I created this blog in 2013, and appropriately named it “Finding the Pieces.” I wanted to write while documenting the process of figuring out who I am (because what else is your 20s for?)
Along the way, I’ve written about some rather personal things on this blog, including my weight-loss journey, my faith, and some of my key relationships. And something I’m going to be writing about moving forward is gender.
I have spent the majority of my life wrestling with gender, and it has only been over the course of the last couple of years that I have started to come to grips with the following three words:
I am transgender.
denoting or relating to a person whose sense of personal identity and gender does not correspond with their birth sex.
Those words were–and sometimes still are–a great source of pain and struggle for me. As a practicing Christian, to even think that my gender identity might not fully align with my biological sex is terrifying. Words flood my consciousness, rightly or wrongly assigned to the voice of the church: you’re lying, God doesn’t make mistakes, you’re going to hell, that’s not possible, you’re just confused, can’t you just do XYZ to be more like a woman?
I tried for so long to learn to be a woman. I tried dressing like one, wearing makeup like one, behaving like one. But I never quite got it right. Even when I got pretty close, I still felt like I was putting on a costume. Like I was fooling everyone around me that I was a “real” girl.
I spent nearly two years wrestling with questions of gender until, finally, I was able to come out to my family, friends, and work family. I have changed my name to Parker, and I am asking people to use male (he/him) pronouns. I’ve cut my hair and started presenting more masculine. It’s all exciting and terrifying but the pros have certainly outweighed the cons.
I’m under no impression that things are going to get easier now that I am out and starting to socially transition. Quite the opposite, actually. Some people are insanely supportive and excited with and for me. Others, quite the opposite. My hope is that, over time, things will get better.
I don’t want to focus on my past. I don’t want to focus on what went wrong (nothing) or what could have been done to change me (nothing). I’ve spent too much time begging God to take this part of me away, and so instead I’m praying that he will help me learn to be who he made and knows me to be. I’m terrified, but I’m also so tired of hiding. And I’m asking you–my friends, my family, my church–to not let me go. I can’t do this alone.
For the friends and family who are reading this, I’m sorry if I haven’t had the chance to tell all of you in person. If you have questions or want to talk more about this, you know how to get ahold of me.
If you want to learn more about transgender issues, I highly recommend the book Understanding Gender Dysphoria by Mark A Yarhouse. He looks at gender dysphoria through the lens of a Christian worldview. If you’re too terrified to dive into that just yet, take a look at the helpful graphic below: