Jamie Bruesehoff, the wife of a Lutheran pastor, rejoiced on Facebook earlier this month that her transgender daughter — Rebekah, 12, who was born male but identifies as female — had just received a "life-affirming" hormone-blocking implant for the second time.
The photo on the left is Rebekah from two years ago; the photo on the right is Rebekah today, Bruesehoff wrote.
"That is the face of a girl terrified of hospitals and needles, but more terrified of having to live life as someone she is not," Bruesehoff said of Rebekah. "That is the face of a girl feeling on top of the world, knowing her body won't betray her, and she's one step closer to the woman she will grow up to be."
More from Bruesehoff's post:
Today, I'm thankful for top notch medical facilities and physicians. I'm thankful for ongoing and growing research and guidelines. I'm thankful for health insurance that covered my kid's medically necessary treatment. And I'm extra thankful and proud to say that the insurance covering this procedure for my transgender daughter is provided to my husband through his employer... the church.
With news of further discrimination out of the White House spreading and GOP lawmakers in multiples states trying to prohibit gender affirming, life saving care like this for minors, I'm immensely grateful for my child's medical care. EVERY kid deserves access to that care. We must fight those who want to prevent kids like her from living the lives they deserve.
ALLIES, we need you. Pay attention. Speak up. Stop the spread of misinformation. This is not abuse. This is allowing my child to live her best life.
What does Rebekah have to say?
Rebekah took to Facebook late last month and declared the following: "To say that I am being abused by being allowed to live an authentic life is not only nonsense (the statistics clearly show that kids who are supported in their gender identity thrive while kids who are not supported struggle deeply), it's also a slap in the face to victims of ACTUAL abuse."
Jamie and Rebekah Bruesehoff have been up front for quite a while about Rebekah's transgender journey. In the summer 2018, the pair spoke at the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Youth Gathering.
"To me, being transgender just means being myself," Rebekah told the cheering crowd. "It means being who God made me to be ... I was created in the image of God to be me."
Rebekah added, "I've learned that by being who God has called me to be, and by telling my story, hearts and minds are changed. I can change the world."
Day 4 Mass Gathering - Jamie Bruesehoff & Rebekah Bruesehoff | ELCA Youth Gathering youtu.be
According to Jamie Bruesehoff's website bio, she's "an openly queer woman married to a Lutheran pastor and mom to three spirited children."
Bruesehoff's wrote about her sexuality in a blog post over the summer, which she said she's bisexual:
People are usually surprised when I say I'm queer. I'm married to a man. I'm a pastor's wife. I don't fit whatever image they have in their head of what queer means, but that's the point. For me being queer means rejecting the boxes people want to shove me in, not simply choosing a different box. This is who I am. By being open and proud of my identity, I can create space for other people to show up as themselves.
I still feel the weight of biphobia and bisexual erasure. It can still feel like I don't quite belong. People regularly ask, "how can you say you're queer when you're married to a man?" I (mostly) patiently explain, just like I do in the workshops I lead, that you can't know someone's gender identity based on the way they act, dress, or talk and you can't know someone's sexuality based on their current or past relationship. We make assumptions, but that's all they are — assumptions.