With the Sinners

I’ve been meaning to write to you for a while. When I left you, I left a few things unsaid. They’ve been eating away at me and I feel like I need to just put them out there. If I don’t say what I need to say, it comes out at the wrong times, like when people tell me they’re praying for me. One of my friends made the mistake of telling me that exact phrase and he drew back a bloody stump. I don’t want to be that person. I don’t want to be ruled by bitterness and disappointment, so I’m going to get this out once and for all.

The part that makes me most sad is that the people in your communities that most need to hear what I have to say dismissed me a long time ago. That’s part of the problem with the way you handled me when you found out I was transgender… you cut me off, ostracized me, and threw the one bible verse related to gender expression in my face. The people that were supposedly the most Christ-like turned out to be the ones that stopped talking to me. To be honest with you, the isolation hurt more than being called a sinner. I noticed that people who used to text me on a regular basis stopped. People who commented on my social media platforms disappeared. So, I’m writing this for the few of you who actually do what Jesus did… befriended sinners like me.

Just so you know, on most days I still don’t want to be Trans.

I love the moments when I do my makeup just right. I wink at my reflection in my rearview mirror when I notice how awesome my eyebrows look after I tweeze them. It makes me smile when my coworkers tell me, “hey girl!” I feel great when women compliment me on my earrings.

But, I’d still give it all up if I could.

I’d go back to the slow death I was experiencing. I’d return to hating my body, drinking every goddamn day, and feeling ashamed every time someone made a joke about trans people. I’d walk away from everything if it meant that I could still take people through the book of Matthew and show them how fucking awesome Jesus is. I’d sell my identity again if it meant that I could have my boys back. I’d try my hardest to fit inside manhood if it meant that I could undo everything.

And that’s what I want you to understand… I can’t be something I’m not.

I tried for 38 years to be what you and our society told me I should be. I spent over 20 of those years asking Jesus to change me, using every method that you threw at me. I memorized scripture. I prayed the Blood of Jesus over my gender identity. I used Rites of Passage, men’s groups, and biblical affirmations. I prayed with faith, asking for a miracle. I went to counselors. I tried everything.

And none of it worked.

At the end of all of it, I was still transgender. That’s what the LGBTQ community has been screaming and crying out for you to hear… we didn’t choose this. It’s who we are.

Do you know what you did that pissed me off the most? You somehow twisted my pain into you being the victim. I heard from you over and over again that “you lied to me, Dallas.” I did the right thing and I owned it. I did lie to you. Do you know what, though? I’d do it again. I’d lie to your face every fucking week just like I did if it meant that you’d accept me. I’d lie if it meant that you would welcome me into your community as an equal. I’d lie if it meant that you wouldn’t treat me like a leper. What you don’t seem to be willing to accept is that I lied because you did exactly what I knew you would do. You acted like the Pharisees instead of acting like Jesus. I’d watched you twist other LGBTQ people’s stories just like you did mine. I’d watched you villainize my people just like you did me. That’s why I lied… because I knew you well enough to know what would happen if I told the truth.

So, yeah, I’m angry at you. But the anger is on the surface. What’s beneath it is a deep sadness. I miss our community. I miss sharing meals with you. I miss counseling you in your pain. I miss teaching you how to pray and meditate. That’s why I don’t read the bible any more… I cry every time I open it because it’s so closely connected to you and our relationship.

I’m doing a little better now, though. I’m able to hold my anger and sadness in one hand and my gratitude in the other hand.

You taught me how to lead people. You helped me see the world. You taught me how to connect with the divine. You let me teach. You paid for so many trainings, seminars, and classes that I took. You trusted me with your deepest pain. So, thank you. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you for everything you gave me.

But this is the end for you and me.

We can’t undo what’s done. I can’t not be transgender. You won’t change your views on me. We’re both belligerent assholes… and we’re both loved by Jesus. So, I guess we’ll walk different paths while we confess allegiance to the same messiah.

I’ll be with the sinners.

I guess you’ll be with the saved.

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