I mark the moment my transition officially began with a simple statement. I was in an intensive outpatient therapy program, recovering from a bout of suicidal depression. For years I had been wrestling with many physical and emotional issues, not the least among them was my gender identity. The program provided a freedom there to explore how my faith intersected with my life experience. I commented to my therapist that I didn’t believe my faith was big enough to handle the emotional and physical pain and confusion that was dominating my life. Her reply launched a massive reconstruction of my worldview: “Perhaps it’s your idea of God that is too small.”
What started as a transition of my faith to a larger concept of God, led to the freedom to affirm my gender identity. The notion that God was big enough to have created a human race that was more complex that my idea of “man” and “woman” was revolutionary. A God that big was, in fact, capable of so much more that the boxes I had been taught to keep Him in.
That freedom led to decisions that in turn provided answers to years of physical pain, balancing out hormones that had likely been out of control most of my life and taking steps toward better self-care – physically and emotionally. Let me be very clear: had I not embraced my gender identity I would likely have long since succumbed to the physical and emotional distress I was in and finally followed through on one of my plans to end my life.
As I began to engage the world in a more genuine, authentic manner I found people that willingly accepted me as me; some were in the church, most were not. If you are here questioning how I reconcile my identity and maintain a respect for the Bible as a follower of Christ, I’m glad you are taking the time and making the effort. I would encourage you, and all followers of Christ, to ask yourself this: What restrictions do we put on loving people? Not a “loving the sinner and hating the sin” sense of love; but loving with unbridled compassion. The answer is simple – There can be no restrictions.
Loving transgender people with truly Christ-like love, just as they are, is the best way any of us can encourage them on their journey toward a healthier, complete life where they can finally learn to love themselves, love others and know the full greatness that is the Love of God.