So, last Friday was family fun night at the Phoenix home. You’d think every Friday would be family fun night, but it’s not. Only on those Fridays when enough of us have had good behavior (parents included). Last Friday, Jeff, Savanna, Shianne, and I had been on our best behavior and earned the coveted snuggle time on the couch with our favorite blankets, DVR replay of an agreed upon favorite show (usually The Voice), and rainbow sour gummies.
Our show ended and we were getting ready to say our goodnights, when I flipped to the channel that the Diane Sawyer/Bruce Jenner interview was to air on. I had envisioned Jeff taking Sav & Shi upstairs to bed and joining me a few minutes into the interview. This isn’t what happened.
Both Savanna and Shianne saw an “up next” commercial for the interview and were instantly captivated. They asked to stay up for an extra special treat and watch it with us. Had I not read a helpful refresher article on how to have the hard, but important, conversations around sex, gender, sexual identity, and sexual orientation with children, I probably would have said “no”. My explanation would likely have been that is was an inappropriate show for kids to watch.
So Jeff, Savanna, and I sat glued to the TV. We all thought the interview was very well done. I found myself laughing and crying throughout. I couldn’t help but get excited for what I was anticipating to be some awesome essays coming from my favorite writers in the near future.
I kept an eye out for said essays and was surprised not to see any. That is, until last night, when I was blessed to read something Matt Bays wrote. My friend Laura posted it, so I knew it was going to be good, and Matt didn’t disappoint. This piece is beautiful – poignant, direct, and so full of love. Pure unadulterated love.
After reading his essay, Matt and I shared these comments with eachother.
Me: Thank you for sharing this, Laura! We watched this and our 2 youngest were still up when it started. They, too, were listening. One fell asleep and asked to watch the recording the next day; and the second watched the entire thing with us. It took an extra 45 minutes as we paused and discussed/pondered/did our best to answer while Savanna asked and pointed out so many things that we probably wouldn’t have otherwise given as much thought to. I felt so blessed to listen and learn with her. I feel equally as blessed to have read this piece that Matt wrote for us.
Matt: Man, Burning Britely…that is a powerful evening. LOVE that you didn’t shoo them out of the room.
Me: I, too, love and am so glad we didn’t shoo them. It was one of those things that could have gone either way. The social worker in me took over and assured my husband it would all be okay. You’re right, Matt, it was was a such a powerful evening!! Love it! Thank you for you’re writing – I’m hopeful it will continue creating positive momentum for more to open their minds, hearts, & spirits and listen. Not just hear, but truly LISTEN…
Matt: I love new friends.
Me: Me too, Matt.
So, without further ado – here is the essay that sparked a new friendship between Matt and I.
**No matter what your personal or religious beliefs on this matter are, I’m trusting you will be able to read this with an open mind, heart, and spirit . I would ask that any and all comments be made with love, grace, and kindness.**
Bruce Gender (Why Christians Should Listen to the Stories of our Transgender Brothers and Sisters) – originally published by Matt Bays on April 28, 2015