Article by Victoria Rodriguez for Trans Visibility Day
Image by Julia Stankova
Chris, Christine, the Hemorrhoisa (menstruating woman), doesn’t know what to do anymore. The bleeding doesn’t stop, although she have been taking the infusion three times at day like the doctor said. Her body, her genitals, are different from the rest, they are not built like she would like, they are not like they are supposed to be. The problem is not the blood, just some drops at day, but what it means for her and everybody around her. On one hand she is sterile so no man have any desire to marry her, and on the other hand, she is different, she always stays impure, and women also reject her fearing that whatever happens to her could be somewhat contagious. The women who know her problem don’t see or treat her like are equal, because she doesn’t have a period like them, and Chris suffer for that. She is treated a lot better by the women who don’t know anything, who treat like her like one more of them, but at what cost? The cost of not being able to tell them what it happens to her, the cost of living in a closet, of deceiving them, of not being able to really open with them.
This is her current situation with Mary. Mary is her friend; she came to the town a few months ago, just as a newly married couple. They didn’t know anybody and Christine took the chance to make friends with her. Mary is very kind and treats her very well, like a friend, like an equal, because she doesn’t know that Christine is the Hemorrhoisa, but she will certainly find out soon. Today they have gone together to buy bread and the shopkeeper, who knows about it, on what bad hour Chris told her about it, said to Mary she wouldn’t spend too many time with me, although she didn’t give any explanation. I think Mary is suspecting something and to tell the truth I feel like a very bad friend for not being able to tell her, for having to keep it to myself.
And these days we hear to talk a lot about a man, called Jesus, who is healing everybody who is near of him, deaf, blind, disabled, lepers, and I think maybe he could also heal me, to fix my genitals, but when I told my plans to my mother she mocked me. “Don’t ever think about it, Christine. This man has come to do important things, to heal the blind and disabled, persons who are dying and sick kids. Yours is nothing like that, yours is something small, tiny and dirty and it doesn’t deserve his attention, so keep it off your mind.”
And her father was even worse “You were born this way, Chris, sterile and different. This is the plan of God for you. Don’t ever think about bothering this man with something God imposed on you, if you are impure it is because God wants you to be this way.”
They wouldn’t let her go to be close to Jesus, they wouldn’t ask him to come to heal their daughter. They were too ashamed of having a daughter like that, the Hemorrhoisa, to announce it publicly by asking for help. No, better to keep their dirty laundry, that their daughter the Hemorrhoisa, at home. And they didn’t believe this man called Jesus could really help them. Maybe he was specialist on the blind and the disabled, but they had never heard that he had healed something even close to what Christine had.
And one afternoon Christine heard that this man called Jesus was going to be in the town to heal the daughter of Jairo, the priest of the synagogue, who unafraid of what people would think of him, had gone to ask for his help. His daughter, a little kid, was dying and he had no doubts to ask help of that man that he had severely criticised many times in the synagogue. And Jesus did not hesitate either and hastened to see the little girl, to save her. Hemorrhoisa felt that this is an effort worthy of Jesus, worthy of receiving all his healing power, and she rejoiced in that. Christine knew the little girl and her father, Jairo, they were almost neighbours, because the synagogue was just a couple buildings beyond Christine’s house, which was from a good family, and that added more pain to her parents because of her unworthiness.
Chris knew that Jesus would need to pass by her very street, in front of her house, that He would be there and she couldn’t let this chance pass. She was not worthy to stop him or ask anything. He was God, she was completely sure of that, and how to bother God, precisely when He is going to save a little kid who is dying? My problem is nothing next to hers but I need to be healed so much… But how do I tell him my problem? How to bother him, when there are so many bigger and more urgent problems than mine? And to complicate matters further, the people who know my problem wouldn’t let me approach him. They will say I’m impure, that God made me this way and that I shouldn’t bother him with my problems of female impurity and genitals that are not as intended, that this is something small and unimportant.
But even then, if God passes in front of my door, how can I not approach Him, how can I not look for Him, how to ignore He is just passing in front of me? I know I’m really insignificant, not worthy of his time and effort, especially when in a hurry to save a little girl, so I would just try to approach behind and touch Him, just touch Him, even just a single fringe of his garment and then whatever God wants would happen. He can do anything, even heal a poor unworthy like me, of that I’m sure. And I’m talking about touching, but on the deepest depths of my soul I’m thinking of grabbing, of holding, of hugging God like someone who is clinging to her last resort, fully knowing that the rest of the humanity have no answer or hope for me. That they have condemned me already, they have judged me unworthy and only He can save me. Because if He don’t do it this is the only life I can live, as an incomplete woman, impure and sterile.
So on an oversight by my parents, I leave the house and sneak into the crowd. This man called Jesus does not seems to have arrived yet, but I can see a group of people approaching. Who will be Jesus? I wonder as I wait in the crowd. But when they come closer I see him quite clearly. There are many people but they all swirl before him and you only need to see his gaze to understand he is not a normal man, that there is something very special about him. He hasn’t see me, He doesn’t see me, it is better this way. I have to give a couple of pushes to get to the front but I don’t care because I’m very near of Him, I just want to touch Him a bit, for an instant, so that He realise that I’m at his side, looking Him, that I’m Christine, the Hemorrhoisa, that I need Him, that I need Him more than anybody although that girl is dying, that I know I’m unworthy, that I’m insignificant, that I only need to touch Him and God will heal me, that I don’t want him to waste a moment with me, that I know God has plenty of very important things to do, like saving that girl and I don’t want to be a burden because I know her and she is very young and does not deserve to die. And then all of a sudden, I do it, I reach out and touch Him.
And…and…something happen, I don’t know what but something happens. Something has happened although I wouldn’t know how to explain it. And… and… He has also noticed it, He has stopped and is looking around. Am I healed? I don’t really know, but I feel different, something has changed inside me. Jesus is talking, he is asking who have touched him and I panic. I shouldn’t have come, I should have stayed at home as my parents said. I don’t want him to stop, I don’t want him to waste His time with me, the girl, the girl is who is important, don’t stop for me, please, I’m unworthy of your time. You already did it, I think you already healed me, something happened my Lord, you don’t need to spend more time with me. But Jesus keep asking who touched him and I fear for the girl’s life, I can’t keep hiding anymore, I can’t delay him any longer, it is better to get out and receive my punishment for getting closer, for touch Him, for doing what I should not have, for thinking I was also worthy, that I also deserved to be healed and saved. For bothering God with problems of women and incorrect genitals. For doing the exact opposite of what everybody told me, for refusing to accept this life and body that God had given me.
So I came out of the crowd and knelt before Him asking forgiveness for touching him. I didn’t dare to look at his face. Why? Why I did it? I’m a fool. But then it was He who touched me, touching my hand making the gesture for to get me up and I looked up and saw Him and He was smiling at me, smiling at me, smiling at me. I didn’t understand a thing. He was not upset? I have delayed him, I have bothered him, I have approached him from behind against everyone suggestion and He was not upset? It didn’t make any sense. And He was smiling at me? It couldn’t be possible. And then He said “Daughter, your faith has saved you” Daughter. Daughter. As any other woman, like any of them, like all of them, and then I felt it, I felt how I was no longer different from the rest, that my body was fine, that my body was never wrong, that it was just different from the rest and I had felt very unworthy for that, but not any longer. The Lord has healed me and has done much more than that, He has touched me and lifts me up. He has looked at me and smiled at me, and He has called me His daughter. Things I had never ever dared to dream and yet now… Now I was truly healed. Now I really feel like His daughter, I feel worthy, I feel I am like everyone. I feel my body is valid and good and that God loves me and smiles at me.
I don’t know how long that moment was, because for me it lasted like a full year, a decade, I could live my whole life on that instant. But the little girl also needed His help, the little girl… If Jesus can do to others the same as He has done with me, how to take Him all for myself? I couldn’t, there are many people in need around the world and I was already healed, His work with me was already done. So with my greatest gratitude I asked Him to go to save that girl, as I was already healed. And Jesus went away continually smiling at me. And I stood there, like a fool, on the middle of the way, while him and the crowd went away towards the synagogue. And it was true that she was healed, but there was a lot of more than that. Jesus had touched and transformed her heart and Christine was no longer Christine the Hemorrhoisa, but just Christine, or maybe even Christine, of the Lord, but that is another story, a story only Christine can decide.
This story is based on the events which are told on the gospels Mark 5:21-43, Luke 8:40-56 and Mathew 9:18-26, known popularly like the healing of the Hemorrhoisa, the unclean, bleeding woman. I know that lgbt people are usually bound to show some rejection of religion because we often feel attacked by it, but the truth is that Jesus is here for everyone, and heals and saves everybody, without making any distinctions, like Christine. As a trans woman myself this is a story that has always fascinated me, trapped me and also helped me a lot and it is my wish, dear reader that this little story helps you as it helped me and that the blessing and peace of our Lord Jesus is always with you all.