By a Handmaid of God
February 7, 2016
This week, I met with another local Orthodox priest.
My hope was to find a way to be a transgender family and still be Orthodox. After all, this priest has also known us for nearly 20 years, through our sister church.
Perhaps, I dreamed in the days leading up to our meeting, the parish council could meet, and they would allow us to come to church as ourselves. Perhaps, as a technicality, they would ask that my spouse limit the times she took Communion. Or perhaps, like the sick, the Eucharist would be brought to her once or twice a year at home, yet, as a family, we could still come to church regularly.
The meeting did not go as I had idealized.
Sadly, this priest firmly told me that we were not at all welcome to come to church, presenting as a lesbian couple with children. Furthermore, he firmly admonished, unless I agreed to live life with my spouse as a celibate, I am forbidden the sacraments as well. His theory for that judgment was since I am, in practice, living a homosexual lifestyle, I am in sin and unworthy of Christ’s body and blood.
What kind of Hospital is this? No wonder people stay in the closet… it’s appalling to be stripped and booted and tossed out with a “you and your family our in our prayers, now be gone with you.”
God knows that I have tried.
God knows that in my heart, the rhythm of Orthodoxy beats.
ENOUGH! I will endure no more scourging from this group that says they represent Christ’s fullness.
Where do we see Christ reviling the downcast and brokenhearted?
Where do we see Christ rejecting the seeking?
Is this what our Good Samaritan, who binds up our wounds and anoints us meant, when He spoke to the Innkeeper, “Look after him, and when I return I will recompense you any extra you have spent on him.”?
O Orthodox! I am your wounded!
My and mine find ourselves beaten on the roadside, and you walk by.
You pass me over and abandon me, exposed, in my most vulnerable truth. The truth which we kept hidden: my wife is transgendered. This is who I am. Who my spouse is. Who our family is.
We, within the LGBT community, are just as precious to our Savior.
We are worthy of protection.
You were not told to make sure I fit your ideal before you could care for me.
You are told to care for me and mine, regardless.
You will be held accountable for your callous hearts.
The Samaritan will return and shall expect to find me whole.
Woe to you for your lack of compassion, Orthodox!
Woe to you for withholding Christ’s very self from me, my beloved, and my children!
Woe to you! I endured an exorcism out of love for you, O Church, and still you cast me away!
Woe to you for not embracing me!
Look at your pride and arrogance and self righteousness.
Stand accountable on the great day of Judgment and beg mercy, Priests, Bishops, and Parishioners, for you saw my face, my tears, my anguish, and still you turned me away.
**This reflection follows a previous one written by the same guest author. The first reflection entitled Coming Out to our Orthodox Priest, can be read on this website or follow this link