We don’t often hear too many stories about trans experiences and non binary coming out experiences. I wanted to share my story with the blog. I was born and raised in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints. I was born a male but never felt as if my body matched my identity. I know this is really difficult for people to understand. It took me a really long time to understand it myself.
Growing up in the church as a trans identifying person is really awful. The church has created exactly zero places for a trans Mormon to fit. It is a never ending battle of trying to find a place to breath, a place to thrive, a place to exist. We are not welcome in the Church that is a hard truth to embrace. Leaders of the church prevent baptism, priesthood, callings and temple attendance to transitioned or progressive transgender/transsexual people. My heart breaks for our community.
In the church it has always been taught that we must be honest in our dealings with other people. So I grew up knowing of the importance of having integrity and honesty during your life. This is especially perplexing as someone who falls under the trans umbrella. I have tried to be honest about my identity and the Church has shackled me because of it. My advice to others, take your time, allow yourself to feel things that you’ve not felt and know that this is okay. I need you to be patient with yourself and don’t fall into the idea that you will become the ugly duckling among groups of people.
As I was listening to an episode of the Latter Gay Stories podcast I remembered something that was really important during my coming out experiences: we need to find our group. We must find our community. That is so important! Whether it is in person or online through social media, try and find your tribe. When we find our tribe, we find life. We can be open and honest that way. People in the church don’t get us, and that is because they don’t want to be like us. They don’t want what we have; they think we created it, that we weren’t valiant enough. They are wrong. Who would choose to wake up one morning and decide to be trans? Who would want to invite shame, ridicule, exclusion and painful ridicule? None of us. Yet so many in this world think we chose this.
I always knew I was different. At a very early age (about 6) I remember feeling so disconnected with who I was. I wanted to be a mother, I felt a deep feeling of nurture and love for others. I felt trapped in the body that confined me. I talked to my parents about it, they didn’t understand. I didn’t even understand it. We worked together over the years with counselors, church leaders, therapists and medications. All those were just temporary fixes to the real work. I needed to accept that I was trans. I needed to be okay with that. At 13 I came out as trans. I socially transitioned and after high school I had bottom surgery. I left the church and with it, I left behind the pain and trauma that they blanketed me with. It was beautiful to be free. Life is really good. I am a better woman because of my decision to be honest.
To my beautiful trans brothers and sisters…I love you. I see you. I want to be more like you.
We want to hear your story–here’s how to share it with us!
Each Sunday we feature a new Coming Out Story on the Latter Gay Stories blog. Coming Out is an important process that is different for everyone; some experiences are difficult to hear while others are heart-warming and inspiring. Still, coming out is never easy and more often than not we draw inspiration from others through their stories. We rely on weekly submissions to keep the Coming Out Stories alive. We invite you to share yours now.