Growing up in a conservative environment when you’re transgender can really mess you up. When I say that, I mean you may be told by people directly if they know you’re transgender or you just may pick it up based on how they react to what they see on the news and in social media or perhaps even hear in church. And here is what you’re being told or inferring from what others say: “God didn’t make you to be that way”, therefore you’re sinning if you decide to transition to the gender you really are or if you’ve already transitioned, continue to live as who you are. I felt that way growing up, and I felt that way as a grownup. I even got married hoping that would help somehow take away what it was that I felt inside. It’s not an unusual story to hear of males joining the armed forces hoping that would somehow “make a man out of them” and help get rid of those feelings. And if you’re transgender you already know that none of these things help, in fact they only complicated life.
You’ve prayed and prayed and prayed. You’ve talked with close friends, you’ve talked to family, you’ve talked to clergy and still you’re a fish out of water. If you’ve transitioned perhaps you still have a feeling that somehow even though you did what you felt you had to at the same time you’re disappointing our Father in Heaven. I was seven years post-op when I went to a new church and was welcomed. I told my story to the pastor so that there would be no problems down the road should he find out by accident. I thought things were fine until about nine months later he called me in to talk and that’s when I learned that he felt that I should “change back”. What? Yes, this is seven years POST-OP! I was stunned. I was pretty much forced out of the church by not wanting to “change back”. Now, up to this point I had made my peace with God and in fact had received His blessing to become “Laurie”. So you can imagine my astonishment at my pastor’s request. Did I blame the church for what happened? Well at first yes, but even after going to a couple of other churches the following few years, I was still injured, and eventually moved with the hope that a new city would give me a fresh start. Well it didn’t, and I spent 11 years miserable and depressed. All is good now but TODAY I realized why I was so out of it for so long. I WAS A FAILURE. I had “failed” at successfully integrating into that church that rejected me, and the fear of failing again kept me away from God’s people for many many years. I was condemning myself for my failure and subsequent fear. Now was I REALLY a failure? Absolutely not! The pastor at that church did what he did out of genuine love for me. He honestly and lovingly felt that I needed to change back. The pain I felt from that experience opened the door for the enemy Satan (that SOB) to mess with me and convince me that any attempt to rejoin God’s people would likewise end in failure.
So for you, right now – the condemnation STOPS! That fact that you’re transgender is NOT a sin. Anyone who tells you it is has only the weakest of arguments and virtually no scripture to stand on to make such a statement. The fact THEY don’t like it doesn’t make them God and doesn’t give them the right to determine what is and isn’t sin outside the scripture to suit their personal feelings. The bad news of course is that you’re still a sinner (transgender or not) but we have a savior in Jesus in whom there is now NO CONDEMNATION (Romans 8:1). GOD doesn’t condemn you for being transgender nor does He condemn you as a Christian for your sinful nature as a human being. Other people may condemn you, all I can say is they are not God and their condemnation pretty much stops at the end of their lips for all it’s worth. You have to be strong and know WHO YOU ARE in the Lord, then when others condemn you can just rest in that God’s got your back – Psalm 121:7 “The LORD will keep you from all harm– he will watch over your life” (NIV)
A few years ago Phillips, Craig and Dean recorded a song called “Tell Your Heart to Beat Again”. It talks about how even today you may be living in the past, even though you’re forgiven you haven’t forgiven yourself, when you look in the mirror all you see are the scars of your failures and the old you that you used to be. It’s time to tell your heart to beat again, let those shadows from your past fall away and YOU step into the light of grace, that yesterday is a closing door and you don’t live there anymore. It’s a great song and I hope if you’re still hurting from what has been said or done to you in the past or even what you’ve thought about yourself, that you’ll find comfort, encouragement and truth in the song. Here it is on YouTube: