Last weekend was the occasion of the wedding of my niece … or one of them at any rate.
It was great to see family and friends … and the whole occasion was wonderful.
My rather long and shiny fingernails were commented upon.
During the evening Jan … a close friend of Sally’s sister and someone that we’ve known for many years … though not very closely said to me …
“Can I ask you a personal question?”
“Sure … go ahead.”
I’m not sure of the exact words that followed on from here. But Jan was interested in the state of my faith … relationship with Jesus.
We had first met Jan at church … and she and her husband are still actively involved in things … Jan’s husband is closely involved in a well known Christian organisation in the UK.
She was interested in how and why I had got to where I am.
I talked about my questions … my doubts. And Jan answered them in the way that I might have answered them a few years ago.
We sat hand in hand and talked and talked.
“Jan … I’m a transvestite.”
It was a simple statement.
We talked some more … about gender … marriage … sexuality.
Who do I think about having sex with? Am I gay?
Jan’s husband dropped by as well and we talked some more. Sitting hand in hand.
It’s still true that I don’t really understand transvestism. But I know that, for me at any rate, that it isn’t just a sexual thing. It’s an expression of who I am. Andrea isn’t just someone that I dress up as. Andrea is me.
Jan and her husband pointed me in the direction of Jesus. But they didn’t see Andrea as an abomination. They didn’t talk about being prayed over …. being healed … or being possessed.
I know though … from experience … that diplomatic Christians will sometimes say “talk to Jesus about it and see what He says” … as an encoded way of saying “read the Bible and you will find that it says you better change your ways or else!”.
I don’t know for sure if that is what they were saying. And it’s possible that they weren’t.
Just as I would have done in the past, though, they pointed towards Jesus rather than to the church. The church … just like people … is full of contradictions and flaws.
So … can Jesus accept Andrea? Is the question meaningful? If I decided that He can … how do I square that with the people that say He can’t because the Bible says that He couldn’t possibly.
I know that at the moment at least I couldn’t accept a Jesus … a God … a church … a religion that couldn’t accept Andrea. And even if I could it would make no difference because such a religion … church … God … Jesus would be incapable of accepting me.
You see, it’s not that Andrea is a fetish thing. When I talk with people about Andrea I’m talking about me. I think that’s why I was hand in hand with both Jan and her husband at times as we talked. It was personal.
I don’t know where the conversations and thoughts will lead.
But it’s good to be able to talk with other people … and to discover … again … that people cope surprisingly well with accepting me.