Friday, December 28, 2012

What the Pope Said...

I find I must preface this post because our current Pope Francis seems to be just about right on in many of the things he has been saying - what he will say or do regarding T and LGB folks remains to be seen but on other current affairs he is spot on. He seems to me to be taking stands on issues as I believe Jesus himself would and I truly appreciate the man! This post is referring to his immediate predecessor.

Recently the Pope has made some pretty disparaging remarks about Gays and Transgender people and the other day I read a very excellent blog commentary about this on the Daily KOS titled "For he has met the enemy...and it is us"


After being prompted by the afore mentioned blog to give some thought to where my faith and the fact of my being trans puts me in relationship to the one man looked to by a large percentage of the world's population I found that I can not remain silent and be true to myself and my God. The Pope is now a bully of the worst order.  I made a personal vow many years back that I would not remain silent when I encounter wrong being done. I may not be effective to stop the bullying but I can raise my voice and call a spade a spade. After all who am I compared to the Pope?


Not just the trans movement is damaged but society in general if his foolishness is taken seriously by others, as it will be by much of the R.C. Church. Willful ignorance of scientific facts regarding the nature of human beings, of neurological discoveries and psychological facts in the last few decades is dangerous to everyone his Church encounters, not to mention I think it is sinful to deny such clear facts. Even St. Paul said regarding homosexuality "lets look at nature..." and if he had the same level of technology at hand as we do today his comments in Romans 8 would have been very different because nature proves them wrong now that we can look so close at nature. Paul has the excuse of living in a non-technical society 2000 years ago, an excuse the current Pope does not have. Religion and religious leaders need to be relevant to life in the 21st century to be believable or trustworthy - obviously this Pope is neither. The closed minded, foolish and harmful stance of the Pope and therefore of the Roman Catholic Church is just plain wrong. I'm sorry if this offends some who read this but when someone in a position of authority is wrong and is using that position to cause harm to a select group of people (whom God created and blessed with unique and diverse attributes including gender and sexuality that isn't strictly binary in nature) then that person needs to be called out. He is acting against Scriptural principals, and certainly not in any manner resembling loving one's neighbor and he is wrongfully judging people based on mere appearances, something Jesus said specifically to stop doing. I would personally call the Pope a terrorist because of what he has said about gay people. The blood of innocents will be on the Pope's hands because his words will incite bullies and be used by killers to justify their actions against LGBT people. I say to him, Irresponsible, terrorist Pope - repent!




Hugs and Blessings
Eva-Genevieve!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Transstories: A Glimpse Into A Life

... and that life just happens to be mine.


This is a short movie made by a friend of mine, Ivy Kensinger, and a classmate of hers, Christopher Ourth (aka: Kristopher James), for their Production Class at UCR earlier this year - 2012.

Basically the title says it. We filmed about 3-1/2 hours at several locations I often frequent around Riverside - nail salon, my Church, the local coffee house - and I answered many questions in my ADHD fashion which meant that there was a gosh-awful amount of editing to organize my rambling answers into a 16 minute video.

I'm always very nervous when a camera is pointed at me and I get very fidgety when I'm on the spot as you will see, but nobody died and no cute furry animals were harmed in the process so I figure this is worth sharing.

I am a freelance activist around So. Calif., though mostly my efforts are here in what we lovingly call the Inland Empire for LGBTQ, Civil and Human rights and also for Faith without Prejudice.

It is my hope that this movie will help enlighten people about transgender folks and put the lie to all the misinformation about us from bigots and closed minded religious individuals. Also that it will help other trans-folks learn to accept themselves the way they are and find enough inner peace that they can come out and live their life openly.

Here' Part 1:



and here's Part 2:




Hugs and Blessings,
Eva-Genevieve!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

on Coming Out


Some of you have read most of this in previous posts over the years but I just submitted my coming out story to "Soulforce" as part of their "Repent Campaign" which is directed towards Fundamentalists.  I present it to you here:

Coming out has been a long, painful, cathartic and ultimately very rewarding process. I will start with my conversion – itself a process with full of coincidence and comedy, and in the end God “got me” with his sense of humor.

Several times in my youth people shared the Gospel with me using the old standard Billy Graham “Steps to Peace with God” tract and I remember each one very clearly from 8 years old at a friend’s home up to and including the time I was riding with a friend in a loaner car while his new Toyota truck was in for repair and we found a copy of said tract in the glove box. We, being college-age smart-alecs, made a mockery of it by crossing out “God” and putting in “Toyota”, references to Jesus we changed to “your Toyota dealer” and several other things that made it hilarious and over the years we have laughed about it heartily. Sometimes I still do because this is how God woke me up to his existence in my life, all my life, all the way back through all those encounters with godly people and that little booklet – and may I say that it is still God’s sense of humor that endears me to him the most because we can laugh together – me with God. Go figure, laughing like school-children together hand-in-hand with God instead of at Him.

I would never have believed it possible until one Saturday afternoon  in April of 1980 I was sitting alone in my apartment recovering from the previous day’s extreme drug abuse. I was a person deeply troubled by many issues that have only in the last few years become clear and some diagnosed and treated. I was severely ADHD and also it turns out transgender. In my struggles to cope I had turned to drugs for escape, to feel like I could be someone else, someone with some inner peace. Though the drugs always fell short of that goal it was the best I could do on my own to cope with being female on the inside and so obviously male on the outside and so screwed up in life; that inner turmoil never giving me any peace and always messing up my life at just the wrong moments – what a wretch I was. That Saturday I knew that without a doubt I was lost and without hope in the world after the bender I had been on, and then…

 >knock,knock,knock<

Two people at my door with a survey. It turned out to be a Campus Crusade for Christ survey being used by a local home based Church near my home. I invited them in and got them cokes to drink because it was a very warm So. Calif. day and they looked kind of worn out. We sat and I took the survey and we became friends as we laughed about stuff and made small-talk too. Just as they were getting ready to leave – Sandra asked if she could share a little book about the Gospel with me and out came that little Billy Graham booklet!

…Oh no! It couldn't be...  

You know that sinking kinda feeling you get when you are busted with your hand in the cookie jar or when you know you are really caught in something wrong? Well, it was in that moment that God got me and I knew it. In that same instant I knew God and Jesus were real and in my life and had always been there just waiting for me to look them in the eye and believe, and I could feel them laughing and saying “gotcha!” So I promised to come to the Church meeting the following weekend, I did and I met lots of nice folks and made some friends and I seemed to fit in. Then a few weeks later I went to their big service, called the Rally, where all the home churches met and heard the Pastor preach and during that message I was convinced of my sin and need for salvation. I wanted to belong to Jesus with all my heart so I rushed forward and that night I put my trust in the Lord – that was May 4th 1980. I still have the recording of that sermon and I listen to it from time to time.

As a newbie I got involved in lots of stuff in the Church and continued to feel welcome and wanted, after a few years I even got married to a girl I met there and had 2 sons (who I was just reunited with earlier this year after being apart for many years). But as the euphoria of being newly saved wore off I became more and more aware of my old inner gender turmoil and the struggle with what I now know to be ADHD. Being unable to stay focused in times of stress and feeling like I was holding on to and keeping down a big dark blob in my soul pressed on me to the point I felt like maybe I wasn’t really “saved”. During that time my gay brother passed away from complications of AIDS – Kaposi’s lesions all the way into his lungs – it was an ugly death and the only “comfort” I got from the Pastor was being told (I paraphrase but this is the very gist of it) “Don’t feel too bad because you know he chose that lifestyle, so why don’t you pass out Gospel tracts at the funeral” (And I even did it – what a snot I was in those days).

As a result there was a lot of inner turmoil, doubt, self-hatred and self-loathing in my life and drugs started to become an escape from feeling again because I could no longer find help or understanding in the Church where, for a while I had even been the poster-child of “salvation from the evils of cross-dressing”. But still I towed the line of the Church and stayed very busy with the work and even participated in the Church’s reparative therapy sessions to no avail. But there came a day that I was thrown out of that church for disagreeing with the Pastor on a point of scripture – at least this was the proverbial last-straw – he wanted to sue another Church because some people had left our Church and started going to that other one and then started bad-mouthing us as being a cult and stuff like that. (Sadly much of what they said was true but I never mentioned I harbored such thoughts to anyone in those days but it weighed on my soul because I felt conflicted by it). I said we should not sue them but the Pastor twisted the words in Corinthians to imply that because they left us they were lost and not truly Christians or truly a Church and therefore they could be sued without violating Scripture. I disagreed, saying that we ought to be able to turn the other cheek and not air our dirty laundry in the courts. And it was about a week later I got a letter from the Church’s Associate Pastor dropping me from the Church and barring me from ever attending there again. That was the very same day my father died from Alzheimer’s disease and Lung Cancer. The Pastors knew I was struggling with this but cut me loose after 14 years of my faithful, obedient and zealous service without mercy or compassion.

I discovered that the love of God was no longer there in that place and that hurt to the core of my being. I felt so used and abused. My life hit the skids then because I lost any and all of my spiritual moorings, though somehow God kept hold of me even through the very depths of depravity to which I sank, and it was a very long and deep darkness.

Crash and burn.

Over the next decade, among many other disasters, I got busted for drug possession, my marriage failed, my children were taken away out of state in contempt of court and I could not afford the lawyers to stop it over the Christmas holiday. So I died another death in my soul, and my life became more and more riddled with drug abuse to the point of destitution and homelessness.

I learned to hate the Church and hate people who proclaimed the gospel but showed no mercy to people they didn’t know or understand – like I myself had done for many years in that Church preaching on the streets of Los Angeles, Hollywood and West Hollywood – preaching fire and brimstone messages in front of the clubs and sex shops even while knowing that I might be hurting some of the hearers. I learned to openly hate myself and everything about my life because I felt I was living a total lie. And yet there in my deepest despair was God trying to love me – He never did let go of me – while I was yet sinning and ruining my life more and more.

Then finally I got help for my mental disorder – a demonstrably life-long Christian relative (I call her my Catholic angel – the only person in my life who did not simply write me off) got me to see a therapist and that is how I found out that I wasn’t crazy or just cursed by God but had a diagnosable condition, severe adult ADHD that was to some extent treatable and I got the help I needed for the anxiety and depressions and panic I suffered with. Then with some clarity of mind I was finally able to address my gender dysphoria. Knowing that I wasn’t crazy allowed me to understand that in being Transgender God had given me a gift and not a curse.

It took many years after this for me to heal enough and forgive enough – myself and others – to get back to Church, to trust a Pastor, or a congregation, and I must say I still distrust many Evangelicals and Fundamentalists, especially those who run large, I call them “industrial strength”, super-churches because they leave so many people with so many wrong ideas about God and Love and mercy and compassion. But I have found my way back into a Church and a congregation that has fully embraced me. Finding my way back to faith enabled me to come out fully to the world around me and begin my transition in earnest.

Being transgender is how I was lovingly formed in the womb with the full intentions of my loving God. God does not make mistakes and does everything because he is Love. Therefore I was not and am not a mistake!! God loves me the way He made me! I am very much made in the image of God! Accepting myself this way was like being born-again a second time.

God rushed back into my life because now I could worship Him in Spirit and in TRUTH; the whole, contiguous me was no longer divided with self-loathing, there was no longer any dark “evil” blob to keep hidden deep in my soul because that was actually the very best part of me being kept down by hurtful dogma and tradition. The lie I had been trying to live all those years was gone. There was just me and God holding hands and laughing again because I was really free to be me!! I didn’t have to hide the best part of me from God or anyone anymore. Talk about a revival of body, soul and spirit.

Eva Unchained!

To be whole and complete and free before God and man! Even the need for drug abuse faded away – 7 years clean now - because I have nothing to hide and no need to run away from myself anymore and in the place of the running and hiding I get to celebrate my freedom with God. In this reconciliation of myself-as-created with the God-who-never-let-me-go I get to be God’s girl now and I am privileged to share God’s love with people I meet. In don’t have to judge but only share the love.

Though I am disabled – in part I am sure from trying to live the wrong life for so long as all the fear, hiding and shame surely took their toll – now I am a volunteer activist here in the Riverside, Calif. area for LGBT, civil and human rights for all and also as an activist for Faith without Prejudice and I get to work and speak out for justice; I do what I can, when I can and somehow God gets me through the days when I can’t. This past November at my Church (First Congregational Church, Riverside – an Open and Affirming UCC member congregation) I organized our 2nd annual Transgender Day of Remembrance observance and we will keep it up every year. And I occasionally get to speak about my life and better still I sometimes get the opportunity to preach the Gospel and that is my most favorite thing to do because it is so awesome to know that God’s truth is being spoken through me – me this quirky, shy, nerdy, sometimes very disoriented and fragmented trans-woman gets to feel God’s inspiration writing the words and then nervously (because I still have a lot of anxiety and hypertension) stand up to preach them and feel the Holy Spirit flow through me as I do. I understand now how Scripture in some places was inspired because I have experienced it.

I hope one day to be able to take this message of God’s love for every person he created back to the Fundamentalists who actually did lead me into my living relationship with God back in May of 1980. I know the main Church is still there in Downtown LA because I have walked past it on several occasions while changing buses on a nearby corner and seen the faces of a few people I used to call friends in that other life I tried to live.

I don’t know what their focus or ethos is now, but based on what I know of them from my time there from May 4th 1980 until June of 1995 this is what I would say to them (and I believe I hear the Spirit of God saying “Amen”):

Please keep zealously loving God and each other, but don’t put God in the narrow box that the old traditions would have you do because it shuts out so much and so many that God is creating now, new, perfect and complete. God has made the World and the Universe completely diverse and God is continuing to do so with the Human Race – there is no gender binary in God’s creation just as there is no binary in the spectrum of light. There is a whole range of beauty and blessing in every shade and hue of humanity, so let ALL the people bloom. Each person, whether straight, gay, lesbian, bi or whatever ones attractions, and transgender folks – also a whole range of gender diversity and expression unto themselves – should be accepted openly and fully into the family of God. Every living soul should be allowed to live openly the way God made them, even if you don’t understand them or understand how such a one can be ”that” way.

Simply let God understand them and you pass on His love to them.

Trying to force someone to change their nature is like trying to force the leopard to change her spots – it can’t be done without killing the leopard. Be instruments of God’s love and inclusion to all humans, so that, if they will, they can come and drink freely of the water of life. Don’t pick and choose among people and don’t hinder any of these little ones from coming! Don’t choke out the Good News! That narrow and judgmental view of people and of what is misconstrued as “choice” that you call “truth” is really only a tool of the Devil used to spiritually and emotionally clobber people and keep them away from salvation, and it generates so much anger and confusion, pain and resentment – and results in death in many cases – in the process. Please let that all go! Rise to a higher level of spiritual awakening that includes every living soul.

Please for Christ’s sake let it all go. Let healing and reconciliation take its place. Please. In Jesus’ name I pray.

Hugs and Blessings,
Eva-Genevieve! Scarborough

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Transgender Day of Remembrance 2012 in Riverside



Here in Riverside our TDoR event came off without a hitch. Transgender Veterans and appropriate healthcare was the topic of our speakers from The VA Loma Linda Healthcare System, though I don't have the text of their words to post here, at least not yet.


Then we held the Candlelight Memorial where many names were remembered out loud. I spoke these words:


"“It is estimated that one trans person per month on average is killed in a hate crime in the United States. In the last year, an estimated 250 gender variant/trans people were reported murdered worldwide. The term transgender refers to people whose gender identity, expression, or behavior is different from those typically associated with their assigned sex at birth” – this from Nancy Cook of KTAL News, Shreveport, Louisiana.



That is higher than statistics I have seen prior to 2010 and the trend still seems to be rising now that LGBT issues are often in the news. Many are pushing back against us so we must be careful these days out walking and going about our business – when possible go with a friend. Be aware of your surroundings – don’t look fearful but look around often and look people in the face as you pass – act like you belong there. Don’t have your music up so loud that you would not hear someone approaching from behind or just leave your tunes at home. If you don’t feel safe in a place you enter leave immediately and try to stay around well lit, populated places when you can. Avoid alleys or poorly lit short-cuts. Any self-defense coach will give you much the same advice; avoiding danger is your first line of self-defense.

Transgender Day of Remembrance in its original form recognizes those who have been murdered simply for being themselves. The people we name out loud shortly speak clearly. However I believe that this remembrance should not only be about those murdered but it should necessarily include the many who are bullied to death as well – the murderer may be long gone when an actual death happens, but though it be ruled technically a suicide I strongly believe that there is a culprit or culprits to blame. Many of these deaths never get reported and their names never again spoken aloud and that breaks my heart!

Our society is so good at bullying, and at excusing it. We see it on TV in sitcoms, in commercials, on the exploitative talk shows all the time and we often think it’s funny so most people don't even understand that when they tease others they might be hurting someone or pushing one over the edge.

I can’t even begin to speak of the harm done by families, social organizations and Churches that bully and reject their own, and I can’t talk about it without getting worked up. And then there are those who aren't doing it with intent but simply think their teasing is all in fun, not thinking what others might feel or about the consequences their words or actions towards others may harbor. Not thinking it might not be funny at all, but tragic.

There are always consequences for even the smallest of actions. You may not ever see them but they are there. You may not get a reaction on the spot, but there always is one––alone, in the dark, the tears, the rage, the hopelessness, the drugs, the bleeding, the dying––yes, there always is one.

We on the receiving end learn to take it with a straight face but we hold this stuff in and for some it builds up to the point of ruined self-esteem or worse; chronic depression or other mental disorders, cutting or other self-abuse, drug abuse, and suicide if the drugs can't numb the pain or provide enough of an escape. The statistics about bullying gathered in recent months bear this out clearly enough too.

So we start here once again to remember, to understand, to feel and share the pain, learning to love and accept others and help them heal even if we can’t quite fathom the driving force in their life. By remembering these who have been murdered and bullied to death, by pondering who and what they might have become, maybe, just maybe we can make life better for others today who are heading into such a crisis. Maybe one of you will save the life of someone you encounter simply by replacing a frown with a kind word or a smile or perhaps by standing up to a bully picking on someone else within your hearing – just a word or two is all it takes.

What any one of us can do is an individual, on-the-spot decision, but let us start here today in these moments by remembering these passed souls as if they were a loved one, a dear friend, a brother or sister, or someone that we could respect and revere or simply have a chat with. And yes, let us feel our loss. Most importantly we must let this loss change us, sensitize us and embolden us to embrace others who are different, remembering that they need our love and our care too. We are our brother’s and sister’s keepers and we must resolve it in our own hearts here and now to keep all of them with loving kindness.

Thank you all for participating."

Our event was written up in the local paper, The Press Enterprise by David Olson:
http://blog.pe.com/multicultural-beat/2012/11/17/1021/

Hugs and Blessings,
Eva-Genevieve!


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Change of Speaker

Here's the updated TDoR Flier. One of the speakers has, for medical reasons, become unable to participate.


Friday, September 28, 2012

Transgender Day of Remembrance 2012, Riverside CA

This is our 2nd annual observance at First Congregational Church in Riverside CA of the International Transgender day of Remembrance.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Register to vote on-line!!! (for California Residents)


This is so very cool. Californians can now Register to vote on-line!!! Please pass this link to everyone you know and encourage them to register if they have not already done so.

I just did - I had to since I just moved. It took all of about 5 or 6 minutes and I could even print out a receipt. And by selecting the vote by mail option I don't have

 to worry about being able to make it to the Polling place. The process is simple!! (Though it may be just a bit clunky on slower Internet connections).

Now there is no excuse not to vote for anyone short of being mentally incapacitated.

here's the link to register:

https://rtv.sos.ca.gov/elections/register-to-vote/
 

_____________________________________________________________

Here's my opinions:

Please learn about the issues and candidates and vote this November. And if nothing else Please vote for anyone other than Romney for President - remember that he thinks you are a mindless, useless lazy slug (or worse) - prove him wrong!!! VOTE!!!!

Please vote Yes on Prop 30 to support education (and public safety), and Vote No on 38 - on the surface 38 sounds better than 30 but it is set up in such a way that whatever money it raises for schools the same amount can be taken away from the general fund by the legislature to fund other things thus robbing any gain made - and you know they will just like they did with all that money for schools that was to come from the Lottery. Prop 30 does not allow this kind of shady diversion of funds. Molly Mullen (very, very wealthy) who personally funds the 38 effort has spent lots of money to promote it but it is a flawed proposition - please vote yes on 30 and no on 38.

Please vote No on 32 - don't believe the false hype put forth by rich corporations. This is just another of their attempts to shut down their political opposition. Unless you love the rich corporations and love their greed and corruption, their buying of candidates, their grabs for government control and their shady super-pacs a no vote is the correct one!

Please vote Yes on 35 - this stiffens the penalties for sex trafficking to more than just a slap on the hand and will be a big help in the fight to stop it! This is a much bigger problem here in California than most people realize. I was shocked - check out their web site for details, http://www.caseact.org/

Hugs and Blessings,
Eva-Genevieve!

Monday, July 23, 2012

LGBTQ Webinars of interest.

Here is a very good collection of LGBTQ educational Webinars - good for caregivers and others that interface with LGBTQ folks. This list was provided by the Riverside County (Calif) Mental Health LGBTQ Task Force


Hugs and Blessings,
Eva-Genevieve!



Recorded Webinars

Putnam, J. & Woodward, M.C. (2011, June 2). LGBTQ 101: Terminology. Recorded at http://asu.adobeconnect.com/p8pqpftlyfh/.

Ferguson, E., Jones, R.D., & Lewis, C. (2011, June 9). LGBTQ 102:Subcultures and groups. Recorded at http://asu.adobeconnect.com/p3kcqlj03oz/ 

Shannon, R. & Wonsowicz, J. (2011, June 16). LGBTQ 103: Allies and role of the providerRecorded at http://asu.adobeconnect.com/p95c6uojwwi/.

Ferguson, E. & Lewis, C. (2011, June 23). LGBTQ 104: Webinar review sessionRecorded at http://asu.adobeconnect.com/p7jk5q1hp9e/.

Penniman, C. (2011, July 14). LGBTQ 201: Substance abuse and stimulant useRecorded at http://asu.adobeconnect.com/p19rg2qfz7y/.

Gilder, P., Hess, R., III, & Sitzler, A. (2011, July 21). LGBTQ 202: Review of recent needs assessment and what they meanRecorded at http://asu.adobeconnect.com/p7b1wfhx1i5/.

Russ, E. (2011, July 28). LGBTQ 203: Behavioral health disparitiesRecorded at http://asu.adobeconnect.com/p5a15dn6476/.

Francis, K. & Poirier, J.M. (2011, August 4). LGBTQ 204: National initiatives and resourcesRecorded at http://asu.adobeconnect.com/p2bovbk6mqa/.

Ferguson, E. & Lewis, C. (2011, August 9). LGBTQ 205: Webinar review session. Recorded at http://asu.adobeconnect.com/p471g52a6d3/.

Adelman, M. & Carr, M. (2011, August 11). LGBTQ 301: SafeZone, signs, and communicationRecorded at http://asu.adobeconnect.com/p4rlkzmvpiq/.

Wagaman, A. (2011, August 25). LGBTQ 302: Ethical competency for the provider. Recorded at http://asu.adobeconnect.com/p459nad51nt/.

Grissom, M., Machuca, E., Mahon, J., & Wagaman, A. (2011, September 1). LGBTQ 303: LGBT homeless youth. Recorded at http://asu.adobeconnect.com/p1atqkmrxal/.

Ferguson, E. & Lewis, C. (2011, September 6). LGBTQ 304: Webinar review session. Recorded at http://asu.adobeconnect.com/p3lf1bjqo51/.

Carr, M. (2011, September 8). LGBTQ 401: LGBT youth in foster care. Recorded at http://asu.adobeconnect.com/p9dhpf3b704/.

Stafford, K. (2011, September 15). LGBTQ 402: LGBT youth in the juvenile justice system. Recorded at http://asu.adobeconnect.com/p4cpmrmtese/.

Loving, T. (2011, September 22). LGBTQ 403: Using best practice models and peer educationRecorded at http://asu.adobeconnect.com/p4cpmrmtese/.

Bellis, C. & Carr, M. (2011, September 29). LGBTQ 404: Youth in the education system. Recorded at http://asu.adobeconnect.com/p329y971npx/.

Hess, R., III, & Trush, R. (2011, October 6). LGBTQ 405: Systems of careRecorded at http://asu.adobeconnect.com/p1ru9qufpvu/

LGBTQ Boomers & Beyond. (2011, October 13). LGBTQ 501: Sustaining LGBTQ specific groups and interactionsRecorded at http://asu.adobeconnect.com/p7pxvkmdngd/

Blumenstein, B. (2011, October 20). LGBTQ 502: Gender Transition Considerations. Recorded at http://asu.adobeconnect.com/p1i9q8hk659/

Ferguson, E. & Lewis, C. (2011, October 27). LGBTQ 504: Webinar review session. Recorded at http://asu.adobeconnect.com/p305e4wwqri/

Friday, July 20, 2012

Snagged these off of Facebook...

I snagged these off of Facebook because they say what I'm feeling.
Hugs and Blessings,
Eva-Genevieve!


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Thomas the Kitten and My Righteous Anger - A Sermon



I have agonized over the issue of personal culpability for a long time and catalyst this time was Thomas the kitten. How does one live in this tainted world and still live responsibly and a little bit righteously without being overwhelmed? I believe we must each answer this for ourselves in the very way we live. I posted this earlier today on Facebook though I have edited it slightly here. Even though it really isn't a transgender issue it is one all about how we live in the world - hopefully responsibly. I was truly horrified when I read the original post and have stewed over this for a week now so this post is a bit of a rant, mixed with what I believe to be righteous anger  and outrage turned into a sermon mixed with a little practical advice. I think it worthwhile to read on...

Hi all,

You know I post a lot of petition links - at least if you follow me on Facebook you do . I do this not to annoy my friends but to inform you and hopefully get you engaged enough to take two minutes from your day to make a difference in your world. I know you get junk mail already and don't want to add a bit more, but ignoring these issues does increase ones culpability and staying spam-free just doesn't seem to me like a viable excuse, (You can set up a separate e-mail account to use just for signing petitions and then you won't get all the junk mixed with your regular mail). Sometimes I get angry enough to stand up on my soap-box and preach. It took seeing a kitten buried alive in concrete to do so and this is one of those times...

I have been thinking a lot since I saw the original and re-posted the link on Facebook that though we would never do something this heinous to a kitten ourselves we do participate in behavior that allows such tortures to go unchecked by others. We have a moral responsibility to pay attention and be engaged in our world. And that means doing something to make a difference sometime. If each person on Facebook signs one petition every day can you imagine the difference that would make?

For Example, do you like bacon? Well then you have culpability in the cruel treatment of pigs unless you take some time to be involved in the fight against inhumane conditions and treatment. The same goes for those who eat chicken or beef or any other animal. It is time to quit remaining safely blind and ignorant and comfortable behind the walls we build for ourselves. I'm not going as far as the Vegans do in this battle because I believe that we are designed to eat some meat but I also am not going to hide or shield myself from the responsibility I personally have to be sure I seek humane sources of food, and barring that at least getting involved in a campaign to change cruel conditions and actions.

Humans tend towards cruelty - we see this time and again in the news - especially when it comes to getting and maintaining personal wealth and power over others. It is a rare person indeed who manages to accomplish this without allowing cruelty in the process and to those few that do I say thanks - keep it up! To the rest of us I must point out that God (or our Creator or the Universe in general for those who don't claim any brand of religion) gave us the intellect and free will to be able to rise above our base desires and instincts and we CAN make a difference. It is this intelligent difference-making that makes us fully human. And being fully human means taking responsibility for the things we use and what we do – every little thing. We will be blessed if and when we try to live this way. We may not succeed in bringing positive changes with every effort, nor can one person be involved in every issue, but we CAN try to make a difference somewhere and that is the crux of the matter. We must try! These petitions are a very simple and quick way to make a difference.  (I try not to post junk or foolhardy things that would waste your time).

Involvement means making changes in your life like having to look and think, and at times imagine what it would feel like to be in the place of one of these animals or people or to be forced to live in slavery or extreme poverty. Take a long hard look at the pollution and destruction of our world we keep allowing by our non-involvement. We can't keep "kicking the can down the road" - we are responsible to pick up the can and deal with it responsibly. I understand there are differences of opinion on the form and methods of involvement and I am not choosing political sides here - each person must decide for themselves how to be involved and what is important, however I am urging involvement of some sort.

We must change our society so it isn't built on a foundation of wasteful destruction and pollution, or cruelty, abuse, bullying, prejudice, slavery, sex trafficking and etc: all of this needs to be stopped and it won't be by staying silent and un-involved.  We must keep our corporations and our elected and appointed civic leaders in check. Sometimes it means we must do some real hands on sweaty work, sometimes maybe a bit of electioneering or some other tedious bit of effort, but we at least must do something to hold those responsible accountable and this is why I constantly encourage people to sign these things. I want you to see them and get involved - I even beg you as fellow citizens of this world to do so. We must, as Gandhi said, “be the change we want to see in the world”

For many years I have been inspired by this quote from Edmund Burke: "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good [people] do nothing." (Originally it said "men" but the feminist in me said change it so readers know it includes everyone). I made a vow many years ago when I heard this that even though I may not be able to do much I would not "do nothing".

Here is what I am asking of each one of you who are my friends, please make a similar vow. Please don't do nothing. Please don't allow yourself to skip over important issues. There are plenty of issues to go around too. We need clean air and water - at least our children do, we need to have a humane society where all people are equal and accepted as members, we need to treat our world and all the creatures in it with kindness and compassion. We must love all our neighbors! It is our responsibility!

Look at the picture and hear this little kitten telling you the same thing. God used Balaam's ass to rebuke him (see Numbers 22:22-35; 2 Peter 2:16) so why not hear a kitten calling to you. Maybe if you hear him crying for help you will begin to hear what God hears--the cries of all the oppressed, the rejected, the downtrodden, the victims, and the hurting residents of our world--and then you can start to love your neighbors as yourself. I know God heard the cries of little Thomas and was grieved. When I saw this I was shocked, horrified and driven to my knees in anger first and then prayer and now moved to preach. Open your ears, eyes and your heart and allow what you hear and see to move provoke you to action. Here is a good starting place: maybe you could jump over to the petition site linked below and sign it too. The kitten was eventually rescued though it was too late to save his life, but still it is time to act and let the world know we won't tolerate this kind of behavior. Not to people, not to pets, not to our food, not to our world. Allow yourself some righteous anger when you see what uncaring. irresponsible and wicked people do and then stand up and get involved!! Don't do nothing. Here's the link to the petition site:


For those of faith here is a verse that comes to mind - isn't it about time...

2 Chronicles 7:14
If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.


Amen!

Hugs and Blessings,
Eva-Genevieve!


Monday, July 2, 2012

Who is Disabled?

Greetings everyone,


In my e-mail today was a post that I thought was very much worth sharing. As I was prepping it as a jpg I was also thinking about prejudice also as a handicap. Both presently as a transgender person and also as one who in my youth was ridiculed for the patch I had to wear over one eye and my inability to participate in certain activities. One might as well be truly struck blind or deaf when they let their prejudices direct their behavior whether it is directed towards people with handicaps or people who are different in other ways like LGBT folks or people from other nations, races or religious backgrounds or any condition beyond one's control. So when you read this please think about the terms of disability or handicap in this broader sense too.
Hugs and Blessings,
Eva-Genevieve!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Allie the Ally at First Congregational Church, Riverside CA

Allie the Ally was started by the GSA at Blake High School. Today at Church some of us in the LGBT fellowship group posed with Allie to show our support.
We are an Open and Affirming member Church of the United Church of Christ


Saturday, May 19, 2012

The Return Trip

The theme at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland certainly can sum up the theme of my life. What a long, strange trip it has been… and will no doubt continue to be, at least I hope it will so I don’t lose my sense of wonder at it all.
Sorry we couldn’t take pictures in the Hall of Fame but we did take a few shots around the area before we left town.


We left Cleveland Wednesday morning and headed south to Wright-Patterson Air base and the BIG Air and Space museum there – it was so huge I could not walk all the way through it in one pass. This museum is free to the public and should not be missed if you are ever near Dayton, Ohio. 
We spent that night in Cincinnati We Cincinnati, the next night in St Louis, Missouri.
We continued west each day –
– Tulsa, OK. Tucumcari and New Mexico weren’t really remarkable places except for the noisy pimp and hookers at the Tulsa Red Roof Inn (where the management there seemed intent on ignoring that sort of behavior) and the nice dinner at the “Pow Wow” in Tucumcari – until we got to Sedona Arizona where we stayed for one extra day.
Then we decided to sprint for home instead of taking one more night somewhere.
The End

Friday, May 4, 2012

Re-Union Is a Blessing After All

Greetings - tonight from Tulsa, Oklahoma. I am a little behind with this news but with all the travelling there just isn't much time. Again as time permits I will be adding more pictures to this post.

We arrived in Cleveland on schedule and we were able to meet my older son James right away. After a tense, tearful moment of being somewhat overwhelmed James was accepting and we were able to connect and spend some good quality time together. We went into Downtown Cleveland for a great Dinner at the Hyde Park Prime Steakhouse. The service was impeccable, the food - especially the dry aged beef - was too good for words and the ambiance of the place was peaceful, comfortable and had a secluded feel to it - perfect for getting to know my son again. James came with us to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame the next day 

David was unable to come along because he had to study for his college classes and it turns out that he was hesitant to meet me the new me. This was a very difficult time for me as it came down to our last day in Cleveland and he had been unwilling to meet me. I had to steel myself emotionally for being rejected and only re-uniting with James, but at the last minute he came with us for dinner that last evening at the Great Lakes Brewing Company in Cleveland. They have awesome Pot Roast and amazing Stilton and Cheddar Cheese Soup. And, lest I forget, their beers are really good too so if you see any Great Lakes stuff at Trader Joe's you should pick some up, especially the Porter, the Irish Ale or the Cleveland Brown Ale. 



I really need to thank many friends and members of my Church in Riverside for praying for things to go well. 

Thank You all - your prayers were answered! Praise God!

(Left to Right: Ken, James, Me, David)



While in the area I met with the founder of the TransFamily of Cleveland support group, Karen and her husband Bob over a nice lunch at Ruby Tuesday's. It was nice to learn some of the history of this support group which was so much help to me when I was first explaining to my boys about my transition and wanting to provide some local resources for them should they be interested in learning what I was doing from others on the same path. I wish I had more time to meet with others across the country but we don't really know where we will be until we make plans at night for our next stop. At some point we will be in Sedona, AZ for a couple of days but that's all I know for now.

Now I'm off to bed and an early start on the road again. When I get home I'll get the last installment up so until then may God bless you all richly.

Hugs,
Eva-Genevieve!