My brother and I have never been close. We were born a year and a half apart but might as well have been from different planets.

In his teens, he was once an avowed atheist nearly bringing our very religious Aunt Virginia to tears trying to force her to “prove” God’s existence. Today he is among the most fanatical of evangelical Christians. He is also a talented musician and singer.

Suffice to say, we just don’t talk much. I came out to him as transgender a year ago in September. I asked him to call me Leslie. He refused. He also tried to “argue” me out of being transgender, calling it a “choice.” He was unsuccessful.

Since my coming out, he has forbid my contact with his children, preferring they not learn that such abominations exist. I suppose I’m in good company. His kids are home-schooled and are also kept from learning that dinosaurs existed.

Then he attempted to preach me out of it, telling me I am going against God’s will and am going to Hell. He said he “loves” me, but doesn’t and won’t accept me. I simply said: “Then we won’t be talking very much.”

I think we may have talked briefly and in a somewhat adversarial fashion, maybe twice in 15 months. He lives in Oregon, rural Oregon where the ground is soft for easy placement of one’s head in the sand.

He called tonight. Still refusing to call me by my name or use proper pronouns. When asked directly to do so, he flatly refused. When I described that as being rude and disrespectful, he said I couldn’t force him into offending God by calling me by my name. His suggestion was to call me “hey.” Seriously, that was his compromise He again referred to my gender identity as a “choice” and when corrected he again refused to acknowledge what we know as true.

He said a woman is defined as having a womb, and I’m not a “real woman.” OK – by that definition then neither was his and my mother. She had a hysterectomy after giving birth to him. I find that offensive that he would say that. My mom was every bit a woman.

Gender identity is in the brain. It’s not a choice. I’ve known since I was very little that I was female. 5 year olds know nothing of sex – I just knew I was a girl. I didn’t “decide to” become a girl. As most transgender people will tell you…you’d have to be an idiot to make this choice!

I then gave him a short lesson on the 2 types of ignorance: Regular ignorance, which can be corrected through education and willful ignorance, which can’t be fixed with education. Willful Ignorance is the stuff hatred is made of. (Think Westboro Baptist)

None of his rhetoric was any surprise to me. We have this conversation every time we talk. I’m just tired of it. I told him if he would be polite and respectful, we could talk. If he is rude and disrespectful, we can’t. It’s really that simple.

I have no statistics, but I’ve been around enough LGBT people to know that a disproportionate number of those who are rejected and turned out on the street are from houses with very religious parents. There may be some devoted Christians that love and accept their LGBT kids and if so, that’s great. But in my opinion, the Christian faith has a LOT of work to do in order to live out the words of Christ Himself who seemed to be all about love and acceptance. The issue I have is not with Jesus, it’s with his fan club.

So, he said he would pray for me while refusing to accept me because as he said; “he wants to be my lighthouse.” I told him that sounds just perfect.

Isn’t a lighthouse placed to warn of danger? Bad things happen close to a lighthouse. The best thing you can do to be safe is steer far, far, away from the Lighthouse.

Message received.

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