She is often my rock, my teacher, and my inspiration. No doubt, she is one of the greatest blessings in my life. I thank God each day for the "curse" that has become my greatest spiritual and intimate blessing. God is good... he loves us, but the moment we begin to think we know him and completely understand his will in our lives... we inevitably fall short. God wants humble children. It's our responsibility in life to learn the importance of charity and humility in our relationship with our Eternal Father. If we begin to think we understand all things... we will, inevitably, face a turbulent journey. God will teach us patience, humility, and charity. If we refuse to learn... he will continue to teach. C.S. Lewis said it best in his search for truth...
Can a mortal ask questions which God finds unanswerable? Quite easily, I should think. All nonsense questions are unanswerable. ~C.S. Lewis
The real problem is not why some pious, humble, believing people suffer, but why some do not. ~C.S. Lewis
The safest road to hell is the gradual one - the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts. ~C.S. Lewis
And my favorite of all (probably because it reflects my stubborness in spiritual obedience)...
There are two kinds of people: those who say to God, "Thy will be done," and those to whom God says, "All right, then, have it your way." ~C.S. Lewis
Cammie is such a strong, courageous, vivacious young woman... she continues to amaze me each day. A little over a year... and it's difficult to express the personal and spiritual growth. A couple of days ago, I came home to find her steadfast and focused. She was diligently writing a letter. Her poor little hands could hardly keep up with her thoughts. I asked what she was doing. Her response surprised me... "I'm writing a letter to the Jefferson County Board of Education." I continued by asking her what the letter was about. She simply said, "My rights." She finished the letter and I promised to help her mail it. I didn't read it at first because I wanted to give her the freedom to express herself freely... without parental influence. Prior to mailing the letter, I read it - then neatly addressed it and sent it off (attached below). I understand reality. Most likely, her precious words won't change a thing... at least for now, but I felt an inexplicable pride swell in my heart with the knowledge that I have been blessed with a child who has the courage to stand up for what she believes in... a child with the heart and conviction to change the world regardless of the challenges stacked against her. She has such inner strength... such courage. It's truly a beauty to behold.
Our children are the future. There's such peace in knowing that I have somehow managed to raise a child who isn't intimidated by the "status quo" or circumstances as daunting as her own. She represents the beautiful mind of a new generation. I am absolutely in love with my precious revolutionist. She, as all my children, is such an amazing gift from God. ;')
Family, the MOST sacred of all blessings... (recent family portrait link)
November 5, 2010
Jefferson Board of Education
Attn: Board Members
2100 18th Street South
Birmingham, AL 35209
Dear Board Members:
My child, Cammie Johnson, is gender variant. She was born a natal male, but during fetal development, there was an insufficient testosterone level during the androgen bath to adequately form male gender identity markers in the BSTC subdivision of the gender marker cells in the pituitary gland of the brain stem... which results in children with a gender identity opposite of the gender assigned at birth. This is a profound trial for these children. Research studies show that 36% of gender variant children will attempt suicide by the age of twenty if not treated with the appropriate support which entails acknowledging that gender exists between the ears and not between the legs – then raising these children likewise. Leukemia doesn’t have mortality rates as high as the suicide risks associated with this condition. The best practices that have been published in the Medical Journal of Metabolism and Endocrinology, recommend hormone blockers at stage two of pubertal development (approximately age 12 – which pauses puberty until the age of sixteen… at which time these children can make the decision that is right for them concerning hormone replacement therapy and reconstructive surgery – also recommended in cases such as Cammie’s).
I have met several other families within the state that have gender variant children. This is not an uncommon condition, but it is seldom heard of because of social “taboos” and the pressure parents feel to force gender conformity / obedience on their gender variant child. I have been blogging about our experience with Cammie since before we allowed her to live her life consistent with her gender identity. This was a very difficult time for me and I have included a blog card in the event that you would like to learn more about us, this medical condition, and the circumstances and challenges that have impacted our lives. Additionally, there is an excellent book titled “The Transgender Child” written by Stephanie Brill – if you are interested in learning more about this.
Cammie is VERY strong with strong convictions about who she is. I came home the other day and she was writing a letter to the Jefferson County Board of Education… as she put it, “about her rights”. I haven’t read the letter, but I have supported her in expressing herself and thus am forwarding it to you. Thank you for allowing her the opportunity to express herself. Please contact her back. She needs to know that she has a voice… and regardless of individual ideals, she needs to be heard.
Christina B. Pippin