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I Have Forgiven Jesus

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I tried writing this post before. It got way too long. So I’m starting again.

I was brought up Catholic. I went to Catholic schools, and I work at one now. It’s a part of my identity I can never escape.

How? When being queer and being Catholic are so irreconcilable? How can I still consider myself a Catholic?

Firstly, I know I don’t believe in it. My beliefs don’t make me Catholic. I used to lie awake at night pondering Creation and everlasting life and all of that and so far I’ve got as far as working out that humanity has as much chance of understanding the nature of God as a grain of sand has of comprehending the rock cycle.

What does make me Catholic is those memories of incense, sitting on the church floor during Midnight mass, reciting the Rosary, attending the Stations of the Cross, learning to genuflect, hour after hour staring at the image of Satan in the stained glass window, actually kind of horrified that someone would depict Satan in the stained glass window, nestled in among the skirts of the Blessed Virgin.

Shit like that doesn’t leave you. I still go to church from time to time, not because I think I’m saving my soul, but because I find it comforting.

I’ve read the Bible. Bits of it, anyway. I don’t know if Jesus was the son of God, but I do know that he wouldn’t have given two shits about what was between my legs. That was just how Jesus rolled. He took people as they were, not how society wanted them to be.

Meanwhile, modern Catholic media screams headlines like “The Pope’s take on transgender issues? Accept the body God gave you” as if Pope Francis had actually said such a thing. Good luck finding the quote. But as ever, “Catholics” believe what they want to believe.

“Accept the body God gave you” is a pretty simplistic (and fucking stupid) approach, to be straight. Hole in the heart? Accept the body God gave you. Cleft palate? Accept the body God gave you! Myopia? Fuck you and your glasses! Accept the body God gave you!

Of course I respect my body. It’s why I cut my nails, keep my hair tidy and clean behind my ears. I don’t strictly speaking have to do those things, but I just think it’s better for my social and emotional wellbeing if I do.

Whether or not I decide to enlist a surgeon to divest me of my excess chest fat, that is entirely my prerogative. It is not a decision I make lightly, and it is certainly not one I make by the rules of a load of lonely old men who have mistaken their own word for the word of the divine.

Despite their best efforts to cast me out, I will not go. I’m a contrary bastard and they won’t get rid of me easily. I also really want to get married in a Catholic church. It would make my mum very happy (because then it’s a real wedding in the eyes of God), but also make me very happy (because it’d be gay as hell and flip a massive bird to all the haters). But also it’d just be nice.

The Catholic church is all I have ever known. I grew up thinking marriages happened in churches. Going to the registry office seems to me like going to fill in a load of forms. It’s a legal exercise rather than a loving one.

The Catholic church is all I have ever known. And no matter how many times it tells me it will not have me, I will not leave. Because I don’t know anywhere else to go.

About Big Rook

Chess coaching and events in the north-west of England

12 responses »

  1. If God gave me a body, they definitely gave me a trans body, and I accept it.


  2. You write, “He took people as they were, not how society wanted them to be.” You’re right that he wasn’t concerned about how society wanted them to be, but he was concerned about how God wanted them to be. He accepted some people as they were, but others he did not. It all depended on the extent to which they were acting how God wanted them to act:

    21 “Not every one who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you evildoers.’ Mt. 7:21-23

    14 Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates. 15 Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and fornicators and murderers and idolaters, and every one who loves and practices falsehood. Rev. 22:14-15

    And he said, “What comes out of a man is what defiles a man. 21 For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, fornication, theft, murder, adultery, 22 coveting, wickedness, deceit, licentiousness, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. 23 All these evil things come from within, and they defile a man.” Mk 7:20-23

    “’And if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than with two hands to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire. And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life lame than with two feet to be thrown into hell. And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into hell, “where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.”’” Mk. 9:43-48

    “Jesus answered them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, every one who commits sin is a slave to sin.’” Jn. 8:34

    “I tell you, … unless you repent you will all likewise perish.” Lk. 13:5.


    • God made me trans. That’s how it is, and how I’m supposed to be. I’m not sure what your point is with this wall of text, but it doesn’t change that fact.


      • My point is that Jesus took people as they were, but only to bring them to repentance. I just don’t want you to have an unrealistic idea of what Jesus wants and expects of us. “If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me.” Mt. 16:24.


      • Knowing what we are called to do can be a real challenge. But I know that by being myself I hurt nobody- but by insisting that trans people deny their authentic selves or face damnation, others condemn them to a life of misery and loneliness.
        Trans people are outcast. Are treated unjustly. Are murdered. And staying silent on the matter, or blaming the victims, makes a person part of the problem.


      • “And staying silent on the matter, or blaming the victims, makes a person part of the problem.”

        Yes, staying silent makes one part of the problem. That’s why I felt compelled to say what I have said in this thread. So we agree on that much.

        BTW everyone must deny himself in order to follow Jesus. It doesn’t apply just to trans people, it’s a universal command. Whatever we do that is against God’s commandments must be forsaken if we are to call ourselves Jesus’ disciples, and we all violate the commandments and have strong attachments to various sins. Countless people have had to suffer in order to follow him.

        This is not singling anyone out, but only responding to your claim that Jesus “takes people as they are.” He says “come as you are,” but he doesn’t say “stay as you are.” “It is not the healthy who need a physician, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” Mk. 2:17. If he calls us, that means we’re sick, and our sickness is our sin. And if we’re sick, then he calls us in order to heal us; not to leave us in sin.

        God bless you.


      • Being trans is not a sin.
        God bless you.


  3. Quakers? We are LGBT friendly, at least in Great Britain, and much of the US.

    I knew a trans mormon once. Her church misgendered her and dead-named her, and she stuck with them, because she loved them.


    • I know you are 🙂 I went to the United Reformed Church for a bit- but aside from belief, Church also means community, and it’s really hard to leave (even when there’s people outright saying you’re going to hell). But why do I have to go, when they’re the ones being hateful and un-Christian?

      Liked by 1 person

  4. “Being trans is not a sin.”

    Did I say it was? If I did, I would not expect it to convince you. As I keep saying, I am only responding to your claim that Jesus “takes people as they are.” I’m advising against complacence.


    • If I was complacent, I’d hardly be responding.
      I may not know my Bible verses, but today I’ve been standing up for Christians, for Muslims, for people of all faiths, for women, for men, for gay people and for trans people. It’s exhausting. I think you know that.
      Maybe you don’t think it’s a sin, or wrong in some other capacity. But plenty of others do. People come up to me in the street to tell me so.
      People shoot dead 50 innocent people in a special month for both Muslims and the LGBT community just to tell us so.
      Do not think for one second that I can be complacent.



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