The Working Waterfront

My chat with God

In which ‘they’ clarify gender matters

By Phil Crossman
Posted 2023-10-12
Last Modified 2023-10-12

I acknowledge comfortably, eagerly in fact, that I’m very close to a couple who have a transgender child. There was no question, at birth, of course, about whether the child was born a boy or girl and, until a certain point, the parents—long among most of us who, in our time, have not thought much about what might be novel about gender—reasonably regarded her as their daughter. That is, until years later, when as, presumably a young woman, she (they) informed them differently.

~     ~     ~

God came by recently. They hadn’t announced themselves, but neither was their arrival startling; a mystery, given what would certainly seem the startling significance of the moment.

Neither can I explain how I knew it was God other than to say it couldn’t have been clearer. It was God, and I wasn’t awed then or now and am as comfortable acknowledging that reality—that I spent some time with God—as I am in oddly assuming my readers, some anyway, will as well.

The circumstances of that visit were so utterly unremarkable that I’ve only now and then shared the experience. I’ve thought since, often, about why, although I try to acknowledge it, the event hasn’t registered with what would certainly seem the requisite enormity, but it hasn’t.
I’ve remained as comfortable and settled after having a visit from, and a chat with God, as if a seasonal acquaintance had returned for the summer.

I was at my desk that morning, alone, writing, and then, in a moment, God was here with me in the vicinity of the guest chair next to my desk. It wasn’t apparent they were seated, rather, they occupied the space that was the chair. At the moment, I was writing some congress folk and several editors to register the anguish that was consuming me as so many in our nation railed—understandably, given the narrow confines that had been their sheltered existence—mindlessly and wrongly against the profound realities that contradict those they’d been taught to hold as “gospel.”

“How’s that going?” God asked, and while I was certainly aware of the inquiry, I can’t say for sure it was voiced. Nonetheless it was certainly communicated and understood and just as certainly directed toward my composition with which they were, clearly, familiar.

“It’s a struggle,” I acknowledged.

I was at my desk that morning, and then, in a moment, God was here with me…

God looked thoughtful, and a few very comfortable moments passed.

Then, “There are not many instances, if any, where an individual chooses to assume a different sexual identity for the sake of novelty, or to simply call attention to themselves.” They paused for a few minutes.

“The truth is, Mathew 5:48 notwithstanding, my presumed perfection, is just that—presumed. It was certainly my intention that there be boys and girls in my own image but only because I simply hadn’t thought about the possibility that those weren’t the only options.

“On the other hand, when it became clear that other possibilities were inherent within the family of humans I’d created, I comfortably acknowledged that realities other than those I’d contemplated were manifest but, no matter, they were no less welcome. I was learning.

“One’s perception is their own, intrinsic to their identity and comfort and entirely paramount to their unfettered enjoyment of the life they’ve been given. My intention in creation was entirely to create a family of humans who could simply love and enjoy one another. Clearly, I might have given greater thought to that as well and regret not having done so.

“I embrace inclusion. Every human to whom I’ve given life is embraced by me. This is not to say forgiveness is not called for. It is, and often, but it’s not a pre-requisite to receiving my love. I say welcome, my arms are open.”

They said they’d come because they’d sensed my distress and I impulsively observed that it certainly wouldn’t take God to come to that conclusion. They were not troubled by that thoughtless remark and, rather, embraced me; I sensed it.

Phil Crossman lives on Vinalhaven and owns the Tidewater Motel. He may be reached at