Self-Care Tip #144 – Leave space in your beliefs to grow. Be a friend to yourself.
Madeline brought her son in. He was born male but has always allegedly believed he was female inside. It was Madeline’s appointment with me, not her son’s. But he came in with her and I could either listen to her concerns about her son or ask him to leave against her wishes and still hear her talk. So I listened.
The issue was a matter of salvation. Madeline was fighting for her son’s salvation as a mother might. That part was lovely to watch. I thought of God hearing her and being present with her pain and being The One behind her fierce love in the first place.
We talked a little about the biology of homosexuality. What is transgenderism? If God’s Word is absolute, what part does a progressive understanding of biology play in our perception of truth?
Madeline’s son asked to leave. I thanked him for coming in and he shrugged. His whole family abused him, Madeline said, gulping and losing form. She had spent many years defending him even though in her heart she was terrified that her son was damned.
Some of you may have read the powerful blog-post, “My son is gay” in which a mother described her halloween experience. Her son dressed up as Daphne from Scooby-Doo. She and he were promptly abused. As a mother I empathized, and as a scientist, I wanted to scream things like, “You thought the world was flat too!”
But Madeline was worried not only about bullying. She was worried about the Last Judgment.
Stigma comes from all directions. Inside of us, our homes, our churches, our schools, our government, up, down, sideways, this way, that… Stigma is everywhere and it is usually a painful encounter for everyone involved. Perpetrator included.
So here’s the scoop folks. Homosexuality is biological. We have as much choice in it as the shape of our nose.
I’ve seen kids be mean about noses. I’m half-Lebanese and believe me, I know what big noses are. The nose that makes you wonder how the head escaped the vaginal canal without injury. But I’ve never heard anyone hate someone’s nose and believe that he’s going to loose his salvation for it. I’ve never seen someone turn her back on her brother and leave him to die without the love of family around because she thought she was condoning his nose if she did. I’ve never heard about moral judgment being attached to a culturally incorrect nose.
In my son’s church class the other day, the teacher was trying to get him and the rest of the other oppositional three-year-olds to wear angel and shepherd costumes for the song they were going to perform. Only the stage-hams garbed up. She kept giving the rest of us parents her pleading eyes, pleading words, and pleading emotions. She was making the wrong people feel guilty. The kids were unfazed in both compliance and emotion. The ones who were genetically inclined to get energy from performing that way, were. The others were not. I could have said to my son, “Get this on!…!” And made him feel like he was bad if he didn’t. But attaching morality would never change where he gets energy. That part is genetic and it won’t change despite his conditioning.
It’s a bummer that Paul’s letters were translated the ways they were in the 1950’s using the word homosexuality. A lot of people are scared when they read it. Fear has threatened and hurt a lot of people. Reverend Mel White posts about this.
I don’t know if Madeline was given anything she came looking for. I’m not always the best teacher or student myself. But I do know that we, all of us, will continue to learn through all eternity. We will never know enough, love enough, or be sinless and perfect enough to take over that awesome job of being Judge. I once heard of a beautiful beloved angel who tried.
Question: What has been attached to morality in your life that you know is not? How have you dealt with stigma? Please tell me your story.
The fact that my daughter lives primarily with her father goes against our belief that a child belongs with the mother in cases of divorce. When people find out that I see her on the weekends, they ask me why she doesn’t live with me. In the past, it made me hear it as, “what’s wrong with you? What did you screw up?” But now I know we are happy and I don’t have to explain why. So now when someone asks me questions, I like to play with them and answer them by saying, “why do you need to know?” But I say it as innocently as possible and in return they realize they don’t really need to know and hopefully feel like an ass. lol I don’t say it out of anger, it just amuses me.
you’re cracking me up Jasmine. i hear u though and relate to how it feels to have someone “look me over”. icky. i’m sure others do too! keep on!
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Uncanny, Doc, I am currently working on the translation of a book to English, in which the author relates her story of coming to terms with her daughter being gay inside an extremely conservative religious community. She writes:
“I felt as if I had been deceived, as if she had been lying to me all these years – had been living a falsehood! What I had seen as a close and sincere relationship of trust came tumbling down, together with my whole frame of reference, that day. Shocking thoughts stood before me like monsters; my beautiful daughter was homosexual, caught in the claws of the devil! How vile. How sinful. Unthinkable. Guilty of one of the great evils against which we are warned from the pulpit.”
This story has a happy ending for the family and the author is, today, a champion for gay rights in our country.
u r so lovely cindy. thanks for sharing this. what line of work do u do again? how many languages r u fluent in? i love the way multilingual people have such a mastery of words. i find that although they may stumble over cultural nuances, they are more articulate and use a broader range of vocabulary even when just speaking in english. i also have a theory that they make better singers, clearer and better use of sound. who knows if i’m just “blowing wind” but it makes sense to me ! 🙂
If the feelings, emotions and inclinations are biological I would not be able to explain how the evolutionary process “evolved” in such a way that psychological and physiological sexuality got crisscrossed. It would seem that biological evolution would have congruency with gender and psychological sexual inclinations because the whole purpose of biological evolution is reproduction to perpetuate the species. That is the purpose of the libido and the evolution of the sexual mating rituals from frogs, to birds, to crickets to humans. It would seem therefor, that homosexuality is a phenomena that has evolved separately form the biological and is therefore a psychological mental manifestation of this particular orientation. This leads me to believe that homosexuality is a variant of psychological possibilities on the self identification of one’s gender or sexual manifestations. Of course this example may be an over simplification but let us suppose I am oriented toward eating spaghetti. Would that orientation be conditioned by biological, psychological, or cultural conditioning? It would seem that the biological influence would have the least if any impact. Unless of course I needed spaghetti to exist biologically based on that particular nutritional need for survival which would be programed into to my instinctual behavior to seek out spaghetti. So this theory is my conclusion as per the balance for psychological over biological in the examination of homosexual behavior. This theory does not contradict your statement “that we don’t have much choice.”This doesn’t even consider the interaction of heredity vs environmental influences in the development of the organism’s inclinations for gender identification.
I wish I were more comfortable in responding to this blog and the question you pose. My answer would be, I guess, that my mind created a morality stigma about myself which was the result of a combination of emotional abandonment by my mother and sexual abuse (and four years of stalking) by a Girl Scout leader. Telling my mother caused her to accuse me of doing something bad and, to keep me quiet, she threatened to tell my father whose reaction I shudder to think about to this day (even though he’s been dead for almost twenty years!). I put these things together and decided, even though I never felt anything sexual for someone of my own sex and even though I am happily married and have two children, that I must be a lesbian and I must be a terrible person. I was ashamed, embarrassed…and SILENT!!!
Therapy helped me to understand how incorrect my self-inflicted thinking was but it took 35 years before I got that therapy. My relationship with God, stangely enough, made me believe that homosexuality is, indeed, a biological thing and that both women who abused me were maladjusted for whatever reason but not created by God to be abusive. I have several friends whose sons are homosexual. I know several women who are lesbians. They are all upstanding, caring, Christian people. I have to believe that God created us all to be the sexual beings we are in whatever form. The choice to be the abusive persons some people become is just that – a choice – and, that, good or bad, is the blessing God gave us in making us human.
I worried, yesterday, after I submitted my response to this blog that I was writing too much…getting myself too involved…actually doing my own blogging, or something. When you didn’t respond, it worried me more. But today I didn’t get your blog through my e-mail. I will miss it. I’m sorry.
sweet nancy, i don’t know how i missed replying to your excellent comment! I read it several times to absorb it and figure out just how to reply. I must have just left it there in my meditate box. that’s crazy because i could have sworn i did respond! i spent a good amount of time looking up some quotes i wanted to tell u from madeleine l’engle – a favorite author of mine. please don’t stop talking!!! u r lovely and many need to hear u. your life is a story of courage and successes. u r not a victim because u choose. keep on.
Thank you, Sana. I feel much better, and I will look up madeline l’engle on my computer to see if I can find her writing.
I am getting so much from your blogs. I truly would miss them terribly. Not sure why the one for today didn’t get to my in-box. If it doesn’t tomorrow, I’ll get you know and maybe we’ll have to start over again.
i shake my fist at the vortex where these things disappear too!! argh! i have no idea why u didn’t get last nights post. can’t wait to get your comments. i look for them all the time. hugs
Will the human race ever progress enough to be tolerant in terms of small differences in facial features, amongst other things?
How can we address the “big issues” if we don’t ever move past that?
Well, who “nose”?
excellent yourself! luv it! thank u!
I suffer only from the stigma I attach to myself.
I found your blog on google and read a few of your other posts. I just added you to my Google News Reader. Keep up the good work Look forward to reading more from you in the future.
thank u so much!!!! i’m thrilled to be connected w you. I checked out your sight too and u r doing, giving, living an amazing effort. keep on!