There’s no epidemic of bathroom assaults in this country. You know what there is? A rash of suicide among trans people—41%.
Love > Fear.
I really don’t want to get into some online debate about this. I dread it. But when I see people spewing hate and pretending it’s reasonable, I can’t keep quiet.
Trans people are more likely to be harassed, bullied, abused and rejected. It’s no wonder they’re trying to kill themselves at staggering numbers.
That should break our hearts.
But instead of loving, we’re legislating.
Let’s be honest: the transgender experience is weird and complicated and confusing. Most of us don’t understand it. Imagine trying to live it.
Yet instead of compassion, too many react in fear. We refuse to consider their actual experience and assume we know better. When will we stop trying to inflict our morality on hurting people?
Look: I don’t care about the theology or morality or whatever surrounding the transgender issue. All that sermonizing doesn’t mean anything when kids put knives to their wrists.
You either care about that person or you don’t. You either love them like Jesus did—right or wrong, accident or choice, sin or something else—or what the hell are you doing?
We hate one another too easily. That’s not the gospel I believe. Sometimes I think we’ve forgotten the Good Samaritan.
Want to understand this issue better? Try talking to a trans person. The next best thing: Try reading their experience. It’s a start.
- Rethinking Normal: A Memoir in Transition by Katie Rain Hill
- Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out
- Some Assembly Required: The Not-So-Secret Life of a Transgender Teen by Arin Andrews
- Young adult fiction: Beautiful Music for Ugly Children by Kristin Cronn-Mills
- Middle grade fiction: Gracefully Grayson by Ami Polonsky
Have some compassion, even if you don’t understand or disagree. These are people too.
It all started with Bob Goff. He quits something every Thursday. It inspired my latest book, Is Your Church Ready to Quit?: 166 Ways to Be a Quitter.
We’re afraid of failure and scared to quit. The result is that we keep doing things we shouldn’t be doing. That’s why Bob started quitting every week:
“I used to be afraid of failing at something that really mattered to me. But now I’m more afraid of succeeding at things that don’t matter.” -Bob Goff
I like consistency. I’ve lived in Minnesota since 1997. I’ve been blogging since 1998. Attending my church since 2001. Freelancing since 2003. Editing Church Marketing Sucks since 2004. Living in my current house since 2007. I don’t like change.
But sometimes we need change. We need to be willing to quit.
I took Bob’s encouragement to quit and shared it with freelancers through iThemes last year. I even called Bob for the article, which was kind of weird (his phone number is in his book and he encourages people to just call him; so I did).
The idea resonated, so I translated it to churches and ran a blog series on Church Marketing Sucks last August. We shared 30 things to quit. Then 30 more. The idea still resonated, so I expanded it into a list of 166 things to quit, complete with added commentary.
The result is the ebook, Is Your Church Ready to Quit?: 166 Ways to Be a Quitter. It’s a fun little project.
You can buy it at Amazon (or borrow it for free if you’ve got a Kindle) or check out a free preview.
I’m trying to write a novel. Again.
Writing fiction is scary work for me. It’s hard. And I don’t think I’m very good at it. Plus there’s practically zero financial incentive.
But nobody writes books to make money.
You have to do it because you love it. Because you have a good idea inside that you can’t help but share with the world. It helps if the process of writing you occasionally find enjoyable.
I don’t know if I have a good idea or not, but it’s inside me and wants to get out. Every now and then there are times when the writing process is amazing. But especially with fiction there are long stretches when the words are wooden, the sentences flat and I wonder why I’m wasting perfectly good time that I could be doing nearly anything else.
I’ve started and stopped this latest novel a few times now. I’m trying again.
The motivation this time is that I realized the story I’m wanting to tell is a story I’d like to read to my children. I read to my kids nearly every day. We read lots of different books and now that we’re reading middle grade novels and not rhyming picture books, I really enjoy it. I love reading a book that captures my kids attention. I love reading a book that has wonderful words, spectacular phrasing and dialogue that makes me try to be a performer and not a mere reader.
I wonder if I can write that kind of book.
I probably can’t.
I’ve written three novels and have never been able to get them past a second draft to a point where I’d say they’re finished. I have a hard time following through.
It’s not that I’m lacking confidence, it’s that I’m trying to be realistic.
Yet I have this idea. It keeps working on me, spinning in the back of my head, trying to become something. It’s about a reluctant time traveler.