Taken From Ellie's Blog
Used With Permission
...it starts with a niggle in the deep recesses of your soul that all is not quite right with the world as you know it and from there it grows... and there was I... one day I realised I was no longer in sync with my world, my family and the church culture I'd been brought up in. Put simply I felt I had become un-sync-able! This blog is to work through some of that seasoned by honesty, grace and love...
What about me? (no not the Shannon Noll song)
A little background on me ... I might include some more detail in later posts on certain parts but to keep this kinda short I'll give you a summary.
I was raised the youngest of three boys, my father was (is retired now) a Churches of Christ minister. My mother is a trained nurse. Both of my brothers are now senior pastors of churches in NSW and QLD. I am married with four beautiful children aged 5 to 14.
I have a degree in ministry (B.Min) and an Associate Diploma in Technology Management and have worked in IT on and off as a manager for 20 years or so.
I have also worked on staff with two churches; most recently with a Vineyard church plant in Melbourne as the worship pastor. I resigned when my marriage started to fall apart and was working through the gender issue in depth. I studied my degree in ministry at Tabor College 1998-2000.
OK now for the big one. About 5-6 years ago I was formally diagnosed in the extreme category with Gender Dysphoria (also known as Gender Identity Disorder and sometimes Transgender). This needs a whole post (or 1000) to explain and I'm not sure yet how much I wish to expose here but in short it means my brain is wired like a female yet I have a male body... weird I know... try being it. This is something I have lived with all my life since birth and has been the source of immense pain throughout my life. It is estimated that 1 in 7 people with this condition end their life in suicide and so it can be tragic and easily misunderstood.
It is not something I choose or have chosen, it is not simply a matter of nurture; it is just a matter of 'being' for me. It is and has been prevalent in most cultures throughout history and I see it as another form of 'mutation' of humanity in the same way as 1 in 5000 are born intersexed... as in neither male nor female (in primary sex characteristics and chromosomally.
We are so conditioned in the church to think that everything is (or at least can be perfect) as in the way God created it yet all of our world and humanity is deeply scarred and in my opinion will only truly be healed after this life, if ever.
This will help you understand much of my life experience, my empathy to others who are born 'different' and my cry to the church to rethink their approach to things that do not fit in their worldview. I'm not personally in the least bit gay... this is not a sexuality condition but a gender identity one. However I do not believe same-sex sexuality is chosen either. I have many gay and lesbian friends who are beautiful people, many whom have deeply suffered rejection, humiliation and judgement from their families, society and the church. It is not something you would choose... how many of us can remember 'deciding' to be hetero-sexual?? ... it's a nonsensical concept IMHO. We all deserve the same love and grace that is offered to all of 'creation'.
Finally, In addition if you're interested, a scientific study 1995 was performed around the BSTc area of the brain and its relationship to Gender Dysphoria sufferers... basically males have a BSTc size in their brains that is 70% larger than females... this area is key for gender, sex identity etc, .. Transgender people have been found to be the only males with a BSTc size the same or smaller than females. It is expected this happens in-utero... ie: we're born with gender brain characteristics of females but the body of a male. Hence why we relate and think more like females but are physically male.
This has had a big impact on my marriage and Lisa and I are still trying to work out how it works but we love each other and enjoy life together. Lisa more than anyone understands how this just 'is me'. Currently my wife is studying nursing whilst I am a house'wife' looking after our house and family and it is going well for us. My two eldest children know of my condition in some depth and my two youngest know that their dad is quite 'girly'. All of my good friends know and I am very open about it these days. I am also a part time musician; playing guitar, piano and singing around Victoria for our supper ... The future is always in motion.
So this blog has been influenced a lot by my life... it should, it's my blog. I believe firmly western Christianity has lost the plot and essence of what Jesus was on about and it is hanging by a thread ... but more on that in the blog.
Cheers all... Scott