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About lightparticle

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    Newbie: Without form, and void
  1. Do you know how it feels to watch and read these posts as a large group of you sit in judgment of transgender people, publicly debating about what should be done with people like me, as if I'm a THING to be dealt with? Do you know how it feels to read as total strangers declare, in self-proclaimed mighty exalted wisdom and scriptural knowledge, that transgender people like me are a threat and an abomination? Do you think you will ever know how it feels to be repeatedly told by those same self-proclaimed experts that because I am transgender, I am therefore mentally ill, apostate, and evil? I don't suppose you'll ever know the fear I've felt as total strangers told me that I should be killed and "thrown into a mass grave with all the other freaks". Do you think you can ever know how I've felt to have my young children, physically standing with me in fear and uncertainty, as "Christians" say and do these things? Maybe then you can understand why my wife and children have left the church and refuse to return because no true followers of Christ would ever treat people the way I've been treated. Yet, here we are, grown adults -- followers of Christ -- discussing what is wrong with transgender people and how they don't deserve to be called by their preferred name or pronouns, but they are somehow deserving of disrespect, punishment, ecclesiastical sanction, denial of blessings, and destined for eternal destruction. If you met me in person, you'd never know I was transgender. I would be just another woman in the ward. I speak up because there are so many other transgender people that need support and have a much more difficult time navigating the social war zone created by the general membership. I'm not transgender because I have a mental illness or any other perverted fixation that anyone can dream up. I'm not transgender because of a desire to wear frilly clothes, the color pink, or any other idiotic theory. I'm not transgender because I wanted to be a woman. I just am, and always have been. I just want to be me, and be happy. I can't explain what happened or why. God isn't explaining what happened or why. Knowing those things wouldn't magically change anything. I'm doing my best to abide by the words he gave me when he finally told me that I was a loved daughter of God: to give people a chance to love me.
  2. Wow. Thank you for “mansplaining” how I feel. Please don’t make clinical diagnoses of something you have no knowledge of. You boiled it down to one thing (mental illness), then contradicted your own statement by saying there are too many variables to be one thing. Newsflash: I’m transgender and I’m perfectly capable of telling you who I am, what I’ve been through, and precisely what drove me to suicidal ideation. Rather than telling me why I feel the way I do, how about you pay attention to me telling you why I feel the way that I do. I promise that it won’t hurt to learn from me.
  3. Where to start with this one... A forming baby is still a mortal body. Stuff happens. The entire body is imperfect, including the genital bits. God doesn’t just reach down a celestial hand and cover everyone’s gonads. Lots of things happen that cause malformations. All developing bodies start as female — all of them! It requires a complex set of hormones and proteins that sets development on the path to male. Stuff goes wrong all the time. Go up the thread and find the non-exhaustive list of developmental issues that we’ve discovered. I wrote a bunch of them. How many others aren’t we aware of? Do you honestly and seriously believe that I’m transgender because I WANT to be?! I don’t “identify” myself as female just for the thrills. Your claim completely ignores everything I’ve been through — every spiritual struggle, every bit of prayers, temple visits, blessings, and most importantly - my personal revelation. I should just stop now because clearly you know my story better than I, and my situation better than Elder Oaks (see the link in the thread where he says that they have a lot of learning to do). Lastly, your inability to respect people for who they are is precisely what drives transgender people away from the church rather than bringing them to it. That sounds like someone’s spiritual plan, but not the plan of the one whose name is on the church building. But, it’s up to you. How you treat others different from you speaks volumes about your character.
  4. Most likely? So, what you're saying is that we should make definitive physical determinations (based on our limited knowledge of these conditions) and ecclesiastical punitive decisions about a person's identity without their input and in total disregard of who their spirit could actually be, and then punish them when they go against that decision? So, you think that if there is a physical condition aspect to this that their body won't be restored in the resurrection to what their body should have been?
  5. How does one determine this? There have been cases of XX males and XY females, and their bodies function normally. There are a myriad of genetic abnormalities that invalidate this as an argument. These are the conditions that we know how to define and identify. How many other possibilities exist? In any of these cases, not one of them actually defines a single aspect of a person's spirit, and to take it one step further, none of this permits anyone to treat a transgender person in any different manner than how Christ would.
  6. Again, I would have to disagree with you, solely because your statement is based on the assumption that all who are transgender have equal access to hormones, surgery, and such. Unfortunately, the deck is definitely stacked against us in every way. First, when someone comes out as transgender, the typical reaction for many is that the person is lying, was abused somehow, or that they are incapable of knowing who they really are. Medical intervention is expensive. Insurance doesn't usually cover any of it, and politicians get involved to keep it that way. In addition, the transgender person is required to convince a therapist, a general practitioner, an endocrinologist, and others that they are who they say they are. Then if they succeed, they need the therapist to actually be sympathetic to their cause or the therapist won't provide the correct documentation to actually get the medical interventions -- that is if there is a provider nearby that can start the process. If there isn't, they're stuck. Even if they have a provider, that single point of failure can now declare their religious opposition to it and deny what amounts to life-saving interventions. If the transgender person is a minor, then parents can stop the whole thing and the person then must go through the hell that is puberty in a body they are already struggling with. Religions ostracize us and convince their followers we are apostate and evil sinners -- servants of the devil. So, we lose friends and family. If we are employed and the employer finds out, it is still legal in dozens of states to terminate our employment just because we are transgender and for no other reason. If that occurs, we also lose insurance, making it even more difficult to afford medical interventions. Without employment, we crash into poverty, forcing us into jobs that are dangerous, if they don't discriminate against us in the first place. Politicians make us sound like perverts whose only purpose is to peek at you while you use the restroom. The media portrays us as criminals, sexual deviants, showpieces, and freaks. In the current environment, when one comes out as transgender, most of the world stops seeing us as a "who", and only sees us as a "what". Our condition suddenly defines us and we become nothing more than a subject worthy only of discussion by people who have the power to decide our fate. When my ward found out about me, I was publicly berated on Facebook by people I trusted as my brothers and sisters in Christ, but at the first test of their love toward me, they turned on me immediately. I was accused of bringing evil into the church and that I didn't belong there. Some implied that I was a threat to their children. The inability to afford medical interventions doesn't make one any less of who they say they are. The inability to break through all of the obstacles doesn't make the person a pretender. When the whole world is against you, you can only do the best you can until something gives way. Unfortunately, when everything you need is held back by the people who control it, that don't understand you and don't want to understand you, can you perhaps begin to see why we react the way we do when people make claims about pretending, insincerity, or the lack of taking medical steps?
  7. But, you are indeed. You stated that transgender people commit suicide at higher rates, even after surgery, and then posted links to articles that specifically referenced how opposition, oppression, and non-acceptance of them is the primary driver of their suicide rates. Not mental illness as your post stated. Declaring that transgender people are mentally ill and commit suicide because of it is a bit condescending, no? Especially when you have produced neither the qualifications or credentials to make such a declaration. You would clearly become upset if I made declarative assumptions about you based on my limited knowledge of your situation. Can you, perhaps, see how that quickly becomes a "tone" to those of us on the receiving end? No anger meant to you. Just letting you know where my thoughts originated. I'm afraid I can't have any form of compassion for your discomfort on this one. Nobody is asking you to be attracted to a transwoman. Nobody is asking you to date or marry a transwoman. Furthermore, nobody with gender dysphoria is asking anyone to "conform". We are asking for respect. Quite frankly, I have nothing but disdain for Ben Shapiro. Why? Because Ben Shapiro's position comes from a perspective in complete antithesis to what a real disciple of Christ should be doing. I've seen the video, and quite frankly, Mr. Shapiro comes across as an entitled brat that continues to shout over the young woman without letting her finish her statement. What it boils down to is that Shapiro seems to think that a biological body is the only thing that defines us. He would be wrong as we know that spirit and body are two separate things. Carly Fleischman is severely autistic, but is able to communicate clearly using a computer despite major obstacles in nearly all aspects of biological development. Since her biology clearly governs her body, are we to assume that "autistic" is all that she will ever be and that we shouldn't treat her as anything but autistic? No, because who she really is as a person has nothing appreciable to do with her autism. It is Ben Shapiro's style that everyone seems to flock to. He is rude and ignorant. He likes to throw around the term "facts don't care about your feelings". In order for that to be remotely true, he would have to have his "facts" proven as such. If they are wrong, where does that leave his argument? The real fact is that his "facts" are wrong, and have been proven as such multiple times over. He makes fallacious arguments and comparisons in the hope that his opponents just can't keep up. I'll admit, he's good at it. But, that doesn't make him an expert. He lacks all compassion for anyone that is not like himself. If his daughter scraped her knee while riding her bike and was crying because she thought she was going to die, would he comfort her? Or would he force her to stop crying? It's a fact that she isn't going to die from a scraped knee. But, if "facts don't care about your feelings", then his daughter crying is nothing more than an inconvenience to him. No, Ben Shapiro isn't a genius or the left-killing demon that people say he is. He's a fast talking, arrogant, antagonistic charlatan that can't explain how genetics put his backside on his neck where his head is supposed to be. Whoa there, slugger. Objection! False equivalency. Age is simply a measurement based on the constructs of the rotation of the earth and it's orbit. If you were born on any other planet, suddenly the numbers don't mean much except to your current location. When it becomes an option for a person to be born as a cat to a human mother, let me know. As of right now, we're just discussing gender, and according to our current knowledge and capability, one can be born male, female, or somewhere on the line in-between (see any of the many intersex conditions). I'm not saying we can change our gender on a whim. I can say that my gender is in direct opposition to what my body says it is. Because that single item is well within the realm of possibility while the others are not, your statement is essentially empty. So, you believe that no mortal condition can cause problems with the "sex" of the body? I would disagree with that statement. Here's why: Not XX and not XY: 1 in 1,666 Klinefelter (XXY): 1 in 1,000 Androgen insensitivity syndrome: 1 in 13,000; partial: 1 in 130,000 Classic congenital adrenal hyperplasia: 1 in 13,000; late onset: 1 in 66 of these. Vaginal agenesis: 1 in 6,000 Ovotestes: 1 in 83,000 5 alpha reductase deficiency, complete gonadal dysgenesis, hypospadias, Burke Shields, Turners Syndrome, and on and on and on...again...just the ones we actually know about. I mean that if the doctor guessed on "identifying" the intended "sex" of the baby, and guessed incorrectly when they try to decide if an intersex baby is biologically male or female. I've made no mention of social construct, though the duties and assignments of society were traditionally gendered. Those are a social construct based on assumptions of what a male or female body should be doing daily. I'm not sure what you mean by "going along with". Gender dysphoria is merely a descriptor for the condition that describes what a person is experiencing. You're using like a clinical diagnosis.
  8. Serious question: Are you saying that I shouldn't trust my personal revelation of my actual gender? You see, I spent many years begging God to fix me so I didn't have to deal with my secret any longer. I didn't want to be "that person" that said they were transgender. I did everything God asked -- baptism, young men's where I excelled and served in multiple leadership capacities, priesthood, served a mission, married in the temple, magnified callings, etc. All the while, I begged and pleaded for God to take away the feelings of knowing I was not male. Do you know how it feels to bargain with God over and over and over again, doing everything that you believe God requires, only to continue to struggle against yourself? The problem with "praying it away" is that eventually, you get to the point where you just assume you are, and have, nothing that God wants. It wasn't until I asked God the right questions that I realized through personal revelation that all along, the fix wasn't to somehow make my mind male. The answer was very clear that my spirit is female. If we truly believe that "wickedness never was happiness", then why is it so hard to believe that my transition and acceptance has finally brought me happiness with who I am as well as improved my life?
  9. Interesting take. So, I'll play along. Posit: A female spirit is ready to come to earth. As her body is developing before birth, the body develops congenital adrenal hyperplasia, and the body develops as a normal male would rather than a female. All her life, she lives as male because that is what everyone else tells her she is. (Look up XX male or XY female for more info -- they do happen, and far more often than you might think). Perhaps she declares herself as transgender and transitions. In doing so, she is excommunicated. Will she be cast out with the rest of the riff-raff because her imperfect body betrayed who she really is and a bunch of mortal minds couldn't grasp the concept that perhaps they were wrong? Or do you think God knows what happened and would judge accordingly? This is just one of the conditions that we definitively know about. How many other conditions are out there that we don't know about? Don't you think it's a bit harsh to declare people mentally ill because of a situation that you may not be fully aware of?
  10. Ouch. That's a hurtful statement. To assume that I brought myself to the brink of suicide on several occasions because I was (correctly) afraid of other people was just a really big game of pretend is a massive assumption with no solid basis of logic, reeks of complete ignorance, and essentially declares that I'm just an evil person seeking sexual thrills while challenging God to a duel by slapping him in the face with a frilly white glove. Perhaps you didn't mean it that way. But, it sure came across like that.
  11. Your links don't support the argument you are making. I'm not saying that you are fundamentally attacking transgender people, though it would be easy to make that assumption based on the tone. The suicide rate for transgender people is high before and after surgery for very simple reasons: the people around them. How do I know? Because I'm transgender...and a member of the church. Gender is an essential characteristic. Absolutely. No question there. But, how do you determine the gender of a spirit? We believe that the spirit and the body are two different things. That's why the mortal body sometimes ends up with handicaps. Not because of the spirit. The spirit is not the determining factor of what happens to the body. Playing "devil's advocate", if that were the case, do people born missing limbs have a spiritual defect? No. We know this because Jesus stated that the blind man (from birth) was not the result of sin. His spirit did nothing wrong, nor his parents. In essence, sometimes things happen to mortal bodies. We do the best we can with it. Moving on to the gender argument...if a person is born intersex, what is the gender of their spirit if their body displays physical characteristics of either sex? If a doctor makes the decision, does that mean that God agrees with the doctor? What if the doctor got it wrong? Will that person then be punished for attempting to transition later in life because a doctor goofed? The trouble with most arguments against transgender people is the assumption that we know everything there is to know about gender. Such arrogance doesn't help people that are really struggling. I know, because I do advocacy for the community every opportunity I get. Using uninformed spiritual arguments to declare us apostate, sinners, mentally ill, or evil doesn't help any of us spiritually or otherwise. We don't commit suicide at higher rates because of mental illness or any other of the terribly overused and fundamentally incorrect arguments that traditionally get thrown at us. We commit suicide at much higher rates because the behavior and assumptions of unaccepting people demands it of us.
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