Wednesday, August 26, 2015


Ninety-five years ago today the US government declared that ALL women had the right to vote in elections.

Hooray!!  Equality!! 

Oh wait, no.  The federal government said ok, we'll let the women vote.  The states said, fine but they have to follow the same rules all the men do.  When the states don't like what the government has to say they find ways around it.  When the government does something progressive and liberating (as per our constitution) for all people the individual state governments chime in and say, sure but only if...

All women were given the right to vote in 1920.  All women didn't have the means or ability to vote in 1920.  From 1889 to 1910 some, not all and mostly southern states enacted a poll tax.  This said that in order to register to vote you had to pay a fee to the government.  If you didn't have the money for the fee, your voice would not be heard.  Poll taxes were enacted largely to keep African Americans and poor people from casting a vote.  Um, discrimination?  Hell yes.

The amendment to abolish poll taxes wasn't even introduced until 1962 and finally ratified in 1964, finally allowing any able bodied citizen to cast their vote for their representation.  So it took 44 years for ALL African American and minority women to be able to vote.  Wow, that sucks.

And we still only make anywhere from 56 (Hispanic) to 78 (Caucasian) cents on the dollar in comparison to a man's wage...

Great history lesson!  But why do I bring that up, you ask?

The US Supreme Court ruled on June 26, 2015 that homosexuals had the right to be married.

Hooray!!  Equality!!

And yet all across America clerks are standing up and saying NO claiming that signing off on a legal document required by their job so that two consenting adults can be united under the law (not even under God--just the law) is violating their religious freedom.

Um, no.  If you don't want to issue marriage licenses, you need to find a new job.  I mean, your participation in the marriage is pretty non-existent anyways.  No one is asking you if you think it's ok.  They're asking you to do your job as a government worker.  Not that you need a clerk to sign off on it, but do you deny divorces as well?  Who gives a religious person the right to deny someone equal protection under the law?  Gods law and the law of the US are not congruent.  They weren't in biblical times, they aren't now and because ALL the citizens aren't Christians it never should be.  Render unto Caesar that which is Caesars....sounds familiar.

It seems to me we're trusting in a nation to bring it's people to Christ when in fact it should be the other way around.  If making America a Christian nation is your idol, chances are you're discriminating against a whole HUGE group of people.  The same was true in the early 1900s.  The same is true now.

It took women 188 years for voting equality.  How long will it take until all states recognize LGBT people as equal under the law in all things and not just marriage?  How long will it take for the Christian community to finally stop the attacks, verbal and otherwise?  How long will it take for us to sit down in front of the mirror and say, "I care about what's going on in the world.  I want to make this world a better place.  What do I need to fix about myself first?"  Gay marriage isn't your issue and since God said love and give generously to your enemy it isn't God's either.  What IS your issue?  What is YOUR issue?

For the record, currently my issue is ironically bitterness.  Can you tell?

Tuesday, August 25, 2015


I hate misunderstandings.  I mean, my mind sees them as an injustice of sorts with hidden repercussions and seemingly simple resolutions.  The two biggest things I've seen that lead to misunderstandings is lack of communication or lack of education.  Sometimes both, that's just painful.

I feel like the last year of my life has been one huge misunderstanding between me and about a third of the people I know and I would like to set the record straight.

In the last 3 years I have heard people blame my husband for Elly.  They've claimed that he's the man of the household, he's supposed to be in charge and setting a good manly role model for his kids.  Elly has ALWAYS worn dresses (or variations of such) so clearly he failed.  I've heard people say that we allowed and encouraged this "lifestyle" and we've twisted our child so now they don't know what they're supposed to be.

Let me just tell you right now, No.  I made a choice to let my child walk around the house in my bathing suit top, yes.  When you're a parent you pick your battles and that was not a battle I was going to fight.  I'd rather you eat dinner than take off your dress.  I made a choice to buy her first play dress once she started ripping and stretching my clothes.  So I chose to limit the dress up.  I chose to allow my kid to pick her Halloween costume, because on Halloween it's ok for any kid to dress as the opposite gender...just not my gender creative 5 yr old.  Right.  When my kid started trying to shove her genitals back inside her body I got serious.  I called our doctor, I made an appt at a gender clinic.  I sought out people who'd been there.  I'd already chosen to do my research before this even happened because I knew my kid.  I knew what I'd seen and what she'd been telling me verbally and otherwise.  So I made a choice.  I chose to buy a weeks worth of clothes near schools end and sat her down and gave her a choice.  Every day.  I'd pick 2 "boy" outfits and 2 "girl" outfits and for the entire summer, she picked the "boy" clothes twice.  I chose to give her options for a girls name.  I chose to call her by the name she picked.  I chose to amend my pronouns for her.  I chose to stand up for her.  I chose to tell our family and friends.  I chose to prepare the new school, to educate and advocate and stand firm.  These have been my choices.  Choosing to follow my kid's lead.

Nowhere will you see that I chose a gender creative child.  I had plans for my life.  I'd find a man who wanted me, birth beautiful children, serve God and live happily ever after.  The details were a bit harried but I knew I would never have an LGBT kid because I would raise them right.  They would know their desire would be for the opposite sex, period.  Gender was so black and white that I never planned that into my list of potential problems.  The fact that at 18 months my husband and I were mentally preparing for a gay son should be enough to tell you that this wasn't anyone's choice.  It is and was innate.

Who would choose to raise a child to have them lose job opportunities, lose friends, be bullied, be abused, be suicidal, be marginalized by society, be the punchline, be denied housing, I mean the list goes on and on and it ends with be murdered.  WHO would CHOOSE that??

Who would choose to force their child into a box?  Who would look right at their child and crush their very spirit, their essence continually?  Who would say, I'd rather you be safe than be who you are?  I'd rather you fit in than shine like the sun?  Who would force a child into their dreams instead of allowing them to dream for themselves?

I'm not that parent.  I knew from the day that my child was born 12 weeks early that they were meant for greatness.  While people were crying and worrying and saying how sorry they were that we had such a frail and feeble looking child I had no fear.  My autistic, possibly transgender daughter is going to move mountains.  She is going to be whoever God calls her to be and I'm never going to stifle that.  Instead I'm going to celebrate her every accomplishment.  I'm going to guide her and train her to be confident and careful.  I'm going to support her in her every endeavor.  I'm going to talk to her and listen to her.  I'm going to pray for her and with her.  I'm going to help my child be the very best version of themselves to the best of my ability, regardless of gender.  I believe that's what we as parents are called to do.  We're called to love all and love much.  We're called to love like Christ, without conditions.

Monday, August 24, 2015

My journey...

For lack of a journal and for mess of thoughts in my head, this blog has come to fruition.  This may not exactly be my safe space, but it will be a place to work myself through this period of my life.

I am Rachel.  I am 33.  I am a child of God.  I am married to John.  I am mother to Elly (born Owen) and Clayton.  I'm a scathing perfectionist, a quick witted pessimist and a lover of language.  I am stubborn and a fighter.  I'm a lover and an advocate.  I am a special needs mom and a chauffeur.  I am an ally and an antagonist.

A couple years ago when I first started coming to the realization that our eldest son was in fact not our eldest son at all my world fell apart.  Raised in a pretty conservative environment I felt like my world was crashing in on me.  I knew that she was born that way--I'd seen it with my own eyes.  I had always been under the impression that things of that nature were brought on by emotional trauma.  Ignorant, I know.  I didn't want to know, my limited world view was cushy and it kept me in a place of understanding.  "God could save you if you really wanted Him to."  I'm sure I've uttered that phrase more times than I could count.  I'm sure I've done significant damage with it all the same.

If the God that put my daughter in a boys body wanted him to live out his entire life thinking he was inadequate and that eventually God would "heal" him or not heal him and make him struggle with that his whole life...that wasn't a God that I could get behind.  I still have friends that claim this and I still struggle to tell them that I don't serve a God who makes no sense.  The Bible however came to my aid.  God made and makes eunuchs.  He makes people with no genitalia at all.  He also makes people with both.  The Bible says there are eunuchs born that way and those who choose to be.  If God makes people with multiple or no genitals, couldn't my child really and truly be a girl in spirit and a boy in design?  I can't even tell you the relief that came from simply accepting that God didn't make a mistake on my child.

Three months ago we let Owen, who was 5, transition publicly after years of strict rules.  Owen began picking out his own clothes and with the new clothes came the name Elly.  Elly Kathryn.  And she is beautiful.

This journey has been such a whirlwind but not for things I ever prepared for.  My love for my child has never wavered.  We've not met much public opposition and truthfully we haven't had much loud familial opposition either.  Our opposition from the unapproving masses is mostly silence which while acceptable is painful none the less.  My child has adapted, which isn't entirely true because she hasn't changed at all.  This is who she was, we're just finally going along with it.  The whirlwind for me has been internal and emotional and spiritual.  Questioning everything about myself and how I've lived my life.  Trying to flesh out what I actually believe vs what I was taught and why.

This will really be the purpose of this blog.  I am an antagonistic pacifist and while I enjoy arguing I don't like confrontation.  So instead of shouting at people I love who probably will never listen I'm pretty much going to vent here.  Some posts will be offensive to some, I've been hurt.  I've been hurt by my family, I've been hurt by my church, I've been hurt by myself.  I need to heal.