I grew up as a fat girl. Or maybe I wasn’t. All I know for sure is that my mother made me think I was. We shopped for me at Chubbettes and I still get email solicitations from something called Chubbies.
I’m guessing she didn’t mean to, but my mother left me with a lifelong eating disorder and an unshakable conviction that I was unattractive to men in my fat condition. By the time I was 21, I was so uncomfortable in my own skin that I snuck food into my bedroom even when I was living alone. And once I snuck it in, I hid it for fear someone visiting would see it and think less of me.
All of this goes a long way in explaining why my heart goes out to children who are uncomfortable in their own bodies and now have politicians deciding whether or not they should have the medical care that could help them.
I can’t imagine how miserable it would be to have awakened in the middle of puberty to find out that my body seemed even stranger to me than it ever had been before.
What I can’t grasp is why politicians or anyone outside of the child’s family thinks it’s their right to make health decisions for the child. Who the hell are they to tell parents what to do when those parents are already working in consult with medical professionals?
I understand that the politicians and people pushing for these laws are basically fundamentalist Christians who found somewhere in the Bible that this is wrong. If any laws should be passed about this, it should be to force those parents to give their child the help he or she needs to be comfortable in their own body before it permanently damages their mental health.
The Christian right needs to stop trying to impose its interpretation of Biblical laws on the rest of society.
America was never meant to be a Christian country. If you doubt that, go back and read your history of our nation’s beginnings. Our forefathers were escaping religious laws that denied them the right to worship as they chose. And they didn’t all choose Christianity.
I believe now, and have always believed, that America’s greatest strength lies in its diversity. That diversity includes just about every religion in the world being found somewhere here. I find it very disconcerting that governments anywhere in America are bursting through your front door to tell you what you can and can’t do for your child based on the religious preferences of a distaff cult of Christianity.
Anyone who doesn’t see civil war on the horizon in this country, stop fooling yourself. It’s there. As people move to states more in tune with their thinking, we end up with states so red and blue that there is no middle ground for compromise and common sense laws. For so long as our constitution gives states with three people as much voting power as states with three million people, the divisions will grow. Only this time, the civil war will be a religious war.
I’m an old lady now and I still am not comfortable in my body. I still hide food in my bedroom. I still look in the mirror and see that “fat” little girl. These things from childhood stay with you forever even if whatever was troubling you gets fixed. And if I’m still feeling the residuals of an uncomfortable childhood, I can’t imagine the residual issues you’d have if you spent your childhood in the completely wrong body and no one could or would help you.
Don’t we have more important problems to work on than interfering with how a family, a patient, and the medical community help someone who just wants to feel ok. Christian fundamentalists have no right to stop anyone else from wanting to help their child. Stay out of my home. Stay out of my family. Stay out of the community of health care providers who don’t need politicians telling them what’s best for a child. Just stay out!