My Hope Has Risen Again
CW: Religion and discussion of trans journey
Before I get into this post, let me always preface that I do not believe in only one religion or faith. I believe this is a personal journey for each of us. Who am I to discount someone’s journey? What you read is MY journey, but know I will never try to convert or proselytise anyone. If you want to go on a similar journey to mine, I am more than willing to talk with you. But you have to make the decision that you want a journey like mine. I will say I am always fascinated to hear about other journeys because I love hearing new perspectives. You may in fact help me grow on my own journey by sharing about your own “seemingly unrelated” journey.
A year ago today I was agnostic. I did not know whether God existed or even if he cared about me. Many Christians didn’t seem to. My own church in 2020 said “I would be more comfortable elsewhere”. At a time I needed community they weren’t there for me. I even found out we had someone at church who was forced to be a “non-practicing bisexual”. How can you not be who you are? I love men (and women) and I love my partner. I cannot cease to be who I am. I tried for years to NOT be who I am.
So I admit I was angry at God and angry at the church. I was upset that in a moment of existential crisis in 2020 when I needed fellowship everyone seemed to push me away. A former youth minister told me that year that to be a Christian I would need to stop sinning and stop being a trans woman. God “made me an amazing man and I need to not say I know better than God”.
This was a lifelong battle btw. At 4 I knew I was supposed to be a woman. My own family said I couldn’t challenge God. I took them at their word, but it also set me on a very dangerous mindset of “if I can’t do this, then no one else can either”. I was in a very binary way of thinking about life. There was right and wrong with no spectrums of morality or ethics. Anyone who didn’t follow this was bad. This was a very bad way of looking at life. I have spent years learning to undo this mentality.
When I lost my faith, or what I thought was my faith, I began to pursue everything. I did so much research and exploration of faiths and practices. I will say after almost burning down my parents’ house in a burning ritual (do not burn a paper in a tiny coffee mug, bad idea) that I realised who God is to me.
I kept thinking God was angry at me or didn’t exist. When told by family in 2020 that “at least I’m not gay” when I announced being trans and at the time thinking I was asexual and aromantic, it hurt. Because deep down I knew I loved someone but I just couldn’t grasp it. I knew I had this unresolved affection for someone for years. But I was afraid to tell this person because of what my family would think.
What amazed me was seeing how God was there for me the whole time. Even while I yelled at him and used his name in cursing (ps this doesn’t bother me when others do it, only when I personally do it) he still loved me. He was directing my story. Using this painful moment to perfect aspects of myself that he wanted to change. He had never left me. He just knew I needed some time to think and process. He’s God after all. He knows me. Why would he be upset if I expressed the emotions he allowed me to have?
To me, God was not the God that my parents or two of my siblings taught me. He is not a Creationist God. I believe he may have used evolution as his method, but he is not as Simple as we make him out to be. He allows free will and does not send us to hell for being gay or bisexual or being a trans woman.
To me, God cares about my character. Am I treating my fellow humans with respect? Am I cheating on my partner unconsensually? Am I lying to my friends? Am I conducting business in an ethical manner? Am I being a good steward of my environment? Am I using my political power to make good voting decisions? Am I fighting for injustices? Am I caring about the poor, the homeless, the refugee? Am I loving others as Christ first loved me?
THAT is what God is concerned about. NOT who I love or my gender identity. He allows that there are abnormalities that allow me to be born in the wrong body. He allows me to love someone even if our “plumbing doesn’t match”. He loves me and I know that every day. Experiencing true love from a partner has finally helped me understand that authentic romantic love is a small way that God shows us his love.
This Easter, my hope has risen again. I am a Christian and my faith has never been stronger. My faith doesn’t resemble my upbringing, but it is a firm foundation for me to live my daily life by. This is my journey and faith. It may not be yours, but it is absolutely without a doubt mine. Anyone who says I don’t know the Bible, ahem, I’ve read the book many, many, many times. Maybe you should read it and explore the meaning of the love of God.