Wednesday, May 23, 2007

It Get's Better and Better or ....

It gets better and better or worse and worse depending on your point of view. The punishment of intolerance is more intolerance. The Archbishop of Canterbury (AB of C) just sent out invitations to the Lambeth Meeting in 2008. He Invited all the Bishops of the Anglican Communion except two. One of those was a Bishop from the Episcopal Church (TEC) who was duly elected, confirmed by the General Convention of the Church and Ordained, but just happens to be openly Gay. The other was ordained by an African Archbishop in the United States violating very ancient notions of jurisdiction (and in opposition to the Presiding Bishop and the AB of C.)

The AB of C has now set off a firestorm of controversy making things worse than they were before. The Episcopal Church finds itself in the awkward position of having to now respond to the AB's snub and there is already a firestorm from the supporters of the "irregular" Bishop, claiming that they will boycott Lambeth. If TEC decides to boycott and the Nigerians boycott then Lambeth will no doubt be quieter, but the dialog that needs to take place won't happen.

Intolerance and bigotry has no place in the Church. It never has and it never will, but all too often the Church's history has been filled with it. The present is no exception. It seems to me that Jesus made a great deal of effort to counter intolerance and hypocrisy. We need to follow in Jesus' footsteps and be loving of our neighbor. It's just real difficult some times.

Lord Jesus give us patience and tolerance to understand those who are different from ourselves. Give us the will to love our neighbor in spite of difference.

Michelle Hansen +

Saturday, May 19, 2007


This is a shameless repost from another of my blogs. In light of the complete misunderstanding illustrated and total willingness to pursue policies and views of bigotry by some of our TEC Brothers and Sisters, I feel this post is of great import in response.

NOTE: This post may not represent the views of the rest TransEpiscopal group as a whole. The views herein are mine, and mine alone. Should there be agreement, so be it. There certainly exists dissent.

(Originally Posted 30 April 2007)

This past week, Mike became Christine, Bishop Robinson announced he and his partner would wed in New Hampshire, and I was told I could pursue HRT whenever I feel like it. This week the National Center for Transgender Equality is ramping up for ENDA Lobby Days. And Susan Estrich is wondering why one person's struggle to come out makes others squirm in their seats.

I wonder that too.

I have not come out yet to my co-workers. I likely won't until I have too. I have not come out yet to many in my family. Or to most of my fellow parishoners. Why? While fear and rejection are certainly part of it, another part is more based on the reaction of my surrounding colleagues, church-goers and family: their fear will likely result in a lashing out to me, or worse, to my spouse or children. What I feel I must do, the process of transition, aligning my body to fit my mental image and identification, affects on the whole no one else aside from me and those closest to me: my wife and children.

Does my coming out make you feel less secure about who you are? Do you suddenly feel the need to fit your gender stereotype all the more to make up for my 'switch'? Do you feel that I have been lying to you before I came out? If you are lashing out now because of my admission, can you justly argue why I should have come out earlier?

We are who we are. I am biologically male, but mentally female. If I could have rectified this dichotomy earlier in life, I would have. But we could play the 'If..." game forever, and nothing would change. Like Christine, I struggled for decades. Most trans folk do. As we must deal with ourselves, you, John and Jane Q. Public must likewise do soul-searching and realize that my decision, however you feel about it, is mine. I am here to stay. And I deserve a crack at happiness just like you do. Take your insecurity, your bigotry, and feelings of angst, and turn it into something constructive. Educate yourself. Try to imagine wearing my shoes. Ask questions. Or go into yourself and keep your negative feelings to yourself. I would hope for the former. Either way, deal with your fear and leave me to my happier existence.