Prodigal Daughter?


In last week’s news, another old cliché took a battering…

The perception of religion in general and Christianity in particular as being not-overly-friendly towards LGBT+ people is pretty well worn, and this blog has done its share of the wearing. One can thus imagine my surprise when I attended a mindfulness and meditation session at St. John the Baptist Church, Cardiff, chiefly attended by older parishioners, and I was frank with them about my transition… which got very little reaction, other than to check they had my new name correct, and to confirm what pronouns I would prefer. Furthermore, the lay minister in charge of the group wished me well and told me this was a positive step if it would bring peace into my life… which will probably be contingent on how well I can resist the addictive urge to waste my time debating online transpolitics, but it’s the thought that counts (and how).

Rather inspiring, I thought, and perhaps a little lesson from above in how I ought to avoid pre-judging people – especially if I wish to be treated as an individual myself, and not as a stereotype. The reason I had gone to this church in the first place was because I had recently got into conversation with a Christian blogger over the issue of Caitlyn Jenner’s transition. They were displeased with the extent to which society was lauding Ms. Jenner’s coming-out, and to a certain extent I could see why. To live as oneself without fear or judgement is everyone’s God-given right, but not necessarily a good enough reason to be handing out bravery awards. Still, as an LGBT+ Christian I felt the need to share my perspective – particularly my experience that queer identity was not something that I had chosen over God or over cisgendered normality, but is an intrinsic part of my being.

And they listened, and they responded compassionately and politely, which I must say is a damn sight more considerate a response than I have often drawn from my secular critics. Since my regular church group, The Gathering, is specifically for LGBT+ people, leaving me with one might argue to be a pretty insulated social outlook, I did say that I would make a point of visiting my old, regular Anglican church, and seeing how they would take to my transition.

To reiterate, they wished me well, asked me my new name, and switched all of their pronouns for me, no questions asked.

No doubt the trans-critical crowd could just seize on that as ammunition to prove how reactionary and conformist trans identity is, that the Anglican Church treats its exponents with respect and sensitivity, rather than with honest-to-goodness vitriol and tactlessness. Still, if politeness is now reactionary, will someone please pop me in a TARDIS and beam me back to Jane Austen World (or am I thinking of “Red Dwarf”?).

In other news, I have started recording audio voiceover clips for the “Imago” film project I have been shooting with Jason Marsh. In the interests of keeping it retro, we are using a Sony minidisc recorder, of the type that was cutting edge for about five minutes or so during the late 1990s…

2015-07-03 14.16.56

Ideally, I would have used this…

2015-07-03 14.16.13

…but my magic eye is too old and faulty to allow recording, alas. I would love to think at least one person will read this and understand what the hell I am gibbering on about.

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