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.
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.