I had some very interesting conversations over the retreat weekend. One of them was with a young man whose had had someone living in his flat at university who identified as neither male or female, a position which makes it very difficult to refer to that person (other than by their name) when speaking in the third person.
I am aware that, although I am interested in inclusion, I know very little about the issues affecting those who are on the transgender spectrum. Today I read a post in which Anglican Mainstream seem concerned (as usual) about the parlous state of the nation, this time because a minister had suggested on her blog that married people who undergo gender reassignment might be allowed in law to remain married and still be legally recognised as their new gender. The position at the moment is that if a married post op transsexual wishes to have their new gender legally recognised they must first divorce their spouse in order to avoid a situation in which two people legally of the same gender are also married. The concern for AM is that- gasp- a change in the law might lead to same sex marriage in a small number of cases for the first time in British society!
I listened to a programme a while back on Radio 4 where a married couple were interviewed. One spouse was a male to female transsexual and had undergone gender reassignment surgery. The wife had stood by her spouse during her surgery and transitioning and accepted the fact that she was now with a woman, neither intended to leave the other.
Now, when two individuals have faced these types of odds together, in the face of probable personal trauma and possibly misunderstanding from those around them, then I believe that the last thing they need is to be forced to divorce! When people have demonstrated that quality of love and commitment, what they need is support and affirmation, and perhaps even a little humility from the rest of us in acknowledging that they are as married as anyone and that most of us could learn a lot from them.