flavor and preserves freshness. If we eat food without salt, we may find it unpleasant and offensive. If our speech is "seasoned with salt" it means our words are well chosen to have a pleasant, positive effect on the listener. We will try to avoid an offensive, confrontational attitude.
Whether we choose to be open about our gender transition, or to avoid declaring it to the general public, our motive should be guided by Christ's love in our hearts.
Speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.