My parents were well-meaning white feminist types in the 1970s, so I was raised to believe I could be anything I wanted… but neither I nor my parents had any kind of language or framework to think about anything other than male or female. Unlike some trans folk, I didn’t feel like I was a boy. I just knew I wasn’t very good at being a girl. And because I wasn’t good at being a girl, I leaned toward patriarchal values — logic, reason, athletics, academic achievement, strength as power. There is a way that I think this was self-protection.
An important part of my journey was a lesbian-feminist awakening that helped me to revalue things like emotions, spirit, bodies, vulnerability. There was a phase when I was “woman-identified” and that was an important step towards honoring all of the parts of me. Being a baby dyke with a butch presentation was also an important opening in my efforts to navigate the world. But in the end, that still wasn’t all of me. I now identify as OtherWise, not male or female. Continue reading “Reflecting on Women’s History Month”
As I sit in church watching my friend Paul preside over communion, I am moved to tears.
Paul and I were both Presbyterians. After finishing Princeton Seminary as an out gay man, Paul joined a congregation that was aligned with both the United Church of Christ (UCC) and the Presbyterian Church USA. I joined the same church a few years later. That’s where we met and became friends.
Despite Paul’s gifts for ministry, the Presbyterian Church would not ordain him because he is openly gay. The dually aligned status of our congregation presented him with a choice and an invitation: He could stay in the Presbyterian Church, which was his home, but where he could not fulfill his calling, or he could transfer his affiliation to the UCC and pursue ordination.
Continue reading “OtherWise”
It was a Wednesday evening. Gathered in a circle with women from my church in the fourth floor room of a local retirement home. The meeting of the women’s spirituality group from my church.
We’d been meeting like this for over a year and built up a trust. Trust for the silences between us, as much as the words we shared. This evening, we were exploring. It all began with the artist reflecting on her other persona — the flashy lady with the rhinestone sunglassess. And then the other women followed suit.
Continue reading “Of Blue Satin Heels”