standing up to stigma - mambo.org.uk
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.