Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Odd op-ed almost seems fake

I wasn't expecting it. "A Transgender Volunteer for the Salvation Army" is the name of an op-ed in the NYT by Jennifer Finny Boylan. Here's a bit:
Then, one day, I saw someone ringing a Salvation Army bell outside a Walmart. I thought, hey, I could do that. And so I signed up, hoping it might help dispel the blues. I wasn’t sure how the charity would react to the fact that one of their volunteers was a 6-foot-tall trans woman, though. 
Hmmm. We never learn the answer to that because Boylan keeps the focus of the story on ringing that bell and gathering money for people who need it at Christmas -- which is the point of the whole thing (the op-ed and the holiday).

Apparently, she didn't know a thing about the Salvation Army's secondary mission: being evil to GLBT folks. It's hard to believe a transgender woman could have missed the memo about anti-gay bigotry by the Salvation Army. It's legendary. But whatever.

I thought this small paragraph was rather odd: 
Whether I was ministering, as a Salvation Army volunteer, or whether I was being ministered unto, however, remained to be seen. 
Uh, what? But the op-ed's thrust seems to be about helping people and I can't knock that. After she heard about the, you know, gay-hating, she stopped volunteering for the Evil Army. But she says she still tosses a dollar in their buckets now and then. However, she volunteers only for gay-friendly organizations these days. Nonetheless, she can't quite kick the Salvation Army habit:
Still, when I’m walking through the mall and I hear those ringing bells, I don’t think of politics, but of something simpler: the ways in which acts of charity help to get us outside ourselves. I had volunteered in hopes of helping the needy. Looking back, I realize I was also helping myself.
I'm not sure how she was helping herself when volunteering for the bigots. Whatever. She was spreading Xmas cheer, I guess. And I'm all in with that. 

Xmas is for everyone, kids. So enjoy it like there's no tomorrow -- and be kind to everyone you meet. That's the point. 

(Speaking of which, if I hear one more brain-dead Christian on TV, telling us about the "true meaning" of Xmas -- i.e., Jeebus' birthday -- I'm going to throw up. Xmas is whatever you think it is. It's what you grew up with, or wish you grew up with, and what you want the holiday to be. Xmas doesn't discriminate. The Salvation Army and the Catholic church are in charge of that.)