Of humble stock and collars worn,
As innocent as life could be,
Except for one anomaly.The norm that all expect to hear,
Was not pronounced to any ear.
A spank was heard, the silence torn,
Into this world a child was born.
The nurse and doctor did their best,
Inspecting and conducting tests.
The child was wrapped so none could see,
It’s indistinct morphology.But whispered thoughts and knowing looks,
Of karotypes discussed in books,
Did not escape the mother’s zone,
She saw their eyes and heard their tone.
“No matter what you say is wrong,
This child has filled my life with song,
Don’t hesitate but let me see,
The child God blessed and gave to me.”
More loving mother ne’r was seen,
Who cradled life with hope serene.
Madonna trusting God’s intent,
Her only child was heaven sent.
Some specialists were then convened,
Who painted quite a troubling scene,
“It must be done, you must decide,
What sex shall be and what we hide.”
But, mother asked, “How can this be,
To do this arbitrarily?”
“Which factor shall decide which one,
A pretty daughter or a son?”
“The surgery should be done now,”
But, mother stood her ground, and how.
“For even Solomon could miss,
“So, from now on my child is ‘Chris.’”
But, practical was Dad in this,
“What pronoun shall we use for Chris?”
“Your friends have planned a shower for you,
What gendered gifts should they pursue?”
“I guess we’ll dress him like the boys,
And let him make his choice of toys.
In time we’ll see with clarity,
If boy or girl his fate should be.”
The hospital decried their choice,
The social worker raised her voice,
“We have a blank that needs an ”X,”
This document determines sex.”
But mom and dad avoided this,
And made escape by night with Chris.
To satisfy bureaucracy,
A “boy” was “checked” by state decree.
The state decree the parent’s feared,
They pulled up stakes and disappeared.
Escaping further violence,
But what of all the innocents?
They settled in suburban space,
Sequestered in a quiet place.
Determined parents did their best,
So one day he could pass the test.
At school a mottled sheep was he,
Ambivalence so clear to see.
Conformity’s the un-writ rule,
If you stand out, kids can be cruel.
Some hated him for his fair looks,
intelligence, and skill with books
He sometimes brought out jealousy,
For his outstanding artistry.
So, Chris grew up, one fair of face,
Eclectic style, artistic grace,
A balanced strength within his core,
A mix of boy and girl next door.
Once at a wedding mom asked this,
“Which is your preference, tell me, Chris,
The honored groom or bride to be?”
“I’m both, so mother, let me be.”
His father was the patient one,
“No matter what, he is my son.”
His father said, “I’m proud of you.”
Now show the world what you can do.”
On many walks Chris took alone,
He pondered, could his life atone,
For all the fearful, troubled jerks,
Who sneered at him despite their quirks.
With sorrows etched upon his face,
He yearned to find a special place,
Where neither males nor females be,
Beyond this cold reality.
With bearded face and subtle gown,
Chris left his home and went to town,
He saw a church and entered in,
Unconscious of what they called sin.
The college pastor greeted him
He introduced himself as Jim.
Chris asked, “Who’s face is pictured there?”
“The Son of God, why do you stare?”
“I’ve never seen the face of God,
He looks familiar. Oh, how odd!
His face, uncanny, don’t you see!
Your Son of God looks just like me.”
For once Chris felt he’d found his place,
It had to be. Check out that face!
Androgynous, their God appeared,
With perfect skin, long hair, and beard.
“Come, eat with me, let’s have some lunch,
I’m leaving now and in a crunch.
But, we can talk o’er steaming plates
About God’s love and what awaits.”
Chris heard the gospel news that day,
Until he felt he had to pray,
Believing Christ would cleanse his heart,
Assured that God loved every part.
Chris joined the church in latter spring.
The choir director heard him sing.
“You’re perfect, wow, you must, I say,
Play Jesus in our Easter play.
With strength and grace Chris played the part,
With gentleness and sincere heart,
On Thursday night a school chum came,
Who knew the truth behind his name.
The childhood friend betrayed his trust,
He told the Pastor that he must
Remove this evil from their throng,
“For Chris to play the Christ is wrong.”
A nervous Pastor called his men,
They met by night long after ten,
“What devilment stirs up this place?”
“What is the truth about that face?”
They sent some men to summon Chris,
He wondered what had caused all this.
They said they had to question him,
A charge was made, but facts were slim.
They also gathered witnesses,
To judge the person’s fitness as,
Their church’s representative Of Christ,
who came so they might live.
Some stories just did not agree,
“Of course he’s male, we all can see.”
One claimed she saw a woman’s breasts,
Concealed beneath his state of dress.
The Pastor finally ended this,
Just tell us plainly, will you, Chris,
“Are you a woman or a man?
A female Christ is not God’s plan.”
Chris never lied about his frame,
His dress was modest, ever tame.
“I cannot lie, here is my oath,
Please understand that I am both.”
The men all roared and mocked in jest.
“Give us the proof, we want a test!”
So witnesses took Chris away,
Humiliating him that day.
When they returned Chris wore a robe,
Downcast his eyes, in pain like Job.
The Pastor said, “What say you, Chris”
But, silence was his word to this.
“Behold, the man, it’s as he said!”
“We wash our hands, it’s on his head.”
“He played the Christ. He mocked our God.”
“Expel the man, the queer, the fraud!”
“The Pastor said, “One chance we’ll give,
For grace to let you stay and live,
As long as you do as we say,
One chance we’ll give to you today.”
“It’s not your fault, we see that now,
But you must make amends somehow.
For it’s not right, to mock God’s norm,
You must decide your sex and form.”
But Chris said, “I was born this way,
Has God made you my judge today?
I’ve served God with integrity,
What sin is my morphology?
Chris asked them then, “Did not God say,
“Let us make man,” and on that day,
‘His image’ meant both sexes, true?
So, in that way I’m god-like too.”
“The Devil’s tongue, we can’t abide,
We know that Eve came from Man’s side.”
But Chris said, “Your own statement tells,
That inside Man both sexes dwell.”
“I can’t decide which sex to be,
How can I kill a part of me?”
If God allowed you arms of three,
Which arm would you cut off for me?”
“Don’t put this on our heads, right now,
If you’re God’s child you should know how,
To fix this strange anomaly,
And honor our authority.”
“Tomorrow morn give us your choice,
We’ll reconvene to hear your voice.
Don’t underestimate our clout,
If you don’t choose we’ll throw you out.”
That night Chris agonized alone,
Unsure for what he must atone,
“Is it for laws of sanctity,
I bear this cup unwillingly?”
As he knelt crying on the floor,
He heard soft knocking on his door.
Chris was surprised by Pastor Jim,
Who came to share and comfort him.
“Dear Chris in ways I envy you,
Your gender conflict’s clear to view.”
“One thing to you I want to say,
I’ve struggled years to find my way.”
“I’ve held a secret deep within,
I felt it was a mortal sin.”
“I’ve covered up a female me,
And acted ‘male’ for all to see.”
“Woah, Pastor Jim, I’m stunned by this.”
“That I could be dysphoric, Chris?\\\”
\\\”It’s not as rare as some might think,
Perhaps there’s some genetic link.”
“You know the church said I must choose,
Some part of me I’m s’pozed to lose.
But, if you’re honest, don’t you see,
In essence you’re a lot like me?”
“I see your point, I wish I could
reveal myself, I know I should,
but, I’m too old to walk that path,
and risk it all, and know their wrath.”
“Instead I’ve focused on my soul,
And done my part and played my role,
And some day in a better place,
He’ll fix us when we see His face.”
“But, are we broken, Pastor Jim,
Or special servants made by Him?
Is that the only place to be,
Is God’s grace not enough for me?”
The pastor could not answer this,
And said good night and prayed for Chris.
Chris thought of all that they had said,
It rolled around within his head.
It grieved his heart that he must choose,
A part of him he had to lose.
The final act he had to face,
To know God’s bliss in heaven’s space.
So, to the church with sign in hand,
Determined there to make his stand.
He nailed his sign upon a tree,
“I cannot choose,” so all could see.
He slashed his wrists where Christ had bled,
He cut his feet, and then he said,
“Forgive them God, they could not see.
My church, you have forsaken me.”
He died alone, his red blood shed,
His hope alive, his body dead.
Good Friday morn revealed this.
The women first discovered Chris.
The stories that were told that day,
Exposed the people’s hearts, they say.
“Our church, our play, dragged through the mud!”
“Our steps forever stained with blood!”
The media dug into this,
Revealed and resurrected Chris.
The truth was told for all to see,
An existential tragedy.
Disgusted? Angry? Pained by this?
Do you think saints can’t be like Chris?
If you knew Jim, what would you do?
Send him to sexaholics too?
You’ve great concern for sanctity,
But what of human dignity?
Respect the life of every soul.
For love’s the thing, the path, the goal.
Bren M. B. © 2004