Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Let us pray

I know that I seem to be churning out post after post at the moment but there's been so much going on recently. Today I received a letter from my GIC notifying my GP that I was to up the dosage on my Sandrena gel to 3 sachets a day from two because my estrogen levels were outside the range that the clinic would like to see. I was surprised as I thought it would be my testosterone levels that would be more worrying but they weren't. I have to have my bloods taken again next month. I'm also supposed to have my blood pressure and BMI monitored every 6 months.

That's not the reason for this post though. Its to share something that happened yesterday at church.

We've not managed to get to church at all this year so far. Yesterday I decided that we really needed to make the effort and so I made sure that we were all up with plenty of time to spare. Of course nothing goes to plan in our house and so at quarter past ten I was ready to head off to church but the rest of the family were still cleaning teeth, and putting on shoes and coats. Eventually with about 5 minutes to spare we headed off on the short trip to church.

When we arrived there was one single space outside the front of the church where we could park. We left the car and made it into the church. I was expecting us to be late but we actually had a few minutes to spare.

As it was a communion service the church was full and so there was an overspill service happening in the church room. We found some seats and settled down.

Our associate vicar appeared and asked the lady behind me if she'd be willing to read the prayers. She declined. He then turned to me and asked if I'd read them out. I was a bit taken aback as its the first time that I've been asked since I transitioned to do anything like that. I was tempted to decline also but found myself saying yes.

I was handed the sheet of paper with the prayers printed on them and told what to do. As a certain meercat in TV adverts for a UK price comparison website says "Simples".

As the service got underway the enormity of what I'd just agreed to do began to sink in. I was going to have to stand up in front of 30 or 40 people, some who knew me, others who didn't and lead them in prayers.

Eventually the part of the service where we say prayers arrived and after a brief introduction of "and now Jenna will lead us in prayers" I was up in front of everyone.

I managed to read each prayer and left a small pause before everyone joined in with some set responses. Eventually I'd finished reading the prayers and was able to sit back down.

It was nice to be involved in a service once again. I quite enjoyed it.

The talk in the middle of the service was also quite good. It was based on two readings from Genesis and was about how men and women are made in God's image and were made equal. I found myself wondering about where transgender people fit into this idea that we are all made in God's image. If that is the case then God must be at the very least intersex in order that men and women are made in his image (I'm not going to get into the pronoun argument right not, I'll refer to God as a He/Him for simplicity sake).

When the current series of talks have finished there will be a Q&A session that we can submit questions for. I'm tempted to ask where transgender and intersex people fit into this binary view of gender.

I'm also tempted to ask the question "Why is it if you have questions of a highly personal nature, like do I fancy men or women now" that you wont ask me directly but feel quite happy to ask my partner. A highly personal question that is none of anyone's business but my partner and mine. A highly personal question that could cause real problems for my partner and I if she decides to query whether I like women, and especially her.

In fact the answer to the question is ...

Nobody's business but my partner and I.

The temptation to ask awkward and personal questions is there, especially if asking the partner of a transgender individual is fair game but asking them directly doesn't happen.

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