Members of the Saint Mary’s community gathered Monday night to listen to alumna Emily Garvey speak about her experience with her transgender son, entitled “A Theological Journey with My Transgender Son.” “She does what we want to prepare all our Saint Mary’s students to do: to take risks that matter,” Megan Zwart, professor of philosophy, said. “In this case, sharing a deeply personal experience. To see the value of reflection and critical engagement, not just in the classroom, not just in the world of work, but in the whole of her life.”Garvey said she feels Catholic Social Teaching and the Church place an emphasis on connecting with others, even those different from you. “It’s this relational aspect of the Catholic faith that I have always found nourishing,” Garvey said. “Particularly in the last few years I have been drawn to the accounts of how Jesus related to other people in ways that were thought to be unconventional, or irregular or unusual.” She found this to be helpful in her journey with her transgender son’s identity. When her first-born child was 18, Garvey said that she asked to begin seeing a counselor. Shortly thereafter, she asked to read a letter to Garvey during an appointment.“In that appointment, she said, ‘Mom, I am transgender. I am not a girl, I am a boy. I am now your second son, and I would like to be called James.’ And suddenly the path of life that I talked about felt really lonely, and scary and long,” Garvey said. This caused Garvey to begin a journey with coming to terms with both her transgender son and her faith, she said. “Both of these realities, I have a transgender son, I am Catholic, can be held together,” Garvey said. “Moreover, I believe that because I am Catholic I am able to accompany my son as he flourishes. And because I am Catholic, the past two years have led me to experience God’s mercy in new ways, and thereby have a more conscious connection with my brothers and sisters on the path of life.”Garvey said that through this journey, she saw three important factors emerge: bewilderment, gender and mercy. This began with the moment she told her transgender son she would support him in the journey. “I said, ‘Honey, thank you for telling me. That took a lot of courage. I don’t know what this means, and I am totally confused, but I know we can get through it together. Let’s walk this together,’” Garvey said. “So my first-born grabbed my hand, and she started crying, and the counselor teared up, and then I felt like I was trying to swallow an encyclopedia stuck in my throat … and I can say that in that moment, I realized that it was a moment filled with mercy.”Not only did this start a journey with God’s mercy, Garvey said, but her confusion with the concepts of gender and sexuality began a period of bewilderment as well. “I now see that prolonged period of bewilderment as a grace, because it was ultimately a portal for humility and subsequent growth,” Garvey said.This confusion about what gender meant stemmed from her previous understanding of gender as a binary, Garvey said. “If I’m being honest here, and it’s humbling to admit this, it made me uncomfortable,” Garvey said. “Just all of it made me uncomfortable. And because I was trying to fit it all within a Catholic understanding at the time of gender. How can it be that you formed within me and you were a girl, and now you’re a boy? How?”To work towards a better understanding, Garvey said she turned to her faith. “I started with the messages of mercy, love, radical inclusivity that we see in the gospels,” she said. “And, I believe my child’s desire to be whole was and continues to be holy.”Garvey said she feels that ultimately gender does not have an impact on the way one acts in the likeness of God. “Born in the image and likeness of God does not mean gender, for God is not gendered,” Garvey said. “But where we may image God is in our capacity to love, feel compassion, forgiveness and mercy.”[Editor’s Note: The Observer retained Garvey’s use of pronouns when referring to her son for clarity.]Tags: Catholic, gender identity, Transgender
Di Canio insisted, however, that no argument took place. “It never happened,” he said. “There was a typical meeting, as there was after every game to see the clips and analyse the game. “Maybe there was opinion but this happens in every good family.” Even though his first foray into top-flight management ended in acrimonious fashion, it has not quelled Di Canio’s confidence and he remains hopeful of finding another job in England. “I was too good, my level was too high,” he said of his experience at Sunderland. “What doesn’t kill me makes me stronger. I can’t wait to have another chance with the right people. I feel a better manager than before. “Even if I have requests from around Europe I say no. “There is no space for me in England at the moment but I will wait. “It would be stupid for a chairman not to call me. Even if it’s at a Championship club with a project.” Press Association Di Canio, who led Sunderland to Barclays Premier League survival last season before being sacked after five games of the current campaign, told Sky Sports News on Friday: “I don’t know if he knows the meaning of this word charlatan. Probably I can teach him, even if I am not English. “I respect the opinion of manager Martin O’Neill but the fact that he spoke after six months, not straight away, that proves what kind of level he is. He is not very big. “A charlatan is a manager who spends £40m to be a top 10 club and then sees the club sink into the relegation zone.” Di Canio stood by his claim that the Black Cats players were not in peak condition when he arrived on Wearside. “The fitness levels were pathetic,” he said. “I had players who told me they had cramps from driving the car. “I had three players with injuries in the calf after 20 minutes of a game. Six different players with problems means they were not fit.” Di Canio was dismissed after a 3-0 defeat at West Brom, a result which was reportedly followed a day later by a training ground bust-up with senior players which led them to ask the board to take action. Paolo Di Canio has hit back at Martin O’Neill as the war of words between the former Sunderland managers continued. Di Canio succeeded O’Neill at the Stadium of Light in March and, on his arrival, criticised the fitness levels in the squad. O’Neill took his time to respond but following his appointment as Republic of Ireland boss earlier this week, he dismissed Di Canio’s barbs and labelled the Italian a “managerial charlatan”.
Lightning struck the Washington Monument during a thunderstorm in the city Thursday night and it was caught on a Washington, D.C. news station’s sky camera.The stormy weather came as protesters continued to call for an end to police brutality after the death of George Floyd, a black man killed by a white officer in police custody, continued to demonstrate near the White House.Many commenters compared the lightning symbolically to tensions between protesters and the White House.“It might be George Washington raining down brimstone and fire cos’ he’s angry about the state of the union,” one user wrote.INSANE Video from our @wusa9 SkyCam WOOOOOW #lightning #WashingtonMonument pic.twitter.com/iYmwDwDUMO— Ryan Sprouse (@RSprouseNews) June 5, 2020