Wednesday, December 4, 2013
KNEE DEEP IN THE HOOPLA
By now, many of you may know about my life going viral about a month ago. Wow! It sure was shocking to me. It took me by great surprise. I woke up. Got dressed, and headed out the door to prepare for a day on the campaign trail. I work for Oregon United for Marriage, and for the next year I will do everything I possibly can to ensure that all TLGB people have the right to love each other and to commit to each other, and to have the Public Government publicly declare and publicly recognize the relationship announced and wedded as a marriage. Not 30 feet from my door, someone ran into me as I was crossing the street. I landed on the hood of a big white car, denting it in. OMGosh! I was nearly killed. This was a huge event. But it wouldn't last.
Just 20 minutes later, my best friend called me and asked me if I had heard about what was going on. It was Monday Morning, What could I have heard that would warrant such a call? My friend went on to explain to me that my post I had made the night before, about being so happy to be attending Church as myself, had somehow gone viral. What in the world? What was so special about me? About what I am doing. I've been attending Relief Society for 5 months, with great and fantastic support, and love, in fact, I was in the Relief Society Choir. Relief Society is a meeting for women only, in the mormon Church, during the hour the men attend Priesthood. So this Sunday I began to attend Priesthood as myself, with the close aid, advocacy, and assistance of my Branch President and Stake President, the 2 highest ranking local leaders responsible for my membership stewardship. The fact that my Stake President, who presides in leadership over 5 or 6 Wards, each of which consist of 400-600 members, had been attending the small downtown Portland Branch (not yet a Ward) each and every week since i started coming in the first of August....over 3 months straight. This SP (Stake President) had been aware of my situation since my best friend had made him aware the first of the year as I came out to my wife and daughters. We're talking an 11 month relationship. My SP contacted my then SP and Bishop in Akron, Ohio, to help and assist with certain matters. The First Presidency (Our President of the Church and his 2 counselors) has known about my situation for the same length of time. My SP stated that he had been in regular contact with them about me. This gave me great comfort, because as more time went by, that no proceedings of sanctioning or disfellowship, or even more dreadfully, excommunication, had been brought up, the more courage it gives me that they feel I am doing nothing wrong. You'd think that a lifelong devout Mormon Transsexual Woman who is attending Sacrament, Sunday School, and Relief Society, and full participation with talks, prayers, scripture reading, Family Home evening, Dinners, and activities, for 5 months, that nothing was amiss, and things would go on as is.
So getting this surprise call Monday Morning caught me flatfooted. Everyone was sprinting around me in some big media hoopla. I'm just a girl. A lonely, Mormon, woman, who is trying to make her way in a world that is just discovering her. I probably was not ready for Prime Time.....but oh crap!.....here it is! First it was CBS, then ABC, the news started contacting me, and the media frenzy had begun. there was a war between competing channels to be the first to air my story. The ABC station insisted on airing it that night, so there was no time to get to a studio for a face to face interview. It was by phone, and very awkward. Some photos were used without my permission. It was mostly done in good taste, but I think they made it seem like i chose to divorce and abandon my family in Ohio, which is not the case. i am not this kind of monster.
The next day, on Tuesday, the local Portland CBS affiliate, KATU Channel 2 invited me to the studio for an interview. My friend arranged for me to go shopping with some financial backing, and obtain an interview worthy, professional woman's attire. I was truly pampered. I went to the Macy's makeup counter for a makeover even. This outfit is what I'm wearing in last nights blog, attached to my poem, "I AM....For the Very First time". The news anchor that interviewed me for 90 minutes, on camera, has over 30 years experience, and told me I was a remarkable individual, with one of the most compelling stories he has ever seen. He said he would be greatly surprised if this doesn't go way bigger than this. The following is the link to what was aired as the lead story for the 6 O'Clock, and 11 O'Clock News.
You can pretty much just Google my name now and be led to myriad links to me being in the news and various publications. I can't even begin to keep up with it all. I started to read some of the comments, which much of it came from the Right Wing orthodox heartland (a religiosity that I never ever want to be part of, and a cliquish and clannish tribalistic brood that our former President of the Church, Gordon B. Hinlkley warned us against.), which just tore into me, and railed into me with such vile vitriol, and enmity, and diatribes that I couldn't even recognize the Faith experience they were coming from. We simply have no common frame of reference, thus we have nothing that we can talk about. I can help them to understand, but they have to be willing to hear me. I can explain to them about myself, and that I am a lifelong devout Mormon, who is worthy in every sense, including every single Temple Recommend Question., but again, they have to be willing to hear. If anyone is willing to hear, and want me to speak about something....please feel free to leave comments here, suggestions, anything....ask away. I would be very happy to enlighten you about what it's like to have lived in abject sinfulness for 46 years, and then return to arms of Jesus Christ, my true advocate and intercessor.
I am on my way to truth and light. I have a Talent, My Trans* Identity, and I'm not ashamed of it. No devil is inhabiting me making me do this. I'm letting my light so shine before the world, and spreading love, empathy, compassion, inclusion, service to others, happiness, joy, tender mercies, friendship, fellowship, brotherly and sisterly love, and vast amounts of Zion building benefiscience. I am filled with edification and lamp-oil filling opportunities all week long. Every week! I love people. No devil would allow this great love and expansion to exist on his behalf.
Today I had a real life learning experience. I had the great honor and pleasure to be in the company of what was the most beautiful woman with the sweetest countenance. She personified Christ. She lives her faith. She is a woman without guile. All the most wonderful accolades I could lay upon her with absolute truth. She has long golden curly locks of pristine hair, shimmering with refracted Portland Winter declianted sunshine. So gorgeous I doubt Miss America can hold a candle. Her eyes, oh my gosh, those beautiful green eyes staring deep into the tender mercies of her delicate and vulnerable heart and soul. Her nose, such a pefect button, showing a beauty mark of spectacular attraction. Her voice, an angels voice, with the intonations of celestial foundings. Each syllable sending my ears and heart into flushing billows of exuberance, joy and sweet happiness. Her vestments mocking me.....your not the girliest girl in the world....Ha-ha-ha-ha......She's so fine in her flowing long skirt, and pretty peacoat. Her ultra feminine, wintry princess look calls to me......you can't touch this! This is how Fem is done. Everything about her I loved. She is so very perfect.
We went for lunch together, and then she gave away a good amount to someone she thought could truly benefit. She is a God revering woman, who serves her fellow humanity. She loves others unconditionally. She acts every minute on her words and ideology. This woman is operating on a whole nutha level. She says, she's 5'1", but I think she's only 5 foot even. She says she's 95 pounds, but I think 85. She says her backpack is 40 pounds, I say 65. I loved her at first sight. Honestly. Every second I spent with her affirmed this. I had the most amazing day with her. Her story just grabs me heart. How could THIS woman possibly be homeless. You can forget everything you think you know about homeless people. It is all dead wrong....flat out. My friend has a story that just hurts my heart at it's inner emotional core. I cried all day in my heart for her. I hugged her, and smiled broadly for her. I wanted her to know I am her friend, and I am there for her. She says she hates her life, while I'm telling her I love mine for the first time in my life. i feel guilty. Guilty for thinking I have ever had even one iota of struggles or hardships. I know absolutely nothing. I ache for this woman that I just met a few hours ago. Where is she tonight? Is she safe? Are the marks on her beautiful face from abuse. I'm so worried for her. This place is full of these stories. Just open my eyes and look. I feel so blessed by this experience, living among 80 women. They are all wonderful people. They just need empowerment and enfranchisement. They just need the chance to thrive, and live their authentic lives.
I am so blessed for these two events that have left me knee deep in the hoopla. I am learning so much from being immersed in the spotlight, and being a homeless. I have no regrets at all about anything here. I have learned way too much, and met too many wonderful people to wish all that absent from my life. I have started to save from my job that is such a happy and exciting place to work, I still can't believe they pay me to do this stuff. I will be able to soon move into my own place. I will be so much stronger and wiser. I will be so much more of a complete human being. A completely Authentic Human Being. I ask myself every day, "Who in the world could possibly have it better than me?".....(my response is.)..."Nobody". Thinks march on time marches on.....into The Undiscovered Country. Things are getting better. Things are getting better every day......and I'm sitting here.....knee deep in the hoopla.
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