Ministry

As a trans man who is called to ministry, I’ve been slacking.

I’ve been afraid.

I’m not afraid anymore.

Now I’m hustling and building. Challenging systems and cistems. I’m grinding.

It’s not about me.

It’s not about the money.

It’s all about the message.

God is love.

God is in all of us.

We should be love.

Dealing with bigotry….

Confession time!!

As bold and out and proud as I appear to be….. I sometimes struggle with confronting bigotry head on. It is particularly difficult when it is coming from the people who raised me. Yep… you heard it here first…. my parents are my biggest struggle when it comes to facing bigotry.

My name is Sebastian, my pronouns are he/him and they/them…. that’s the reality. The reality is that I have not answered to any other name or pronouns for quite some time. That is, with the exception of my parents. Now….I put the boundary and the expectation out there. They refuse to acknowledge it.

I am now on the fence about what to do moving forward because I get why they are behaving this way. They are behaving this way because they have accepted a God-view, rooted in many years of indoctrination, that makes it okay for them to disrespect me. I held that view for a long time, until I was liberated from the echo chamber of my upbringing and introduced to a means by which to deconstruct much of the dogma I had blindly accepted. This liberation led to me learning to love and accept myself for who I truly am and embrace communion with God and all of their magnificence. It pains me that I may have to walk away from a relationship with my parents but, in reality, if they insist on me pretending to be someone that I am not when I communicate with them….. what kind of relationship do we have at this point?

I suppose there is a kid inside me that still wants my parents to see me and love me for the man that I am. I want to be able to travel home and not be afraid of having my own flesh and blood misgender me in public, an action that could put my life in danger. My heart aches even as I write this because I know that my story is not unique. Anti-LGBTQ bias that is taught in sacred spaces around the world has done this to more families than just mine. It has torn many families apart and cost many people their lives. It needs to stop.

It needs to end. The blood of those whose lives have ended as a result of Anti-LGBTQ religious bigotry cries out from the earth, urging us to put a stop to this violence for the sake of those who could meet a similar fate.

Let us heed their call lest the blood of another generation be on our hands.

Day 9: I Quit My Job

Today I quit my job to do something important. It was terrifying. It was exhilarating. It was necessary. I still have one shift to go but I did it. I seized an unexpected opportunity and decided to say yes to an adventure.

I’m happy to be leaving the world of B2B sales behind. I won’t miss this job. I have to be honest with myself about that one. I have given it a shot and am okay with admitting that it’s just not a good fit for me. There’s no shame in that.

As a recovering codependent, I’m happy that I chose to do this. It’s the first time since I started this journey of recovery that I’m making a major shift. I aim for it to not be my last.

I’m grateful to the source of all for this opportunity to grow. My faith increases with each passing day. I’m not a mistake. My trans experience is a gift from on high. I choose alignment with purpose. I choose to bet on the god in me.

I love you.

~Bash

Day 8: No More Excuses

Today’s thought is simple. STOP MAKING EXCUSES FOR NOT LIVING THE LIFE YOU DESIRE.

It’s a hard truth but sometimes we come up with an abundance of excuses for remaining in a rut. Having excuses gets us off the hook for any responsibility we have for changing our lives. We sell ourselves short when we do this. Let’s stop it TODAY.

I love you.

~Bash

Day 7: Investing In Myself

Back in 2016, I became a certified life coach under my dead-name. That certification has since expired so I’ve decided to spend the money necessary to get re-certified. Like getting baptized after coming out, this is a necessary step for me to move forward in my life. I finalized my enrollment in an accredited course this morning before clocking in at my day job. I feel excited.

It’s like going back to school, only this time I’m going as my full self. That’s important.

I’ve also started a travel agency. This is HUGE because my wife and I both love to travel and this will allow us to increase our bottom line. If I do this correctly, I’ll have the freedom to work from wherever I am. This will be hard work but it will also be work that I can be proud of.

It feels good to be on my way toward a career instead of just rotting away at a job. Thank you for letting me share my journey with you.

I love you.

~Bash

Day 6: Setting The Atmosphere

Yesterday I took some “me time”. I called my parents. They’re not affirming so I was dead-named and misgendered. My therapist thinks I should severe ties with them. I’m still battling that. It’s likely because of learned behavior. I’m a recovering codependent and I wonder how this will change as I work the steps.

Today, I’m purging some of my belongings and reorganizing. This journey toward minimalism is a bit tougher than I expected but it’s beautiful nonetheless. Having more open space just helps. I’m able to think more clearly and it’s easier to find everything.

I’m a few minutes, I’m going to get up, shower, and get dressed for a day of cleaning and purging. Hopefully a lot of calories will be burned. Hopefully I’ll learn a few more things about myself.

Wish me luck.

I love you.

~Bash

Love on YOU.

I’ve mastered many things in my life but self love ain’t among them. For most of my life I learned to be a chameleon for my own safety and the real me got lost in the process.

Now that I’m at a place in my life where I can live out loud, I sometimes struggle with being kind to ME. Working on my manuscript has brought me face to face with my need for some good loving from myself. That can be tough but I’ve decided to be intentional about it.

To start, I’ve dusted off my dreams and interests. I’ve made some needed investments in those things that bring me joy like dystopian novels, strong coffee, time alone, motivational lectures, etc. It’s necessary.

Why?

Those of us who are called to bring light into darkness and speak truth to power must first learn to heal ourselves. We must learn to accept ourselves. We must be comfortable with loving on ourselves. We must do this in the face of the many years of programming which told us that who we are is evil and disgusting in the eyes of the creator. We must do this even when relatives and friends walk away. We must do this so that those whose lives we are called to touch can be impacted positively because our service will come from a place of healing and not a place of bitterness.

Love on yourself. It’s okay.

Love on yourself. It’s necessary.

Love on yourself until you understand that you are worthy of unconditional love just because you exist.

I love you.

-Bash

Harsh Reality

There is a lot of blood on the hands of those who continue to spread hate speech in the name of religion.

We must do better.

It’s literally a matter of life and death.

-Bash