On hope (and the sad fact that ours don’t align)

It’s all about misalignment with gender dysphoria, it seems, at least in my case.  Not only does my sense of self not align with my body’s gender, but there are many misalignments between my hopes for the eternities that go contrary to what my hopes are ‘supposed’ to be (as a man with one or more wives).

As distressing as that misalignment is, there is an additional misalignment that causes some distress that’s more present – the misalignment between Andromeda’s and my hopes for our future.

In my last post on hope, I mentioned that I do have hope that I can be happy and at peace in the eternities.  The only hope I can see is that I will be female and that I can continue my marriage with Andromeda.  I hope that my eternal relationship will be of the f + f sort, and that’s not a relationship style that my church looks highly upon or even believes can persist.

It’s tough to feel like the one hope I have with regards to my gender goes against all that’s supposedly ‘true.’  But to complicate the matter there’s the not-so-small factor of my partner’s desires.

Andromeda doesn’t share my hope.  In fact, she doesn’t like the prospects of being in any sort of intimate, romantic relationship with a woman at all – for now or the eternities.  She wants to be with a man.  It’s what she’s always wanted, and even I can see there’s no reason for my wants to trump hers.

It’s a really sticky situation, and not one that I see an easy solution to.  It’s very discouraging.  It’s tougher than one of us wanting to live by the beach and the other wanting to live in the mountains (a conflict of interest which has probably broken other marriages before) because this is one of identity.  I’d live in the Southwestern USA for Andromeda as much as I hate the desert and heat.  It’s not that huge of a sacrifice and would be totally worth it.

But to be male eternally for her?  I don’t know that I can do that.  I’ve wondered on occasion why we’re even trying to make our marriage work or what we’re even working towards.

Fortunately, reasons to stay married to her are easy to come by – I love her.  I love her enough to go through mortality being willing to give up some things that are very important to me.  She loves me, too, and has had to make no small sacrifice either for our relationship.

But when we start thinking beyond this life, things can get bleak very quickly.  Will I have to be male forever?  Will Andromeda have to give up her desires to be with a man for me?  When we want to be together but she wants to be with a man and I want to be a woman, what hope is there for us?

I wish I had more answers.  I have no idea how things will work out for us, or if it’s even possible.  I do know, though, that it is good for me to be selfless and true to the promises I made with her.  It’s good for me to be patient and faithful.  It’s good for me to keep trying to be like Christ in all I do.

Hopefully that’s enough for things to work out wonderfully for both of us.

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2 responses

  1. Hi Capricorn, your story has been so increadibly interesting and gripping. Thanks for sharing it. I hope that you find the peace you are looking for.

    If you don’t mind, I’d like to share some of my thoughts on the matter. You can delete it if you think it’s too long or whatever. Take it for what it is worth. I don’t know anything about what it feels like to have Gender Dysphoria or any kind of homosexuality, although I can imagine it by placing myself in hypotheticals.

    Gustav Mahler wrote these words as lyrics in his Symphony No. 2, “The Resurrection.”

    O believe, my heart, O believe:
    Nothing to you is lost!
    Yours is, yes yours, is what you desired
    Yours, what you have loved
    What you have fought for!

    O believe,
    You were not born for nothing!
    Have not for nothing, lived, suffered!

    The dream of the Resurrection is the dream of fulfillment of our deepest desires. Mormons who think about the Resurrection assume they will get to modify their bodily imperfections to conform with their desires: to be young, beautiful, strong. We naturally assume everything will work out in the Resurrection to conform to their righteous desires: getting married if they didn’t have the chance, having children, being with the people you love forever. This idealism is particularly strong in LDS culture. There is a book called “In Heaven as it is on Earth” which is about Joseph Smith’s after-death theology. The title says it all. Much of LDS doctrine is about shaping heaven to earth, or rather, shaping heaven into our idealized view of what earth should be, complete with physical bodies, sexual fulfillment, forever-families, wealth, etc.

    But I have a hunch that there is more to heaven than this. I think God describes heaven in terms of Earthly fulfillment in order that we can emotionally grasp it’s beauty and strive for it. But what will it really be? Is it really as simple as an extention of an idealized earth? Paul said “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath entered into the heart of man, the things God has prepared for those who love Him.” When I look at what scientists are discovering about the universe, the multiple dimensions, the relativity of time, and the endless, frightening variations of life on planet earth, I have to think caricature that we make of heaven is really quite naive. If it’s anything like the universe, we are in for a suprise.

    In a way, I think you are fortunate, because you have been offered a paradox. So many of us live under the serene assumption that this is “the best of all possible worlds,” that God will give us our righteous desires if we are obedient, as if it were as simple as going to the supermarket and exchanging something we have for something God wants. But there is another level, much deeper, much more difficult to understand. I don’t understand it myself, but I think it has to do with love: “Thy love moves me so much, that even if there were no heaven, I would love thee, and even if there were no hell, I would fear thee.”

    We are only human, and we have to content ourselves with the fact that we DO have desires, and our lives and motivations are somewhat defined by those desires, even if those desires are some kind of monsterous aberration which our mysterious God has created. You can go through various contortions, trying to arrive at the best scenario: “Maybe I’m a female spirit, but in the resurrection my desires will change so that I’ll like men.” Or… “Maybe God will change my desires so I’ll want to be a man in the next life.” Most people don’t have to make those contortions, but if they help you, that’s fine. But I have a feeling that there are other questions God wants you to ask which are deeper than this, and have nothing to do with your anxiety about how things will “work out.” It might have something to do with trust, but I don’t know. It might have something to do with the nature of heaven, but I don’t know.

    Sorry to leave you with such a long comment, but as no one else has bothered, I thought leaving something would be better than nothing. In closing, let me recommend a book, which may or may not do you any good at all, but which I love, called: Heaven, it’s Wonders, and Hell, by Emanuel Swedenbourg. It expanded my view of heaven beyond the LDS cultural idealism, which seems to trouble you so much. Here is a quote from it to leave you with:

    “It can in no sense be said that heaven is outside of any one; it is within him. For it is in accordance with the heaven that is within him that each angel receives the heaven that is outside of him. Unless heaven is within one, nothing of the heaven that is outside can flow in and be received. There are many spirits who have this idea. Because of this belief they have been taken up into heaven; but when they came there, because their interior life was contrary to the angelic life, their intellectual faculties began to be blinded until they became like fools.

    • Thank you for your comment! I don’t mind at all that it’s long, and I appreciate your thoughtfulness and willingness to be helpful.

      Your description of the Mormon expectation of heaven is very apt I think. We do expect things to work out perfectly and that all of our righteous desires will be fulfilled.

      That’s where I run into the wall though – my desires, though they don’t feel evil to me, are viewed by the church as unrighteous and unfulfillable. That destroys any hope I have for being able to be how I hope to be not only now, but forever. I don’t spend my days fretting over the future, but when I allow myself to see the reality of my situation, it’s hard to bear. The contortions you mention are my ways to try to make sense of what I feel, desire, and the boundaries that I’ve been taught exist. Given the truths we currently have, there is no best-case scenario – there’s no way I can satisfy my desire to have the relationship with my wife I want in a sex that feels correct.

      You also mention that there may be other questions that I need to be asking, and I suspect you’re right. I’m a firm believer that an important part of progression in mortality starts by asking the right questions.

      One question I’ve been pondering lately is what is the nature of desire, as one simple way around my paradox is to simply quit wanting, or change what I want. I don’t know how to do this, though. I spent most of my life trying, in the best way I knew how, to cease wanting to be female. This is also tricky as I’m taught that my desire to be female goes counter to my desire to be good and Christ-like, but to me it doesn’t feel that they are opposed at all.

      Another question I’ve been asking is about motivation, particularly motivation in choices that require great sacrifice of self or desire. I’ve wondered if I’ve been too focused on ‘getting what I want’ as a reward for giving up what I want now; maybe I’ve been doing the good things for good reasons, but not the best reason.

      But the fact remains that I have no confirmation or truth that the eternities for me will be anything other than what I’ve been taught is true (m + f only). I hope that there’s more than that, but it’s just all unfounded hope. Yet I’ve still made the choices I’ve made. Furthermore, we have been taught a little about the degrees of glory and what must be done to achieve the highest. Why would this be revealed if it weren’t as a motivating factor – that we can be free of afflictions in the Celestial Kingdom if we do our best now?

      So I don’t know how to get around, ignore, or change what I hope for. (I don’t even know how to see it as evil, perverse, or impure, for that matter.) I don’t want to spend my life living in the future and not utilizing the present, either, but when a choice presents itself that requires sacrifice and I have no authorized hope or expectation that it will be beneficial to choose the harder path, why should I choose it? That’s an important question, I think. Why should I (or anyone) choose to be good at great potential personal cost when there is apparently nothing in it for me and no beneficial, hopeful expectations?

      And I think the answer to that question contains both love (for my Heavenly Father) and trust (faith that He does exist, cares for me, and wants to give me all that He has if I’ll just use my agency in the way He asks) like you say.

      That’s the difference with what I face compared to afflictions that many of my acquaintances face – as their desires are ‘righteous’ (to have children, get married, be healthy, etc) they could choose to do good out of the mere expectation that if they make good choices now, they’ll get what they want in heaven. (That’s not to say that any of these people are choosing to do good selfishly, just that that could be a potential motivation.)

      I, on the other hand, have to dig deeper; as my desires are not ‘righteous’ and potentially impossible in heaven, I have to search for other reasons to make the same difficult choices. I guess I’m still searching. The answers I have now, though they don’t seem sustainable in the long-term, have sustained me over the past two years, so I guess that’s enough.

      Thanks again. I’ll have to look into the book you mention. (Oh, and I love that Mahler symphony also!)

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