I talked to Jeremy yesterday afternoon, reminding zir that our church prides itself on being a welcoming congregation and as such are likely to make an effort to refer to Jeremy by the right pronouns. Jeremy agreed and thought they should know… some day. So I offered to be the one to tell them during pebbles of joy and concern, explaining that I would say what non-binary trans is and explain zir pronouns and how to use them in a sentence.
Jeremy swivelled a bit on zir bus seat. Like usual, we had our conversation in the middle of public transit. “Mom? When’s the next youth group meeting?” zie asked.
I thought back to the newsletter. “This coming Friday,” I replied after a moment’s thought.
“Can you tell them before the next meeting?”
That pretty much left today.
One thing to realize is claiming I’m not a social person is akin to saying a tornado is a type of wind storm; it’s technically true but doesn’t come anywhere near describing the magnitude of the situation. The only other announcement I’ve ever done was about a year ago, explaining why my kids and I were boycotting Jelly Belly jelly beans. We’ve been attending this congregation for thirteen years now and today brings my total number of announcements up to two.
My bus was a bit late. I’d hoped to slip inside to quickly use the washroom and get a drink of water before the service began, instead I discovered the announcements had already started. I quickly grabbed a seat.
I should explain “pebbles of joy and concern” as I’m pretty sure it’s a distinctly Unitarian Universalist tradition. It’s often referred to as candles of joy and concern but some congregations, like ours, switched to placing pebbles in water instead of lighting candles due to waste issues and insurance policies. Basically it’s a time for every member of the congregation, from toddler age on up, to go to the front and express something of “special significance” in their life. I figured Jeremy coming out as trans would count.
I was reasonably sure I wasn’t having a heart attack as I already had heart issues ruled out with an EKG. Which is good because nothing makes panic suck more than wondering if you’re really going into cardiac arrest and simply ignoring it as anxiety.
It was finally time to get up for the pebbles. I took the long way around, figuring there’d be several people beating me to the front (like usual) but I was first and almost every seat was full. I got about halfway through my brief explanation when I realized the words were getting really hard to force out. Oh right… I needed to breathe.
One of the teenagers nodded through my announcement. I wasn’t sure if it simply wasn’t a surprise or if she was agreeing with my explanation. Someone else said thanks as I walked back to my seat. And otherwise it was a non issue. One elderly lady wanted clarification on the pronouns and the Religious Education teacher is going to update the child and youth forms so they aren’t strictly male and female. The rest of the conversations were on Avaaz, a climate change protest in New York next weekend, and the coffee… pretty standard UU fare.
And the RE teacher used Jeremy’s pronouns when talking about the forms.
I’m hoping this will work. Our speaker today (Lynn Harrison) is an aspiring minister and amazing singer/songwriter. She sang an absolutely gorgeous original song today and I just found it on her website. Now to see if I can embed an MP3 here…
Woo hoo… it worked. Enjoy 🙂