Thursday, January 29, 2009

Asserting Ones Self

Some of you that know me know that I am always encouraging transgender folk to come out into the open and participate in important local and national social issues like the Marriage Equality Movement here in California. Many of us either in transition or before developed a tendency to stay hidden, and that is understandable because the beginnings of transition for many are a very traumatic time. I am a strong believer in being assertive for our rights and for those of others and of living our true lives right out in the open so others get used to our presence, but it does take a change in mind-set to get out here.

I myself in the years approaching transition began more and more to be nervous and withdrawn because I felt so uncomfortable with myself and the final few before I finally began to change in earnest were very dark days. I had accepted that I had to incorporate the feminine aspects of myself into my daily life and those days were very strange and certainly not very pretty ones and much of the old me had to be shed or unlearned to make room for more appropriate things - this covered everything from personal hygiene to poise, appearance and speech and even included a complete change in the people and activities I allow into my life.

I had, in effect re-invented myself. This was a necessary part of my growth. Soon after starting transition in earnest on April 24th 2006 I discovered that I had redefined my personal boundaries and I realized that who I was becoming was worth every effort to protect and nurture into wholeness, so I began to actively watch and patrol these personal borders I had discovered.
I discovered who I am and what I want and hope for in this life and now in ways that press me towards that goal I assert myself. I stand my own ground and I direct my life when I can rather than just letting it happen - I am not a victim of circumstance unless I let myself be one. This has freed me from a lot of unnecerssary stress and frustration and gives me the ability to simply enjoy being me.

A couple days ago I read a great post and commentary along the same lines of assertiveness and defining ones self called "Reinvention and Recurrance". I think you might find it very interesting. The blog is
TransCanada and often Véronique is quite insightful. This one is well worth a read:

“One of the side effects of transition doesn't have anything directly to do with gender. Transition is an opportunity to reinvent yourself. I've gone through the reinvention process several times in my life already (which is why I sometimes say I've crammed several lives into the one I have), but transition affords a particularly good opportunity for change.

Often, people who are close to us don't allow us to change, at least not much. They are used to us the way we are. Even if we do change, sometimes friends and family don't see it, and in not seeing it, or in seeing it and objecting to it, they exert pressure against the change, sometimes to the point of sabotaging it.”…

For the rest follow this link:

Hugs and Blessings,
Eva-Genevieve! Scarborough

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Activists and wannabe activists - Check this out...

Camp Courage - hosted by The Courage Campain - is a golden opportunity to learn how to become more effective in promoting GLBT Equal Rights.

These videos pretty much tell the story:

Cleve Jones is perhaps best known for working closely with Harvey Milk after Milk's election to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in the 1970's, highlighted in the film MILK. Cleve is the founder of the AIDS Memorial Quilt and is currently working for UNITE-HERE, leading their "Sleep With the Right People" campaign, which aims to convince LGBT tourists to stay only in hotels that respect the rights of their workers.

This clip includes excerpts from Cleve's remarks at the Camp Courage Kickoff Reception on Saturday night, January 24, before Sunday's training event:

To sign up for a future Camp Courage follow this link:

Hugs and blessings,

Monday, January 26, 2009

Rev Gene Robinson's Inagural Prayer

(This was sent to me yesterday - I don't know that it is a "... complete ereasure..." as claimed, but I do resent the purposeful attempt by the News Media to do just that, so I re-post it here - E-G!)
As you may know, the Right Rev. Gene Robinson, the openly Gay Episcopal Bishop of New Hampshire , gave the opening prayer at yesterday's Lincoln Memorial event. It was the first event in the inaugural festivities this year. HBO, which had paid for exclusive rights to the event chose not to broadcast Bishop Robinson's prayer. So if you watched there you wouldn't have caught it or even known that it occurred. NPR didn't air it either. There's no record of it in images placed on the sites of Getty Images, New York Times and the Washington Post.

It's a complete erasure of his ever having delivered the prayer.

So [I'm] going to celebrate it by providing here the full text of Bishop Robinson's prayer. I suggest you forward this around so that everyone has a chance to enjoy it.

Opening Inaugural Event
Lincoln Memorial, Washington ,
DCJanuary 18, 2009

Delivered by the Right Reverend V. Gene Robinson:

Welcome to Washington! The fun is about to begin, but first, please join me in pausing for a moment, to ask God's blessing upon our nation and our next president.

"O God of our many understandings, we pray that you will…

Bless us with tears – for a world in which over a billion people exist on less than a dollar a day, where young women from many lands are beaten and raped for wanting an education, and thousands die daily from malnutrition, malaria, and AIDS.

Bless us with anger – at discrimination, at home and abroad, against refugees and immigrants, women, people of color, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.

Bless us with discomfort – at the easy, simplistic "answers" we've preferred to hear from our politicians, instead of the truth, about ourselves and the world, which we need to face if we are going to rise to the challenges of the future.

Bless us with patience – and the knowledge that none of what ails us will be "fixed" anytime soon, and the understanding that our new president is a human being, not a messiah.

Bless us with humility – open to understanding that our own needs must always be balanced with those of the world.

Bless us with freedom from mere tolerance – replacing it with a genuine respect and warm embrace of our differences, and an understanding that in our diversity, we are stronger.

Bless us with compassion and generosity – remembering that every religion's God judges us by the way we care for the most vulnerable in the human community, whether across town or across the world.

And God, we give you thanks for your child Barack, as he assumes the office of President of the United States.

Give him wisdom beyond his years, and inspire him with Lincoln's reconciling leadership style, President Kennedy's ability to enlist our best efforts, and Dr. King's dream of a nation for ALL the people..

Give him a quiet heart, for our Ship of State needs a steady, calm captain in these times.

Give him stirring words, for we will need to be inspired and motivated to make the personal and common sacrifices necessary to facing the challenges ahead.

Make him color-blind, reminding him of his own words that under his leadership, there will be neither red nor blue states, but the United States.

Help him remember his own oppression as a minority, drawing on that experience of discrimination, that he might seek to change the lives of those who are still its victims.

Give him the strength to find family time and privacy, and help him remember that even though he is president, a father only gets one shot at his daughters' childhoods.

And please, God, keep him safe. We know we ask too much of our presidents, and we're asking FAR too much of this one. We know the risk he and his wife are taking for all of us, and we implore you, O good and great God, to keep him safe. Hold him in the palm of your hand – that he might do the work we have called him to do, that he might find joy in this impossible calling, and that in the end, he might lead us as a nation to a place of integrity, prosperity and peace.


Friday, January 16, 2009

Similarities and Differences Within the T of GLBT

I was asked recently if I was willing to help cover a big CD event and I said I am not sure I am the right person to tell their story – at least not until I can understand their story from their perspective. I can try, but I sure don't have the inside scoop on what motivates them.

Some of our conversation got into details that would be uncomfortable for me to present here, but this discussion made it clear to me that we are often tossed into the same pigeonhole by society – sometimes by our allies and people that are trying to understand us and who stand with us for our rights. I thought it worthwhile to explain what I see as the difference between what I am – a person that is bodily crossing the gender division - and most of those that are Cross-Dressers – people who dress and role play as the opposite gender. At first glance transsexuals and cross-dressers appear to be the same but there are some very pronounced differences in motivation and end-results.

There is a lot I don’t know and don’t understand about some of the other people that are lumped together in the “T” part of GLBT community and so I only speak from my own experiences. The T itself has it’s own rainbow of diversity – Intersexed, MtF, FtM, TV’s, CD’s, she-males, gender-queer and even a few that try to be non-gendered and each one has a different reason for why they are the way they are. Some of us are straight, lesbian, gay, transian, bi, flamboyant, butch, fem. & etc, and we have our admirers and our allies and some of us have partners in the mix too. Then we sub-divide on many other things like, are we into fetish and other “contact sports” or do we prefer to be more restrained or traditional in our lifestyle. Some are this way for right reasons and some for wrong ones, but I can compare us, for example, to a group of Christian people and point out that there are some that are there for right reasons and some for wrong too– and they all are still unique in their own way and all are very much human. We all deserve dignity and respect as members of the human family regardless of any distinctions that we can discern with our own senses.

So the only way to figure it all out is to talk about it as one human to another and encourage others to get into the dialogue too. Ultimately it boils down to just being y
ourself and being OK with everyone else being themselves, but we humans love our labels and our categories and strangely these keep us from understanding and loving our neighbors like we do ourselves. We group together based on certain traits and begin to exclude those that are different or hard to understand. I could stand up and preach about this in Church because only when we approach each other on the common denominator of being human can we actually love one another and not be judgmental – I think that was central to Jesus’ message and to the message of many of the world’s religions too. This is why I proclaim Faith without Prejudice and equal rights for all under the law at every opportunity.

The biggest difference I see is that a transsexual can't take this off and have an otherwise sane and healthy life because how we are created is an inseparable part of who we are. We (TS-folk), to some extent need to be a woman; to see that we are one is very important to our self-identity. Some can settle with a sort of compromise and not go through all the surgeries and procedures and some of us need to take these corrective steps to the fullest extent possible. It may not be the perfect solution but they provide a way to better living.

The few cross-dressers I know personally are perfectly happy being and remaining men. Some are straight and some are gay but they would never want to take hormones or be surgically altered and they can’t get real comfortable with the idea that I do. In my experience most cross-dressers get to wipe off the make-up, stash the clothes and go home to their wives and family or their partners and their jobs and their lives. Being the caricature of a woman was their playtime and apparently for many, both straight men and gay men the dressing and the role playing suffice to meet their needs and they can live their life sanely. I expect there is as much diversity amongst them as to motivations too. Some are fortunate enough that their spouse or partner understands or even supports them and they don’t have to be secretive though many do have to hide from loved ones to express this aspect of their life.

This is where there are similarities – in the hiding and the self denial, in the hunting for self-acceptance and the validation of self, trying to be OK while dealing with the problems caused by the fear of being rejected or getting hurt by people with closed minds. I had to hide and the hiding and self-denial were the most damaging things I have done to myself – worse by far than the drugs and the other madness I brought into my life while trying to cope with something that was truly beyond my control.

To those that might have observed me I suppose they would think I was just seeking some sort of erotic release, and I sometimes tried to have it be such a release so I could then (I hoped) simply change back and get on with life for a few weeks or months. However this did not help me or help me be at peace within myself – that disparity continued to grow until I simply could not function as a man any longer. It was as if the battle of the sexes raged within me constantly – a duality of spirit – one part male and one part female. Many Native American tribes understand people that are “two-spirit” and make provision for them – in many cases they honor them, but western culture sure has no safe place – yet. But they are starting to come around slowly – I have hope, and that is why I am here working it.

Yes I could take off the clothes and make-up but the female on the inside could not and would not be put off and I could not find a work-around for it. All my experimentations and needs to express this side of me had to be hidden away. I purged so many nice things so often it is a crying shame. For many years I tried to deny what I was and tried for many years to live as a male and be true to my body’s gender with only temporary crossings of the gender lines when I had to express my inner female self. I tried for a while to simply be a cross-dresser, but no – I could not be something I was not. Similarities to the CD/TV side of things stopped here.

The alternation of personas, for me was very difficult and seemed to be driving me towards madness because I could not establish myself as a complete person in either form – both personas felt to me like they were a lie – I knew inside I wasn’t a man like other men, but to express myself as a woman I had to hide and sneak and so I could find no moorings in my life. Cross-dressers seem able to switch with a snap of the fingers and that is partly why they can be such wonderful entertainers too. What I do isn't for entertainment, nor is it a way to seek pleasure or eroticism, but it is personal aesthetics driven by a necessity to live sanely and be at peace internally. That is not to say I and gals like me are not interested in those things, but they are not the motivation and they don’t define us.

I hesitate to say this because I don’t want to cause any further division amongst T-folk and I am trying to build up understanding and acceptance of us all, but sometimes I feel uncomfortable around cross-dressers and I have felt resentment towards the drag queens and flamboyant cross-dressers and their flashy, loud and brash ways of presenting because it is very difficult emotionally for me to be seen in the same context. In my estimation being a woman is simply entertainment for them, for each other and to the world. Most people in society point to the flamboyant and extreme and say “they are all like that”, so people expect me to be the same too, but I am not the same.

I finally had to accept myself as created and integrate the feminine aspects into my daily life and that was the turning point for me so instead of having this duality of spirit going on and a raging battle, there is peace. While there may still be a male spirit within myself along side the female there is unity and a feeling of peaceful wholeness now. Though I do like to look attractive and at times sexy and get out and have fun, the motivations are completely different and the hoped for end-result of my transition is that I will be a woman bodily as well as emotionally and mentally. A woman when I get out of bed and when I go through the day, a woman when I go shopping or to a show or when I go to the doctor, a woman when the make-up is down the drain and when I go to bed, and a woman especially when I share myself with a lover.

CD’s and TV’s have a real need for their kind of self-expression – I accept that as solidly as I accept my own need and I encourage them to be true to themselves too, just as I encourage everyone else – be true to you and live life to the fullest before God and man! Yet what they do seems to me to be only visual - they simply don't want or need to be a real woman. I can’t imagine what someone that is happily a cross-dresser went through to find the equivalent inner peace to mine – maybe some of you would explain it to me along with what does motivate you. If I were to host a documentary about you what would you want me to point out? What do you need to make known and what would make you feel accepted and validated?

Thanks for sticking with me all the way – this has been on my mind to post for quite a while and it is way longer than I had intended but I think I said all that I needed to.

Blessings and hugs,

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Some Links

I finally got around to adding a few links in the sidebar. I expect the list to grow, but for now these that have been most pertinent to my life are there.If you have any suggestions I am open to add others if they are tried and true places.
(That's Mister Slater - emphasis on the Mister - flying in his sleep).

I am also open to posting content from other sources both here and especially for the video production work that I, with the help of Producer Randy De Troit, am trying to get off the ground. It is slow in coming, but the gears are turning...

Hugs and Warm Regards to you all,

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

I want to understand

Since I jumped into blogging and the “Living Transgender…” video project seemingly out of the blue, it occurs to me that it would be great to have a question and answer column on this page. I have no clue (yet) how to set something like that up in the sidebar so in the meantime I am sticking to the standard post-and-comment format. But I do welcome questions about my life – the changes I feel and so on - as well as things about my purposes for being so out and so vocal as a Christian Transsexual. I was asked a bunch of questions by the Producer of the video project (and in that context) and so I thought with a little punching up it would be quite bloggable.

(This picture is from earlier today in Santa Monica - more to be added soon)

Subject: I want to understand

Are you personally telling your story to show how very difficult it is to transition?
Yes, but that also includes showing how healthy and rewarding it is for those like me that must transition.

Does this include showing how much you have to go through to become whole in your body as a woman?
Maybe not in gory detail, but a little of this is the context of my life presently.

Do you tell the story to take people on a journey… to educate, to entertain, to dissuade someone from the same plight of pain, anguish and sorrow?
YES Absolutely! - to educate is absolutely necessary for any of us to be accepted in society, but to entertain? Hmmm... I never looked at this effort from that angle, but I'm down for that too.

But then I must ask, is my life story entertaining? I hope I am not boring or dull, but I am not really the one that can answer that question am I? To quote a character from a Dan Simmons sci-fi novel in his Hyperion series - "death is easy, comedy is hard". I love God's sense of humor and so I can, and do, celebrate in a potentially entertaining way His love and His Character by living as one made in His/Her image. I often am one of the foolish things of the world that confounds the wise, like June Bugs and carnivorous plants (I.E.: God's answer to the Vegans because they have to be careful what their vegetables eat) just to name a few things God has made that are entertaining and humorous, so why not include living a life as a woman in a man's body as entertainment? I certainly have had to laugh at myself and be entertained by the absurdity of my circumstances to survive the worst of them.
To dissuade others from this plight I may not be able to do (and perhaps should not attempt) if theirs is a necessary one. If one must transition they must – this is not a choice! It would be great if I could educate the world and show them that it is OK. It isn't sin, it isn't a horrible perversion if it enhances ones ability to live and function sanely – or is it a sin to attempt to cure cancer or birth defects too? My intent is to help anyone avoid the anguish and pain of remaining hidden away, or conforming to some set of rules that constrict them and keep them trapped in an incomplete or compromised form as I endured for most of my life. But I also would try to keep those that should not transition from taking the situation too lightly by showing just how much one does have to go through. I don't want to see anyone go through all I have and must yet endure only to discover it’s a mistake - Oh how tragic and painful that must be!! In one of my support groups there is a guy who did that - he transitioned into a woman and now is going back to a man. And in public, the LA Times Sports writer Mike Penner came out very publicly as Christine and now has gone back. I can't begin to imagine how these guys feel on the inside emotionally now - but I bet in hindsight they wish they had thought it through a bit harder before they jumped into transition.

Is your point overall to show the journey as such a cross is too large to bear?
Not really, because it is a burden that I can and happily – most of the time - am carrying. That is the aspect of it I would want seen because to NOT transition for me would be too much for me to bear. If it is what one must do to live in accordance with how they are hard-wired on the inside it is not too big a burden, but it could crush those for whom it isn't necessary. Transgender suicides are common among those that need to but don’t (or can’t) transition and among those that do only to discover it was not the right thing to do. This isn’t something trivial like changing one’s hair color! This is also why people that are not trans have a hard time understanding what we truly suffered and must suffer to be complete - the depth of it scares people that have not been forced to this extreme to live sanely, and that is why so many people act in anger and rage towards us – they simply cannot comprehend why we must do this. I hope to alleviate much of that fear.

I'm just being the devils advocate here for a minute, nothing personal… I understand - no problem - it is healthy to examine these things. …But I want to open up dialogue to discover the true nature and dimensions of the transition here. So do I – and I welcome sincere questions from all who have them.

Are we showing that with a little bit of pain or a lot of pain, whatever it takes, it's the only way?
For me it is the only way, pain or not. I found that there was truly no way I could live and be sane without crossing the gender boundary – most of my pain, other than that from future medical procedures is in the past and most of that was from the soul-abuse I suffered by trying to live by rules and standards imposed by people that did not understand my situation - myself included in my younger days.

Are we looking to get sympathy from our viewers…?
I can accept a little sympathy over what I have suffered and have yet to suffer once in a while, but I am not "looking" for it, no. What I look for from viewers and readers is simply tolerance and a willingness to understand me as a person and see others like me in a tolerant light.

…and to get them to feel as bad as you did or do at particular times; the strife, the rejection, the pain, suffering, sorrow? Oh no! I never want people to suffer the depth of despair I did or feel as crushed and cast off and alone as I did. But I would like people to understand the amount and the scope of our suffering because one can't know us or really understand what it means to be our friend without knowing about the depth of our anguish. I also would prefer compassion rather than judgment from those that personally disagree with what I do – God and I can work out the details of my unique journey without those that have no tolerance or understanding attempting to impose their own personal morality on us.

Are we to show others there is hope and they shouldn't hesitate to travel in your footsteps? Absolutely there is hope!! My life and joy and purpose in life is to give other people hope - yes you can be whole and happy and can know yourself as you were created to be and you can know your Creator – that is my message to each person trans or not. However, I am the only one that gets to use my footsteps exactly, but I can share the road and help leave signposts for others that of necessity must take this journey across the gender boundary. But here is a warning: Do hesitate long enough to be sure that transition is right for you. Seek counseling and health professionals. If you are married work things through carefully and openly because transition will change everything in your life!

Do we show the public and this could essentially be anybody to live their life to the fullest, whether it be a gay coming out, a lesbian, a scared little rabbit straight guy or gal that finally makes up their mind that they are not going to 'take it anymore', and begins to assert his or herself to the world, no holds barred, no excuses, no explanations, just be yourself whomever you are, or care to become…?
Perfect – yes! Be you yourself to the fullest you can be - embrace yourself as you were created - be whole, be free, be filled with joy over who you are and live like that in front of God and man! Live in Spirit and in Truth!!

Or are we talking to just the LGBT element here or are we reaching out to the world in general and showing what someone's potential is if we put our minds to a goal.
Hopefully to both! I am here to encourage unity and understanding within the TBQLG community and help that community become a part of the mainstream of human society too. I approach this as one human being to other humans. I think we are able to do reach out to all and show that we can all accomplish understanding and live side by side in peace once we realize that each person is just as unique as I am or you are. In this way we do encourage every person to attain his or her own potential.

And is this goal of yours so different and unrelated to the above? No – I believe this goal of telling my story is why I exist - to tell the story of one LIVING transgender, Christian and human. This particular me-ness correlates to someone else that is living lesbian or living straight, or living polygamous, or living Buddhist or living life after a horrible car wreck - living with whatever makes one unique. It is in the fact that I am unique that I am most like every other person.

My goal, to tell what it is like Living Transgender in American Society Today isn't something that can be captured in a sentence or a paragraph - yet I am living it daily and my life tells the story. Where we go from here isn’t written yet, but I can invite you to watch along with me.

Thanks for coming along this far too.

Warm regards,


Thursday, January 1, 2009

Reflections of the past year and of hope for the future...

As a Transgendered Christian woman the last year has been filled with issues that are very important to ones self-respect. Early in my Christian days I learned this quote by Edmund Burke: "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good [people] do nothing." As a transgendered woman I learned that nobody was going to stand up on my behalf. So I made a vow to myself that I would not be one that does nothing in the face of evil – even if it isn’t much I can open my mouth and cry “foul!” when necessary. I decided to take up the challenge to speak up openly about my life and to tell about life from my perspective as well. I personally work for Marriage Equality and Faith without Prejudice whenever I am able. It is why I took up this blog and the “Living Transgender In American Society Today” vlog project too.

This New Years Eve and Day I spent largely by myself and I have done a lot of reflecting on the things that have affected my life and those of the people I care about. More specifically, I have been talking recently with several other transgendered people of faith from several denominational and religious backgrounds, and there seems to be a general consensus that we don’t feel like we fully fit in either the GLBTQ community or the community of faith. Often it feels like both groups that are supposed to be our friends and “community” kick us in the teeth. This makes finding self-acceptance a tremendous struggle for many – and it
isn’t just limited to transgender folk either. People dealing with divorce or a major illness or the death of a child or loved one – even dealing with a birth defect causes enough self-doubt. And then along come the people of our particular faith or our particular peer group – however one defines it – and they too become scared of us or indifferent or even hateful of us because of what we must do to cope. Anyway, my purpose here now on New Years Day 2009 is to tell some of what I have experienced and how I have come to grips with life in the hopes of bringing just a bit of hope to others that feel alone and lost in their struggles. Perhaps also seeing things through different eyes may help others to understand us too.

Several years after being tossed out of my first Church (a Fundamentalist Baptist one) after 14 years of faithful service on the day my father died, I started attending an Assembly of God Church in Riverside with a wonderfully kind engineer I worked with - he took on a mentor role in my life in those days, though I don’t think he knew that. I witnessed the love he had for his family and for God on many occasions. He, his family and that congregation were so supportive and comforting - they knew about my drug abuse and my depressions and everything except that I was a girl on the inside. I felt so welcome - it was a joy to walk in the door to their Home and to that Church – with the exception of having to hide my horrible secret. I so loved the worship times we shared and the laughter and the tears too, but I had to leave to start transition. They certainly would not understand so I left the Church quietly. Many months later – about 6 into transition - upon first mention of it, these wonderful people turned on the dime and tore me up as becoming "homosexual and being in lockstep with the baby murderers at Planned-Parenthood” and etc. Those were my mentor's words though he swore that this would not end our friendship. But then he began to fill up my e-mail inbox with all the hate rhetoric and would not stop when I asked him to. I had to tell him to not be my friend anymore. That one still brings tears to my eyes, but it typifies the spiritual and emotional struggles we of faith all seem to go through somewhere in transition.

I never thought of myself as part of the GLBT community in all the years prior to transition and still I have a hard time fully realizing that I am, simply because of how God made me at birth. To stand up amongst the GLBTQ people and say I am Christian immediately polarizes most against me. As a Christian I know all too well the pain of bashing from the people I am supposedly part of now that I have changed and become more whole as a person. I have learned to shed the false teachings and cling to God and to myself as created.

So how do I fit and where can I find my own niche has been a big struggle for me too. Maybe - and I think this is the right track anyway - I am just supposed to be a very vocal and visible spokeswoman for people like us. It fits my faith and desire to help people in some tangible way, though there are times when I have to wonder if anyone besides me really cares. I can channel my anguish into some sort of sane action, and it is something I apparently can do well with a little bit of effort, but I never in my wildest dreams expected this to be my life, and for it most days to feel like the right path. Time will tell on that score, but for now I'm OK with it.

In my journey to self-awareness and self-acceptance I discovered that "normal" does not exist in humanity – a normal human is a myth - most people that appear to have a handle on life are likely the most troubled of all because they have had to believe a lie (or a lot of 'em) in their life just to get to sleep at night, and at the other end of the spectrum some have so much material stuff they can buy a great façade. The few that really do have a handle on it I have observed are the ones of deep faith, and I don’t limit that to just Christian faith, by the way. There are those that walk softly all through society living their faith - my Catholic Aunt who has been a pillar of strength to me from my youth until now is one of those earthly angels. I strive to be more like her every day - except my big mouth seems to keep me from walking very softly, and so here I am trying to live what I believe and share what I have come to understand openly.

Recently, one friend said she was suffering from TMI (Too Much Information) in her life
as she tries to reconcile her complete self to her long-time faith. I think most of us trans-women go through a major TMI episode as we start to fully accept life as a woman. I suppose that trans-men have similar experiences, but I can only speak from my perspective – and that is as a woman that had to get here the long way around. As we of faith begin to reconcile our faith with whom we really are we have to re-evaluate everything we were taught and everything we thought we knew. It is a traumatic but necessary process, but eventually we realize the vastness of God's love for us and the vastness of His creation and begin to see where we might actually fit in His big picture. That sounds like TMI to! We seem to have gotten an extra dose of sensitivity, perhaps because we wrestled with the man and the woman in us all our lives and spent most of our so-called male lives trying to justify, to ourselves and everyone around us, why we do things differently and why our natural reactions to things are different than the "norm" for our birth gender.

At the very best we are women that will always have challenges to face about our womanhood. It is overwhelming, but whatever you do, do not let go of Jesus, and don't ever let go of the person you know in your heart that you are. For those of other faiths you may plug in the proper equivalents here, but again I can only speak from my own experience – I am not being intentionally elitist here. I know Jesus won't let go of you regardless, but I find it helps me to visualize myself as a young girl clinging to Him in a happy embrace. It is ironic that my mentor/colleague/friend sent me this pencil sketch right about the time I begin transition in earnest and it actually helped confirm this as the right way to sanity and wholeness for me. I thought he somehow knew what I had kept hidden so deeply and was indicating that he would not cast me off, but I sure was wrong.

It is our self-identity - faith included - and acceptance of our female-self that make us complete people. For me, I decided when I went full-time 2-1/2 years ago that I was simply going to be myself with as much flair as I can muster because there are things about me that will always stand out as oddly masculine. Now when someone gets in my face and tells me that I am a man or I don't pass – I guess they think they are telling me something that I don’t already know – I can proudly say right back in theirs "yes, but I am doing everything I possibly can to remedy that and be the best woman I can be. What are you doing to be the best person you can be?"

In my life I count 3 major things that get me through the rough moments - so far my faith in God (stripped of most denominational traditions these days), my recent understanding of my disabilities, and then believing in the woman I truly am (regardless of outward appearances to others) keeps me out of the depth of despair. I still wrestle with depression and severe anxiety and Adult ADHD, but they don't take me out of the game anymore. Looking back on the past year and my 2-1/2 years as a woman I can say the best choice I have made short of trusting in Jesus and accepting that I am His girl is that I decided to be boldly open and truthful about who I am. I hope what I have said here will give you a bit of peace and hope to be your own self, happily and fruitfully in the New Year

I would love to hear your views and discuss them (politely only please) even if you disagree with me. The only way we will ever come to understanding and tolerance is by taking the time to actually talk with each other.

Happy New Year 2009! May God, as you understand Him or Her, bless you richly this year.

Eva-Genevieve! Scarborough
Advocate for civil-rights and Faith without Prejudice
On Camera Host/Moderator/Coordinator - Living Transgender in American Society Today, 2008