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Did You Choose Your Gender?


Abigail Genevieve

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7 hours ago, Abigail Genevieve said:

I suspect some transgender people are giving all transgender a bad name, but I point no fingers.


I’m glad to hear you mean no harm and have no beef with genderfluid folks. Thank you for clarifying that. This still seems a strange presumption to me though, when so much of anti-trans propaganda is clearly either (a) concocted in bad faith to justify an argument, or (b) based on ignorant assumptions. Yes it’s possible a few outliers in the trans community are making ridiculous claims about this topic, but even if so I seriously doubt they are the cause of the relevant anti-trans propaganda. 
 

47 minutes ago, Abigail Genevieve said:

I would not refer to any of these as transphobes. 


That may well be a fair call, and you’re right that “transphobe” is an over-generalisation. I used it as a shorthand and because, as Sally and MaeBe said, there is always a transphobic minority that spreads the anti-trans views which then unfortunately influence some who are less transphobic. But I still think we can fairly characterise such beliefs as being transphobic, at least partly. As to the absence of hatred in those church documents, you may be right about that, but I would be wary of taking people or institutions at face value when they urge love and compassion. Even the most virulent transphobes sometimes claim to support trans people. Actions speak louder than words. 
 

I do better understand your anguish over lack of belief in trans identities now though. It must be very difficult being trans and involved with certain churches. I know there are some churches that accept and affirm trans folks though; maybe it’s time for a change in denomination?

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1 hour ago, Abigail Genevieve said:

I would not refer to any of these as transphobes.  I am not sure the term is useful in conceptualizing or interacting with those who object to the idea of transgender being something besides sin.

Honestly, I wasn't talking about religious stances on trans people when I wrote that. That said, religion fosters transphobia in subtle and awful ways. Such as your reference for the SBC, it's a sin. Why? Because they interpret scripture in a way to exclude trans people from the capability of being saved? Where do you think transphobia really stems from? It is 100% rooted in religion. Even those that aren't religious are influenced by religion, society as a whole has been. I think handwaving their position as simply "honoring tradition" or "interpreting sin" as not being transphobic is allowing their doublespeak to cloud judgement. If they truly loved, respected, understood, and embraced humanity people they wouldn't exclude trans people. They would go to the parts of the bible that talk about loving everyone as they are God's creations and just letting God sort it out in the end, but no: if you're not cis/het, you're not welcome and shame on you [selected slur]!

 

On the flip side, I draw parallels to how religion behaves exactly as xstian nationalists insist LGBTQ+ people are grooming youths. The main way to make more xtians is to breed and indoctrinate the young. Trans people aren't forcing their young to be trans or guilting them to no end if they're not or traveling the world as missionaries to spread transness!

 

Anyway, I am flying too close to the Sun here. I have no qualms if people find solace, grace, or peace in faith or religion, but I am wary of the idea that religion doesn't propagate transphobia.

 

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4 minutes ago, MaeBe said:

 religion, but I am wary of the idea that religion doesn't propagate transphobia.

 

Listen to John MacArthur on trans* sometimes - Christians sometimes do.  I could easily point to others. 

 

I'm not sure religion is the underlying cause.  In a primitive tribe, a man does not want to go to war because he is a woman? They are down a warrior. A woman claims to be a man and does not want to build the tribe up by giving birth? Both of these things are primitively treason against the tribe. 

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1 hour ago, Betty K said:


I’m glad to hear you mean no harm and have no beef with genderfluid folks. Thank you for clarifying that. This still seems a strange presumption to me though, when so much of anti-trans propaganda is clearly either (a) concocted in bad faith to justify an argument, or (b) based on ignorant assumptions. Yes it’s possible a few outliers in the trans community are making ridiculous claims about this topic, but even if so I seriously doubt they are the cause of the relevant anti-trans propaganda. 
 


That may well be a fair call, and you’re right that “transphobe” is an over-generalisation. I used it as a shorthand and because, as Sally and MaeBe said, there is always a transphobic minority that spreads the anti-trans views which then unfortunately influence some who are less transphobic. But I still think we can fairly characterise such beliefs as being transphobic, at least partly. As to the absence of hatred in those church documents, you may be right about that, but I would be wary of taking people or institutions at face value when they urge love and compassion. Even the most virulent transphobes sometimes claim to support trans people. Actions speak louder than words. 
 

I do better understand your anguish over lack of belief in trans identities now though. It must be very difficult being trans and involved with certain churches. I know there are some churches that accept and affirm trans folks though; maybe it’s time for a change in denomination?

The only memory I can drudge up about a flippant attitude was some school kid who said he switched genders on a whim and never could decide on Monday what he would be Tuesday.  This was an online article a ways back.  For all I know the author of the article exaggerated.  Or misunderstood.

 

Trying to locate the cause of this idea that transgender people have a flippant attitude, which nyet, about TG, especially in the light of the immense soul-struggle so many go through on so many levels.

 

They may say they love someone, but you are right, what happens in the actuality is what counts and 'loving church discipline' can be cold and cruel.  Personally I am not going to risk it. If I found myself at an SBC church even for one meeting I would carefully avoid any hint that I am TG.  They might feel obligated to deliver my filthy soul from Satan and not believe it when I said I already invited Jesus in my heart and I seek to obey Him.  I have been through things like that at times on other issues.

 

Our denomination has a position paper on transgender I can live with, and we really like our church and are plugged in and comfortable.  I pointed out to our pastor that, percentage wise, we in all likelihood have some stealth transgender among us.  He did not reply, and he did not reply in a manner that makes me think he knows of some in our church, people who have told him they are and he is keeping the confidence.  Several times he has alluded to transgender people without condemnation.  It's a good place. We struggle with the issue of dealing with transgender youth coming to youth events, I have heard second hand.  But they are welcome and they come.  Issues like where do they sleep at night get wrestled with. Not banning them.

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15 minutes ago, Abigail Genevieve said:

In a primitive tribe, a man does not want to go to war because he is a woman? They are down a warrior. A woman claims to be a man and does not want to build the tribe up by giving birth? Both of these things are primitively treason against the tribe. 

And we're no longer primitive. We're not longer fighting for the survival of the species, in fact we're killing the planet with our virility. You can claim old habits die hard, but it's not for primitive clashes of clans (almost wrote clashes of clams, that's a completely different thing!) that these mentalities persist. Who is responsible for maintaining ancient culture in the name of tradition? Perhaps my argument is a semantic one, but who are the people most insistent in perpetuating the past? Religious bodies and those that support them are.

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1 hour ago, Betty K said:


 I do better understand your anguish over lack of belief in trans identities now though. It must be very difficult being trans and involved with certain churches. I know there are some churches that accept and affirm trans folks though; maybe it’s time for a change in denomination?

I read through those SBC documents, the Nashville Statement and some other stuff and I am sitting here frustrated with the situation, not guilty feeling but irritated at how they missed some logical connections because of their preconceptions and I seriously doubt they talked to a biologist, a geneticist or a specialist in sexual disorders before writing this stuff.

 

I've never been SBC and never plan to be.  Nonetheless there is a sense of yuck I have to deal with.  They are conservative evangelicals and likely have never met an articulate transgender person in their lives, one they can dialog with, because, for one thing, according to the Nashville Statement, they will shut down dialog and tell the transgender person how they are wrong.  No listening.  Just telling. 

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Lest I need state it, I understand there are churches/congregations/sects that are very LGBTQ+ welcoming. They are a beautiful minority.

 

On the whole you will find more xtian/xtian-adjacent religions against LGBTQ+ people than those that support them. Perhaps in 300 years it will be different, but for now where are the voices coming from that most vehemently eschew queer people? I ask that simple question. If my answer of mostly religious-based persons is wrong, I am happy to stand corrected.

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I realize that there are some denominations that accept queer people.  But from what I've read of the book, they are kind of avoiding some things that are in there.  I can only speak for myself, but from what I've read I am an abomination (according to the book).  So if that's how it is… what more can I say?  I will no longer try to justify my existence by their standards.  

People have said I am going to hell.  Well, I no longer believe in hell.  So what's the point?  

There is a christian charity that won't let me participate, because I am queer.  I guess "charity" isn't the point after all, is it.

But I don't get off on slinging mud.  I don't want to be bitter.   I'll shut up now.  G'night y'all. 

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This discussion seems to be going off track, as discussions go.  Some of it is on me.  How about if we pull it back on topic? Thank you.

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On 4/11/2024 at 6:32 PM, Betty K said:


Abigail, I would urge compassion when speaking about other members of the trans community....I strongly believe that pointing fingers at each other only weakens us all.  ...As to the rest of us, we’re all in the same boat I’m afraid. I think the best thing we can do therefore is try to get along. We will be much stronger united than fragmented into warring factions.

It is reasonable for me to give the same accommodation to someone else's situation that I request for my own.  So, yeah, point taken.   I not only struggle with my own situation but with some of the others here.  I ask for space to work out my problem with this as a sounding board; it is unreasonable to demand others be quiet when their problems are something I cannot relate to.

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20 hours ago, Abigail Genevieve said:

This discussion seems to be going off track, as discussions go.  Some of it is on me.  How about if we pull it back on topic? Thank you.

 

I'm game. You asked, "Did you choose your gender?" Perhaps if you elaborate on why exactly you ask this, it might redirect the discussion and be more productive to your working out whatever you're working on. Did you intend to poll the community to learn about others' experiences? Are you specifically looking to interact with someone who'd answer in the affirmative? Did you expect anyone to answer in the affirmative?

 

7 hours ago, Abigail Genevieve said:

I not only struggle with my own situation but with some of the others here. 

 

Am I understanding this right? You struggle with your situation and you struggle with other community members' situations? How? Why?

 

7 hours ago, Abigail Genevieve said:

I ask for space to work out my problem with this as a sounding board; it is unreasonable to demand others be quiet when their problems are something I cannot relate to.

 

Can you clearly identify what your problem is, or is that part of the problem that needs working on? Was anyone demanding anyone else be quiet? What do other people's problems have to do with you? I don't mean to sound like I'm challenging you, I just don't understand what you mean. 

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31 minutes ago, Vidanjali said:

 

 

That's a lot of questions.  Most of them require long answers.   I'll think about it.

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6 hours ago, Abigail Genevieve said:

It is reasonable for me to give the same accommodation to someone else's situation that I request for my own.  So, yeah, point taken.   I not only struggle with my own situation but with some of the others here.  I ask for space to work out my problem with this as a sounding board; it is unreasonable to demand others be quiet when their problems are something I cannot relate to.


Thank you for that Abigail. I think we do not need to understand each other to support each other. That said, if we want to understand each other, I think the best thing to do is to ask questions. TransPulse is an excellent sounding board, but it’s also a place trans folks come to feel safe. You have committed no great crime (if you had I’m sure the moderators would have stepped in), I just get nervous when I feel that infighting over gender might be starting up again. 

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13 hours ago, Betty K said:


I think we do not need to understand each other to support each other. 

 

100% and that is the crux of seamless allyship.

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On 4/13/2024 at 6:26 PM, Vidanjali said:

 

I'm game. You asked, "Did you choose your gender?" Perhaps if you elaborate on why exactly you ask this, it might redirect the discussion and be more productive to your working out whatever you're working on. Did you intend to poll the community to learn about others' experiences? Are you specifically looking to interact with someone who'd answer in the affirmative? Did you expect anyone to answer in the affirmative?

I'm wondering if there are people here who experience this sort of choice.  So polling, yes, but not numerically.

 

I did not know what the response would be.  There have been none, so far, saying they choose their gender.  This rebukes various theologians who insist TG folk choose their gender.  If you are cross-brained (say male brained and female bodied) you did not choose it. I have not looked at much beyond that, and I see there is a lot to learn regarding all the variations within trans. 

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7 minutes ago, Abigail Genevieve said:

I see there is a lot to learn regarding all the variations within trans. 

Yeah, we're kinda messy like that.

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32 minutes ago, Abigail Genevieve said:

I'm wondering if there are people here who experience this sort of choice.

It's the internal "self-talk", the socialized guilt for shedding the binary, that presents this question to (likely) all of us. Is it a choice to affirm ourselves in public through a gendered presentation? Yes. Is it a good choice to have to make, or even a healthy one to have to make? No. We should all be free to be and present as befits our internal selves. We can choose to remain closeted or to affirm ourselves, but that doesn't change the internalized gender which we experience and that need not be purely within the context of the male/female binary. Being transgender doesn't mean anything within that social realm, it's such a broad umbrella, and I'm happy for it. There are some that exist within the binary, opposite to what they were assigned at birth. There are some that present heavily opposite their assigned gender, or betwixt social normative presentations, yet don't feel fully opposite in gender, et cetera, et cetera. If everyone that wasn't 100% binary adherent had to ascribe to a fixed and formal gender codex to be considered transgender, it would be a shittier world.

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34 minutes ago, Ivy said:

Yeah, we're kinda messy like that.

Also, I love love love love love this comment, @Ivy!

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I did not choose to be trans nonbinary. I've always been this way. It's just that I didn't know it was okay to be me until well into my 40s. Before that, I struggled to keep on living as what I saw myself as a broken girl, broken woman. I didn't do girl right. I eventually learned to perform woman and the constant anxiety nearly killed me. I chose to let all the performance and self imposed punishment that was gender performance go. I made that choice because I was at a breaking point. I had to find out what being myself meant & I had to find out if that was okay & if I was really lovable just being whatever I am. My experience of life has expanded way beyond what my imagination could have previously conceived. I am adorable, I am loved and appreciated. Most of all, I bring joy and love to others. I am heaven-bent (the opposite of hell-bent which is not the expression I'd use) on being my genuine self and that self is ever evolving. I couldn't have known the fulfillment I enjoy now continuing to perform woman. My mind and heart are free because gone are the constant distractions and fears about "am I doing it right?" "what if they find out?" "is love real?" I do not identify as a woman. I identify to some extent with masculinity, but do not identify as a man. I sometimes feel I don't have gender at all. So I call myself nonbinary or gender neutral, and sometimes transmasc. Sometimes all of the above because that's me. I chose to not have to squeeze myself into the gender typically associated with my body parts. To me that is abhorrent and unnatural. 

 

Here are some questions. If there is a person who chose their gender, what might their motivation be? What might their options have been when they chose. And if they chose differently than the gender typically associated with their sex assigned at birth, how satisfied could they be having made that choice given that there was a choice to be made? The more I think about it, the more absurd it seems. In my estimation, those who assert that trans people chose to be trans are not people who have thought very much at all about gender. And frankly, that's their privilege talking because a cisgender person usually is not confronted by having to think about their gender. So another question is, what motivates those who claim that trans people have chosen their transgender? That last one may be a rhetorical question. At any rate, I would think that anyone making such a claim has in effect invalidated their authority to speak on such matters.

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5 minutes ago, Vidanjali said:

what motivates those who claim that trans people have chosen their transgender? 

If you hold that transgender is a choice, then you introduce free will, and the transgender person has sinned by doing this, and by acting on it. 

 

Given the suicide rate I think the assertion is, shall we say, poorly made.

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59 minutes ago, Vidanjali said:

My experience of life has expanded way beyond what my imagination could have previously conceived.


Exactly my experience. I think this is partly because my imagination did not dare conceive my current life; to conceive of happiness and fulfilment as an openly trans person would have made me want to transition, and that was just too scary to seriously contemplate.

 

1 hour ago, Vidanjali said:

I do not identify as a woman. I identify to some extent with masculinity, but do not identify as a man. I sometimes feel I don't have gender at all. So I call myself nonbinary or gender neutral, and sometimes transmasc.


I can relate to this too, to an extent. I do not, or very rarely, identify as a woman (though in my case, being transfeminine, if my friends refer to me as such I generally take it as a compliment, even though it makes me a little wary). Depending on the situation, and on who I’m talking to, I call myself either a trans woman or, if I feel I will be understood, a transfemme. My ideal is for everyone I meet to know what “transfeminine” means and to think of me in that context, but at this point in history that is a lot to ask. As I get to know people I generally explain the concept, but even the best of my cis friends still default to calling me a woman. Also that’s what it says on my birth certificate — female — but only because it was the most accurate box into which I could cram myself.

 

I guess an ignorant person could say I was changing my gender identity willy nilly in my attempts to tailor my way of identifying to whomever I happen to be talking to. But I try not to concern myself overly with what ignorant people think, unless I think their ignorance may influence policy.

 

1 hour ago, Vidanjali said:

At any rate, I would think that anyone making such a claim has in effect invalidated their authority to speak on such matters.

 

Exactly.

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5 hours ago, Vidanjali said:

I do not identify as a woman. I identify to some extent with masculinity, but do not identify as a man. I sometimes feel I don't have gender at all. So I call myself nonbinary or gender neutral, and sometimes transmasc. Sometimes all of the above because that's me. I chose to not have to squeeze myself into the gender typically associated with my body parts. To me that is abhorrent and unnatural

I look in the mirror and I see something in between. I don't see the woman that strangers see even though I am addressed as such 99% of the time by strangers. Perhaps it's because I know my hidden secret (intersex). 

It is quite flattering to have a door opened for me at the shopping mall and a gentlemen saying, "here you go ma'am."

 

However my reality follows me on weekdays when I attend the medical day-centre. There I am known by my birth gender and addressed as such. They refer to me as a cross-dresser. Even new employees and participants confused me for cis female when they first started.

One new CNA called me ma'am for a few days until corrected by staff (and she saw me naked).

She was quite taken back when they informed her I was male on my records. Another CNA said she thought I was cis female during orientation, but heard me referred to as "Mr B***" during training. 

 

I started this journey calling myself trans-femme at first. I ditched hiding my assets under bib overalls and baggy shirts. I bought clothes that flatter my curves instead of covering them. 

I was just going to be proud to be me regardless of what it meant or looked like. 

Strangers took note and I have been addressed as ma'am ever since. It's those that know me that address me otherwise. I haven't changed my demeanor in the least. I am still just being me. 

 

I prepared my morning like most women do by doing my hair up nicely and choosing my daily outfit. I prepare myself just to my own satisfaction.

I have both testicles and a uterus so I'm pretty much straddling the gender fence, it's my choice which side I fall on. 

 

It's only confusing to others if they chose to make it so. 

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10 hours ago, Betty K said:

. I do not, or very rarely, identify as a woman (though in my case, being transfeminine, if my friends refer to me as such I generally take it as a compliment, even though it makes me a little wary). Depending on the situation, and on who I’m talking to, I call myself either a trans woman or, if I feel I will be understood, a transfemme.

I understand this.  I am very aware that I am a trans woman.  I don't try to hide that.  But it does make me happy to be correctly gendered, or have a man help me with a door, or move something heavy.

I am happy when included with other women, but I don't feel entitled to it, or expect it.

Perhaps I still struggle with accepting myself?

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11 hours ago, Abigail Genevieve said:

If you hold that transgender is a choice, then you introduce free will, and the transgender person has sinned by doing this, and by acting on it. 

 

^^^ For anyone joining the conversation late, I first note that in this quotation Abigail Genevieve is speculating on what someone else might be thinking. 

 

Introduce free will? Free will is considered sinful by some religions?

 

What is free will? And what does it have to do with transgender?

 

I have learned that will is increasingly free when it is directed towards truth because as we are closer to truth we are progressively unbound. Therefore, the greater the free will, the greater is one's ability to handle situations with clarity of mind, insight, and inspiration. Conversely, without free will, we struggle through life, feeling trapped and helpless. The goal in spiritual life is to experience oneself as an instrument in divine hands. To attain this, ego must be effaced. When a trans individual is living in a constant state of bondage, struggling to perform gender assigned at birth, they are immersed in ego because that is at the core of identification with struggle and pain. Certainly there are trans individuals who, as they pursue spiritual life, are able to live life unattached to their incongruous body and social role. But more typically, a trans person finds greater happiness and expansion living in a way which seems natural to them. The experience of happiness, joy, and freedom impresses the mind and opens the heart. This clears the way for greater spiritual progress. Free will is directed towards self-realization in terms of body and the life it navigates. As happiness increases, one's heart turns towards goals beyond the gross physical body which ultimately will pass away. That further frees will. Will attuned to The Divine (whatever one prefers to call That) is the ultimate free will. But one has to start where they are using what they have to work with. And if what you have to work with is a trans life, and your goals are peace and joy, then you must endeavor to free your will from the confines of suffering with false expectations to find the path forward. 

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11 hours ago, Abigail Genevieve said:

If you hold that transgender is a choice, then you introduce free will, and the transgender person has sinned by doing this, and by acting on it. 

Alternately, God makes people as they are meant to be.

 

Most people go through their lives not thinking about their gender, how harmonized their internal voice is with their body, or how they present it, so they need not do anything to live the life that was planned for them. God made some of us differently. So we either act on God's design, or we spurn it to adhere to the social norms of the day (or per the Bible, the social norms of two thousand years ago).

 

I guess the argument could also be made that God made people discordant within their bodies as some sort of Spiritual Test they must endure as an additional hurdle for a select few of his flock. A challenge where they must fight against their design by aligning themselves with perfunctory paperwork that Man wrote for them, suffering various agonies, as an additional requirement to be worthy of God's grace. Sounds reasonable, no?

 

So feeling wrong in my body or feeling more right when presenting differently than what's on my birth certificate, to me, could very well be God's plan for me; if I were to need to justify my life within the auspices of faith. God gave me boobs, made manifest many unexplained psychological aversions, so as to make my and my wife's lives harder just so I could be challenged to get to my death as my penis engenders me. I unlock reasons for the toxic aversions and come to embrace a part of my being, becoming more harmonious with myself and what God gave me, feeling true joy in doing so, and I'm an abomination for it? God gave me this joy, no?

 

So did I choose my gender? Was there even a choice?

 

How's that for a therapy session in a forum post? Sheesh!

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      I always hated wearing hats but am finding some new love for them now, especially with longer hair to try to control.
    • Ivy
      Hats can be fun.  A nice sun hat with a wide brim.  You gotta watch out in the wind though.
    • Ivy
      Goodness, that could never happen.  Maybe you're just being a little paranoid?
    • Mirrabooka
      The tornados made our news here. Death toll 18 so far? Yikes. It seems like the USA is infamous for them, unfortunately. Stay safe, y'all.   Public holidays to revere our veterans and war dead are sacred. Our equivalent is ANZAC Day on April 25th each year. To those who served, THANK YOU.
    • Mmindy
      Good morning everyone,   Yes, @awkward-yet-sweet it was very strong weather day down South and in the Midwest. Our thoughts and prayers are with them as they recover. It’s also good to hear that you and yours are doing well too.    My day started early as Parker needed to go outside to do his business and potty. Since it was dawn and flag etiquette requires all USA 🇺🇸 flags to be flown at half staff from sunrise until noon in honor of our fallen veterans, I took care of my flag. I fly it 24/7 on a lighted pole following the www.starsandstripesdaily.org guidance.    Later today we will be gathering at our son’s house for a cookout. Other family members will be bringing their dogs to be introduced and socializing with Parker.    Best wishes, stay positive, and motivated.   Mindy🌈🐛🏳️‍⚧️🦋    
    • Heather Shay
    • Heather Shay
      Working on inner resistant wounded child.
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