Don’t tell Jesus

Submitted by Jelly, the model and photographer.

“My gender, sexuality, race, personality is more than black & white…there are many shades of gray, purple & red!”

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Posted by on June 7th, 2012 at 10:00 am

Category: faces 14 comments »

14 Responses to “Don’t tell Jesus”

  1. Brett Blatchley


    No, Jelly, *I* won’t tell Jesus!!! (But He who loves and desires us already knows! No secrets, no rejection, just heart-melting love: for whoever, whatever and wherever we are…)

    Blessings!!!! <3


    Ari replied:



  2. torrid_wind

    Jesus is not a judge, honey (regardless of what foolishness you’ve been told). And you know what? God belongs to no gender, sex, race, sexual preference group or RELIGION!

    Your photo is a REAL TURN ON. You rock.


    Brett Blatchley replied:

    Truly spoken <3


  3. Jelly

    I’ve been told things about heaven and hell and being judged for by actions. I know the ones that judge me are people whose faith or beliefs are stronger than their will.


    Brett Blatchley replied:

    With Jesus, it’s a relationship thing. It’s not about “do’s” and “don’ts” or about being “good enough.” Honestly, who can be “good enough?”

    The truth is, nobody can be good enough to undo all “stuff” in their lives: “stuff” they’ve done to themselves, to others….and people run from this their whole lives in one way or another, and some cut their lives short in despair. We want a solution; we want a solution…

    People try *so hard* to work their way to God when it’s not about what we can do for God; it’s all about what He’s** already done for us if we’ll trust Him** with ourselves: It’s like falling backward into the arms of someone you can’t see…

    …We can’t do it ourselves; He’s done it all for us already…We desperately want to pay, to work to earn our way…He desperately wants us to accept a gift in love…We want desperately to be loved; He want’s us *let Him* love us…

    What is the most valuable thing in the universe? Could it be a relationship with our Creator? Reconciliation is a free gift, and you can’t earn a gift and it remain a gift. Just as you cannot love someone unless you are free to not love them. The gift is given; the love is offered. I can attest that this love enables me to survive and to grow in beauty, grace and joy. The work of God is to trust Him that He will save us from our selves and set us on high places of love, peace, fulfillment…

    Goodness! There’s more I could say, maybe more that I should? Have I said too much? I don’t know, only that Jesus has worked through the impossibilities of my life, and He enables me to survive my screw-ups and He gives me the ability to love others and to accept love, and even love myself; He makes it possible for me to endure my body, my sex/gender mismatch, and I have a new body waiting: He’s promised that I’ll be beautiful, and graceful and congruent. He is my Lover and He calls me Beloved! :-)

    Please forgive me if all this sound “preachy” – I’ve been given *SO MUCH* and I’m *SO GRATEFUL* to God and I just want others to be freed as I have been, as I am growing in love and in freedom and completeness!

    **(Him/Her/They: God is really beyond gender, love transcends this, and God is both masculine and feminine, and likely things beyond that we can’t even imagine)


    Anonymous replied:

    hey brett, all that you said / wrote here sounds so good in my ears and makes my heart beat a bit faster. As I look back on a lifetime relationship with God and Jesus with all ups and downs, with all fights and desperate questions and everything, I feel like I am really loved by God and I know, that this spirit will or has already made everything fine for me. I WANT to trust this so so much!!
    But still I am stuck with this fear, that I will fall and nobody will stand there and catch me or what`s left of me. I am feeling more and more pressure to come out as an ftm to my family, well, to myself, I am still undecided, because I imagine it to be a huge change and I know my people, the only ones I got, they won`t be on that journey with me. They will let me down. So the easiest way is to wait and hope that there is some kind of new life after this one. But somedays the pressure gets too hard, I started do hurt myself (well, that body that is not really mine) so badly. God would not want me to do so, right? But why does he not tell me what to do? Why does he not give me the answer, should I talk to my mom or not? Should I just risk everything, my job, my family, all of it for something I am not sure about? Should I come out, is this real just because I feel it is? I am afraid of what will happen, when I come out and everyone turns their back and I loose everything, and then one fine day I feel like, shit, that wasn`t the real thing?? There is no way back once you`re on hormones, is it??

    I am sorry for writing that much, but your post above, brett, it touched me and I think you are someone with a lot of experience with all that God-stuff. So, do you think God can give me the answer I am too scared to give myself? What should I do to make God give me the answer? How can I get sure it is His plan, that I change my body? I can`t hear him these days, its like he is challenging me, and I fail. I can`t understand his message…have you had those moments too, brett? What do I do if there comes no answer from Him? All this waiting for a “sign” to do the “right” thing makes me so tired and I do not know how long I can go on like that….


    Brett Blatchley replied:

    DEAR Anon,

    I have **SO** been through this myself!!!! {tears}

    There is *so much* going-on in your life, and what you are facing!

    When I reached a significant point in my gender journey, a wise friend said to me: “you don’t have to do this all at once; take a little time just to breathe.” Anon? I think you are at a point like this…

    It might not seem like it, but you’ve reached an incredibly important point in your life, and I sense that you are poised to be able to do what was so important for me to do (but couldn’t for many years): That is, to be able to abandon yourself to God (WHY? because *nothing else* is working, the issues are *too deep* *too wide*).

    The first times you do this, they’re desperate moves, “what can I do??? nothing works!!! WHERE IS GOD???”

    In desperation I had to cast myself onto a few of God’s truths about me, like the fact that NO MATTER WHAT: *I am Loved* (even if I can’t love myself {and I couldn’t}), and “I am a beautiful, poignant bit of God’s poetry,” and even if no one understands me, even if no one likes or loves or forgives me (even myself!): God loves, forgives, desires and likes me…

    …You have to let go of self-doubt, and self-dependence: God **HAS TO** love me, regardless of my doubt and regardless of who and what I am and regardless of what I’ve done or not done, or “whatever…” If God doesn’t, then what is there left? I decide, NOW, IN THIS PLACE, IN MY STUFF, to cling to His love and affection for me like a life jacket because I’m too weary to do anything else, and if it somehow depends on me, then I’m doomed…

    …And so, you cling, and when the old thoughts of trying to do all this by yourself come-up, or thoughts about you’re being unworthy to *be* who you *are*, thoughts of being unworthy of being loved for who you are: you beat them back as if they were sharks on the prowl – beating them with the truth that “I am loved by the Creator of the Universe even if no one else loves me or cares” and “there is no condemnation for anyone who is in Jesus – none!”

    WHAT IS “being in Jesus?” The most important part is that He is the person into who’s arms we have allowed ourselves to fall backwards into. WHAT IS our “work,” the “work of God?” It is to trust that Jesus has our back and that no one, not even ourselves can snatch us from His hand…

    …But!! Isn’t this a “crutch???” Yes, it *IS* a crutch: THE Crutch that we each desperately need because we weren’t built to carry all this crap by ourselves, it will destroy us. Rather, we were built to love God and enjoy Him forever. He knows this; He designed us this way; it’s okay to depend on God. If you depend on no one else, depend on God…

    …SO, one sure sign that you’ve come to this place of abandonment is that when someone says “Man-up! It’s all crutch,” if you can say (at least) in your heart “I don’t *care* anymore, I don’t care if you think less of me because of this; I need this; I need God, and I will rest here, and He will find me and lift me up, or I will die.” He will find you in such a place Anon; He is close to those wounded in spirit and broken of heart. He is close…

    This “abandonment” is both a one-time thing, and also something you will find yourself doing repeatedly in your life. At first, I had to “come to the end of myself” in the despair of clinical depression, and in those deep, abysmal, black places, *somehow* God would be there, and all I could do is quiet my heart and listen and cast-off any of my pretensions, and bare me secrets which are already known. He knows all the best and worst of us and loves us anyway; He will take us as we are and give us a lifelong make-over that will culminate in beauty/handsomeness: comeliness beyond our ability to comprehend…and then there is an eternity in which to unfold this seed of beauty and blossom continually…

    Self-abandonment is not becoming “nothing” or somehow becoming less of a person…it is really the abandonment of the “baggage” that is bound so tightly to us…some of this baggage was tied to us, some we create and tied to ourselves…but NONE of is was meant for us to labor beneath: we were built to “travel-light” through this life. So this self-abandonment is about casting-off pretenses, masks, unhealthy-self-sufficiency, worry, unhealthy-pride, self-denigration, our own bigotries, our hurts, resentments, bitterness, unforgiveness, self-loathing… The self-abandomnet doesn’t happen all at once but it’s something that becomes like breathing…the casting-off of these things reveals who we really are in a way, a purity, that is freeing, is winsome and compelling…

    …AND as we find ourselves freed of the baggage, we acquire the deep beauty, the state of true humility: the lowly person is NOT a doormat, rather like a strong, flexible willow branch, bending in the wind, but never breaking, soaking-up the living-water and simply being it’s part in the grace and shade-giving of the rest of the tree…

    Self-abandonment is hard at first, but then it gets easier. You see, these are little steps of trust (well some are actually BIG steps!), but ‘trust’ is what ‘belief’ is all about. When we’re told we need to just ‘believe’ – what’s not said and often misunderstood, is that God simply wants us to trust Him, like we would trust a good, loving parent. Some people make this ‘belief’ and ‘faith’ into hard, theological things…mystical things…and there is a sense in which it’s hard: it’s hard to overcome our pride. It’s hard to trust when we’ve been hurt and abused and misunderstood. But God doesn’t want us perfect all at once: it takes over a hundred years for an oak tree to come to full maturity. AND it’s the relationship thing! Why wouldn’t God just ZAP us into perfection??? Why go through all this “stuff” all this painful stuff???? What better way to build a loving and trusting relationship than to go through adversity? It’s not that the adversity is good (it’s not and will eventually be removed), it’s that God uses all things, good and bad, in the lives of those who trust Him….even if the trust starts-out very very small…

    Anon? I’ve also self-hurt (if I’ve understood you correctly). I started self-hurting my genitalia soon after I was raped the first time as a young child, long before I understood anything about sexuality…I did this for many years, and later as an adult, I periodically tried to hurt and destroy my genitalia: now for reasons of my sex/gender mismatch. One of the difficult things God asked me to do to stop self-hurting it was like He said {in great gentleness, with the sense that I knew He understood}: “Brett, ‘love it anyway,’ your body is only doing what I’ve asked it to do: let it keep you for this time. If you must, hate what your male body stands for.” I decided that I would trust God here…it seemed so unmistakable that this must be from Him (it couldn’t have been from me!)…in return, I received some of His peace that I simply cannot explain, and He started to reveal a little more about who and what I am and that it’s okay, because He’s got my back and He understands…

    How could Jesus even remotely, possibly, understand what it is live for us who struggle with our gender identities??? God’s Spirit, though the Bible, teaches us that Jesus is fully God and fully human. God is spirit, yet to meet us where *we* are, He knit Himself together with a human body like ours, and that person is called Jesus. Jesus had to be human to connect with us as individuals, and remain God to be able to connect with us all as a whole. God and human in the same being…pouring the infinite, timeless, spaceless, incomprehensible being of God into the limitations and weaknesses of a human body and soul. Could there possibly be a greater mismatch in all of the universe, in all of eternity??? So Jesus understands the mismatch of our sex and genders which we must live with: both the blessing of it and the curse of it. God has done this, and did it for us, and He gives us the power to do it, and to be there for others…

    Anon? Everyone? I don’t know if any of this helps…it’s *so like me* to “run-off” at the pen (or keyboard) and I ask everyone’s forgiveness for anything I might have communicated that wasted your time or bandwidth. {very, very small voice}

    Anon? You need some people supporting you though this…it’s too big for us to work through by ourselves. THERE IS NO SHAME IN THIS: NONE!!! There are people who will affirm you with joy, and those are people you need to connect with: I am praying for this for you. I would be honored if you would count me as one of these people. There’s way too much to what you’ve expressed, both depth and breadth to adequately meet your needs in what I’ve written here, so if you like, we can continue the conversation through email or we can have long talks. I will answer anything, nothing is taboo, nothing is “stupid,” there are no masks to hide behind. One of the ways God has blessed me in my gender journey is in providing someone with whom I could be completely transparent and they would be a “mirror” to help me see myself more accurately than I could view myself…I ***SO NEEDED*** this!!! I needed validation, and patience, and a listening ear, and gentle nudges in the direction God would lead me to. You need this too, we all do, really… Anyway, if you want to continue offline, you can reach me at, if if you want to Skype or phone, that’s cool too! Anon? I won’t bash you with the Bible or try to cram God down your throat (and I hope that’s not what all I’ve written seems like…Anyone?)…I want you to know and to feel freedom: we who are on a gender journey, wherever we are on the spectrum, are blessed people, on a sort of “pilgrimage” of growth and transformation that few people traverse. Anon? I have confidence that you will *more than survive* this, and you will *be* and be *free*… {tears of joy}

    Oh…and don’t tell Jesus (He already *knows*) :-)

    Blessings! <3

  4. Anonymous

    hi, brett. First of all I must tell you my name, a name I have chosen for me a while ago, it is an old word of an old tounge. The name is Ciaran. This is me right at this point where I am now.

    There are no words to thank you for this answer…I am all tears now and I shiver and I feel so loved and…this is so nice of you, to write all these wonderful things! I am so with every word in your post, and I feel so blessed to know there is some prayer out there for me, prayed by a stranger who seems to know me better than I know myself today.

    You understood it right, I hurt myself for a long time now. It started with other reasons in the past, but now, since two years it is so totally the body dysphoric depression. When I had a breakdown in front of the mirror around two in the middle of the night two years ago, asking so hard what the hell was wrong with me, I started to feel that there has always been a difference between my body and mind. As I “felt” this little boy inside me, when I “heard” his little voice cry out to me to finally see him, when I first realized this boy-soul inside me, it felt like God turning around to me and say “so, thats what I`ve been trying to tell you all the time, this is you!!”

    That was a key moment for me and I still have dreams about it. I knew suddenly that God wants me to see what he sees in me. But as I am a lover of lists and pros and cons I took my time. After a whole trip over ” I must be trans” to “maybe I am a lesbian” and over “I feel good in between” to “someone stole my real youth” two years went by. I am sure I have seen every ftm-vlog on youtube and I am sure I have read the whole internet empty to get all the information about this issues. But still I have these problems, finding out what “he who created me” wants me to do…

    I think I know what I want, only I do not feel in place to “want” anything. Why me? …so, what I am trying to say with all this is: THANK YOU, brett!!! I see so much of myself in your words….as I am a very shy person (I have not been able to build up some kind of friendship in real life in now thirty years of living) I will need some time and read your post again and again and just breathe and maybe I will be able to try and email you. What I find a cool thing too is the chat-function on skype….but I will need lots of time, its hard for me to take these steps towards others, as you can read I am having a huge problem with trust in all kinds of relations.

    But please please know that you helped me so so much by now with your words and that I am so fucking overwhelmed and still crying my heart out about all that you wrote. I so fucking WANT to believe, to trust in God, because I find it the very greatest thing how he created Jesus to feel like we all feel through Jesus` human heart. This is the essential of love for me, and I hope I can overcome all the bad things that have been done to me and that I have done to myself oneday and just simply trust.

    I guess it`s all about letting myself just fall backwards, as this is the only way to find out….this is so hard, but I want to stay and I want to cling to this little spot of possibility that I can be brave enough for that tfalling one day.

    So, to end this endless writing I want to apologize for my bad english. I am not a native in this language and I hope all that I write makes some sense and I use the right words.

    Brett, imagine a very big and loving hug, that I am sending you now. Your words just increased my will to survive. I hope that you know how great you are and that you are surrounded by people who appreciate the light in you. You really shine. Thank you.


    Brett Blatchley replied:

    Dear Ciaran, Dark & Mysterious, Great of Heart,

    Thank you for sharing a bit of yourself with me, with us, in trust and courage. It is a delight and privilege to watch others *become*! :-)

    You express yourself very well!

    I’m sorry that it’s been so difficult for you to enjoy friendships. I’ve been imprisoned in my shyness too – each time I walk out of that open prison-cell, it becomes easier: it’s yet another example of “abandoning.”

    I have to reject my feelings of being a strange, evil, toxic, disposable person. It was *horribly difficult* at first, but much easier now. Maybe you feel things like this too sometimes?

    Please let me share something intimate that might be helpful (and please forgive me if it’s inappropriate to this thread…Everyone??)…

    A few years ago now, God gave me an important insight into myself that might be familiar to others too; it involves a secondary ego-defense I set up in myself:

    For a large part of my life, I didn’t have friends (it wasn’t *safe*), though those who knew me assumed that we were friends, even intimate ones.

    These were friendships in all ways except for one thing more, and one thing less: more, that I loved and served these people unconditionally, and less, that I would not allow myself to accept their love and affection for me.

    Rather than seeing these people as friends, I saw them as people to serve, and I was beneath them intrinsically, their *being*, more important than my own. They were *real* people; I was not.

    You see, I’ve felt so filthy and toxic to others, that I wanted to protect them from myself, so I scored a psychological “line” between us, and invisible line where love could only go in one direction. I now call this a “firewall,” and it served another purpose: it also protected me because I assumed that sooner or later every person would discover how awful I was as a person and they would rightfully reject me, so the “line” scored between us would make the inevitable-break cleaner and less emotionally painful to me. Here’s some ways that it worked out in my relationships:

    I would be *their* friend, even a loyal one, but I would not *dare* to relax to allow myself to enjoy *their* friendship. It hurt too much to do this.

    I would be *her* spouse, even a loyal one, but I would not *dare* to relax to allow myself to enjoy our union.

    I would be *God’s* child, even a loyal one, but I would not *dare* to relax to allow myself to accept God’s blessings and Joy.

    I would feel, even feel deeply, but I would not *dare* to relax in my faith to allow myself to express my feelings.

    I would fill the holes I deliberately made in these relationships with “doubly-bound” service to the object of the relationship. Service that could *never* be pleasing to God (by definition), and service that *must* be rendered (to fulfill my purpose). Fulfilling my purpose is the sole reason I exist.

    In these, I never intended to hurt the object of the relationship. And I could not reveal this to them (of course God knew, but I “pretended” He did not, yet another part agonized before Him knowing that He did know, but being unable to escape without being a *bad* person on more than one semantic level).

    In remembering the existence of this ego-defense (which I put into place and then forgot decades previously…almost like a hidden, self-destructive computer virus), I was able to ask God to help me “disconnect” it. It helped me survive for a time, but I outgrew it and it bit into my soul and the wound festered… God showed me how to break the double-binds that chained me to this mechanism (and to others too), and showed me how to escape any double-bind my mind might form.

    To truly love another requires that you accept their love, and be vulnerable enough to be hurt as part of the process of loving and being loved. It had not been *safe* for me to be vulnerable; because of the firewall, I could not be a *real* person. To become *real* required that I allow myself to accept love, even love from myself…

    It has been nearly three years since I disconnected the “firewall,” and I’ve become *real* in that time, and I’ve found that accepting people’s love and friendship and blessings are *so rich* as to be valuable far beyond the bits I pain I have also endured in opening myself. In this time, I have renewed my relationship with my spouse, and I’ve fallen into love with God. It is ***SO FREEING***; it is *so good* to be *real*!!!

    So, could there be things in your own psyche that protected you once, but now hinder you? Maybe you could abandon them?

    Possibly this poem I wrote may be helpful?

    My Hiding Face

    Blessings Ciaran & Everyone!


    ciaran replied:

    Hey, Brett, hey genderforkers,

    I read this whole thread again today, after most things you wrote have been on my mind for days now. I can`t get your words out of my mind and I wanted to let you know (again?) how great it felt to read that there is some thought or prayer out there for me.
    I had many long “talks” with God these days and I couldn`t help but tell HIM a thousand times to have an eye on you ;-), no serious, your words somehow saved me and got me through a real dangerous depression. I am still close to tears each day, but I have the feeling that I am getting closer to the point where I can do it, where I can let go of all this shame and firewalls I`ve built arround me. So, lets say you saved me from bumping my head against this wall until I bleed and reminded me that there are other ways to tear it down. Thank you for that.

    See, I am doing it again…(laughing), you are great and I am not! I am writing my heart out here but sitll avoid a more “personal” contact….because I don`t want to waste your time…

    I can only hope some of all this helps anyone here, and that I do not offend others by anything I write.

    Brett, you have no idea how much you help me, but please let me know when I go too far or when I am writing nonsens or when I am too …don`t know the word..but..I am not used to beeing listened to, I am not used to letting people “in”, so please, Brett, anyone, who reads this, just tell me to stop when it`s too much.
    I do not want to impose on you all.
    I am just starting to learn that I have the right to rely on others. I need some more practice I guess.

    So, thank you Brett and all you genderforkers who share this.

    And ps: Brett? You`re the first person addressing me by “my” chosen name that feels more like me than my birth name. That feels good and I feel “at home” in this name…(my ears still get red a bit of the shame, `what right have I to give myself another name?`but I have the right to allow myself to feel at home, don`t I ?)


  5. Janet von Berky

    This post from Brett reminds me of a favourite quote, which I’ll copy below because we all need encouragement to believe what Brett says: the pain and risk (of loving and thus being vulnerable) are definitely worth it!
    “There is no safe investment. To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket – safe, dark, motionless, airless – it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation. The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell.”
    C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves


  6. xxy

    I heard someone describe this risk to love / to trust like this: “I am standing on the edge, a thin sharp line like a razorblade. I can choose what side I want to fall down, right or left. On one side I fall into death, on the other side I fall in someones arms. But when I die I fall back into gods arms as well. So it is not about choosing one side above the other. It is beeing brave enough to let myself fall of this edge.
    Thats the hardest part I guess….


  7. Janet von Berky

    Hi Ciaran (is it Ciaran as in the Gaelic name?)

    You write so honestly, and share your hurt and healing so beautifully – you don’t need to worry about offending people. It IS always helpful to hear from someone who is realizing (with joy) that they are loved. Loved enough to risk to love and live in ways they haven’t been able to before.
    It’s *very* encouraging to us all! – because these fears you mention are inside all of us, even when we pretend they aren’t. Someone has tried to trick us into believing we aren’t worth much of an investment.

    But it’s not true, and Someone else is trying to tell us differently!

    Yay for long talks with God!

    And you don’t have to be afraid of overloading or offending Brett; listening to you talk about your journey, sharing with and praying for you is a great joy and encouragement to her. You are not imposing, and it is not nonsense. (Trust me! – as a close friend of Brett’s, I know her very well. I’ve imposed and written more “nonsense” than you can imagine. She won’t get sick of you!)

    I can’t resist adding a comment about names. As a mother, it’s been a joy and privilege to be able to (with my husband :-) name my six children. Their names have all “fitted” them well (maybe this was a gift from the One who made the children? I like to think so). But other people have given and will give them names too – nicknames, names of endearment, even added titles like “auntie” and “best friend” and “my love”. A new surname when they marry.

    Our names are a communication of love and recognition and relationship with the person who uses them. One day (we’ve been told) we will be given a new name by God who knows us best! How joyously excited we will be to hear Him call us by this name – how it will penetrate and resonate to the very core of our souls, as we recognize ourselves in awe and gratitude! (Will we laugh then, too?)
    Maybe your new name “Ciaran” is a little earthly taste of what this might be like, on a much grander scale! I hope so.
    God bless,


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