Still Fucking Here: A Resurrection Story

Well, having dug out the final chapter of In Remembrance of Me, Bearing Witness to Transgender Tragedy: An OtherWise Reflection Guide already this morning, I guess it only makes sense that I am wandering over to the closing of OtherWise Christian: A Guidebook for Transgender Liberation.

I’ve already excerpted this section to talk about Mother Major. However, it is the first Easter/Resurrection since I published, so it seems like the right time to share my testimony more broadly. This is the final section of the final chapter (chapter 25).

Still Fucking Here

Jesus shows up inexplicably: in locked rooms filled with fear (John 20:19; Luke 24:36), in our grief and mourning (John 20:11–14), in table fellowship with our siblings (Luke 24:30; John 21:1–14), bearing witness to broken and bloody bodies, in the community meals where we remember and re-member, in the moments where we are putting ourselves and our families back together after an assault. Jesus shows up in those places saying “Peace be with you” (John 20:19; or “Rejoice!” in Matthew 28:9).

The incomparable Miss Major Griffin-Gracy, has survived as a Black transgender woman for 50 years after participating in the Stonewall riots of 1969. Mother Major’s signature closing comment is “I’m still fucking here.” Like those who have whitewashed and commercialized the Stonewall riots, religious leaders and politicians have long been working to domesticate Zey Jesus into a tidy religious icon. However, zey was a radical who confronted respectability, bringing us this promise: Death will not have the ultimate victory. Jesus reaches out to us, with a tender defiance like unto our beloved Mother Major, saying, “I love you, baby, and I’m still fucking here. We got this.”

We have been given so many sacred stories of Love and Resistance. We speak of the Divine working in our lives. If we are not manly men, our lived experience is dismissed as “unbelievable” or “not credible” (Mark 16:11; Luke 24:11). Born of this struggle, we are already dangerous if we simply dare to exist out in the open. We are magical earth creatures, who have been written out of existence. They have been organizing to make us disappear for centuries. They want us to live in despair and humiliation, as slaves to Death. Of course, we are tempted to hide and to conform. We go along to get along.

Yet, Zey Jesus shows us another way. Zey Jesus made people uncomfortable. Zey stirred things up. Zey lived defiantly. Zey loved extravagantly. Zey showed up even after all was lost in the most humiliating of defeats imaginable. Zey shows up in those dark, lonely, fear-filled places inviting us to boldly carry on. Let anyone accept this who can. I hope you will understand me. 

Full disclosure: I do not identify as “Christian” anymore. That word has been so misused and abused—so cloaked in violence that it just does not make any sense to me anymore. Yet, the good news of the resurrection still speaks to me. This story has claimed me and changed me. This story is my story and the story of my people. This is the story of my elders and our ancestors. This is the story of my children and the Young Leaders who are yet to come.

I am a witness to the resurrection. I am OtherWise and I have come to testify about this new creation where there is no male and female, slave nor free, Jew nor Gentile—where there is neither Queer nor straight, Black nor white, Native-born nor colonizer, legal nor illegal, binary nor non-binary, cisgender nor transgender, able or disabled.

I cannot explain it. It makes no sense. It is nonsense—like an old barren woman who gives birth to a new baby (see chapter 18). It is laughable and ridiculous. Yet, this is the hope to which we testify. I have no interest in arguing over what “really” happened after Jesus died. All I know is that I have seen zem walking among us and I can do no other. I am here to tell the story and bear witness to the truth of it. I believe. God help my unbelief.  Zey lives. Zey walks with me. Zey talks with me. Zey tells me that I belong with zem. Zey is not dead. Zey is alive. Zey is still fucking here after two millennia of religious and political shenanigans that tried to take zem away from us. This is a miracle. This is our resurrection promise. Zey is risen. Zey is risen, indeed.

OtherWise Christian: A Guidebook for Transgender Liberation was published in 2019. The Table of Contents and other excerpts are available on my blog. If you’re concerned, the rest of the book does not include so much profanity!!

I think the two sections pair nicely, if you want to read Chapter 9: Hope from In Remembrance of Me, Bearing Witness to Transgender Tragedy: An OtherWise Reflection Guide.

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