Transpositions

Two related stories that finish out this week’s issue may be a bit controversial, so I thought I would post them here to allow discussion among readers. They’re from the 7 December 2014 issue:

Mother Goes into Retractions

When Yolanda Bogert of Jimboomba, Qld., Australia, learned the truth about the person she’d thought for 19 years was her daughter, she published a retraction in the births section of the Brisbane Courier-Mail. “In 1995, we announced the arrival of our sprogget, Elizabeth Anne, as a daughter,” the ad says. “He informs us that we were mistaken. Oops! Our bad. We would now like to present, our wonderful son — Kai Bogert.” Her son being transgender “is all very new to us,” she told a reporter, but “I needed to show my son I support him 100 percent.” Kai says “I am still me, but I am more me than I was a few days ago and feel free. I am so happy with what she has done. This last week has changed everything for me.” (AC/Brisbane Courier-Mail) …I can think of something that didn’t change.

and

Killing the Dead

Brandan Klosterman didn’t think his friend Jennifer Gable’s relatives even stayed in touch with her. Nevertheless, when she died at 32 from a brain aneurysm, they ran the funeral. Friends turned up to the Little Falls, Idaho, service and found an open casket — with a short-haired body inside. “They tried to make her look like a boy,” said Stacy Hudson. That meant omitting that Gable was transgender, and had lived for a decade as a female, even legally changing her name to Jennifer. The obit for “Geoffrey” mentioned “his” tenor voice. “She would not have wanted to relive the horrible life of Geoffrey,” Klosterman said. “She wouldn’t want to be buried that way.” Gable’s grandparents declined to comment, saying it was a “family situation.” (AC/New York Daily News, Miami Herald) …No. Kai Bogert has a family. Jennifer Gable just had relatives.

As promised, here’s the actual newspaper announcement from the first story:

Birth Notice Retraction

Details Count

I love that last line (“Tidy your room.”) — classic! That clip went viral online — I saw it repeatedly on Facebook, every poster finding that motherly love to be a wonderful example of humanity.

Initially, I had rejected Alexander’s pitch on the second of these stories (AC in the attributions = Alexander Cohen, a True contributor). It just made me sad that, essentially, a family would desecrate a body, knowing it was completely against the deceased’s wishes. It’s just as bad as, say, burying a man who disapproved of homosexuality dressed in an evening gown, a wig, and makeup. It’s simply disrespectful to who the person really was.

But despite that pitch rejection, Alexander persisted, putting the two stories together so I could appreciate the flow between them. He did the work knowing he might not get paid for it, but he was right, the flow is powerful, and I published them together despite knowing that some readers will hate both stories.

In other words, I know some readers will have problems with “those people.” Tough: the bottom line is, they are people, and both deserve the same basic respect any person gets; that’s how the family relatives in the second story miserably failed. It’s not our job to make their lives harder than they already are. I support transgenders’ ability to marry, too — just like everyone else.

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57 thoughts on “Transpositions

  1. The blood of battle is thicker than the water of the womb.

    You choose your friends, and once you are out from your parent’s house, they are your true family. I hope Jennifer’s true family can find peace with what happened to her.

  2. The Bogert story is awesome — yea for that family who loves their son so much!
    However, I felt the tagline was a bit obscure until I read the second story. Could have been clearer. But no biggie.

    Stories aren’t meant to be read in isolation, but rather as a group: flow matters. See the next comment. -rc

  3. Here’s why I love TRUE and appreciate the flow between the stories. When I first saw the tagline on the first story, my instinct was to assume the “thing that didn’t change” was the fact that Bogert still had female genitalia even though he had come out as transgender and identified as a man. That struck me as incredibly transphobic.

    But then after I saw the second story and that tagline, I realized what you really meant — that Kai has, and has always had, a family that will love him no matter what. That would have been lost on me without the second story and you would have probably received a very angry email from me.

    As I said above, this is why TRUE is awesome!

    I’m glad we gave you a satisfying surprise. -rc

  4. Why is anyone’s gender, either actual or displayed, anybody’s business other than their own? We spend far to much time with concern over the gender a person presents him/her self than the way it is presented. I personally don’t care if a person is black, white, pink, or purple nor if they are male, female or whatever. What I do care about is how they come across to me. If they are willing to treat me with respect I will do likewise to them. What they are in the privacy of their own home is none of my business.

  5. I agree with Gregory. The two stories really needed to be run together. And I agree wholeheartedly with Alexander’s tagline on the second story.

    Keep up the great work, Randy, Alexander, and Mike!

  6. I totally concur with the statement to the effect that some have family and others merely relatives. Very well put. But then I expect nothing less from you.

    Or Alexander! -rc

  7. I have to agree with the earlier posters. I read the first article, remembered that I had seen the same viral item, but didn’t really understand the tagline. Then I read the second item, was horrified at the thoughtless relatives and then both taglines hit me like a ton of bricks.
    Thank you Randy (and Alexander) – this is why I subscribe…

  8. I think that the thing that bothers me most about this is that, only having heard the friend’s side of the story, you have decided that you know enough to judge this person’s grandparents and decide that they are really not family. And that you feel that it is alright to attack them in their moment of grief to make an ideological point, because you think that they a guilty of the thought crime of not being compassionate and accepting of other viewpoints.

  9. Much like Gregory, I initially mis-read the intent of the first tag-line, but it became clear on the second story.

    It would seem that more than a few of us owe both Randy and Alexander an apology.

    And we should probably think about our own prejudices, that we jumped to those conclusions. Never a bad thing, self-reflection.

  10. The desecration, as you put it is sadly all too common for transgendered people. LGBTQI (I think I got all the letters in there) people face this every day from the general public, and yet again from some of us. Hard core feminists hate transgendered girls and women, accusing them of spying on “real” women for the patriarchy and infiltrating the feminist groups to destroy them from the inside. I’m a lesbian and ashamed of how many lesbian groups treat these women.

    Gay men attack them because they believe the transgendered women are men who can’t accept that they are gay.

    Thank you for posting this, it is truly “Thought-Provoking Entertainment” but I do quibble the ‘entertainment’ use. Lest anybody thinks I’m the Grammar Police, check out the number of transgender people who commit suicide or are murdered by bigots that don’t like ‘them kind kinds of people”. These are the same type of people are the ones that desecrate the bodies of dead transgendered people. The only difference is a matter of degree.

    http://tdor.info/memorializing-2014-2/

    Most people to see this and if it infringes on their thoughts they will pretend they don’t know anything. Just Google “TDOR” for a lot more information.

    TRUE has to be entertaining, or no one would read it. Not every story will elicit a laugh, but not all are intended to. The ancient Greeks understood the power of mixing tragedy with comedy; what matters is the whole. -rc

  11. I had a similar misunderstanding of the first tagline to Gregory, though I didn’t see it as a bigoted tag (there’s nothing phobic about being bigoted against people, so I dislike the term he used…), I simply thought it was tongue in cheek about Kai’s statement that the last week “changed everything”.

    One of my former colleagues did an MA thesis on transgender in repressive society (if I remember correctly) so the second story hit me slightly differently than it otherwise would have.

  12. I also thought the way Gregory did at first and was pleased to find out I was mistaken.

    You proved to me once again that I can NEVER stop reading This it True.

    I know you can handle any heat you get from this. People are people no matter the color, sexuality, gender, religion and so on and so on. I recently came to the realization that I am an asexual, atheist who has been lying to herself for decades was having cognitive dissonance because of the lies. I am very much at peace in myself now but I have yet to gain the courage to come out. I told one Evangelical friend and my mom and son about the atheism but no one about the asexuality.

    It just shows how weird society is about the sex lives of other people that someone is afraid to “come out” as asexual. Even in a society as polite as Canada’s. Hopefully that shines a little more light for people. -rc

  13. Unfortunately, the situation in story #2 is too common. Transgender people aren’t only transgender in the privacy of their own homes, and don’t-ask-don’t-tell spawns so much despair. For those who can be out, they are trying to live their lives socially treated in line with their mental/spiritual character, rather than in line with what is expected due to the results of their chromosomal makeup, in public, and it is in public that they are humiliated and endangered by those who hate what they represent.

    It is not enough to say live and let live, though that sentiment is better than bigotry and baseless fear. More stories need to be passed on of families like Kai’s. Too many trans teens are disowned and homeless for — a choice? Who would choose to be despised by flesh, blood and community? Only a masochist would want to go around reminding people that yes, really, honestly, I’d prefer you use the pronouns I asked you to use.

    Certainly virtually no one would make such a choice. But even if they do, who are we to deny them that choice? -rc

  14. Having been a True reader for years, I understood the meaning of the first tag upon reading it.

    Well done, Randy and Alexander! Bravo!

    Brian, the grandparents made the ideological point; Randy and Alexander merely pointed out the difference between relatives using the death of a loved one to make that point, and accepting families.

  15. I am assuming that it wasn’t a surprise to the family about Jennifer. They should of just had a closed casket or had her cremated to show respect for Jennifer and her friends/family that knew and loved him as Jennifer.

  16. I can’t agree less with Brian.

    “Brandan Klosterman didn’t think his friend Jennifer Gable’s relatives even stayed in touch with her.” That’s kind of telling, isn’t it? Jennifer, or her relatives — one of them in any case — have made a conscious decision to cut ties. Those kinds of decisions aren’t easy to make.

    And now the relatives come, and, in “their moment of grief” no less — they decided they had to change appearance of the body of the dead. Even the name — legally changed to Jennifer, they felt wasn’t good enough.

    That’s just not what family does.

  17. I too mistook the first tag line as a joke about someone’s disability — glad the second story clarified things. Thanks for running both of them.

  18. In response to Brian in Abu Dhabi, we heard only the friend’s side of the story because the relatives, sadly, declined to comment.

  19. As a transgendered person myself, I appreciate the juxtaposition of these two articles. As with others, in the beginning I did not “get” the tagline for the first story, even though I was somewhat familiar with the story. After reading the second tagline, I truly loved the way this was handled. Your comments on how terrible what Jennifer’s relatives did were also great, though conflating homosexuality and transgenderism is a bit problematic. As to those who complain that the grandparents are being attacked in their moment of grief, obviously they did not care about their grandchild enough to respect their choices in life. This is not about their grief, it is about them enforcing their ideas on someone when they cannot resist.

    I certainly did not conflate homosexuality and transgenderism, and don’t believe they necessarily have anything to do with each other. Rather, I came up with an example I thought the segment of people who would disapprove of these stories might actually grasp in order to help them understand the issue raised. -rc

  20. How fabulous that all the comments are positive and that even Brian’s comment, whilst I disagree with how the relatives acted, gives us more food for thought on their state of mind at a difficult time. I completely concur with Wally’s comment “What I do care about is how they come across to me. If they are willing to treat me with respect I will do likewise to them.” If there were more people out there like that we would life in a much nicer world.

  21. In a week in which Rolling Stone has had the problems that it has had with only listening to one side of a story, I’m actually shocked that everyone else here just doesn’t care that we are only hearing one side here.

    Yes, the one side that we are hearing says that the family didn’t keep in touch. Maybe that is true. Or maybe this friend just doesn’t know. I know that my friends do not know everything about my relationship with my family.

    And yes, the grandparents did not comment when given the chance. Perhaps they didn’t because they felt ashamed of their grandchild and they deserve our condemnation. Or maybe they, having just tragically lost a grandchild, didn’t care to talk to reporters who were trying to make their loss into an ideological point. I don’t know and neither do any of y’all, yet you all seem to feel that you do.

  22. The first tag threw me for a second, but after thinking about it for a moment I realised it could be taken either way, the thing not changing being either physical features or a mother’s love. In lieu of evidence either way I decided I would rather believe you had meant the latter.

    The next article unexpectedly (and pleasantly) confirmed my hopes. Very nicely formatted. I especially loved the newspaper announcement!

  23. I read these two and was very warmed by the first one and saddened by the second. I loved the bylines on both. Very touching.

  24. I think I’m just rehashing previous comments here — but wanted to give you this feedback anyway.

    The story about Kai and his mom’s support (not to mention the newspaper’s willingness to carry the ‘retraction’ in the Birth Announcements!) is astoundingly heart-warming. I loved the tagline!!! I *REALLY* liked the full notice in the paper! Every child should have a mother that constant, that loving, that full of life’s joy.

    The contrast with the second story was heart-wrenching. Yes, they needed to run together, no, the second should never have happened. It still shocks me that parents can turn on their children like that. That tagline was cutting — and it needed to be.

    Alexander was right about both, I’m glad he was persistent and that you heard him. Keep up the good work.

  25. No human can change thier sex. It’s not medically possible. Their DNA and cell structure is male of female. So, they are all living a lie. A fantesy. However,I don’t care, I have my own live to live.

  26. For everyone who may read here, especially Brian in Abu Dhabi: You don’t know what was going on between Jennifer and her relatives because you didn’t know her or them. Neither did I. But a good online friend of mine for the last seven years DOES know, because her wife was a good friend of Ms Gable and they often visited one another. My friend, who goes by BoiseBlue online, and her wife have started this fund to have a *proper* memorial and headstone created for her, and to go further and create a Trans rights network in her memory. The memorial fundraiser is here: http://www.gofundme.com/hoboug

    We each have the right to live as the people we know we are, as long as that doesn’t involve harming someone else. Even if it causes your family to become estranged from you, you cannot live a lie. Being Trans isn’t a choice! It’s the fact of being born into a body that Is. Not. You. And besides having the right to live as who we are, each and every one of us and not just certain people, we have the right to die as who we are. We should have the right to be buried as who we are.

    Jennifer Gable found out who she was at about the same age my ex-husband found out who *she* is. Young adulthood is a time when we truly discover who we are and hopefully begin to live that out in a way that will make the most of who we are. From everything I’ve seen from my friend, Jennifer did that. One thing she did was to legally change her name to Jennifer. When she was buried, it was under something other than her legal name, a deed done by relatives who had rejected who she was for many years.

    And she didn’t only have relatives who mourn her passing. She had and has family. They just aren’t her blood relations.

    Yesterday, BoiseBlue announced to the world that she and her wife were recently married. To celebrate their wedding and give them the best gift possible, please go to their fundraising site and share it. Donate if you feel so moved. But please help get the word out.

    I’m sharing this based on the first-hand accounts of two women who DO know a great deal about the situation and who are part of Jennifer Gable’s real family.

  27. River, I have absolutely no idea what in my comments made you think that I know what is going on, since I have said from the start that I don’t know. My only point is that none us, even you, know firsthand about this situation (since you say that you only know from an online friend who knows). You are still only getting one side of the story at a remove.

  28. To Lance in Arizona. You are right in that nobody can change their genetic sex. However what we are talking about here is GENDER, which is not the same thing. Scientific studies show that transgender people have brains which are closer in structure and function to their target gender than to their birth gender. So, what we have here are people who are dealing with something akin to a birth defect. They are not indulging a fantasy or living a lie, they are simply trying to be comfortable in their own bodies.

  29. One of my friends online recently came out as transgender. I had only known her as a woman, so I was a little surprised. But that didn’t change how I thought of her. She’s clever and insightful and I enjoy our interactions.

    One of the problems is that it’s hard for cisgender people to imagine this. I’ve tried to think about it and I can imagine being gay easier than I can imagine being trans. It was while I was thinking about this that my mind flipped perspective. As hard as it is to imagine me being a woman, it’s equally hard for her to imagine being a man. Even though she was raised as a male! When you think about your experiences and how deeply you feel your identity, Realize that others feel their identities just as deeply as you do.

    As always, Randy and Alexander and the rest of the crew are spotlighting how diverse humanity is. This is True is a mirror on who we are as a whole. Thank you for a moment of reflection.

  30. Jennifer’s grandparents are the ones that decided to turn her funeral into an ideological point. At that point I’m not overly concerned with their side of the story.

  31. @Iance – I am afraid you do not have all the facts, and some of what you say is just plain wrong — sex is not in the cells. Maybe in the DNA. And gender is definitely in neither — it is in the mind.

    There is a difference between sex and gender — Transsexual is where the mind and body are not the same.

    Intersex is where one physical body has, to a greater or lesser extent, characteristics of both sexes.

    In both of these cases, surgery can be and has been used to effect sex change with great success.

  32. Maybe I’m just dumb, but when I read the penultimate story, I thought the tag line was about “a mother’s love.” Why did so many people think it was homophobic or something?
    The second story was a nice juxtaposition, but despite your comment that stories are not meant to be read in isolation, I think they work fine alone.

    Well, the second tagline doesn’t work without having the first story there, but I agree the first story would stand alone just fine. Yes, the first tag is ambiguous, so it’s interesting to see who chooses a negative interpretation, or a positive one. -rc

  33. Brian, sometimes actions do all the speaking. Jennifer was living full-time as her authentic self for a few years. Changing her appearance and using a name that was no longer hers legally was spitting in her face, plain and simple. It certainly isn’t a loving act when you don’t accept a family member for who they are and no explanation can justify it.

  34. It seems to me that these two stories are about love and acceptance — or the opposite — whatever that might be. Kai’s family loves and accepts him for who he is. Jennifer’s family, while maybe loving her, wouldn’t accept “her”. It’s sad. Gay people get rejected by family all the time. Gay people get accepted by family all the time. I’m in the latter category and am so thankful my family and friends accept me for who I am. I just wish that Jennifer’s “family” could have accepted her for who she was. It’s obvious her friends accepted her and for that I’m thankful.

  35. Yeah for Yolanda, and for all people who are truly family to their loved ones.

    The other people, I won’t even give them the benefit of mentioning their names, since they don’t know how to be families.

  36. Jennifer’s biological family should consider how they would have felt if say her grandfather had died and Jennifer had buried him in a long wig, female makeup, a tutu dress and fishnet stockings under a name she preferred instead of what was his legal name.

    Being almost certainly self proclaimed (as apposed to real) Christians they should also learn the most important message Christ gave: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you, the message that Kai’s parents fully understand.

  37. These two stories hit home for me, especially considering a funny story involving a woman I knew briefly a few years before her death.

    My brother’s cat Sunday had kittens, and Alice decided to adopt one of the kittens once it was old enough. She named her new kitty “Princess” and when the time was right, she took Princess to the vet to be spayed.

    My brother got an angry phone call from Alice, who snapped, “My Princess is a Prince!” Then she burst out laughing, unable to help herself — Alice was a transgender woman, whose birth name was Steven. She said she was pretending to be angry, but the irony of the gender confusion with Princess was too much, and she just could not stop laughing. Princess was renamed Fluffy, and Fluffy was duly neutered instead.

    It was one of Alice’s favorite stories to tell of the interesting and frequently weird things that surround transgendered people. Unlike Jennifer, Alice had very good, supportive friends, and her family didn’t treat her remains in such a disgraceful fashion after her death.

  38. So I, like many others started to take the tagline to the first story a bit wrong. Cause you see my oldest is a transgender woman. She came out a couple months ago. And I still struggle with remembering to use the correct pronouns and stuff. She was my son for 21 years after all. I fully love and support my daughter no matter what. But then I read the 2nd story and it all fell into place. My middle child has announced that she’s pan-sexual and while that one took a bit more to wrap my brain around, mostly just to understand the concept, again I accept and love my children no matter what. So I think what the family in the first story did is completely awesome and I wish more families were as accepting of their kid’s life choices. The 2nd story, well while I agree with one person here that we don’t know the relatives full intentions, what they did was not cool. I’m sure the dead girl would not like to be remembered as she was portrayed at the funeral, but her friends don’t have to use that image to remember her by.

  39. If any of Jennifer Gable’s close friends are offended by my tagline, I am sorry.

    Thanks for all the positive feedback!

  40. My reaction to reading the tagline on the Bogert story was that the tagline was about a family’s love not changing, and that was before I read Jennifer’s. Both very thought provoking in their own way.

    I have to disagree with Lance and agree with others that gender is different to sex. Then there are genetic disorders such as Turners Syndrome and Klinefelter’s syndrome among others that show genetics is far more complicated than we think.

  41. So many people have already said it (Including you Randy) but I still want to add my best wishes to Kai’s family and my lack of respect to Jennifer’s relatives. What a great family Kai has, it’s just a pity that Jennifer’s family couldn’t be as accepting — they might then have found the love that Kai has for his family.

  42. A simple reading of the original source article tells all you need to know about the tragedy that was the last story. Jennifer had gone through all the proper legal channels to make sure she was a woman in the eyes of the law. Burying her in any other way is a blatant disrespect to her.

    I am all for knowing all sides of the story before passing judgement, but unless there is proof that Jennifer herself requested the burial she received, I believe the family has already made its side of things perfectly clear.

    To suggest that her relative’s actions might somehow be mitigated by direct knowledge of their “side of the story” is equally troubling, because it implies there might be some detail that would justify the family’s treatment of her. It is akin to saying that you aren’t sure how many kangaroos you have if you add two of them together because you have never been to Australia.

  43. It’s telling that the better story related to younger person. Not quite there yet, but the opinion is shifting away from “ew gross” notions.

    I’m wondering, however… among Gable relatives, how many thought it`s shameful they had to do it, and how many thought it’s shameful they did it?

    A good question, but I wonder whether anyone “had to” desecrate a dead human’s body. -rc

  44. Like many of the earlier commenters, I assumed (rightly) that the tagline on the story about Kai meant that his family’s love hadn’t changed. And I thought: what a wonderful, loving family he has, to make such a public announcement of their total acceptance of his life-choice. Then I read the next story, about Jennifer, and the tagline of that story brought tears to my eyes.

    Well done, Alexander! Insightful, tasteful and immensely affecting taglines, both.

  45. I, just a couple of days ago in fact, saw a video on youtube about a transgendered child. It was eye opening for me, to say the least. This was a child who, long before puberty even, knew he was a girl. He acted out, threw tantrums, made his parents and teachers miserable. Then, at the tender age of six he told his mother that he was a girl. After some thought the parents let him live as a girl, dress as a girl, go to school as a girl etc.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=epDPui27QZQ

    I hope it is okay to post this link. I think that anyone with questions should watch it. It will show you that it is not a choice, it is just what IS. Thank you Randy for bringing this up.

    BTW I met a man a few years ago who is a drag queen in shows, and gay…I am not sure what that makes him. All I know is that he was the kindest most caring man and I loved him instantly. He got ready at my house for his show one night so I went to watch it. I hate it when the drag queens are better looking that I am! He won! I could not have been happier, nor could I have had more fun than I did that night!!

  46. I do not understand transgender. For me this means I have not experienced what a transgender person has experienced. This is true for many things, I am not a minority, I am not female, I am not unemployed, I am not handicapped, I am not single. This is just a short list of things that apply to me today, I am not equating the items on the list but noting that there many realities that I have no, or very limited, experience with. My lack of understanding as a function of my lack of first hand experience does not negate my responsibility to try and understand. Trying to understand what you have never directly experienced is a great way to grow. Reading the original stories and the comments have helped me get closer to understanding. Thanks.

    And that’s how it’s done. -rc

  47. It’s just as bad as, say, burying a man who disapproved of homosexuality dressed in an evening gown, a wig, and makeup.

    Great stories and juxtaposition, but I have to ask — what does cross-dressing have to do with homosexuality?

    Already answered in a previous comment. You’re expecting me and others to read your comment, but you didn’t read the ones that came before, right here on this page. -rc

  48. Having transgendered friends and being a part-time transvestite myself, I can only applaud the love Kai’s family had for HIM.

    I am one of the lucky ones. My family has accepted that other side of me. But at the same time, I am seeing a friend lose custody of HER children because SHE was once a HE and married a woman who now refuses to accept that my friend’s mental health was at stake when she decided to transition. She refuses to see that my friend hasn’t had a single bout of depression since she began transitioning.

    So, to all of those who try to minimize the problems of transgender persons: stop judging us on how we look! Please try to see the PERSON under that appearance; you might just discover an intelligent person who is alone and needs a shoulder to cry on.

    Now, if you don’t mind, I’ll go change the towel on my shoulder and try to dry my friend’s tears….

  49. The four stories in the free edition of TRUE this week gave us a view of the full scope of what the newsletter is meant to do. The first two stories, as shown by their taglines, were strange or absurd, while the second two gave us a thought provoking view on what humans are.

    Keep up the amazing work!

  50. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in 50 years on this planet, it is that there are at least 2 sides to every story. It may very well be that Jennifer’s relatives did exactly what is described here and for purely selfish or self-centered motives. If so, then shame on them, that is a terrible way to treat someone’s funeral. However, we don’t and can’t possibly know that that is all there is to the story. Perhaps they truly believed they were protecting her immortal soul by their actions. I’ve certainly heard of parents doing much worse to their children with that intent, and it frequently gets written off as “exercise of religious freedom”. My point is that this blog contains a lot of comments bemoaning the fact that Jennifer’s relatives would judge her life choices in such a manner, while at the same time judging those relative’s choices. How is one really any better or worse than the other?

    To quote a recently re-published article, “Ain’t for the likes of me to judge one way or t’other.” Or, to go a little further back in time, “Judge not, that ye be not judged.” You can certainly support those who make LGBTQ lifestyle choices, without yourself sitting in judgement of those who don’t support them.

    Anthony refers to today’s HeroicStories publication, here.
    We can never know the “whole” story that we haven’t lived ourselves. Ever. So no matter what we see, we should just keep our mouths shut? No matter what evil, no matter what crime, no matter what immorality? And I don’t see anyone “bemoaning” her relative’s judgments. I see them condemning their actions. There is a difference. -rc

  51. Not to flog a dead horse, but I’m a trans woman and had the same reactions — before and after the second tagline. You two are incredible.

  52. @Anthony, I’m sort of reeling at the theological implications that the fate of our soul is based on what other people do with our body after death. It opens up a set of very interesting possibilities to think about.

    I still feel that if we are judged by actions it should be the choices we make, not those by others. And I’m still donating my organs and tissues and sending what’s left to the local medical school.

  53. In your reply to Anthony, you are using a straw man argument. Neither of us who have said that this is one-sided have said that you have to have the “whole” story before you can render any judgement.

    I agree that we will never know the whole story. I am saying that you are making a judgement about these “evil” actions, and that you are making it based on one side’s story. How many times have stories been published that were later revealed to, at the very least, be much more complicated than were first presented, especially when the person who first presented them has an ideological agenda. Again, is the current case with Rolling Stone and UVa not a warning against rushing to judgement exactly this way?

    Yes, criminal charges should be investigated thoroughly and adjudicated in a fair court. We’re not talking about criminal charges here, or even the lesser standard of civil court proceedings. We’re talking social commentary on public actions. You seem to want strict rules according to criminal law, but that’s just not what’s going on here. -rc

  54. Anthony in Kansas, lets make one thing perfectly clear: LGBT status is not a choice. The only choice is whether or not to hide your true self from the world. I refuse to hide who I am just avoid taking you out of your comfort zone.

  55. Loved how these stories flowed together, it really made me think. Just curious but was it legal burying Jennifer Gable under what I guess is technically a pseudonym? If all her documents had her name legally has Jennifer Gable how was it possible to have her buried under “Geoffrey”.

    It may vary from state to state, but I don’t think there’s any legal requirement to put any specific name on a headstone. -rc

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