It’s been a tough question for me, and maybe for you. “Why can’t you just leave it alone? Why do you feel the need to tell people about your past?” Well, for the clients in my business, casual acquaintances and 99% of my church – I don’t. But I can’t disagree with the fact that I do feel better when people I love, care about and have a close relationship with understand my WHOLE history. I would hate for them to somehow discover my past later through a 3rd party and to feel a sense of total dishonesty on my part – as if they didn’t know me at all.
My best friend at church knew (I later learned) there was something “off” about me at church the day before I told her my WHOLE history. She didn’t know it at the time, but I was looking around inside the building that Sunday and just taking it all in because it might have been my last Sunday at that church – and it made sad and just a little weepy. THAT is someone who knows you and why I wanted her to know my FULL history, because then it all made sense to her.
A friend of mine put it into words so perfectly I’m repeating them here: To keep my secret from my “inner circle” is a level of dishonesty that blocks relationship and perpetuates the feeling that my being loved and accepted is completely contingent upon what my friends DON’T know about me.” No one want’s to be dishonest with those that are closest to you. At best it is a relationship based on a secret, and from your friends perspective a relationship based on A LIE! That’s why transparency in close relationships mean so much to those who are transgender. If you’re not transgender, you probably already have close friends that you are already transparent to and don’t even know it or think about it. Being who you are is no big deal. It’s MUCH harder for Christians who are transgender to divulge that part of their life to close friends – the risk of LOSS of friendship is much greater. But it’s necessary to take that risk because the NEED of that human connection is baked into each one of us – transgender or not.
God created us to be social. I give you Genesis 2:18 in the version of your choice, but they all amount to this: He (God) knew it wasn’t good for us to be alone. NOT being known is empty and without meaning, many of you who are transgender probably feel this – a feeling of no reason for your existence and you’re searching – trying to figure it all out. I’ve been questioned WHY I felt the need to tell people, I’ve learned recently that it’s just a part of being KNOWN. Married people know each other VERY well, and after years of marriage if there is something they DON’T know it’s probably not good. Being single, that NEED is still there, the need of being KNOWN for who you are. But you can’t just put your whole life out on one of your friends – they have their own life and probably don’t want to know all that extra junk in your life anyway – but they can handle bits and pieces of it, and that needs to be ok. Being single and being known means you have to spread it around among your friends to satisfy that need to be known.
No matter how alone you may feel, let me assure you that YOU ARE NOT ALONE! God our father loves you EXACTLY as you are right now, no ifs ands or buts. You may feel (and perhaps rightfully so) abandoned by the people you care about most in your life, but GOD has not and will not EVER abandon you. You might be sitting there in church, hearing what is said and think nothing but condemnation is coming your way – that is a LIE. I want to be clear – the person speaking probably never thought of his/her words being taken in context of your life being transgender, so give them the benefit of the doubt.
Needing to feel “known” is a deep need in everyone, but if you’re in a place where no one knows what you’re feeling, your full history and you’re feeling really lost and desperate, I hope you’ll at least contact me and let’s be friends. I don’t have all the answers because I’m still figuring out life just like you. But maybe I’ve been through (survived might be a better word) more than you and can be of some help – I’d like to.
God loves you and He welcomes you just as any other child of His. So rest in that. Condemnation from man is NOT the same as condemnation from the Lord – He hasn’t and won’t condemn you because you feel who you are doesn’t match the body you have. We happen to live in a pivotal time. A few decades ago there would be no help for you at all – no information for you to cling to and perhaps learn from. We are truly blessed to live when we do. This doesn’t change at all how our Lord and Savior loves us, but it can change how we THINK our Lord and Savior loves us. He does. Just that simple. Working through our life – well, it’s just hard. Sorry but there is no easy way around that. People around us like NORMAL, and you and I are not – but that doesn’t mean God doesn’t love and accept you. This takes time and there is hope. The fact that you’re reading this and can safely write back to me if you wish to is PROOF that the opportunity of change within the hearts of others is possible, I’ve seen it and you can too.
Start with small steps. Tell your very, very best friend if you haven’t yet. You can make it and you’ll be ok. Regardless, tell me and this is a totally safe place for you. Life is a massive journey – easy for some and not as easy for others, but a journey none the less that you can make to completion.
Just never, EVER forgot that God DOES love you. Navigating the noise in life is our burden, but you can do it. Don’t give up. The Lord almighty is on your side – I promise.