Penny's Story

A cute little drummer living her dream.

What am I doing here?

So, I did my first sort-of actual outreach this evening. And, it’s funny, because the outreach that I did was as a Christian. Life is weird. I’ve expected for the last few years to be doing outreach to straight and vanilla folks about Trans stuff. Now I find that I ~am~ straight and vanilla and I’m doing Christian outreach to queer folks. It makes my head spin.

I’m glad my first Christian outreach is over – I haven’t been that anxious in probably three years. I couldn’t breathe before I spoke, and I spoke very briefly. I think it was pretty obvious that I was terrified, but at least it’s over. It gets easier now.

Someone asked why I’m still hanging around in queer spaces and why I’m volunteering at MTPC. I’m vanilla and straight, right? I just said so. And I don’t identify as “trans” – anything anymore. So, what gives?

Well, the easy answer is that I’m an ally to the GLBT/T community.

But I’m an ally with a unique history, right? I’ve never been one to not talk about my history of transsexualism. I sort of have a unique credibility that the average straight vanilla woman doesn’t have. I’ve lived this. I don’t define myself around my medical issues, and my identity is pretty much “typical straight woman.” But I have lived a life that most 39 year-old women have not lived.

Sometimes I worry about my credibility in queer space. I picture folks wondering what I’m doing there. Seriously, what does this boring little old lady have to do hanging out in queer space? The truth is that I’m not sure I have a great answer for that other than: “because it feels ~damn~ important for me to be there.”

I’m amazed how many parallels there are in my world. When I first started therapy, the woman at the clinic doing my intake said that they “find people where they are” and give them the treatment that they need. When I first attended my church, one of the first people I spoke to (a gay man in a kilt) said almost the exact same thing, and every week Rev. Steph makes it clear that The Crossing is a safe and welcome place for everyone, no matter where someone is on their spiritual journey (and I guess it goes without saying no matter whether someone is any sort of queer – or not). That’s the kind of person I want to be; that’s the kind of outreach I want to provide, both in the Christian sense and the Trans sense. I want to go and find people where they are, and provide the outreach/help that is needed.

So I guess the fuller answer as to why it’s important to me to engage in outreach in queer spaces is that I feel very connected to that community. I have lived a transsexual experience. I have had sex with men and women. I have dabbled with polyamory. I had a wife. I was almost the “other woman.” I fooled around with a trans woman friend. I dated a man who crossdresses.  There’s lots more, but I guess what I’m trying to say is that even though I now feel pretty definitively straight and boring and normal, I hardly see any of those things as superior to gay or bi or poly or trans or queer – they’re just different. I was quite surprised myself by my boringness. I don’t believe it needs to affect my credibility in queer spaces.

I believe the world still has a long way to go in its acceptance and understanding of queer and GLBT/T issues. I want to help the world grow in that way.

I also believe that people have tried to steal Jesus from queer folk. I want to help people know that Jesus is love. If anyone tells you that Jesus doesn’t love you, they’re doing their Christianity wrong.

And that’s why I’m still here. I’ve been exceedingly blessed. My family loves me; my friends love me; my church is out of this world; I have the best job in the world; I find love around many corners; I even have an amazing cat. I want to give back. I want the world to be better for the next generation, whether that generation is younger or older than me. I want to be a part of the world’s positive growth. It doesn’t matter what label I call myself, or what label anyone else calls me. Call me an ally, a tranny, a queer, a freak, a woman, a Bible-thumper, a Christian, a breeder, a whatever. ~I~ am here, and I want to help.

1 Comment»

  Zoë Suzanna wrote @

I am pleased to finally come across someone who is also talking about their spiritual life and being trans. I like your sincerity and desire to help. I started my blog to help if I can – focusing on spirituality and trans issues.

Cheers to you!


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