As a church that seeks to reach out to vulnerable and marginalized people, we must consider the environment we want to create for those struggling with gender identity.
Posts tagged ‘mystery’
We Catholics celebrate Trinity Sunday today and it is Fathers Day. The trinity is the concept that God is the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It has a parallel in pagan worship in the Mother, Maiden, and Crone. Avoiding gender we could say Creator, Being, and Wisdom. In this world where people want everything to be diametrically opposed: red or blue state, black or white race, good or bad decision, boy or girl baby – I think having our concept of deity challenged to think beyond simple binary is a very good idea.
I didn’t have an understanding of God when I was challenged with my own black and white thinking back in 1995. I became clear to me at 40 that I was a woman, it was my identity and there was no way to avoid facing that any longer. But I had two other identities and they were very strongly entrenched at that time. I had been a husband for 18 years and a father for 13. I slipped in to a deep depression trying to understand how in this world I could be a woman, a father and a husband.
A single mother friend opened the door to an answer when she said “I have to be a dad to my son sometimes as well as being a mom so I don’t see why a woman can’t be a dad” So with her pragmatic approach to a common problem we as a family just started to work on it.
We found a therapist who could see the love we had for each other beyond ‘normal’ family roles. She showed us how actually it was important for me to be a good spouse and parent to the people I love. Being honest with them and being a whole person to them was the most basic of a truly deep and loving relationship regardless of gender. Ultimately it was their unconditional love for me that made it possible for us to live as an authentic (if a bit unconventional) family.
So while I am a sister to my brothers, a daughter to my mother, a wife to my wife, and a woman to my church, community, work and world I am (at times) still a father to my daughter. It doesn’t challenge my identity as a woman because I am proud of my role in creating the wonder that is my daughter. Proud that she is strong enough in her own identity to wish me a Happy Father’s Day.