Monday, April 21, 2014
My Body, Surgery and Gossip
Friends, followers, fans and congregants,
I'm writing to let you know that I'll be having a private outpatient surgery around 8:30am on April 29th. I welcome your prayers and good intentions if that is a part of your tradition.
Some transgender educators talk about their body, surgeries and hormones in hopes that it will help people get their curiosities out, and the askees will refrain from asking inappropriate
questions to their families and friends.
However, I've found over the years that when I've been candid about my body and identity as a trans person, that it has led to people oversexualizing me, bringing up my genitals in inappropriate public spaces and touching them without permission. In fact google statistics reports that this month "megan rohrer nude" was the number one search topic that brought people to this very blog.
I ask you to respect my privacy and refrain from sharing with others the details of my surgery unless you have my permission to do so.
While other people may choose to share more information for the purpose of prayers, I believe God knows me inside and out and understands your prayers and good intentions for me - even if you don't know if my surgery is on my toes or my elbows. My goal as a pastor is to help people to ponder the great mystery of God and our profound reconciliation to God, not to ponder the curves of my body.
For this purpose, I ask you to respect my privacy and avoid asking about or pondering about my upcoming surgery. If you would like to help with my post-surgery care (providing food or other care) you may get in touch with my wife Laurel about what kinds of support I'll need over the two weeks I'll be off work and recovering.
Here are a few do's and don'ts for those interested in supporting me before and after my surgery:
DO keep me in your prayers, send good intentions and/or cards to me at Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church, 3201 Ulloa St, San Francisco, CA 94116
DO NOT tell me or ask me to confirm that you've guessed my surgery correctly. There is no comfortable way to have this conversation without it feeling like you've spent a lot of time thinking about my body.
DO help me take it easy after my surgery. Particularly, I'll need help so that I don't carry heavy things for awhile.
DO NOT ask me about what surgeries and/or hormones I have or will have as a part of my transgender identity. This kind of medical information is private and not something I discuss openly.
DO educate yourself on issues of gender and faith. Here is a curriculum created by the Human Rights Campaign that is incredibly well done.
DO NOT gossip about my body or surgery.
Thanks everyone for your support!
Pastor Megan Rohrer