Guest post: Growing up to be a womanPosted: November 2, 2011
I’m participating in National Blog Posting Month – which means I’m aiming to post at least once a day for the month of November. Most of these will be my posts, but there’ll also be a few guest bloggers, which I’m really excited about!
AWH Reader Faith has generously shared some of her writing on growing up trans and Christian, and her Christian faith now as a transsexual woman. This is the first of two posts. – Grace
Like most of these notes, this one was triggered by a question. “Why didn’t you transition sooner?” There are all kinds of reasons (excuses) I could give, but here’s the real reason: I wasn’t a woman until recently. OMG! Did she just say that out loud? Transsexual heresy! o_0
OK, pick your jaw up off the floor and listen for a few minutes. I wasn’t able to be a woman until I grew up. Long before I was a woman I was a little girl. I craved approval, others’ opinions of me were much more important to me than what I thought of myself. Actually I didn’t have much of an opinion about me apart from what others said about me. My self worth was mostly controlled by my parents, teachers, and peers. I was terrified of conflict, I never wanted to disagree with anyone or have them feel that I was in the wrong. I learned fairly young that being a girl was something that I should only do secretly. Playing the boy everybody told me I was kept me out of conflict and sheltered me from at least some disapproval.
But the little girl kept dreaming and praying and wishing she would grow up to be a woman. As her body changed and betrayed her, she retreated into a fantasy world where she was somehow magically transformed into a beautiful woman (who, crazy as it sounds, could build a mean racing engine). On the outside, she tried to fit into the role that was expected but she wasn’t very good at it. And how could she be? A little girl is not able to be a man, even if she can grow a foot-long beard.
Years went by, and the little girl told her secret to her brother who she trusted more than anyone else in the world. Rejected! God, how that hurt! But we don’t grow without pain, and even though I didn’t know it at the time I was starting to grow up. The hurt healed, and I grew into the new freedom and responsibility I had thrust upon me. At 35, it was way past time for this girl to grow up!
Like kittens always grow up to be cats, when little girls grow up they become women. This woman didn’t care what people thought about her, she cared what God thought about her. She learned that with God’s help she was able to do anything God called her to do. This woman was no longer willing to live a lie in order to win approval and avoid conflict.
Growing up to be a woman was painful at times, but now that I’m grown up I can see that it had to be this way. Without that pain the little girl would have been a desperate fantasy in a dark basement instead of growing up to be a real live woman with the sun on her shoulders, the wind in her hair, and joy in her soul.