Sometimes I don’t write because it seems there’s nothing new happening. And then suddenly it seems as if too much is happening and I just can’t find the time to reflect and write. MJ hasn’t been so busy since her last internship ended. But the past couple of weeks were busy with appointments for both of us. MJ had appointments with Pathways, Whitman Walker, and her psychologist.
The Pathways team, MJ’s psychologist, and I have been stressing to her, the importance of getting on a more regular schedule. We want her to wake up at a reasonable hour and work at her desk for the better part of each day, whether she works on paying work or not. She’s agreed to do it, but so far she’s been struggling with insomnia at night and ends up sleeping much of the day. We’ve set up call to let her freelance employer know that she is recommitting to getting up and being available for more projects and projects that may require quicker turnaround times. Pathways is also still searching for a permanent job. I’ll have to let you know how all of that goes.
In high school she had a hard time getting to school on time but she never had this much trouble waking up before. Alarm clocks and all the tricks we’ve tried just don’t work. I’m tired from trying to get her up each day. It seems to me that as gender dysphoria has gripped her tighter, the less she wants to be up and out in the world. It’s been debilitating. She is reclusive and I think she would rather sleep all day than have to show up as a person she isn’t comfortable with.
MJ came out to me about 7 years ago. It’s taken me this long to understand and accept that she’s transgender. When she first told me, I thought it was possible that it was another obsession of hers. She’s had many obsessions, typical for people with Asperger’s Syndrome. But gender dysphoria isn’t going away. It’s hold on her is getting worse.
We finally went to Whitman Walker to seek treatment. She doesn’t comprehend why it’s taken so long to get to this point and blames me for not making it happen sooner. My husband and I have always maintained that she needed to be the one to make the appointment and believed she would do it when she was ready. And so she finally made an appointment to see about starting to transition medically. To her, it’s about time.
If you’re familiar with my journey, you must know how much I’ve prayed for MJ and searched for the truth about what God may have planned. For many years I dreaded this day and prayed it would never come. But now that I’ve learned more about what being transgender is and have thought through what it means to my faith, I’m thinking differently than I did when she first told me.
I think that if she transitions and becomes more comfortable in her body, she will be able to start really living. I’m praying that she’ll gain confidence and finally be able to show up and shine. In our recent conversations she’s let me know that she really wants to find her purpose and make a difference. Of course I want that for her too.
Back in June 2016, the Autistic Self Advocacy Network, National Center for Transgender Equality, and the National LGBTQ Task Force released a Joint Statement on the Rights of Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Autistic People and launched a social media campaign with the hashtag #AutisticTransPride to highlight transgender autistic voices and leadership. They reported, “Earlier this year, Kayden Clarke, a young transgender man in Arizona, was killed by police responding to a mental health crisis that arose soon after his Asperger’s diagnosis was used to deny him access to transition-related care. The events that preceded Kayden’s tragic and preventable death were, sadly, not unique. Transgender autistic people are often denied the autonomy, recognition and respect they need to live according to their gender identity.”…
“While research suggests a large overlap between transgender and autistic communities, trans autistic people often lack access to services and supports that understand and respect all aspects of their identity.”…
“Denying people access to critical health care and services is dangerous and immoral, but it’s a reality for many transgender people,” said Harper Jean Tobin, Policy Director at the National Center for Transgender Equality. “For transgender people who are also disabled, those barriers are often exacerbated. Equal access to care for everyone, including transition-related care, saves lives.”
I’ve come to believe that by supporting MJ in her quest to live in line with her gender identity, I am saving her life. This is a scary place for me to be and I’m honestly on edge as our next appointment approaches.
I pray that if God wants her to be a daughter rather than a son, that He helps and protects us. But, I also pray that if transitioning isn’t what God wants for her, that He will quickly intervene; that He will thwart our plans and redirect us.
O Lord, I call upon you; hasten to me!
Give ear to my voice when I call to you!
Let my prayer be counted as incense before you,
and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice!
– Psalm 141:1-2
I pray that God helps MJ be the person He made her to be, to help her shine with her God given talents, and to be an inspiration. And, I pray that He draws MJ closer to Him and into a deep personal relationship, guards her from unhealthy thoughts and surrounds her with good influences. I pray she knows how very much loved she is and that she will find peace with whatever is to come.
Will you please pray for her? and me too?
For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.