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(Note: I am just putting this here so I do not lose it. I want to come back to it later and do some edits.)

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints declared same-sex couples and Mormon children of same sex couples to be apostates. They decree went so far as telling adult children of married same sex couples that they would have to denounce their sinful lifestyles before being given baptism. The statement, which comes from the Church Handbook of Instructions, does not indicate doctrine or theology, but it is telling about how the brethren think. The children of these parents, adopted or otherwise, have committed no sin and cannot help how they were born. The leaders did not even point to some crime, such as sitting on the fence in the war between God and Satan, in the pre-existence to justify the doctrine. It just came down as official fiat. The declaration from the Brethren did not surprise this former Mormon, but punishing the Children for the sins of the parents does contradict one of the articles of faith.

The second article of Faith, according to is, “We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam’s transgression.”

Growing up as a young Mormon, I was told that children who died before the age of eight automatically went to the Highest Degree of Glory in the Mormon afterlife. Because they had not reached the Age of Accountability, they could not be held accountable for their sins. This new doctrine, however, suggests that the children of same-sex couples have the mark of the parent's sin upon them. Are these children condemned to Outer Darkness simply because their parents went against the will of the church?

Declaring these children to be apostates, even if they are not Mormon, is even more problematic from a theological point of view. Becoming an apostate according to the beliefs held by most Mormons means one has to at least have been a Mormon. They have to have accepted the gospel into their very hearts and then have chosen to deny it. A young child, especially a young child who has not had the misfortune to hear of Joseph Smith and his uniquely American religion has never had the opportunity to accept, believe and reject the gospel.

Leaders of the Church will counter with that these children still have a chance to accept the Gospel and accept the highest degree of glory. They may even get the chance to hear of the gospel in spirit prison before the second resurrection, but what happens to them if they refuse to follow the official policy of the temporal church? Should the spirit of the child be forced to condemn the sins of their parents just to escape an eternity of torment? Does the child have to watch as they leave their parents behind knowing what awaits them in Outer Darkness?

I can imagine the response of the leaders. It will probably mirror the language used in The Church and the Negro, a book the current Mormon church would like to pretend doesn't exist. The leaders will say they offer more than any other religion because they can offer the Celestial Kingdom. They will say from their secure position, knowing that their calling and election is made sure. Never will it dawn on these leaders that they are performing the spiritual equivalent of holding a gun to the heads of these children. They will deny having anything in common with the least benevolent dictators of the 20th century because they are doing it out of love rather than out of political ideology.

I left the church of my own volition. If I fail to come back to it and end up in Outer Darkness, I can accept that, but what did the children of same-sex parents do other than go through some ceremony that men claiming to represent God did not like? I'll be a  bold on this one. With this announcement, the church has gone apostate and separated itself from its published doctrine. I don't even want to worship a God that is as petty as I am. Why are so many other people willing to do this?

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 The media has covered Bruce Jenner's transition fairly well. They have treated the subject respectfully even as the buy into the ratings grab.  I do not fault this from a business perspective. Networks need to get viewers, and people love to focus on celebrities.  Covering the transition of a public figure gives them viewers which translates into extra advertising dollars.  However, if there's one thing I wish people would stop doing, it is describing transgender people as courageous.

I understand that the people who use this phrase mean well, but it was not courage that drives me or other people to transition. It is a simple necessity. A trans* individual can either live in denial with all of the emotional turmoil denial brings, or they can break through the cognitive dissonance of trying to live as their assigned gender to live in a way that is in greater harmony with their own mind. (I prefer to think of it as their own spirit, but I know many people do not share my views on the existence of spirits or souls.)

I've been subjected to the c-word as well. I didn't feel particularly courageous when I made the decision to live as Lara full time. Instead, it was simply a matter of letting go all of as much of the emotional baggage that came with living in anxiety and denial as I could.   Going to a family funeral as Lara for the first time was not an act of courage, either. It was simply a granddaughter doing a favor for her grandmother and her sister.  

There are many reasons why I hope I'm not a role model for anyone. Even in my own mind, I view some aspects of my life as a cautionary tale.  I've done things out of fear, out of desperation, and out of necessity. None of these things made me feel particularly brave. Transition wasn't something I did to shock people. It was the right decision for me.  I hope it's the right one for Bruce Jenner as well

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During the last few months, I have spent more time in the company of doctors than I would like. The thought that visiting the doctor causes sickness has crossed my mind more than once. However, I've dealt with male and female doctors, and I've noticed a pattern emerging in the way they interact with me. 

I'm sure this will not come as a surprise to any cisgender person or a transgender woman who has presented as female for a long time, but the male doctors are less likely to listen to me than their female counterparts.  My endocrinologist is likely to order the tests I ask for, as long as there is a good reason for them, and she will order them if she thinks there is a good reason for the test, even if I cannot articulate it clearly.  

The male doctors, however, usually assume there answer is right, and the main doctors has fallen into the "It's probably just your fibro" idea.  

Also having one part of your body feel too warm while another is cold is a weird sensation...
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Note: This post is part of a writing project. It's working title is Fireside Chats with a Sinister Porpoise.  I have told this story elsewhere, so I do not care if it gets read here. 2nd Draft.

A number of places offer help for people who contemplate suicide. The Trevor Project reaches out to LGBT Youth, and Dan Savage's It Gets Better Project works to reduce the statistics.  I am aware of the controversy surrounding Savage, and I have been targeted by him once. Although I disagree with some of Savage's positions, I applaud him for his efforts.  However, this is not his book. Discussions of mental health frequently come from people who mean well but who have no experience dealing with these illnesses. I do not wish people to think I am some role model of good mental hygiene. During dark times, I contemplated taking my life, and one time I actually tried it.
Despite the misery I felt during my junior and senior high school years, I managed to get through it. I do not recommend anyone else used my method. Sheer stubbornness and a desire not to let my tormentors win allowed me to make it through my graduation day. It took the tragedy of my adolescent, post adolescent and adult years to weigh me down.  I tried to end my own life when I was in my mid-twenties. It took place the year after my mother died.  I had lost my job, gone through four clutches in a six-week period, and I faced losing my apartment.  I could not see any way out of the situation, except for the Zoloft bottles that rested on my dresser. Ending my life, it seemed, would solve all of my problems.
My attempts to resolve the situation failed. Losing my job had forced me to go on welfare. The $174/month welfare gives an individual did not cover my rent. I lived in public housing at the time, and if I had talked to the landlord, the situation would not have gotten out of hand. Dealing with the person face-to-face terrified me. Social anxiety disorder always made it difficult for me to deal with people in these situations.
I wrote a note and gathered and took all of the Zoloft I had.  I left the note by my bedside and made sure the cats had extra food. As I went to sleep, the cats, as they always did, lay down beside my ears and purred loudly.  Guilt came over me as I drifted off to sleep. The animals depended on me, and I had let them down. Leaving extra food out for them seemed like an inappropriate measure.  If I achieved my goal, someone else would have to find them a new home.
Sleep came that night. Strange dreams that took the form of black and white drawings dominated the next eighteen hours. One of the dreams involved a rocket. Not one of these dreams contained deeper insight into my life or my situation as far as I can recall. If one of these dreams did have a deeper meaning, I had forgotten it long ago.
Anyone who reading this knows the attempt failed. The situation did not improve. I lost the important and someone else found the cats a new home.  Even though I like cats and eventually overcame my fear of dogs, guilt prevents me from getting another pet. After getting evicted, I lived for a few days on the street.  My caseworker, who learned of the situation, had me involuntarily committed. During the three weeks in the hospital, the doctors increased my Zoloft dosage and provided an incorrect diagnosis.  After the hospital stay, I lived with my sister for a few years.
Living with family  forced me to keep Lara hidden.  I tried and failed to make it on my own again.  Gender dysphoria did not contribute to the second attempt's failure. The experience taught me two things. First, I learned that I should deal with these situation as soon as they occur. Second, I learned that I overreacted to this situation. Dealing with the landlord and other support structures face-to-face would have prevented the downward spiral.
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The Brodie Awards are given to ex-mormon bloggers. Even though I thought I was being faceitious and absurd, I was nominated for one. It falls into the best religion and gender discussion category. You can vote on the awards here.

If you want to read the post, it's here.  I'd encourage you to vote for my post early and often, but I'll probably have to be content to be nominated.

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When I cam to Indiana three years ago, I did not know what to expect exactly. I knew the state did not have the mountains I knew in Pennsylvania. I also knew that the state leaned somewhere on the conservative and libertarian axis. It also meant increased difficulty in finding Middleswarth Potato Chips, Birch Beer, Lebanon bologna and a few of the foods to which I'd grown accustomed. (I can no longer eat flavored Middleswarth Potato Chips, but that is a different story.)

Even though I expected a somewhat different political landscape, I thought the attitudes would be similar to those I found in rural Pennsylvania. When I paid attention to the political cycles, even going so far as to attend a Wabash Valley Tea Party meeting, I discovered the erroneous nature of my assumption.

Republicans in the Midwest do not behave the same way as do the republicans from the Northeast. Like many people from the Northeast, I find Michelle Bachmann's political ramblings extreme. Her philosophy seems dangerous. Native Hoosiers -- especially those living outside of Indianapolis, Bloomington, or LaFayette, think Bachmann can steer the country in the right direction.

As I spent several campaigns here, I found that the Republican candidates were more than willing to do more than pay lip service to opposing LGBT rights. At the time of writing, Indiana's legislature considers a license to discriminate bill, similar to the one that Arizona's governor vetoed. They introduced this bill a year after they failed to pass a constitutional amendment that would have barred same-sex marriage. While I may not plan on marrying anyone anytime soon, transgender people are usually even less popular in red states than are gays and lesbians.

The change also comes after years of doing what I am supposed to do. I am working and I am doing my job well. I am doing my job well, and doing everything the right way, but this has not improved my situation any. My employer will not put wages above their current pay rate, and they implement policies to keep the number of hours each employee receives down. I cannot even go back to school because of student debts, even if further education. Even if I were able to return, the job market remains shaky. (There is plenty of factory work available here, buy I have never been able to keep up with the machines at these places.)

It's obvious that the way my father did things and tried to teach me to do things does not work. It never worked for him, and stubbornness maybe the only reason I continue to do things his way. Stubbornly refusing to change may be a family tradition, but it's not a very practical one. Maybe it's time to re-evaluate all of my assumptions.
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Several years ago, there was a split in the Tumblr asexual community. The people who wanted to be more positive came to Dreamwidth, which left the more negative people and the trolls on the other site. I decided to respect the decision of the people who wanted a more pleasant experience. After all, I know that I'm not someone who can be cheery and uplifting all the time. Even as a minor journalist, I tend to focus on the bad things more often than I focus on the good things.

Several years have passed. I have managed to get on hormones. I don't quite look like the pictures that were taken three years ago. (For one thing, my breasts are smaller.) I do not feel as comfortable participating in the asexual communities as I did in the past. (This is because I am not sure I fall into that category any more.)

Now, I have more than enough blogs and social media sites to deal with, but I'll start here for now.


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