A nightmarish dream turned into a happy reality.

Only God can do this.  (This is my “I had a dream” experience)

Back around 1999-2000, I had a dream. For the prior past half-decade since God handed me my “get out jail free” card in late 1995 that took me away from any urges to buy female clothes and removed the intense, life-crushing shame that I experienced too often. As a result of possessing this card of new found freedom, I didn’t think of crossdressing, female clothes, the intense shame of it all, gender…nothin’ for many years.  I was living my life as a newly married guy with a wife and our first child on the way. I served countless hours at our church, worked hard, provided for my family. I had found my purpose and was living it.  I put that card in my “mental” wallet. Like anything in a packed wallet, you run into it from time to time. And I said “thank you God” when I did remember because it wasn’t on mind at all. It was done. Finished.

Or so I thought.

Then one night around the turn of the century I had a dream. It was a dream that shook me to my core. It was a single-frame vision of myself: I was standing on a stage platform behind a thin wooden-frame podium with a microphone as the lights were shining on me, I was not afraid to climb up on stage and speak in a dress, had glasses on, with curly shoulder length sandy light brown hair, smiling, was thinner…about size 12, had a curvy female figure, the dress was a white A-frame style with small green and yellow flowers sparsely dotting the fabric.

I woke up in sheer terror.

I thought “this isn’t of you God, how can this be? You saved me from this years ago. Surely this isn’t from you Lord!”

So I cast it out in the name of Jesus as a demonic attack. Remember, I (falsely) believed in the mindset that if you let a demon back in, seven other demons will follow. That 1 & 7 demon belief was shared in my church at the time. So I did ANYTHING in my power to constantly cast it out. Some weeks later it subsided. Either way, I dare not speak a word about this to anyone.

Around the same time I suffered two major panic attacks. Our church met on Wednesday evenings, not Sundays like most other churches. As we prepared to clean up after dinner and get ready to head off to weekly service, my heart started racing. So much so I was panicking. I thought I was having a heart attack. I wasn’t. At the time, there was no way to see the bigger picture: the dream that I considered a nightmare was having it’s way with my physical body, the stress of not telling anyone was bubbling over. But I didn’t understand any of these dynamics back then. I only thought it was marital stress and possibly doing too much at church…a busy schedule that was perhaps too busy?  I was so naïve.

As the weeks and months went by, I had one more occurrence of a panic attack. Never had them again like that. That nightmarish dream would pop into my head every so often, I would pray it away with “Satan you have no power over what God has done in my life, be gone”. And I thought I won.

I guess for a while I did “win”, temporarily so.  In all that “winning” I buried myself in my work. Escapism was in full-tilt but I didn’t know it at the time. I thought I was just “giving my all” to work, which was in the PC & Server support side of IT for my employer. On the train ride to & from my job I read the 950 page book “Using NetWare 5.0 ” cover to cover a few times. And other tech books.  I was burying myself in my job and my duties, there was no time for me…I didn’t see how off-kilter life was for me until years later. But back then, I was in full-on follow-the-script mode.

Fast-forward to 2013-2014. During this time I was sinking into deep depression and alcoholism and relentless shame. Shame that almost once devoured me in my 20’s that I was saved from had come back with a vengeance. That same nightmarish dream came back around in my mind for the zillionth time. (I had another dream but it’s for another discussion). As I held secret of my newly found truth in late 2013, that I was transgender, I became torn. Was that dream some 14 years ago all about me turning out to be transgender? Or was that dream really about me being trans yet having a compassion and unquenchable fire to minister/walk-with/stand-with those who are also LGBT?

Or was it all a lie from the pit of hell?  And did I allow seven demons back in to torment me so I couldn’t hold steadfast to the original miracle God gave me nearly 2 decades ago…that all of this hub-bub was in my mind and the fact remains: I’m not transgender, the miracle he performed for me in 1995 was sufficient?

So many questions. God didn’t say a peep to me. I was pissed off at God. “God if you could miracle MY butt from darkness in to light in 1995 why can’t you do it now?”

Crickets.

“Do you not care, God? Can’t you see my internal hell that I’m enduring? Why can’t you answer me? Why can’t you save me from this slide into hell….again?”

Then I thought “I must have let in those seven demons, God’s making me work this out for myself”.   (Look at all the false religion I bought into! It brought such heavy, false burden to my soul.)

Then it happened. The night of reckoning in August 2014. I knew I survived hell. The next morning wen I uttered the words “I am transgender” I knew which direction was right. I knew that the vision 14-15 years prior wasn’t a nightmare after all, but a prophecy, or at least a sign of things to come.  But the questions I still had were “God, if you miracled my sorry posterior in ’95, why did you not do it now in 2014?” And “Why even offer that miracle two decades ago only to go through it all again here in this century?”

As I came out at the beginning of transition, I started to think about this dream. When I came out to my sister I mentioned this dream to her. While we were talking over the phone, it occurred to me “in my dream I’m smiling”.  I had never noticed that detail before. 15 years later, after starting cross sex hormones, I indeed was smiling. Finally. Smiling.

Wednesday June 15, 2017. I have a small speech at Vanderbilt Benton Chapel for Pride Faith Night. It was an honor to be asked to share.

Two nights later a discussion broke out at a cookout with friends. Towards the end of the discussion, one gentleman was mentioning his understanding of scripture and God. It occurred to me while he was speaking of how parallel his words were with my own understandings. And that about the last ¼ of my speech I gave two nights earlier was the same of what he mentioned and we were discussing…of how mad we got at God for not answering seemingly legitimate prayers.

Then it hit me like a lightning bolt: “that horrific dream was fulfilled two nights ago”: I was standing behind a wooden podium with a microphone in church, the lights were shining on me, I was smiling, I was speaking to people, no longer afraid to speak, I had curly hair, oh and did I mention I was smiling?

While I didn’t wear a dress, a friend made a special trip to a Ross store so I could pick up a top that I couldn’t get out of my mind. I wore it for that speech. I felt it augmented my curves. And this: only the last few weeks have I really started to like the curves I’m seeing on the person in the mirror. Sometimes I can’t stop smiling at the curves I see. I’m finally seeing the real me in the mirror. I’m finally happy to see a “her” in the mirror.  All these years later life is making more sense. Her is me. She is most often found smiling.

As I laid in bed last night contemplating this revelation that the dream from some 18 years ago and how all of these pieces are fitting together, I have to wonder if it’s purpose isn’t fully fulfilled just yet. After all, it took me 15 years to realize I was smiling in that dream. I still ask God why couldn’t we just do all this back then and skip everything in the middle? I believe the answer is directly found in three people; my ex wife, my son, my daughter. The last two decades was about them, giving them life and support while sorting through my own issues. I supported them and continue to do so. And indirectly is found in the others I have now wonderful friendships with these days.

This truly is God’s better plan for my life.

And if I ever find that exact dress at a store, I will scream and cause a scene at the store! You can count on it!

An Open Letter To “Irene”

Dear “Irene”, this is an open letter from a fellow transwoman who understands what you are going through.

Irene,

I read Dr. Michael Brown’s exchange with you (link below) and would love the opportunity to converse with you further….

We all suffer from shame and guilt brought on by the “I shouldn’t be transitioning, this is stupid, this is against scripture!”. Then that shame eats us alive. I wrote about this very topic yesterday (link at bottom)

Major problem: if we assume our actions drive us far away from God, we are not looking the real God. Instead, we are attempting to fit our emotions and actions into a religious system. Psalm 103:12 is an observation for all time: He has removed our sins as far as the east is from the west. God isn’t far from you. In fact, he’s never been far from you even in the times you thought He was far away due to your internalized shame that you were “living against God’s will”. Rev 3:20 says he’s knocking at the door, which of course means He’s right there next to you! Psalm 139 tells us He’s always there.

Always.

We have this idea that sin separates us from God. That’s not true. God is never separated from us due to our sin because he bridged that gap when God in human form was killed on the cross.  His spirit is ALWAYS with us.

It’s the shame that pushes us away from God. It’s toxic shame that has us look away from Him and make us assume God can’t accept us “as we are”.  It’s shame that says “stop being who I made you to be and fit into a system of conformity called religion”.

It’s hellish shame that insists we detransition, cast away our transgender selves to be accepted by the church at large. They welcome us back in to their fold only when we “fit in” to their expected cookie-cutter mold. Yet, some time later, the strong urge comes back to retransition because we can’t keep a lid on it any longer. Then when we re-come-out as transgender, we will be cast out of their church then labeled as delusional, drinking the liberal kool-aid, insane, etc.

There’s a large problem with this church-at-large-acceptance of trans people only if they deny being themselves: God does the opposite of what the church is doing these days. Yes, the church at large is at odds with how God loves and treats His children, tragically.

God doesn’t care what you look like, what your genital status is, what your birth certificate says or what your chromosomes are. If He did, he would have demanded all the eunuchs in the biblical times repent and give up being anything intersex/transgender before accepting them just like modern preachers do these days. Does God do that? No. Did God mandate the authorities check the genitals of the eunuch so they could use the “proper” restroom?  No. Did God insist that leaders check the birth certificate of the eunuch to see if it had “M” or “F” on it?  No. God is only concerned about the heart of the eunuch person in Acts 8, not what’s in their pants.

Did God guilt the eunuch into “being what God created him to be” so they can be accepted by the same church-goers that rejected them?  No. The modern church does that, this is not God’s methods at all.

So why does much of the church in America “accept” trans people only if they sink to terrible shame-based, lows and deny being transgender when God doesn’t do this?  Because the church doesn’t represent God. It represents itself, a system of conformity to man-made ideals, not God-breathed possibilities.

God didn’t paint the universe in black and white, He used the entire spectrum of colors. And likewise with people, we are not black and white, he crafted us differently. Science has unearthed so much information about this topic, yet the church at large shouts “We don’t need science, we have God!”. Yet science is proving God’s breadth and depth of creation!

And to God that’s OK! But to the church at large, we are cast out…and only accepted back “once we stop running from God”.  How can we run from God when He’s right next to us at all times?

It’s the church at large that places the burden of shame on us. It expects us to conform. It rejects people who “aren’t Godly.” It’s not that the rejected people aren’t actually ungodly, it’s that the people in that church reject God’s spirit in front of them, in the form of a transgender person. It, the system, does not believe that transgender people exist.

It, the system, is wrong. God isn’t limited by it. Never has and never will be.

You’re married to a wonderful man, enjoy your marriage. You had your SRS, enjoy it. It’s God provisioned. You can’t see God’s provision through your shame. Once you ask God to remove the shame and show you His purpose, you’ll be much happier. HINT: you won’t be walking into a church with Dr. Brown any time soon, or ever. He will only accept you if you deny being who God created you to be: transgender.

Plenty of biological evidence exists to show we are wired differently in the womb. The church at large doesn’t believe in the facts in front of them from the myriad of research, so they label us as delusional and insane, then dare to put us in the “transanity” group.  Just as they did with those who suffer from ALS, epilepsy, etc. We are just as human and loved by God as them, to God there is no difference.

But to the the Dr. Brown’s of the world, there is a difference: we are not allowed in their houses of worship because we are different. The Pharisees did the same. They were called “the separated ones” because they believed in a “pure” view of scripture then cast out anyone else who didn’t believe as they did.

Sound familiar? The same has happened here in America. (See my recent article Modern Day Pharisees for more info). Jesus didn’t die for us to be shamed into a system, He set us free FROM that system. Including our church system.

How God treats and accepts His children is so very different than how the church at large accepts and treats God’s children.  The church at large demands conformity to it’s rules to be part of their club. Shame is a huge weapon to used to keep people inline. God doesn’t do that. The difference is so striking, many times I wonder if these preachers who separate God’s flock will be stunned at who is standing next to them in heaven: the trans person they rejected, the gay person they argued with, the politician on the “other side” of the political spectrum, etc.

A large part of the Good News is that Jesus destroyed the temple, where God’s spirit solely existed, so that we could be accepted as children of God anywhere, not just in their temples masquerading as conformity based social circles.

You are loved by God and accepted by God the way you are right now, including the shame. He’s next to you  Fall into God’s arms, continue your HRT, love your husband…God wants it that way because He made you that way.

This transgender woman (me) is loved by God just as are you, exactly the way you are in the “opposite” gender. 


God has known since the beginning of time you are made differently, it’s no surprise to Him. The guilt and shame you feel is brought on by those who don’t accept you unless you look like what they expect. You’re bowing to their expectations of you, not the way God made you. So you accept their shame as “correction” and “God’s better plan”.  God doesn’t shame you, mankind does. Even church-going mankind, especially church-going mankind.

Shame is brought on by doubt and fear. Those two toxic pieces have been used the past few years against transgender people in the political realm while claiming “it is of God”.  Don’t buy into that garbage either. There is only one of you. After you have passed, we slice your brain open, we will find the same as mine, your endocrine system was indeed made in reverse. Even then those that “accept you” because you “came to your senses” still won’t believe it.

Acceptance is true from God, but not from the church at large. Don’t swallow the poison pills of fear and doubt as those produce shame that stops you from being you.

God isn’t limited to man’s ideas of what God is.

Irene, please contact me via Facebook, I’d love to converse with you privately.  I won’t try to change your mind and I have a feeling you won’t try to change mine.  That’s the way I approach personal conversations. I want to show you my life, a trans woman who lived with intense shame for 4 decades grappling with this same demon you are wrestling with currently.

And no, Dr. Brown doesn’t have the answer, he only accepts you if you fit into his system of beliefs. That’s not God-like acceptance, that’s what Pharisees do. If you want acceptance by Modern Day Pharisees, that’s your choice.

When it comes to transgender people, Dr. Brown is far from God as he refuses to understand transgender people. He refuses to converse with me even after repeated requests in the past.

You’re not running from God, you can’t. He’s been next to you the whole time, just waiting for you to turn around…He loves you just as you ARE.

You are not a mistake as transgender, you are God’s beloved. He says you belong as you are.  No changing back is necessary, no matter how much the blanket of shame has suffocated your soul to see that. Don’t throw stones at yourself.

You belong to Him. Already.

 

Irene, you are transgender. God did make you that way. Don’t buy into the “I was choosing to be

 

Article Link:
https://stream.org/a-painful-transgender-warning-against-transanity/

 

FB discussion to this link at Dr. Brown’s site:
https://www.facebook.com/AskDrBrown/posts/1866000646758862

 

My reply to shame (prior to reading Dr. Brown’s article)
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1670759479892705

 

My profile link on Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100008760074073

 

 

 

The #GenderRevolution defined

As I looked out at the desert, hundreds of thousands of people just like me in complete silence as the sun was setting. We all wore brown parkas, hoodies over our heads and our heads were pointed down towards the sand. It was so quiet you could hear a pin drop, you could hear the rustling of the sand in the wind.  Everyone standing silently, suffering in desperate and quiet shame and guilt. No one dare speak to another yet we were all huddled together. You could not see anyone’s face, all were hanging low. All were facing away from the setting sun, all of us standing eastward toward the darkness of the night. We were all there because of the same reason.

I lifted my head, the sand that gathered on my hoodie fell to my shoulders and back to the desert floor. I turned around to witness the sea of silent desperation.  Hundreds of thousands of transgender people all with their heads hung low wearing brown parkas, silently suffering.

I know their pain. I am one of them.

Next to me was a small tree stump, I climbed onto it, then turned back to face the countless number of people. Then at the top of my lungs screamed “God, my God, why have you not heard their prayers to take this away from them? My prayers? You have seen them suffer, why do you not even speak a single word of healing over even one of them? Why have you forsaken all of us?”

With that I woke up.

This dream I had a few years ago was a visual illustration of what I had experienced and noticed from the countless stories I read of others: they were trapped. Being trapped, meant being scared, being filled with silent low-level anger and attempting to cope with each day…each hour…of the unspoken, internal misery.

We tried to pray it away. As you can see, God never answered our prayers. Never. Not one single prayer.

We tried to cast out demons in prayer groups. No demons were ever cast out because there are no demons to be cast out. It was a folly of human belief to think demons needed to be cast out of a person when there are no demons in the equation.  

We tried alcohol to numb the pain. It worked for a few hours. But more alcohol was needed to kill the ever-increasing pain. Then one day, even a half a bottle of whisky didn’t make a dent in the pain of the internal, silent hell.

We tried everything to deny who we really are to avoid the public exhuming of our souls if we ever admitted the truth.

We are not delusional, we are not anyone’s agenda, we are people with hearts and minds just like anyone else.

We transitioned to live. Finally live. Finally thrive.

But when we suddenly find our quiet and attempting-to-blend-in-to-society lives being used against us as political pawns for someone else’s fear-based gain, we fight back. We stand up. We say “enough”.

Do you expect us to roll over and be quiet as a small number of powerful religious and political groups attempt to erase our lives and contributions as citizens from our beloved United States of America?  No.

Hell no.

Yes there is a gender revolution, we choose life over death.  THAT is the “revolution”.

We choose to live. We choose to thrive.

God wanted us to live to be our real selves, that’s why He didn’t answer our prayers to remove the transgender from us. He wanted us to live the life He authored authentically. He wants us to thrive.

He made us transgender, that’s why He never answered our prayers to “cast away” being this way.

He accepts us as the very person He formed in the womb.  Can you accept us all the same?

#GenderRevolution

The fence that needs to come down

​My fingers clutched the chain-link fence until they bled as I was standing on the edge a busy boulevard. Suddenly I find myself fenced in with no way out. I was desperately banging on the fence but to no avail.

As I traversed to my right several feet, I was stopped at a corner of that fence and it too was also stationed at the edge of a busy boulevard. People were driving by at the intersection of the fence where the boulevards met. No one outside the fenced in area seemed to care. No one can hear my screams as the windows on their vehicles were rolled up as they continued on. My thoughts racing through my mind were that some passers by were glad to see us all socially quarantined, some apathetic and didn’t care if we were sectioned off, and some simply didn’t know.

As I frantically looked for an opening in the fence to get out, I gave up as I found none. Disheartened, I looked behind me and there were many people behind the same fences as me in the cordoned off city block. Everyone either had a rainbow T-shirt on or was wearing a tie-dye T-shirt in rainbow colors. There was very little grass, people were sitting on concrete generally smiling but crammed in to this city block but trying to make the best of their lives. There was a small tent in the middle case it rained. Otherwise we were exposed to the elements. Thankfully that day was mild, without rain.

I walked around inside the perimeter stunned to see that people were generally upbeat as they lived their life and accepted their future behind this chain-link curtain that separated them from the rest of society. I could not remain upbeat after suddenly finding myself isolated from the rest of society.

That was a dream I had very soon after I (finally) accepted my fate as being transgender when I was 43. I woke up from that dream frightened. However, instantly and absolutely I knew what it meant: I suddenly found myself inside the LGBT societal quarantine. The many already in there learned to not fight but quietly accept their city-block radius fate. God bless them if they can do that, but I cannot.

I cannot accept being a looked down upon as a second-rate citizen by all those outside looking at us inside this fenced area. We are humans, formed and created by the same God professed by those who quarantined us socially.

I cannot accept any of the “ewwww, look at them, they’re going to hell because they’re LGBT” that THEY place on us. I cannot accept they separate themselves from us. I cannot accept this division in our society for the sake of political gain nor assumed religious supremacy. I cannot accept how we are treated by politicians and many preachers as enemies, yet we are their neighbors down the same street they live on.

I cannot accept it at all.

I’m still looking for a way out of that fence not only for me, but for everyone inside the societal quarantine who hasn’t enjoyed the same freedoms as I did the first 43 years of my life.

We are people, saved by the same grace of God and who love this country dearly.

So when someone like a seemingly insignificant Lady Gaga even briefly mentions the word “transgender” in a positive light, along with singing “One Nation Under God” a couple minutes prior in front of millions watching the Super Bowl, it’s something to find hope in. Finally, someone outside this fence we are trapped in sees us as humans and is attempting to break down this man-made social quarantine that controls and shames us.

Yet many who don’t have access to millions of eyeballs watching them on TV do indeed see us as humans. They are doing God’s work locally by creating bridges of unity and tearing down the toxic “Us vs Them” in our country.

This damned fence is coming down, I’m going to see to it.