Guest post: Growing up to be a woman

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.


7 Comments on “Guest post: Growing up to be a woman”

  1. For me, I still have that dislike of conflict, and wish to hide, even though I have transitioned. I Had to transition, most important thing in the World, more important than relationships with family, but I still wish to win approval and avoid conflict in other situations. So I keep on growing up. Thank you for writing, posting, and being an ally.

    • Faith says:

      I certainly haven’t become a confrontational person, but when it comes to things that are really important I have found the strength to do what needs to be done. I still love to make other people happy, I’m just not willing to do it at the expense of my own happiness anymore. I’m glad you found the courage to live your life on your terms.

    • Grace says:

      Welcome to the blog, and thanks for the comment, Clare :)

  2. Julian says:

    Faith, my own story is similar, but from the other side of the fence. I was a child who was assumed to be a girl but who was really only a child, until I grew up to be a boy. I was told by my family, the people I thought loved me more than anything, that everything that was most important about me was wrong and shameful, so I never had the chance to become a man. I’m finally able to deal with that, to move on and to grow up; I’m beginning transition in middle age– at the expense of losing most of my family, who I found out didn’t love me as much as I thought they did after all.

    It’s little wonder to me that so many of us could only begin transition after years of giving in to what other people expected of us; there’s a kind of strength and courage to be found in the weariness that comes after fighting for so long. I’m grateful that, by joining our voices, we may all somehow make it easier for the young people who come after us. I hope the world is a softer, kinder place for them.

    All the best, Faith. You deserve it.

    • Faith says:

      Yes, I got tired too, but mostly I ran out of ways to distract myself from the distress that living as a man was causing me.

      Reflecting back on it now, it brings to mind Jesus’ saying “Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will keep it.” We are so afraid of losing the lives we built, but when we finally let go we gain a much better life than we had before.

    • Grace says:

      Thanks for the comment and welcome to the blog, Julian. I’m sorry to hear that much of your family has cut you off…I think one of the most amazing things about the internet is how it makes it more possible to join our voices and create alternative support structures where traditional ones have failed us. I hope you’re finding a community that embraces you for exactly who you are. *hugs*

  3. […] guest post is by Faith, who previously shared about growing up trans and Christian. In this post she writes about how her faith and spiritual life have been affected by her […]

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