“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
– Joshua 1:9
I have been battling with the idea of starting a blog for several years now, but I struggled to find my voice. I lived my life neither hot, nor cold. Trying to hold my ground in the middle of an internal battle.
I couldn’t choose a side.
See, I grew up in this little community on the island of O’ahu in a somewhat religious family. I say somewhat, because everyone was kind of a believer but there was only one who truly stood out. She was this tiny little Filipino woman who had this fire within her. Her name was Agripina, aka Joyce and she was my grandmother. I have two amazing grandmothers, but I spent the greater part of my childhood under her wings, since she didn’t work. She was like an Evangelist to our little North Shore community and I was often in the back seat of her rusty old car while she did her short “mission trips”. She had to go grab food from the food bank for Mrs. Cacal, take aunty Linda to the Doctor and stop by this lady’s house to pray, because it was HAUNTED – for real, that happened once. She told me to stay in the car and come into agreement with her. Nightmares for DAYS! My grandma was like a Jesus-Loving super hero.” A vessel of the Holy Spirit,” as Pastor Gary described her at her funeral. When I was in high school, I had to write an essay about someone I looked up to or idolized. I wrote about her and the teacher read it to everyone. It was amazing. I was so proud. I told God, I wanted to be an angel like my grandma. Then puberty came.
In Hawaii we call someone Mahu, because they are gay or trans-gendered. It refers to someone who is in the middle of male/female – a third spirit.
#LifeStory Always in the middle, although I am the oldest of three boys.
Now I knew I was fabulous from the day I came into this world riding on a unicorn, shitting glitter. It was the first and the last time I would come into contact with anything similar to what I was actually birthed from. But life really wasn’t fabulous. This was before Ellen, before mainstream LGBT and all the resources teens have now. It was a crappy existence. I went from a VERY happy child to a VERY miserable teenager. I wanted to die. I don’t know how people can live a lie all their life and survive. I came out at 16 because I was an original catfish, WAY before “Lennay Kekua” and Manti. Dial up AOL was the latest rage and my online identity was my only outlet. Enter my own version of Sasha Fierce, in secret of course and with a fake pic. Long story short I got mixed up in my emotions over a lie and I really wanted to die, like it was going to happen. My wish to wake up and be a girl or a normal boy was not answered, I needed to exit. I ran to my grandmother’s house instead, bawling the whole way. I had to speak loudly because she was hard of hearing and I am trying to explain what I have been doing: pretending to be another person. How I don’t want to be, I never asked for this, why I am like this? Gay. This woman of God, wrapped me in her arms – mind you I am already 2 feet taller than her. She told me she loved me, she said God loves you, no one is perfect, and she started to pray. My walls melted in that moment. The sound of her speaking in tongues reverberated through my flesh into my soul. I felt love, the love of Jesus thru my grandmother. I came clean to the innocent person on the other side of my online charade and we kept in touch here and there until I graduated high school.
I accepted who I was. Jesus loves me.
What followed was some very embarrassing attempts at expressing myself at school with make up and wardrobe choices. The remaining half of my high school experience wasn’t too bad. I had a great time and a diverse group of friends. My grandmother told all my aunties and uncle. They all approached me and loved on me. I have never told them how they saved my life that day. But, no one told my parents and I wasn’t about to! I had a blast in my 20’s and I can’t wait to tell you more about it. This is just a short snippet.
The purpose of my blog is to share my journey. Where the love for Jesus intersects our desire to live in the world. It is hard to see the hand of God in our life when we are going through it but in retrospect, the evidence of his work will reveal itself if you look. I have so much to say and much to share. I promise to keep it real and transparent. The world needs to know just how amazing our father in heaven really is. He sent His son to die for us, because His love was, is and will always be THAT great.