Monday, 11 August 2014

TRANSGENDERS NEED OUR LOVE AND COMPASSION

TRANSGENDERS NEED OUR LOVE AND COMPASSION
Frank Moloney (right) with champion Lennox Lewis
This weekend FRANK MOLONEY (61) the long time promoter of world champion boxer Lennox Lewis, let the world know that he had decided to openly live the rest of his life as a woman called Kellie.
Kellie
All her life Kellie knew that she had been a woman born into a man's body but was forced by society and the expectation of those around her to live as a man, to marry and have children as a man, and to live a painful secret life.

At last - at 61 - from somewhere she has found the courage and the way to declare that she is really a woman and to live a life that is true to her real self.

It must also have been very difficult for her living a whole life in the very macho world of boxing.

I do not think that any of the rest of us can even imagine the life of turmoil, distress and pain that she has suffered. Thank God that at last she has arrived at the point of freedom. 

A small minority of human beings are born with what medicine describes as "gender dysphoria". This basically means that you are one gender - say female - but born into the wrong body - male. It can work the other way around too. This is not an imagery condition. It is a real condition - recognsed by the medical, psychiatric and psychological communities. 

In the past few days I heard from a 22 year old in the USA - a reader of this Blog - who has the condition. He was born Thomas but he is now Jasmine. Next February he will complete his gender re-assignment surgery.

I have come across this condition on several occasions during my 38 year ministry. I have always felt deep compassion for people who suffer with this condition and have always tried to show them love, understanding and compassion. I have become their friend.

A number of years ago I met such a person from Northern Ireland. They were in their 20s and were just beginning their journey from manhood to womanhood. They had been  rejected by their family and friends. I befriended them and went to their hospital appointments with them as no one else would go. After each hospital appointment I took them for lunch - dressed in their hew gender - to a Belfast hotel. We got some strange looks - a man dressed as a priest and a transgendering man. But I did what I did in the name of Jesus and Humanity. I was proud to be their friend. I got my sister to take her shopping for her new ladies clothes. I had a member of my congregation show her the world of ladies cosmetics. 

Over the years I have several transgender women come to Mass in my little chapel in their new persona.

I believe that this is exactly what Jesus would do. 

My congregation made them as welcome as everybody else.

There is a lot of ignorance out there when it comes to transgendering. If someone does not try and understand and accept a transgender person - then they are exhibiting ignorance, unkindness and prejudice.

Were it not for the Grace of God - and/or fate - any of us could have been born transgendered.

We should NEVER respond to this issue with unkindness. We should love, accept, respect and support.

+Pat Buckley
11.8.2014 


14 comments:

  1. This is a good insightful Article Pat. What strikes me is the phrase LGBT and its strive for equality. Walk down Old Compton St in London and no one will two twice at a same sex couple kissing or holding hands, but transgendered people still get 'the look' which is sad because even within the LGBT community transgender identity is still not fully understood - but thankful barriers are coming down. Fair play to people having the courage to publicly admit that they are changing their gender - I just wish people wouldn't judge or sneer. Across the UK it is illegal to discriminate against LGBT people, today schools, the military, health trusts, politicians, police forces etc take a zero tolerant approach to discrimination against gays and lesbians staff - in fact if your GL and come out, these professional bodies go out of their way to ensure that you are treated with dignity and respect. Unfortunately, this attitude still has to achieved toward transgendered persons. Hopefully one day transgendered people can openly work in the classrooms, serve in the military, police forces etc with no fear but respected for the wonderful people they are.

    Can I ask you a hypothetical question. If girl grows up and then at the age of 21, after realising that she is a man trapped in a female body and decides to go through with the gender realignment operations and lives her life as a man, legally changes her sex from Female to Male - then at 31 answers a burning call to priestly vocation would the Roman Catholic Church ordain her?

    Michael Oban

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    1. Thank you Michael.

      It is my belief that the RC Church - and all churches - should ordain any person who has a vocation - regardless of their gender. God does not call people to priesthood because they have particular genitals. Ordination is a grace that pours into he SOUL.

      But to answer your question - I imagine the RC Church would not ordain a transgendered person - out of theological and spiritual ignorance :-(

      Pat

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    2. Anoother thought Michael:

      A man is ordained a priest. Later in life the priest undergoes gender realignment surgery and becomes a woman.

      Is this not then a validly ordained woman priest?

      Pat

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    3. Never thought of that scenario!!!
      Michael Oban

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    4. Valid but not lawful. Sound familiar?

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    5. I presume this debate is about the ordination of YOUNG WOMEN. They seem to have ordained an enormous number of OLD WOMEN over the years.

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  2. Good you're back Pat. No posts/comments for nearly three weeks had me thinking everybody away on hols.
    And good post too. I agree.Wouldn't it be grand if everyone just accepted the rich diversity of people and their beliefs and valued them all as threads weaving the wonderful tapestry of life.
    MourneManMichael

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  3. A thought-provoking and compassionate contribution, dear Bishop, to a complex issue. It is difficult because of the deep suffering of those men, women, or children, who see, feel and think of themselves being trapped in the "wrong" body. Most psychological and psychiatric opinion would see this as a mental condition; i.e., one that has its origins in psychosis and not in nature. These individuals are therefore on the spectrum of psychological or psychiatric illness and are in need of treatment in the first instance.That is not meant to sound harsh nor to condemn. From the point of Christian theology and praxis there is also the problem of reconciling a creator god with such conditions. Is it the case that the creator god makes a mistake in creating the right person in the wrong body? If so, then isn't that is a defective creator? I hope you see in this contribution Pat a sincere attempt to further the debate and to bring the subject more into the open, certainly not to condemn. As a dr myself I do believe that gender realignment surgery must only be the last option when all other treatments have failed.

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    1. I do not think that I agree with "most psychological and psychiatric opinion".

      From my own experience og ministering to transgender people - and from giving the topic much thought and prayer - I believe that it is perfectly possible for a human being with a feminine mind and soul to be born into a male body.

      After all our bodies are just the temporary vessels of our immortal being.

      I think that the psychosis comes from being trapped in the wrong body and from the rejection by family, society, church etc.

      The Creator God allows many people to be born into inappropriate or damaged bodies - does He not?

      It is all part of the mystery of how and why God allows suffering.

      I do believe that you are making a very sincere contribution to the debate.

      Maybe the gender realignment surgery is an attempt by compassionate medicine to help put right a bodily defect and years of rejection by others?

      Pat

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    2. God also created intersexed people. People who are born with ambiguous genitalia. Therefore, is it not possible that God created certain people with a female brain, and a mail body? Sorry doc not going after you, just making a point.

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  4. Above all else we Christians need to be able to see JESUS CHRIST in each transgender person we meet.

    Pat

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  5. We need to see Jesus in each transgender person we meet.

    Maybe gender realignment surgery is - for transgender people - a share in Jesus' Resurection?

    Pat

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  6. Sympathy on gay news sites seem to be tempered by contempt for his previous homophobic comments during his UKIP days.

    I don’t know if he was attracted to men or women before transition. Therefore, I was wondering, will she be heterosexual or lesbian after complete transition, or will her status always be transsexual?

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    1. She has always been female, regardless of her sex at birth. If she likes men than she is straight. If she likes women she is a lesbian. Both = Bisexual. ;)

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