This past weekend was our statewide church meeting in Valdosta, so we didn’t have to travel for this convention. As always members of Integrity, Georgia, that’s the group for the lgbt community, sat up their display of reading material and pictures of previous meetings.
No sooner than I arrived and put my things down when a woman from another church in town practically grabs my arm and drags me over to a rack of card and very excitedly shows me one of them. It is a picture of two mice holding hands, wrapped in coats one with a red scarf and the other mouse with a blue scarf. Both are looking at a starfish on the beach with the sunset in the background. The caption says “Love Transcends Gender”.
I’m thinking “Ok!!” this person knows about me, like she thinks I am the “token trans’ person in her life and she is excited to show me this card. And that’s
ok, because I can see the light of acceptance and joy in her face. Then, I begin to think that since she is so excited to show me something, she must be equally excited telling others about me and what a good and spiritual person I must be, to who will listen. And that’s a very good thing. To have as many people who will tell others about what a good person you are is a good way to let others know that trans people are like normal people. And I am contented in thinking about her enthusiasm for the lgbt community.
Our Integrity table was in a great location this year, right in front of the two sets of doors and in the middle of the room. We are raffling off a quilt in support our future programs as Integrity and Camp Phun, a camp for children who parent is incarcerated and for another Church’s HIV and AIDS ministry. We had a great start for the raffle and it seemed to be one of the big draws for the convention. Also displayed was the processional banner that I had made for our Integrity Chapter, to be used when invited; banners weren’t invited to process this year.
Our presence as the lgbt community family during this year’s conventions has given us the opportunity to stand up a little bit straighter and taller. My presence as one of the out trans folks is not overlooked and as someone said to Kay, there is a lot of people who would come to my aid if someone pointed fingers at me and complained, or tried to harm me. And knowing that, makes me more comfortable being among those called to lead the Church in South Georgia.