Over the last few weeks I have been coming out to the Saint Peter’s congregation as a trans-gendered person. When I use the term trans-gendered I mean it in the broadest sense as one whose internal gender identification does not match the physical body they were born with. I will be doing another entry describing in more detail the many types of people who are trans-gendered but let me just say that there is a wide spectrum within that group.
Why am I doing this now you might ask? I have been giving prayerful consideration to this for a long time. It’s not easy for me to tell you something so central about myself that I’ve been hiding, especially those of you I have known for so long. Fear, guilt and shame (that nasty trio) are the forces that I have been up against. I have thought about taking this step many times but pulled back because I didn’t feel ready. However, during the last few months I began to feel The Spirit pushing me to just “be myself” in a more public way and leave the rest to God. Of course, I was not immediately ready to take such a bold step but somehow I began to take little steps. I spoke with the pastors and when Mandy sent out an invitation to join a group of people from Saint Peters like myself, I felt I was ready to take the step.
What began to push me forward was the feeling that I wanted to relate to everyone in a more honest way. The other powerful force was my desire to help others like me. The way to start doing that is to let others know that they already know a trans-gendered person and to tell people what that is like. I am just one of thousands of people whose inner gender does not match their body – and I am talking about people with female bodies also. I have many sisters and brothers who ask only that they be accepted for who they are and given the same rights that anyone else has. We are all children of God and all of us have both male and female in us. For most people the inner feeling of gender matches their body. But there are many, many people who wake up every day feeling frustration, anger and a host of other feelings because their body does not reflect what they feel inside.
I step forward now to do something to help in whatever way I can to further understanding and change public policy as it affects people like me and others in the LGBTIQ community. The Spirit has indeed been pushing me in this direction for some time. Over the next weeks and months I will be reaching out to you in love as one newly un-encumbered, sharing my journey with you, sure in the promises of God.