Hope Gathering first impressions
Home Up Denise Shick Gender Identity Disorder Is It My Fault


Hope Gathering first impressions 

On Saturday May 22, 2010 I attended the Help4Families “Hope Gathering” with the stated purpose to “Gain a deeper understanding of Gender Identity Disorder in a Christ centered gathering”. (http://www.help4families.com down loaded 5/24/10) 

 This was put on by Denise Schick the apparent successor to Jerry Leach a reparative therapist working with the transgender community. Jerry and his wife Charlene did attend and the turn out appeared to be about twenty five to thirty individuals not directly involved with the church. 

I had contacted Denise some months prior and let her know that I was interested and asking for some information and expressing that I was part of a ministry to the transgender community.  

I arrived at the church at about 7:45 Saturday morning and if I had not had the GPS it would've been an absolute bear to find as it was in the middle of, quite literally cow pastures.  One of the first things that I noted in driving into the parking lot was the presence of a Lexington police car.  Upon walking in the door I noted a police woman obviously standing guard.  I had no clue exactly what they expected that led them to anticipate this need.  I browse through and picked up literature from a number of tables that were there from various “ministries” with at least some peripheral involvement in dealing with our community. 

The program that was to start at 8 a.m. started with a praise band with one person that could sing and a number of others that couldn't.  This is not particularly my choice in music and it is something that genuinely makes me a bit uncomfortable. I will admit that I tuned it out while I was perusing the information that I had been picking up and wishing that I would have known this is going to happen because I could have slept in another 45 minutes. Part way through this I started to tune in, and started to pick out that what was being sung seemed rather  Self-centered i.e. love me, bless me, fill me… I will admit I am not familiar with this genre of music but at least for me this kind of set the theme for the whole conference.  

One of the things that disturb me most at the Help4Families “Hope Gathering” was the lack of familiarity with the broader transgender community by the presenters.  Those that had some experience were dealing only from a pathology paradigm. That is to say they are dealing only with those that are in distress or dealing with significant others that are in distress.  Lack of familiarity breeds contempt.  

My overall impression was a general sense of a lack of caring, and total ignorance of the unintended consequences of what they are doing.  There were a number of obvious transgender individuals there both F to M one of the church workers (who may well not have been aware that she/he was) and M to F dressed male, myself included.  

Last modified: 12/24/13