We have encountered persistent criticism and concern from a handful of people who have questioned our understanding of Cammie's condition and the decision we have made to support her gender expression. These concerns seem to reflect the underlying question, "What if you're wrong?"...
I walk each day by Cameron's side... when she faces the challenges imposed by the heartache and pain of emotional, physical, and spiritual rejection... I am there - holding her hand. I have watched, helplessly, as each obstacle has battered her beautiful spirit. I have come to realize through faith, love, and the mercy of my Heavenly Father that he doesn't expect me to ignore her suffering. I have been inspired with the impression that the time has come to find the answers... to take a stand... to listen to the whispering of her heart... and to advocate for her peace and happiness.
Cameron is a courageous, beautiful child. I am thankful for what she has taught me and the inspiration that she gives me each day. The Christ-like perseverance and enduring courage that she has demonstrated, illustrates her divine nature.
Gender is foreordained... This is why - regardless of the pronouns we used, what clothing we bought, or the social pressures that she has faced... Cammie has remained true to herself and consistently asserted her female gender identity.
Cameron is, and has always been, a girl. For ten long years, I naively jumped to the conclusion that her temporal, physical body would define her - spiritually. In reality, I should have listened to her and looked beyond those physical characteristics, with a focus on spiritual truth.
The majority of us are fortunate to experience mortal bodies that harmonize with our gender identity... but Cammie, and many children like her, face the challenge of waking up each day to a life shrouded in misunderstanding, based on the expectation of biological norms.
I have a testimony of my Heavenly Father. I know that we have been blessed by his companionship and we are being guided in the challenges that we face each day. To those standing on the outside of this experience who feel compelled to point a finger of scorn or preach "hell and damnation" from atop a soap-box, or pulpit - I pose this question...
What kind of joy would celestial glory be if I knew that I had attained it by sacrificing my child??? I would gladly surrender this "interpretation" of eternal salvation for Cammie's happiness. My celestial experience will come from the peace of knowing that I opened my heart and soul to the unconditional love and acceptance of my child which has provided her with an opportunity for peace.
My cconcept of hell is best defined by a popular idea of Heaven... the "heaven" that I would (supposedly) experience by embracing the personal benefits of blindly and willingly contributing to the inner-turmoil, pain, suffering, and spiritual devastation of my child??? Given the expectations and sacrifice required to achieve it... I consider it a privilege to fall short.
A testimony is defined as "an assertion offering first-hand authentication of a fact." I have been blessed with first-hand experience in this matter and have gained a testimony of my child's spiritual being. I cannot deny this truth... just as I will not deny that Christ is my Savior and Redeemer. I refuse to stand before my Heavenly Father and explain why I failed to acknowlege the answers in my life and the guidance that He has provided. I WILL NOT stand before Him and explain why I valued the opinions of others above the witness that He has given me. For those who don't understand - allow me to simplify it for you... I would much rather be "condemned" for loving my child too much... than be "condemned" for not loving her enough.
I don't have all the answers, but I faithfully cherish the ones I've been given. The unconditional love I feel for Cameron has led me to a place of enlightenment and understanding. By having the courage to listen to the promptings of the spirit and disregard the commonly accepted traditions of society, I have discovered a beautiful daughter of God - suffering alone in the dark. As her mother, I will do all I can to understand her, love and accept her unconditionally, ease her pain, and guide her path to peace.
True happiness comes from within... through inner peace, love of others, charity, self-realization, and a personal relationship with God... each, a prerequisite to spiritual harmony. I am thankful for the blessings in my life... realized through the opportunity that I have been given to truly "see" and understand my child.
For those individuals who prefer to cling to social "norms" and reject the unconditional love, support, and understanding that we have devoted to our daughter - I pose this question... "Would you like to take a walk in my shoes???"
We should never be so blinded by our personal convictions that we callously disregard the experience of others, formulate preconceived judgements about their lives and relationship with God, or fail to consider the potential for spiritual growth offered by their experience. I have gained a testimony about the nature of TRUTH... Sometimes it's discovered in unlikely places... and taught through unexpected experiences.
Cammie has found peace, she is finally happy...
Her happiness has become our TRUTH.
(Matthew 7:20 - By their fruits ye shall know them)
You are showing a lot of courage and love. Please know you are supported in our community. Cammie has a difficult road ahead and she will need your support and the support of all of us who can see and appreciate her for who she is.ReplyDelete
God bless and best wishes
You right brilliantly. And your unconditional love for your daughter touches my heart. You should be very proud. At that age, it is very hard to defy peer pressure, and even risk disappointing your parents to assert who you truly are. Such a strong personality will serve Cameron well in life. That kind of courage and honesty is rare in the world, and I'm sure she'll be a blessing to those around her. She's a lovely child, and the smile in that photo is obviously very sincere. I'm glad she's finding peace and acceptance.ReplyDelete
I would have loved for you to meet a woman who had taught and protected me all these years, she was my savor as you are to Cammie. A mothers love for her child whether we are gender indifference is more important than anything in the world and you show this which I am really happy to see. I hid because I had to but Cammie will grow up to be who she is suppose to be and she will have the support from our community. Thank you for sharing such a wonderful piece.ReplyDelete
She's so beautiful!ReplyDelete
Know that you are not alone
female to male from california
For those who ask "What if you're wrong?" My answer: then life goes the direction that makes the most sense. If a child realizes later on down the road that they don't really feel like they're trapped in the wrong body, then fine, they move on in life as their birth sex... no harm, no foul. On the other hand if they are denied the opportunity to become who they really are (IE: are denied the opportunity to live authentically) then the potential consequences are much more dire.ReplyDelete
I am one of the lucky ones... I was like Cammie when I was young, but did not have the support that Cammie has. I lived my life feeling that I was one of the most chosen of God, as if I was Job. I had been raised believing that God would not give someone challenges in their life beyond their ability to overcome them. I believed that if I lived my life perfectly, that one day God would lift this burden of dysphoria and I would feel "normal" like all the other boys. I wound up living a life of denial believing that feeling like a girl was caused by Satan trying to tempt me away from the favor of God as he did to Job. Sadly, no matter how righteous I lived my life, this burden was never lifted.
Fortunately for me, my faith in God was stronger than the drive of the dysphoria and I was able to persevere through the feelings enough to avoid suicide, unlike many with similar feelings.
Now, at the age of 46, I've finally come to realize that overcoming the dysphoria isn't the test and struggle that I've thought it was supposed to be all my life, the blessing is that it's OK to be me and live my life authentically.
Cammie is so blessed to have a family who has come to understand that it's OK and good for her to live her life as herself. Now if only society at large would learn that lesson as well.