Hi. My name is Stephanie Mott. I was born in Lawrence, Kansas in 1957 and raised on a small farm outside of Eudora. My mom was the basis for anything I know about unconditional love and my dad was a good man and a great provider. I had two sisters and two brothers. The first thing I remember knowing about myself was that I was like my sisters on the inside, and my brothers on the outside. The second thing I remember knowing about myself was that therefore, there was something drastically wrong with me and I could never talk about it with anyone.

As I grew older, the struggles of not being me grew more devastating. By the time I was 13, I was having daily thoughts of suicide and I had developed an understanding that undeniably told me that I had to choose between God and being my true self, the result of which was that I lost both my relationship with God and my battle with authenticity.

At the age of 18, I discovered alcohol and it helped take away the feelings of fear and shame, and the pain of not being able to be the woman of my soul.

At the age of 48, I became homeless, still trying to live as a man and still struggling with not being able to stay sober. At this point in my life, I finally realized that I could not go on pretending to be a man, and that my only hope to be okay was to embrace myself as the woman I have always been.

At a chapel meeting in the homeless shelter in Topeka, Kansas, the people providing the service asked if anyone wanted to stand up and accept Jesus as their savior. I did.

Not long after that, I was invited to Metropolitan Community Church of Topeka. The woman who invited me there told me that there were transgender people there. It seemed impossible to me that there would be transgender people in a church, but I went anyway.

At MCC of Topeka, I finally found a place where I could be me, in the house of the Lord, and not feel that I was judged. Stephanie was born on the 23rd day of July, 2006 as she went to church for the very first time and found truth & self in the eyes of the Lord.

In the eight or so years since that day, I have remained sober. I have served for two years as the Outreach Ministry Coordinator at MCC and for two years on the Board of Directors. I volunteer in the community, and I work to provide education and advocacy for all persons who are marginalized.

I dropped out of college in 1980, but I went back to school in 2009. I now have an Associate's Degree in Human Services Management, and a Bachelor of Social Work Degree. I am working on my Master of Social Work Degree at this time, with anticipated graduation in May 2016.

I recently celebrated my five year anniversary as the Office Assistant/Grant Specialist for the Shawnee County (Kansas) Commission office. I serve as a commissioner on the City of Topeka Human Relations Commission, as community liaison for transgender inmates at the Shawnee County Jail, and as executive director/president of the Kansas Statewide Transgender Education Project. I am also the president of Capital City Now - the Topeka chapter of the National Organization for Women, president of Topeka Pride, and a board member for Equality Kansas, Topeka chapter.

As much as all of these things means to me, the great gift of authenticity is that I have discovered a relationship with God that is more amazing and wonderful than I could have possible imagined. I have had the great honor to share my faith journey in many places, and I am called to continue down this path, wherever it leads me. It would be my great pleasure and honor if you should like to come along.

Peace, Blessings, & Joy - (God's PB&J).


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