Bue: When we discriminate, we all lose
July 29, 2017
On Thursday I awoke to spend some time in prayer and meditation, to listen to my favorite spiritual inspiration, to be at peace. And so it was.
And then I checked Facebook and was hit by the storm of goo about banning transgender people from the military. At first I was angry, then upset, then frustrated at the reactions of everyone on both "sides." Then I remembered a very recent conversation with one of my conservative friends about how centrist most of us really are, and I remembered that my faith reminds me that we are all One, and we are all created in the image and likeness of Spirit and so therefore are absolutely perfect in our expression. And yet, as the day goes on, I find myself just feeling sad about all of it.
As a 17-year-old trying to get out of Berthoud, with no financial support for college, I signed up to join the U.S. Navy. I had taken the test and aced it so they were super excited to have me join and, in fact, had convinced me to consider a six-year high security clearance job. I went for the physical and either said something or asked some question that tipped my hand; they figured out I was gay, and the phone just stopped ringing.
Now I understand why this was not my path, but I will tell you — I would have been a really good soldier and most likely would have become an officer. This issue has once again made it clear that when we discriminate, we all lose.
Frankly, if you are willing to put your life on the line to defend my freedom and even to defend the freedom of those who would treat you with hate, well, you deserve respect, admiration and most of all, absolute acceptance. The rest of us, especially those who haven't served, should sit down and shut the hell up.
It is hard for a lot of people to understand transgender people. I've even had my own struggles figuring it out. And when I struggle to understand people, I turn back to spiritual principle, and principle reminds me that we are all One and we are all created in the image and likeness of God and therefore we are perfect in our expression. And I remember that my work, all of our work, is to "love one another."
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And then it becomes easier. If I am loving, then I am compassionate, and I find places of compassion and understanding within myself. As I try to understand why someone would want or need this kind of change, I get to try and understand finding myself so at odds with my body that I would do anything to change it. To me, that seems like a really hard place to be in life. I remember being made fun of for being a "tomboy" and hating myself for my feelings and thinking that God hated me. I am so grateful I made it through those times and found that truly, God loves. Churches sometimes forget — but God always loves.
So, if you are trans and you are reading this, I am sorry if you are feeling separate or alone or if your church has rejected you. You are loved and you are the beloved of the beloved. Don't forget.
If you are not trans and you are reading this and you are willing to stretch your understanding, thank you. Reach out to Greeley PFLAG and they will help.
No matter who you are — let's remember that love is the way. Love is the truth. Love will get us through all of it. Because love wins.
And so it is.
— Rev. Barbara Bue is the Sr. Minister and Spiritual Director of New Thought NoCo Center for Spiritual Living, where everyone is welcome.