Tag Archive | Religion

The difficulty of finding acceptance

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I took a few days off from work. The reason was so I could come down to DFW to see my friend so we could see Deadpool 2 together. It was a great movie. Glad we went! I’m not much of a superhero/comic book person, but I loved the first movie, and I loved the second one as well. Now I’m waiting for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. I can’t wait!

What I love about heading out of town is being able to exist in my own skin and be me. I don’t have to be drab and pretend anything. I can dress up and remember that I’m more than what my body tells me. I’m more than what my chromosomes made me out to be. I’m what my mind tells me I am.

The long weekend also allowed me to escape from home, to get away from what’s been stressing me out. Ever since my conversation with my parents, then the conversation with my sister, I confess that it got to me. I forget that this is a huge deal. Took me a lifetime to come to terms with it. It’s unfair of me to expect them to just happily accept this. I’m being selfish.

A lot of my friends have been great. They sympathize with me, but they also remind me that this isn’t a minor thing. It’s a monumental shift in my existence. To ask someone to be okay with someone deciding to be a different gender is a lot to ask. For some, it’s too much. That’s the sad reality of being trans.

But for me, though I identify myself under the trans umbrella, I exist as both male a female. I prefer to present myself as female as I feel better of myself as Stefani, but I’m equally secure as Joe. I can’t deny either aspect of my reality.

Which doesn’t mean I haven’t considered hormones. I have, I am, and I will continue to consider it. I would like to feminize myself more even if I don’t completely transition. Not everyone wants to have gender-reassessment surgery. I have thought about it, naturally, and one of my earliest dreams I remember about by identity involves me having a female anatomy.

The struggle for me is that I was born a certain sex. I was born, for better or worse, with a penis. I wish I was born with a vagina instead, or at the very least identifying with the gender I was assigned. That’s the struggle we face. Accepting our assigned gender or accepting that our gender runs counter to what our anatomy tells us.

There’s also a certain amount of God-fear as well. I was born Catholic, and though I’m not practicing, I haven’t abandoned my religion completely. I feel as though I’ve lost my faith at times, but to reject it completely is beyond me. I envy those born without this burden.

I can’t help but wonder why religion makes this so difficult. If someone is born with a defect and there’s a surgery or treatment available, most would agree that the sensible thing to do is to accept said treatment. Heart condition? Surgery. Tumor? Surgery. Transgender? No such thing. God made you that way. You were born female/male. Accept it!

But people are born with heart defects and no one tells them to accept it. “God made you that way.” We amputate limbs, fix other issues, but anything to do with sexuality is taboo. The religious mindset is infuriating!

Sexuality is a natural biological function. Why do we place so much importance on it? Penises are beautiful, so are vaginas. Men are beautiful and so are women. Why is sex considered vulgar? Why does engaging in sex make women whores? Why aren’t men held to that same standard?

But I digress. Gender is more than what our physical bodies tell us. It’s independent of it. For most gender and sex aligns, but some of us it doesn’t. Why can’t I be a woman? Why can’t I change my body to align better with what my mind tells me?

In the end, it’s a battle too many of us have fought, and continue to fight, both with the world without, and with ourselves as well. I’ve come to accept who I am after many year of denial. I’ve come to the revelation after running from it for a lifetime. Now, I’m happier than I have ever been, though it’s not easy for me. I’m secure in my identity. I just hope my family comes around.

And I’m one of the lucky ones. Many are outright disowned. That, more than anything, is why being trans is so hard to our mental health.

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The struggle between identity and faith

Here it is, another Friday night, and I’m lock up in my room, wishing I could go out and enjoy the nightlife. Sadly, for a girl like me, I don’t live in an area that’s conducive to being out. One, it’s the bible belt, and two, the area is so small that I would be bound to run into people I know. I haven’t really come out to people I know, except to a few that I really trust.

I’m currently looking for a job, hoping to move away from this depressing backdrop and find a place a little more accepting. That’s why I love living in the big cities. It’s easier to lose yourself in the crowd. It’s easier to find a community to belong to, a network of people who can accept me for who I am.

But that’s not why I wanted to write today….

I went to Mass today. I’m a practicing Catholic – which opens up another can of worms, one I’m not ready to talk about – and today was the Feast of the Assumption. I don’t want to get mired in talk of dogma and beliefs. I want to speak from the heart, about what I think while I sit quietly in the pew.

I stand, I sit, I kneel…, in short I follow the order of the Mass, and I do what is expected. I’m not so good at listening, however. My minds tends to wander down uncomfortable paths. I see women and young girls wearing dresses and skirts and I long to be one of them. I wish I could be out to enjoy worship as the person I am.

I imagine myself, as I do in other settings, wearing an appropriate length skirt, still sexy, but modest enough not to anger the congregation. I think about the feel of the pantyhose on my legs, the heels I would wear. Nothing slutty, again. I’m at church.

I daydream about earrings and jewelry, and even the kinds of tattoos I would like. In short, I want to present myself to God and to the world as the woman I desperately wish I were. Does that make any sense?

Sure, I could leave the Church and find another that would welcome me with open arms, but that’s not my way. I’ve made my peace with the guilt I felt about being Stefani and the duality that is implicit with being a crossdresser. I could no more stop being a Catholic than I could renounce myself. I am Stefani, but I’m also the man am forced to be for the sake of the community.

Moving back to the DFW area would help. I really, really need to find a well-paying job. I want to build up my wardrobes, both male and female. I want to have my own place, a home where I can be free to be Stefani.

I would have to compromise some and find a welcoming body of Christians, where I can be me without fear and embarrassment. I wouldn’t renounce my beliefs, but I could also worship as the person I feel I am. It’s not ideal, perhaps, but it’s better than existing as I am, a nobody in despair.

I just don’t know where to turn to for help. I guess that’s why I’m writing, not that I expect any help. I just needed to let out some steam before I blow up.