August 17th, 2015 – My 40th Birthday – My Message Today

If I can inspire folks to feel proud of who they are and glad to be alive, then I have done my job.  If I can connect LGBT folks to Christianity or some faith or spirituality and give them the sense that they do belong and have no need to feel ashamed or intimidated or persecuted, then I am happy.

It is tough out there in the world today and you don’t have to look far to find tragedy or danger lurking about.  But as easy it is to find the bad, it should be equally easy to find the good in this world too.  For one thing– look in the mirror.  You have found your first good.  You are good.  Maybe too good for this world?  Ha ha.  You are the good this world needs– feel it, believe it, own it, and share it with the rest of the world.  You were put on this planet not to be condemned or hated or made a victim of discrimination or harassment!

You were put on this world to prove the following:

1) Love conquers all.
2) God loves variety and uniqueness.  We are all created in God’s image.                               3) The Holy Spirit reaches us all and fills us all.

4) We have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

5) We are not monsters or mutants or sub-humans.  We are human beings just like anybody else.  We can be brothers, sisters, friends, husbands, wives, mothers, fathers, Christians, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus… and so on.  We are so much more than just our sexual orientation and outward appearances or body parts.  We can be artists, dancers, musicians, doctors, nurses, librarians, cashiers at the checkout counter, cooks, writers, counselors, business people, politicians, actors, actresses, athletes… so on and so on and so on.

6) We can endure and we will endure and we will take our places as productive and important members of society.

7) We mean you no harm.  Seriously.

I want people to know that God knows you and me intimately.  He knows our hearts and minds and souls inside and out.  He enabled us to be here.  He may have put us in a time and place of hardship and challenge– He may have put us in difficult situations to say the least– but He did not put us here knowing that we’d fail or fall.  He put us here knowing that we can win, should win, and will win in the end.  He gave us brains and hearts and intends for us to use them.  He made each and every one of us perfect for His plan.

Even as we might suffer or go through our rough patches, know that if the world learns from our struggles as well as our successes– that is always a good thing.  If our struggle to be fully respected and accepted as sincere and honest human beings is greater than we feel we can handle, just know that the greater the struggle, the greater the reward when we overcome that struggle together– and the more we raise our voices against that struggle and the more we stand up to that struggle, the prouder God will be of our efforts and the better this world will be for future generations of LGBT folk who may one day be born in a generation and time where our struggles will not be their struggles.

We are here as a community when it feels like we have no community or we are shunned from a community.  In our community, we are strong and powerful and proud of who we are and glad and thankful that God has given us each other as a community.  We are glad for the opportunity to be strong and glad for the opportunity to show the world what we are made of.  The world may treat us unfairly… but we stand firm as Christ stood firm.

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About Rachel Conlin McLeod

Transgender activist, Christian at First Baptist Church in Willimantic, Connecticut. B.A. in History and Social Sciences, B.A. in Sociology Freelance writer, tutor, research assistant Loves hockey, ballet, women's gymnastics, and Bible studies.
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