Not Your Binary


Trans and non-gender conforming folks, who are my own flesh and blood family, can teach the world about so much. To live one's own truth in the world is dangerous business, and to do so requires courage, dignity, grace, and a commitment to truth. If you think you get it, as an ally, please pause for a moment and think about what the authenticity of trans*/gnc experience can show you...

 Gender - Gender, like most things, exists in a broad spectrum of that doesn't conform to our notions of black/white, male/female, good/bad. Our binary models and dualistic thinking. Why we continue to parse humanity's truth out into an acceptable "two-ness" is confounding when reality shows that there have never been only two genders, any more than there have been two colors, two kinds of weather, or two kinds of people that are only good or only bad. Nothing natural exists in two-ness. Any story, religious or otherwise, that says there are or were is lying. 

In a variety of cultures, gender constructs have proven false, and have no real correspondence to biology, just like whether or not the sun shines determines whether or not it is hot or cold. And it is only in relatively recent human culture that it has been perceived otherwise. So listen to the experiences of trans folks to reclaim something beautiful that you have all forgotten. That human life has infinite beautiful variety, just like the nature it inhabits. And this includes gender. 

Space - Every human soul deserves the space to express themselves and their truths without fear. Free from assault, judgment, obstacles, or accusations of ill intent. Our culture spends an inordinate amount of energy reserving space for specific experiences as legitimate. And casting out what doesn't fit. But human experience IS variety. The world has left no space for non-conforming expressions of gender, purpose, identity. Because we separate things into false poles. Hard lines that divide rather than open spaces which include. We've left no room. MAKE room! Trans and gnc folks can teach the world about the real. Because our experience exists in the world, it can't be claimed to be "not real." And everyone deserves the freedom to be their most authentic selves without impairment. Learn to create space. Especially if you have already claimed more than is yours by excluding someone else. You dominant cultures do. Since forever.

Identity - Most people get to walk through the world without having to justify that they are who they say they are. Why should trans*/gnc folk not be afforded the same right? The same blessed right to live in truth and embodied self-expression, free from having to explain, justify, or apologize. Answer? We shouldn't! You don't get to tell anyone that they aren't who and what they say they are. Your truth and experience isn't the litmus test for the truths of others, nor should you expect the experience of others should mirror yours or else be declared dangerous. Threatening. Broken. Hatred, violence, separation...these are the true danger. They are true brokenness.

Welcome - Trans and gnc folks have cultivated  acceptance of the legitimacy of our individual experiences in the forge of misunderstanding, abuse, and yes - legislation. With all odds stacked against our experience. Yet, we persist! In extraordinary variety. And  none of our experiences are alike to those of every or necessarily any other. But yet, we welcome one another's experiences and truths without the litmus test of having to fit some pre-conceived notion of the "real." Welcoming others is a holy calling. And without thinking about it in that way, or calling it that necessarily, trans*/gnc folks tend to do it uncritically. And you can learn from that. Welcome won't break you. Isolation and judgment will.

Humanity - we are all merely human. Humanity has inherent dignity made real in every human person. No human's true dignity is subverted by our human categories, our biases, or our discomforts. But we try! Lord, how we try. No creature in God's created world does this but humans, the very creatures who have the reason and intellect enough to know better. So stop. Trans*/gnc people can teach the world about what freedom, community, and authenticity look like. Not in the ideal, but in truth. In the actual. You can't fully have your own humanity until you extend that other humans. All of us. Every. Last. One.

People of faith, remember that God's thoughts are not our thoughts. Nor God's ways, our ways. Time to get right with this.