A Transgender Prayer
My prayer to the God of my childhood, who seems still to be looking after me.
My text is from the Holy Bible, Psalm 22, as rendered in the English Standard Version.
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9. Yet you are he who took me from the womb; you made me trust you at my mother’s breasts.
10. On you I was cast from my birth, and from my mother’s womb you have been my God.
11. Be not far from me, for trouble is near, and there is none to help.
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Dear Lord, you have blessed me with many blessings: good health, a loving family, freedom from want, and many other blessings too numerous to name. So I pray in thanks to you now, for all these things, and in particular for the special blessings you have bestowed upon me, that no human can see, but that you and I know very well. And I ask you in humility to continue to show me your favor, in a time when my enemies gather strength, and threaten me with rage, violence, and my mere undoing.
I “came into this life unsheltered and all alone”, as the singer puts it. Yes, I had physical shelter, and sustenance; but my parents did not know me. Only you recognized me, and gave me strength. When I opened my eyes to the world for the first time, I could see something terrible, and the fear showed in my face, as my parents have told me. But only you comforted me, only you showed me someone I could trust. From my beginning I have had only you to trust, and my faith in you has sustained me throughout, even when I did not understand what my faith was and where it was placed. For all this I adore you, in mystery and gratitude.
Now, as I enjoy the benefits of your greatest lesson to me, which we speak of in secret, just between the two of us, I must ask your favor in a more mundane matter, because I fear for my life and welfare, and that of my brothers and sisters. A madness has come upon the land, and people I once thought reasonable and beneficent now foam at the mouth and slander their neighbors. I am said to be a cancer in the body of the nation, and an enemy of civilization. You know whether this is true; you know the measure of me and of the people who inveigh against me. Please Lord, of your mercy, enlighten us all, and protect the innocent.
In the name of all that is holy, I pray.
- From “That’s for Sure”, recorded by Jefferson Starship, 1974.