Monday, January 12, 2015

Such Complicated Issues

The other day little one and I were driving all over the place and I noticed her nails painted....all black, except for the middle one which was bright pink. I commented that I liked her nails and she proceeded to tell me that it was in support of the "transgender project."

I gulped.

"Whats that?"

She explained that a young person (I can't remember which of the perks of being an older mother.....I can only remember parts of the story, but I know my heart was beating fast) Anyway....she explained about this young person who wanted to change their gender, but their parents were very religious and would have none of that. They told their child that God doesn't make mistakes. The child ended up committing suicide and this paint job was in support of children worldwide who may feel like they are in the wrong body, the wrong gender, and that they find support and love.

I listened and then I prayed...."What do I say to that? I have always been fairly certain that you most certainly DO know what you are doing and that mistakes are not a part of your agenda. Show me what to say that will be loving and kind and accepting but true to myself."

She went on to other topics but after I settled myself, I circled back around to it and said, " I wanted to comment on what we were just talking about. I too have always believed that God doesn't make mistakes, but no matter what issues you ever will deal with, you will always have our love and support and acceptance. We would never ever want you to be afraid to tell us something because you would think that we wouldn't approve. We always always approve of YOU."

"Oh gosh Mom! I'M not transgender if that is what you are thinking!" 

I really wasn't thinking she was, but anything....I want her to know that there is not anything that could change how we feel about her or our acceptance of her as our child. Despite whatever our own beliefs on various subjects may be...she was given to us to love and care for and we fully intend to do that come hell or high water.

However, this last year has been filled with issues like this, big gigantic issues. Not just her own stuff, but kids I come into contact with through various involvements in the community. Kids making the proclamation that they are bi-sexual, kids cutting themselves, depression, anxiety, eating disorders, substance use (of course...thats an oldie but goodie,) Or kids dealing with the significant dysfunction and/or mental illness and/or substance abuse issues of their parents or guardians and walking around carrying those burdens on their shoulders. I have heard of parents not being willing or able to acknowledge their child's deep depression and refusing to take them to the dr. Telling them they will be ok, shake it off, think happy thoughts. I won't even go into the political and worldwide concerns our kids carry.

What happened to the days of their biggest concern being if so and so likes them or not. I feel like these are such big, deep issues, and they are real. I feel like how we respond as adults can really
affect these precious and fresh souls.....we can crush them or empower them with just a word, just a glance.  Somehow their needs need to be met. Even if its just, "I hear you. Lets figure out what to do together. You are never alone."

All I know to do is give a big hug and a kiss on the top of the head and then listen. I can only hope thats enough.

And pray a lot. I am not the answer to what ails just about anyone, but I can sure be a conduit of God's love and grace and compassion. I hope we all can begin to step out and show God's love. None of us are alone and I especially want our young people to understand that at the deepest level of their soul.



Anonymous said...

As a member of the GLBT community, myself, I am so encouraged by this. Your daughter seems wise beyond her years and I think it's wonderful that she has such empathy and understanding of the transgender issue. So often, children have no problem with people who are different from themselves until the parents start pushing their own ignorant views onto them. Kudos to you for how you handled the discussion as well.

Anonymous said...

My kid's dad has made it very clear that is they were gay he would have nothing to do with them. I tell them as often as I can that I love them no matter what. Now that they are getting older they are seeing less and less of their dad. (He lives a few towns over.) Kids know when love is conditional. How sad is that?

Anonymous said...

The young woman's name was Leelah Alcorn.

Thank you for being such an understanding parent.

And also, thank you for writing about your God Box the other day.

Lolly said...

Annette, you ARE a conduit of God's love and grace and compassion and I thank you and bless you for the person that you are.

SoberMomWrites said...

Your little one is wise beyond her ears and she has such a loving and compassionate heart.

Hmmmm...wonder where she gets THAT?

I do not believe that God makes mistakes but I do believe that nature does go haywire once in a while. Take Down's Syndrome for instance. It's just an extra chromosome but it creates some of the most loving and kind souls ever to walk the planet. There was a time these people were placed in institutions and seen as abominations. Now we love them for who they are...humans.

So, for me, it's not too far of a leap to allow that maybe, just maybe, the chromosomes got a little mixed up in some of God's other humans. I still think they should be loved and accepted.

My fingernails are black right now, maybe my middle finger should be bright pink too. Thanks Little One!


Liz said...

Annette, for the life of me, I cannot find your email address. Could you please let me know what it is? Thanks so much. Liz

Annette said...

Oh Liz, I'm sorry! I should have told's along the right side in the "about me" section.
I so look forward to hearing from you!