The internet is a buzz with this piece by Denene Millner, Why Rachel Dolezol Can Never Be Black.
If anyone gets poor Rachel it’s me. When I first connected with the Black community I felt more at home than in my own world. I was drawn to the authenticity. I was drawn to the emotion. I was drawn to the humor.
I remember my first Black funeral. I remember thinking White folks don’t know how to grieve. I suppose I stored that in my heart for the day I would need to grieve that deeply.
I remember my first Black worship service. I remember thinking White folks don’t know how to praise. I still think that sometimes.
I remember as a teenager feeling these are my people. I remember feeling at home. And I was. But at the end of the day I was still White. I was still a girl from a middle class, suburban family whose Dad listened to Bob Dylan. I still had a white family. I still had a very privileged white experience.
I never equated my experience with the Black experience.
That would have just been a lie.
So while I get Rachel, I think she needs some help. She needs help accepting who she is and appreciating the skin God put her in. In the scheme of the powers of the universe, she got a white family and white skin and that’s OK.
Now, what does this mean to the transgender community? How does this translate?
It means, just like Rachel and I can never be black, Caitlyn Jenner can never be a woman. No matter how many times he changes his name, no matter how much make-up, plastic surgery and how big his synthetic boobs are, he can never be a she.
It is genetically impossible. It is anatomically impossible. It is experientially impossible.
I remember my first period. My mom left work to bring me my first pack of Stay Frees.
I remember how nervous I was the first time I went swimming during that time of the month. I hoped everything stayed in place.
I remember the fear of walking down the junior high hallway with a stain on my pants and tying a jacket around my waist.
I remember when my period didn’t come one month. I remember my first positive pregnancy test. I remember the feeling of growing life inside of me.
I remember when finally, as a grown woman, I got it. I got my body. I got my hips. I got my breasts. I got why I had a uterus. My female body was designed to give life and sustain life.
Life-giving is a uniquely female experience. It is only possible by woman. It is so integral to the essence of woman that the first of us was named Eve, “mother of all living.”
When, in this broken world, circumstances or biology prevent a woman from giving life she often fills that emptiness. When this world robs us of the fruit of our womb, life-givers grieve. We grieve the loss of purpose. We grieve the loss of identity. We grieve the loss of self because we are made to give life not lose it. It isn’t a choice. It isn’t a desire. It is the way of the natural world. It is the design of the universe. We grow life.
So just like Rachel Dolezal can never be black, Caitlyn Jenner can simply never be a woman. And that’s Ok.
When the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman…