This year has been a long year. As many of you know, my mother was diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer in February, 2016--the Monday after SuperBowl Sunday. (I'll never forget.)
This year has been filled with trips: to Florida for surgery, and post-chemo care; to Ohio so that mom could be at camp with the people she has served for so many years; and then back to Florida to sign mom up for hospice, Visiting Angels, and finally to say our goodbyes at her funeral on Sunday, Oct. 2, 2016.
Aside from a quick and powerful trip to Denver to the national support group for people with Differences of Sex Development, I was grateful to be able to put most of my work on hold this summer to be with mom and my kids during this excruciating and sacred time.
But I also know that mom believed in me and in the work that I do and that she wouldn't want me to stop. Knowing how controversial this work is, this is something I have never taken for granted. So, knowing I had her blessing, I pressed into what has been a very busy Autumn.
In September, the Bangor Theological Seminary Center brought Lianne Simon and me to Portland, Maine, to give a public lecture on the campus of the University of New England. This was followed by a half-day workshop for pastors, priests, and Christians leaders. This past weekend in October, the Reformation Project brought us out to Los Angeles to serve as keynote speakers at their annual conferences on LGBT inclusion. Many there, while passionate about including people who don’t fit into the typical patterns of love or gender expression, had never heard an intersex Christian tell their story. They never knew what the I stands for in LGBTQIA2.While in town, Azusa Pacific University asked us to train some of their students, from their social work, psychology, and pastoral care programs, on how they can come alongside those for whom sex does not develop along typical pathways.
These have been days of rich conversations, eager and thoughtful learning, and encouragement for the work we are doing.
The majority of people we talk to have never heard of intersex or Differences of Sex Development (DSDs) so thinking about how human sex diversity challenges the ways in which many of us were taught to read the Bible is new to many. But when they start to read Genesis in a way that fits with the grand story of God’s love for the whole world, not for only a special few… Let me tell you… We have heard more than a few “Amens!” from our audiences.
What a joy it is to meet Christians who truly care, who are willing to learn, who are eager to make the world a safer and more welcoming place for all God’s children.
Thank you to all of you who have supported me this year--making my burden a little easier to carry.
Thanks to all of you who have come out to our events and encouraged us.
And a special thanks to those who donated to our documentary project.
We can’t do this work without your support!