American CultureFaith

Beloved, Not Burden: a letter to my trans friends

To all my transgender friends, family, brothers, sisters, and siblings,

I cannot imagine what it is to be standing in your shoes today. I don’t know what it is to be afraid to use the restroom in public or to be denied work because how I looked didn’t match certain paperwork. I don’t know what it is for the leader of my country to call me a burden.

You know you’re not a burden. You’re stronger than that. You’ve always been stronger. You’ve carried this movement for equality since its inception, and despite the movement trying to leave you behind, you have held on. Your tenacity, your authenticity, your bravery is what inspires me to keep going every single day. To love more deeply, to forgive more completely.

You’ve learned how to thrive in a world that denies you exist and that seeks to erase you. But you cannot be erased, you will not, could not be erased. God has given you the most incredible ability to endure.

You are a masterpiece.

Every single trans person I’ve met, whom I have the pleasure of calling my friend, has taught me what it is to be fully myself through their mere presence. Unashamed and unafraid to stand before God and people with their entire existence on display, I watch and I learn so much just from doing life with you.

You carry a beautiful level of bravery, kindness, nuance, understanding, tenacity, and grace with you. You understand the meaning of authenticity and telling the truth in a way that I can only brush the surface of.

And someone today sought to make you feel less than all of who you are, sought to make you feel ashamed of who you were meant to be. Someone who should be standing up for you, defending your rights, and thanking so many of you for how you serve this country.

It’s moments like these, moments when I look at my world, and I doubt the goodness of God. I cry out like the Psalmist, “How long, O Lord? Wilt thou forget me forever? I cry unto thee all the day? How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?”

And so many “Christians,” people who claim follow a rabbi who died standing up for those on the margins, those most vulnerable to the power of the empire, are standing up alongside the tyrant and applauding this move or they are saying nothing and believe their hands to be clean. But silence is violence. There are no bystanders when it comes to matters of justice.

So if you don’t hear it from any other Christian, hear it from me:

You are beloved, not a burden.

You. Each and every single one of you, as you are, for who you are, are beloved by me, by God, and by so many of us out here. We stand with you and will do what it takes to protect, honor, love, and uplift you.

It can be easy to fall into despair, but please, as much as it is within your ability, don’t lose faith that things can get better. Don’t give up. Don’t fall prey to another tactic of the empire that would seek to steal the one resource that keeps this whole thing going:

Your hope. 

You are beloved, not a burden. #transisbeautiful. Click To Tweet

Hope is powerful. And it the thing that drives us forward, believing that a better tomorrow is possible. And it is possible because people like you exist in this world. People who would look at the face of someone who would seek to strip you of your dignity and say, “I’m not going anywhere.”

You are needed. Not only that, but you’re wanted and desired. I need you. Your stories are the ones that change the world. Your stories, beautiful, powerful stories of trans people are what restored my faith in God, and what strengthens my resolve to live a fearlessly authentic life.

So if you are sad, be sad. If you are angry, be angry. Do what you need to do, take the space you need, but remember to keep going.

God is proud of you.

God loves you, and I know it can feel like God is distant and checked out and doesn’t care about the shit you’re walking through, but the people who spew vitriol and hate, the people who call themselves Christians who align themselves with that tyrant, they do not speak for God. They know nothing of love, nothing of redemption, nothing of pain or suffering. And I’m so sorry that people who claim the name of Christ are the same people who put that tyrant in power.

But friends, I’m here to tell you that despite all the shit that they’ve put you through, despite the walls they have erected to keep you from communing with the Divine, despite any boundaries you might feel between you and the Almighty, there is nothing in all of creation, not height nor depth, angels nor demons, powers nor principalities, not things present nor things to come, presidents nor policies, bathroom bills nor military bans that can keep you from the Love of God. 

I get that this all sucks, but we’ve been here before. We’ve dealt with tyrants in office who would seek to snuff us out, but we are stronger. We will grieve what has happened, pray for what is happening now, and we will resist whatever bullshit is to come.

I believe in you, my dear trans brother, sister, sibling, friend. Hold your head up. Be proud of who God created you to be and let that Divine pronouncement be the only voice you hear:

You are beloved, not a burden. 

We’re in this together. We’ve got your back. And we’re not running.

Tags:
  • Dawn Acero

    Thank you very much for writing the words of my heart. I am a mom of an almost 4 year old ftm son, 6 yo son, 8 yo daughter, and 10 year old gender fluid son who calls himself a Tom-Girl. I have been expressing to my sister that my children are beloved despite what she believes. It is so sad. You give me such hope. Thank you for your blog, pod cast, You Tube channel, and presentations. Thank you for your time, effort, work and words. I am a member of several FB support groups of Mama Bear Christians of LBGTAIQ+ children. I will share your post with my communities. Your words offer much healing.

  • Ellen Gilmartin

    Great comments, Dawn, on a great piece, Kevin. Life is hard enough; its painfully obvious that Trump is looking to capture a little badly needed support by throwing his base a bloody bone. Sad.