Wednesday, June 15

Coming out

When I was 7 I knew when I grew up I wanted to work with computers or be a pastor. Now that I am grown up I work with computers and will be one of Gods representatives to the LGBT community, particularly the transgender community.

My new name is Christine Spencer. I grew up Christopher Spencer.

While I had such clarity on what I wanted to be when I grew up I also had a secret. Many of my earliest memories are of me cross dressing and thinking I was a girl. I couldn't reconcile that with my body and I thought it was wrong. I knew girls do some things and boys do others. So despite these feelings and despite all the times I snuck on my mothers earrings (clip ons), or wore my sisters or mothers clothes...I told no one. I wanted to be good and I thought I was bad. It was a form of self loathing that only in the last few years have I begun to get over. In coming out now, I have made a choice. I have chosen to stop hating myself and with that choice comes the recognition that many people from family to friends to strangers will hate me for it.

As a child, I often dreamed I was a girl. I loved many girl things and many boy things. I often hid that I loved the girl things like playing paper dolls with my sister and watching girl shows like My Little Pony, Care Bears, and Strawberry Shortcake.

I could never quite reconcile it within myself and honestly I didn't want to. I wanted it to go away.

By high school I knew I liked girls. I thought surely this meant I was a boy but liking girls didn't really change my inner self, I still felt I was feeling more like a girl. I did boy activities but I wasn't fitting in. A large part of my childhood is lost to me now because I was not enjoying it.

When my puberty hit, I started to have breasts. Possibly that was because I was gaining weight fast but it could be something more. In any case, I have had breasts since. This was a source of both great comfort and great pain.

I remember once at scout camp where I was working on a life guarding merit badge and some little kid maybe 8 years old asked their father why I had breasts. It was devastating. He said what I thought, what I wondered, what haunted me.

Even today, I wonder if under the physical male shell there isn't more going on. It's probably nothing. I am probably in just a regular mans body but I am not like other men. I am also not fully like women.

Being trans is best understood if you think of a sliding scale with different points on the line. Some men are all men...Some women are all women...but in between we have a wide variety of people with different tastes and visions of themselves which they express in their clothing choices, in their mannerisms, and in their relationships. None of us are exactly alike.

Most people identify very closely to the lines that match their bodies but many are in between and some, like me, cross over to the other side. It's neither wrong or right, it just is. You are how your mind sees you to yourself and after a lifetime of trying to change it and believe I am not on the other side of the line...I accepted I was and I accepted that it just is.

I think I prayed more prayers than stars in the sky asking to have it changed. God never answered me until I felt him call me Christine and later when he woke me up to start They Know Not...which has not received the attention it has deserved.

All that praying with no answers...but I didn't lose faith because God has been good to me. He has blessed me by answering other prayers, saving my life (on more than one occasion), and giving me my wife and children. Many lessons also have been learned over my life because of him.

Today, I am able and called to come out boldly because of his love and his enduring grace. I can do it with my heart clean having rejected and grown out of much of my sin nature by his guidance without fear that I am letting him down. Without fear that I am lying to myself. Without fear that I am slandering his name.

My God is good. There are none like him. He created the heavens and the Earth and all things in them. His power and vision are unmatched.

It's a mighty small box painted around God if people think he can't create people like me. Clearly he does because I am a witness to it and so are millions of other believers. Our experiences are different, our walks on paths less traveled but our destinations are the same.

I'm out. I'm me. I'm going to reach people that are lost. If you have a problem with that, you are not standing against me...but against God who stands behind me. Leading me from behind much like a driver in a car steers the wheels of the car.

I take the Bible very seriously. I still believe the Earth and all creation are young. I don't believe our story stopped with the early church. I don't believe that the Bible is the end only the guidebook from which we can learn about God. We are his messengers. His people.

He entrusted us with sharing his love in every generation across all time and to all people. My job is to share it with others like me. Standing against someone in Gods name does not bring them closer to God. It does not change them in a positive way. Degrading them does not uphold How precious and wonderfully made they are to God.

Doing these things does not lift up God, it pulls God from their grasp. They get lost and abandoned. This has devastating consequences which are well detailed in study after study.

That is not how God works. It's fruits are layed bare for those with eyes to see. It is because of this that I must come out and pick up my cross.

I am Christine Spencer, trans-woman, follower of Christ, servant to all.

Love and grace to all who read these words. I pray you can understand.

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