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Mittens_kittens

Dealing with relatives that call TG a sin

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It has become harder and harder for our family to keep the secret of my son's transexualism. He has only come out to the immediate family, counselors and close friends. Since starting testosterone will probably become a reality in the next few months, we thought it was time. Kael chose two of our closest relatives to send an email to yesterday. He took great care in wording it, and I worked with him to get it "just right". I knew one of them was extremely religious, and I thought she was the one that would have the hardest time accepting it. I was right. Here's her response:

***** and Kayla,

I want you to both know how very much I love you both. This makes what I need to say all the harder. I am deeply saddened by the choice that you are making. I believe that God knew what he was doing Kayla when he made you a woman. I also know that your family was very happy you were born a female. God does not make mistakes. I also believe that it is a sin to be homosexual. I think that you have been getting the wrong advise and no one is telling you the truth. I am a christian and do not believe in treating others bad or with hate. I do not have any bad feelings toward you. I also know that you Kayla have a great impact on my daughter's life and she looks up to you. I will not let her think that this is okay and teach her that anything we want to do in life is acceptable. I will pray for you Kayla and hope you seek better counsel. We are all responsible for the choices we make in life and will one day stand before God. My love for you both will never change that is why I feel it is my responsiblity to speak up now.

Well, needless to say, we were both very hurt by her response. Kael and I cried over the thought of not being able to continue the relationship with her and her teenage daughter. I was very proud of the way he responded to her:

**********,

Thank you for taking the time to read my message to you and writing me a response. I love you very much as well and I'm sorry to hear firstly that you think this is a choice of mine and secondly that you do not approve. I hope that we can continue to have a friendship and kinship, even if you don't approve of what I feel is necessary to live a full and happy life.

Love,

Kayla (Kael)

I also wrote a note to her this morning, but it was much lengthier and detailed. I will post it too if anyone is interested in reading it.

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My condolences on this. It is indeed sad.

God may not make mistakes but he certainly gives us challenges to overcome. If this person had a child born intersexed-as more and more are coming to classify being trans too-but more visibly , would she deny them treatment because God doesn't make mistakes? Or a child with a cleft palate? I bet not. That reasoning isn't reasoning at all.

Closed minds and ignorance are sad. I hope in time she can come to see and accept the physical and scientific realities of this condition.

Till then I hope she can be gracious-and you should be very, very proud of Kael's response. That was the one I'd call Christian. Why do those who condemn so often ignore the very specific "Judge not" injunction to condemn others for things the bible -at least the New Testament-doesn't even address.? And the parts of the old testament that seem to do so obliquely at best and are so often quoted aren't exactly enforced in most part - like killing your neighbor if they work on Sunday. Just sad that people can fool themselves like that

Hugs

Johnny

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Wow...just wow...

I'm very sorry to hear that that is the response you received. Being a Christian myself, I am saddened that they think it's a choice. I hope you and your son are successful with helping them become educated on what being TG really is. I have a Bible based sex-ed book that has a section on transgender/transsexualism and it even says it's a rare condition and not a sin.

I wish you and your son well. I've read your other posts and can tell you're an amazing mother.

-Dragonseeker

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Johnny touched on some very valid points. For one, there is scientific studies that are now supporting someone who is trans.

I personally believe that God does not make mistakes. However, because of the Christian belief of Adamic sin, we are ALL imperfect. Period. There are NO perfect people in this world. These things happen - and those things are not God's fault, but often other outside influences or genetics or any host of other things. I would doubt anyone would say that God would make create someone with autism, or Asperger Syndrome, or Down Syndrome, or mentally challenged, or Siamese Twins, or with 6 fingers and toes, or as Johnny mentioned a cleft palate, the list is quite long, and includes someone who is transgender.

I often ask people why do they "choose" to be right- or left-handed. The reply is simple - it is not a choice, it is hard-wired. Studies are showing that this is the case for someone who is transgender.

I also often will ask someone why would anyone in their right mind "choose" to go from male to female, lose ALL male privileges, become what society often considers a second-class citizen, someone who is not treated equally and as fairly as men, someone who is often not taken seriously, I could go on and on, why would someone "choose" to turn their entire world upside down? The fact is, it is not a choice, it is just something you are. And to live a happy life, you need to fix it. I mean no disrespect, but it is people like this relative who I personally feel are a very big contributing factor to suicide amongst the trans community. Something I would think God would judge her back in the same way (ref: Matthew 7:1-2).

Finally (sorry for a long post) hats off to you, mom, for being there for your son. You may never fully know and understand how important (and sometimes even life-saving) your support and love for your son can be, but I know Kael certainly does.

*hugs you both*

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Initially, I was met with the same condescending spiritual attitudes. A few of my family members made it a point to tell me I was a sinner for changing what God made me. Calmly I also explained to those persons that if that was the case then why did he give the therapists, doctors, etc. the ability to make me happy as I need to be. There was no answer for that except one did say you have point there. Those that thought I was an abomination in God's eyes ( actually their own) now give me those looks of disbelief, disgust, or they don't even know how to speak to me so they say nothing.This religious attitude towards transgendered persons really gets me hot. I love how people can be spiritual and are taught to not judge others in their religious teachings but find it very easy to do so with especially transgendered persons.

I hope the best for you and your son as this is no easy hurdle to overcome.Sometimes when the other people in our lives cannot accept what is then it's time for those people to not be in your lives. That sounds somewhat selfish but gender dysphoria is hard enough to deal with without others making things worse.

Krysti

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I know this is hard. I ran up against the same thing with my self defined Fundamental Christian sisters. I also know the Bible having grown up in a good Christian home. My parents are deceased, but I feel they would be deeply saddened at the way my sisters evolved into the bigoted type of Christians.

Your son's response was good as I am sure so was yours. With my sisters I found that a logical response and one rebutting THEIR interpretation of God's will.. well... it was pretty much a waste of time. All I would ever be able to hope far is they someday see the error of their way, how un-Christian their actions seem to be.

So here are a few main points:

Transsexuality is certainly not a choice We TS are born the way we are, and personally, I have to say THAT was God's Will. We don't know why God put us in the wrong bodies, but He did - plain and simple. So He has a reasons. Their questioning that is a direct denial of Gods Will. It is NOT the other way around.

We have an unseen birth defect, in the general way of thinking. Like the hare-lip analogy, we have to look for resolution, if such is possible. So questioning that is to deny all hidden defects, of which GD is only one kind. So there is a terrible ignorance going on.with those people. The Creator gave us a brain and has led us to wisdom. To refuse those gifts from Him is an affront to God's Will.

The Bible says nothing about the transgender condition. And we are not led to dressing as another gender, we are simply dressing as we are. And the admonitions mentioned most often are in the Old Testament, and if read in context, can be seen as a prohibition against disguising oneself.

If the Old Testament is to be taken as having been translated 100% correctly, never modified, never had parts added r deleted (none of that is true) then quotations MUST be left in context when quoted. If you believe that the Bible is infallible and the literal word of God, then to use parts of it out of context to support your own bias is against God's intentions. Going against God's intentions is the definition of sin.

Being transgender is NOT homosexuality That is an ignorant, and clearly bigoted response. To call your son out as being something he is not, is clearly being judgmental. Only God is to judge us. We are not to judge others - that is clearly stated everywhere in the Bible. To deny God that right is to spit in His eye.

And Jesus was a champion of the disenfranchised We transgender certainly seem to fit that category. So technically, we would probably have Him on our side. I feel this is true, pretty strongly

Jesus on our side? Being made as we are by the Creator? To deny that? OH MY - please pray for those people as they seem spiritually bankrupt.

You are being unfairly treated, and this will not be right in the eyes of the Creator, I feel - especially with the bonds that are being broken within the family.

I feel so sad for you with this. But I think you hold the high ground morally and spiritually.

Please keep us updated? Reading about it helps others that have to face this.

Lizzy

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.

I was asked about this yesterday......

And my answer was.....

"Christians should worry about their own lives and leave the judging to God...that is HIS job!"

Dee Jay

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I am so sorry for you both, I understand how much it hurts when family uses religion to mask their own fears. For me it was my parents, I am so thankful that Kael has you supporting him.

I also believe that God does not make mistakes, he made me this way for a reason. It has taken me years battling my own spiritual beliefs to try to come to terms with that. Had I been born 100% boy, I seriously doubt that I would have the same level of compassion for others that I do no. Maybe I might have, but I seriously doubt it. That might be a small thing, but in today's world we need more compassion in it.. Maybe that is my purpose, if so it's one I will gladly live with..

Love

Becca

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As I've come to accept my transsexuality, I've also believe that I am transsexual for a purpose. And the purpose isn't only for me, but for the benefit of others. Maybe God wants others to understand why someone shouldn't judge. She is judging by her own understanding. When this understanding is wrong it can cause far more damage than just being accepting.

I pray that Kael's grandmother will open her heart and seek the truth in this matter. There is an opportunity there for spiritual growth.

Love,

Jenny

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I am sorry to hear that your relative is so unaccepting. As a Christian, I find their view point somewhat disturbing. The God I know is a God of love and a just God. A just God would not create a transgender individual, a condition with some challenges to dealing with and accepting when you are transgendered, then add the burden of sin on top of that, It would be like making being right handed or near sighted sinful - it would be inherently unjust. Any Christian who believes otherwise probably thinks the sun is the moon.

Just know that you have support - even in the face of intolerance.

hugs

Bobbi

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So many wonderful replies.

As I see it, if it's a sin then it can be forgiven and like all sins once done cannot be undone.

My god is a kind, just and forgiving one.

Best of luck dealing with your relatives. I hope in time things can at least be civil... it's a shame to have to cut family out of your life but sometimes necessary. We are here for the both of you if you need us.

*hugs*

~Jade.

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Wow, thank you everyone for your amazing support and wise words. It makes me feel so much better! As much as I know that I am not going to be able to change someone's mind if they're not open to change, it saddens and angers me that my child has to hear such judgment on top of what is already such a challenging ordeal.

Here is my email response to her for anyone that is interested. I feel good about responding in what I hope came across as a caring, nonjudgmental way. We may have to just agree to disagree.

*******,

Thank you for your honesty and care. Your response could have been written by me several years ago. No one could have predicted the things that life has thrown our way since then.

Like you, I once believed that homosexuals and transgendered people chose to behave in sinful or deviant behavior. I have had a crash course on these subjects since that time. I now believe and know in my heart that these are biological, not biblical, matters. It has been a long, hard process to get to this point. Until someone you love struggles with these issues, it's all too easy to dismiss their actions as sin or a "poor choice" and advise them to "seek better counsel."

God does not make mistakes, but he does allow children to be born with birth defects - missing limbs, mental disorders, cleft palette, Downs's syndrome, etc. Kayla has a hidden birth defect; a condition that is not easy to understand and that has had a lot of sensationalized press about people that suffer from it. Recent medical research has shown that as a fetus is developing in the womb, the sex of the baby is determined early in the pregnancy due to exposure to certain hormones. In 99.9% of the time, the gender, which is determined several weeks or months later in development, matches this biological sex. Due to a genetic or hormonal irregularity, the brain is exposed to the "wrong" hormones during this gender development stage, and the baby has a mismatch of body and gender. It is fairly rare; estimates range anywhere from 1:1000 to 1:5000 babies are born with some type of gender disorder. Boys that are born to mothers that have taken DES during their pregnancy to prevent miscarrying have a greatly increased risk. Specialized MRI images show that the hypothalamus of transgendered people is more similar to their expressed gender than to their biological sex.

This is not homosexuality; although it is now commonly believed in the medical field that it too is caused by a biological variance. Gender and homosexuality are two different things. Gender is whether you feel, in your core, that you are a man or woman. Sexuality is who you are attracted to. There are transgendered people who may identify as gay, bisexual or straight after their transition.

We always knew Kayla was a tomboy, and fully believed that she would grow out of it and become the woman she was born to be. It was only after her two hospitalizations for suicidal thinking, harming herself on numerous occasions, unrelenting depression and anxiety, failing in school, etc. that she was able to voice her true feelings. This is a deadly disorder. A full one-third of transgendered people commit suicide. I won't let Kayla be one of them. I would much, much rather have a happy healthy third son, than a dead daughter.

This has been the hardest, most painful thing I or my family has ever had to do. I have cried buckets of tears for the daughter I have known and loved for 18 years. But I am very excited to get to know my new son. And happily for me, they are really the same person. I would give anything for us to not have to go through this extremely painful process. This has cost us many hours of torment, thousands of dollars, endless sleepless nights, numerous appointments with doctors and psychologists, etc. to work through this. However, I am finally seeing hope in Kayla's face and feeling hope for her future. She is the happiest now than I have seen her in years. I will not let her down. She needs me and her family to be okay with this. So we will be.

I don't expect to change your mind, and I fully understand that you want to protect your daughter from what you see as sinful behavior, but Kayla and I love you and your family more than you know, and it breaks my heart to not have your understanding and support. I pray that in time you will be able to accept and embrace Kayla (Kael) for how God made her (him).

All my love,

*********

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You have no disagreement here Mittens, you laid everything out without showing any disrespect and if anything you still showed that you still love them.. That's more strength than I could muster if someone had hurt my daughters feelings like that.. I would have lashed out in anger...I guess you could blame it on the testosterone still flowing in me or mamma bear syndrome, take your pick. You can not possibly imagine how much respect that I have for you..

Much love

Becca

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...

I would much, much rather have a happy healthy third son, than a dead daughter.

...

Omg AMEN MOM! If it were within my power to command thunder and lightning at this one very simple yet quintessential display of parental love and support - I would in a heart beat! And while I totally understand your use of birth names / pronouns in this instance, I am so very proud of you to end it with including your "new" son's name and true-to-his-core gender, even though in parentheses . . . that speaks VOLUMES! Kudos mom!

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.

I was asked about this yesterday......

And my answer was.....

"Christians should worry about their own lives and leave the judging to God...that is HIS job!"

Dee Jay

Yes - This!

Even when I was religious I never understood the judgement people had for LGBT's. I always thought and felt if we're supposed to 'judge not lest we be judged' too then I didn't care what others did. *IF* there was a gawd and he was the judge then I'll leave it up to him to do so. I never felt like it was my place. It's the bigots who tout how they need to "judge" because they WANT to save the sinners. *gag*

I am so glad I am an Atheist now.

I am so sorry you have to deal with this. I worry about some of my extended family, more than my immediate family. I have a couple of fundies in there. :(

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...

I would much, much rather have a happy healthy third son, than a dead daughter.

...

Interesting point to bring up. I've actually said something similar to my church leaders "I'd rather be a self-actualized girl, than a guy who is only surviving, or worse, a dead one. Don't you prefer to see a happy a lively me than a depressed, suicidal, negative or even dead me?"

Their response? "Of course we want to see you happy, and lively, but it's not about that. It's about living Biblical-Ly"

So basically, it feels like those Christians prefer a dead sinner, than a happy healthy "sinner". *shrugs*

That said, most of my church people have since been coming to terms with my transition.

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Thank you everyone for all of your support for me and my mom. It was really unfortunate to have a negative response from one of the first people I came out to in this next stage of coming out. I had hoped that her love for me and her medical background would have made my cousin a more accepting or willing to learn individual. Unfortunately, that is not the case. It hurt my heart deeply to see that she was so resolute and focused on her religion. Though she said that she loved me very much, I hardly felt it in that letter.

I know that religion is something that so many people are very protective of and any beliefs that they hold dear in this religion are very touchy subjects for them. However, I hope that with time and love that my cousin will come to understand my condition and that it is not a choice that I made.

I personally don't believe in God and I think if He does exist, He did make me like this on purpose. It makes me mad that my cousin thinks that she knows God's thoughts and reasoning behind my life. Does she speak directly to God? Does she know all of His plans and will? I don't think so. I don't think it's her place at all to be saying these things to me. If God exists, then let HIM judge me. Any God that would send me to hell for trying my hardest to be happy and healthy is not a God I want to believe in.

I guess I'm a little off topic now, but this is one place I feel like I can share my thoughts and opinions. Thank you all for your support. It means the world.

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Thank you everyone for all of your support for me and my mom. It was really unfortunate to have a negative response from one of the first people I came out to in this next stage of coming out. I had hoped that her love for me and her medical background would have made my cousin a more accepting or willing to learn individual. Unfortunately, that is not the case. It hurt my heart deeply to see that she was so resolute and focused on her religion. Though she said that she loved me very much, I hardly felt it in that letter.

I know that religion is something that so many people are very protective of and any beliefs that they hold dear in this religion are very touchy subjects for them. However, I hope that with time and love that my cousin will come to understand my condition and that it is not a choice that I made.

I personally don't believe in God and I think if He does exist, He did make me like this on purpose. It makes me mad that my cousin thinks that she knows God's thoughts and reasoning behind my life. Does she speak directly to God? Does she know all of His plans and will? I don't think so. I don't think it's her place at all to be saying these things to me. If God exists, then let HIM judge me. Any God that would send me to hell for trying my hardest to be happy and healthy is not a God I want to believe in.

I guess I'm a little off topic now, but this is one place I feel like I can share my thoughts and opinions. Thank you all for your support. It means the world.

You are right to feel exactly as you do.

Lzzy

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Dear MittensKittens,

When I read the letter you received from a relative, I cringed. It took a lot of ignorant guts for the relative to write such a letter, but because you responded the way you did, I believe they will eventually think about it further. We know a few of those people too, and although they haven't written us a letter, they have made their feelings known with subtle statements. If this was coming from a 'friend', rather than a relative, it would be easier to just cut the ties. But, because it is from a relative, it stings. Hopefully, by you writing such a well-informed, tactful letter you can have some hope they will see the real 'light'. I guess our job is to educate those who don't understand. You are walking with your head high, as you should! There is a lot of shallowness in what they said and certainly haven't lived long enough to understand the world is not made of cookie-cutter people. Karma is a funny thing...and it will come back to them someday, I think.

To Kael,

You are a very stong person and don't let people like that get in your way physically or emotionally - just walk around them and move on. We are rooting for you and hopefully they will come back to reality and understand as time goes on. You are courageous and very bright! I'm on your side!

Joyful Mama

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I know this is hard. I ran up against the same thing with my self defined Fundamental Christian sisters. I also know the Bible having grown up in a good Christian home. My parents are deceased, but I feel they would be deeply saddened at the way my sisters evolved into the bigoted type of Christians.

Your son's response was good as I am sure so was yours. With my sisters I found that a logical response and one rebutting THEIR interpretation of God's will.. well... it was pretty much a waste of time. All I would ever be able to hope far is they someday see the error of their way, how un-Christian their actions seem to be.

So here are a few main points:

Transsexuality is certainly not a choice We TS are born the way we are, and personally, I have to say THAT was God's Will. We don't know why God put us in the wrong bodies, but He did - plain and simple. So He has a reasons. Their questioning that is a direct denial of Gods Will. It is NOT the other way around.

We have an unseen birth defect, in the general way of thinking. Like the hare-lip analogy, we have to look for resolution, if such is possible. So questioning that is to deny all hidden defects, of which GD is only one kind. So there is a terrible ignorance going on.with those people. The Creator gave us a brain and has led us to wisdom. To refuse those gifts from Him is an affront to God's Will.

The Bible says nothing about the transgender condition. And we are not led to dressing as another gender, we are simply dressing as we are. And the admonitions mentioned most often are in the Old Testament, and if read in context, can be seen as a prohibition against disguising oneself.

If the Old Testament is to be taken as having been translated 100% correctly, never modified, never had parts added r deleted (none of that is true) then quotations MUST be left in context when quoted. If you believe that the Bible is infallible and the literal word of God, then to use parts of it out of context to support your own bias is against God's intentions. Going against God's intentions is the definition of sin.

Being transgender is NOT homosexuality That is an ignorant, and clearly bigoted response. To call your son out as being something he is not, is clearly being judgmental. Only God is to judge us. We are not to judge others - that is clearly stated everywhere in the Bible. To deny God that right is to spit in His eye.

And Jesus was a champion of the disenfranchised We transgender certainly seem to fit that category. So technically, we would probably have Him on our side. I feel this is true, pretty strongly

Jesus on our side? Being made as we are by the Creator? To deny that? OH MY - please pray for those people as they seem spiritually bankrupt.

You are being unfairly treated, and this will not be right in the eyes of the Creator, I feel - especially with the bonds that are being broken within the family.

I feel so sad for you with this. But I think you hold the high ground morally and spiritually.

Please keep us updated? Reading about it helps others that have to face this.

Lizzy

Lizzie, absolutely great reply. I am very impressed. You are one very smart lady :score:

Mike

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.

I was asked about this yesterday......

And my answer was.....

"Christians should worry about their own lives and leave the judging to God...that is HIS job!"

Dee Jay

Dee Jay, I totally agree with you.

Mike

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There is a big difference between being religious and being a christian. Then, you have to enter in the right wing ultra conservative zealots. It oftentimes ends up in a hateful and hurtful debacle.

Me, I simply define myself as a christian. I beleive in live and let live. I do get upset when I hear people spouting lines of trash that have been drilled into their heads. It's as though they can't read the Bible on their own,and figure it out. The main thing is that Jesus did not go around condeming people all of the time for their personal flaws. He hung around the sinners of the world. He showed them love,compassion and forgiveness.

So, when folks get to fire and brimstone I tune them out and turn them off. I know that my God and His son Jesus are the only ones that I'm concerned about pleasing [ plus my wife ].

Unfortunately, some so-called christians never do see the "light".

MIke

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i hate this whole "choice" idea!!! :( to be born without an arm is not a choice! to be born without a penis is not a choice either. why is someone with a missing arm still a "real human" if someone with a missing penis is not a "real man". if i had the choice i would rather be born with one arm!!!

anyway, thanks for being an awesome mum :D hopefully one day my mum will be as great as you.. but until she is, its important to stay strong. and to me, you and your son sound very strong! you can get through this. hopefully once your relative sees how happy kael is, she will be able to accept him better!

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Mittens,

You nailed it in that letter to your relative.

I am sorry you and Kael have to go through the negative response of someone you care for deeply. But hopefully after reading your letter she will realize her mistake. Your letter is beautiful and I am confident many here identify with it.

Only one of my 5 siblings reacted poorly when I told them about my daughter being transgender. My brother gave me an unbelievably mean verbal lashing. I was devastated and hysterical. But I reminded myself that the other 4 were supportive and loving and trying to understand. What brought him around was another one of our brothers telling him that he would lose me if he didn't accept D.

The way I see it is a relative or friend or anybody doesn't have to agree but they need to be civil and polite. If they can't do that much than I don't need to be around them. I am saddened by people who don't get it but I can't let it get to me. Life is too short for that.

As parents we need to be strong, stronger than we ever thought we could be. We are doing it for our child. It is simillar to parents who have an ill child or a child wirth a birth defect. It is not what we expected or hoped for but our love runs deeper than the issue we face with our child.

I hope this doesn't sound offensive.

There are many layers to having a TG child, and I think it may be a life long learning experience.

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Even with the one negative response, In the past week I got brave and sent an email to my two sisters who live out of state. I held my breathe for three days until one of them called me. She was super! The first thing she said was "Wow, you guys have really been going through a lot this past year." Then she told me that she was shocked by my letter, but not really surprised because she has known Kael (Kayla) since she was born and knew he was never very feminine. We couldn't talk long at the time, but she promised to call me back this weekend so I could fill her in on all the details. She has been talking with my other sister -- I'm sure trying to wrap their heads around this before getting back to me -- so I'm pretty sure both of them will be understanding and supportive. I'm so relieved!

I guess what we've learned is that it is going to be hit and miss as far as how people respond, but so far the positive is really outweighing the negative. As many of you have said, people don't have to agree or like it, but they do need to be civil and respectful if they hope to remain in contact with me and my family.

Thank you all for your support. I don't know that I could have had the courage to keep moving forward if it weren't for all of you being here to help.

:friends:

Mittens

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