Being in a dilemma, a condition in which I can relate with abundance.
My background is deeply rooted in Fundamental Christianity. I have a wonderful younger brother (the baby of the family to be exact) who is an Independent Baptist Preacher, building a church and family in British Columbia. My step-father is a Deacon in the church. They have been some of my most loyal friends, and cheerleaders as I pass through time in this world. They have been there for all of the major tragedies and triumphs of my adulthood; I don’t know how I could have survived without them.
We have reached an impasse, as I have decided to embrace my gender identity as a woman. This conflicts completely with both my brother and dad (read step-father, but it takes so long to type), and their view of what they believe is the Truth as revealed through the Bible. I knew when I was making this decision, to finally accept who I am and do something about it, or keep squashing it and suffering in silence, that they would have to choose to continue being my support, or turn away from me.
They chose to turn.
Their reasons are many, and varied, but can be condensed to one main theme: I’m sinning.
My dilemma has so many facets, I myself haven’t taken the time to unpack them all. What if they’re right? What if God is turning His back on my sin? What if I never was a Christian? What if What if What if. Then, there’s the reverse…What if God is ok with this? What if God knew I was going to do this and asked “What took you so long?” What if What if What if.
I haven’t spoken to my brother for a year and a half, and when I go to see my mother, my step-father requires me to dress male, or he’ll leave the house. Out of the respect and the love I have for my mother, I visit dressed as male. Out of the respect and love I have for dad, I go dressed as a male. Personally, I don’t see a conflict in that. Women dress in men’s clothes all the time, and eventually I won’t be able to hide the results of hormone replacement therapy. I’m ok with it. They, however, refuse to accept me as woman, still call me son, brother, uncle. They won’t even take the time to read the latest medical journals to see that what I’m suffering is real. They say that if it is real, a Christian’s duty is to suffer in silence, to not give in to the sin of changing what God created.
I used to believe the same thing.
Another dilemma arises. How do I conform my beliefs, so rooted in my heart, after having so many personal experiences with God? I know God exists. No one can tell me different. I know God loves me. No one can tell me different. I also know I suffer from gender dysphoria, as much as I know I suffer from agoraphobia, bi-polar disorder, and anxiety. So, how can I, with all I’d been taught, and believed about the LGBTQ+ community and “life style”, be “one of those people”? How do I smash my religion or conform my identity into my religion?
Believe it or not, I have been able to reconcile the issue. The “How” is another story, for the tale is long and tortured. It is a shame my dad and brother can’t do the same.
Dilemma faced, still being faced; I think I’m stronger for it, but miss my brother’s presence in my life.