Open Letter to Deniers of Transgender Existence
So you believe that biological sex and gender identity are always inextricably linked. This, in spite of the fact that science is absolutely clear that they are not. This, in spite of the fact that the American Psychological Association, the American Medical Association, and the American Psychiatric Association are absolutely clear that they are not.
Okay, I would like to just suppose, for a minute. Just suppose that you might not be right. Just suppose that it is possible that a person might be assigned male at birth but identify completely as a female.
If you choose to stop reading now, you have chosen the ignore the potential harm that comes from denying the existence of transgender human beings, and the potential good that comes from affirming who we are. Please keep reading.
If you can imagine that it's possible for a person to be assigned male at birth to identify completely as a female, please also imagine what their life might be like.
Imagine waking up knowing who you are on the outside doesn’t match who you are on the inside. Imagine believing you can never be who you are; that you will spend your life pretending to be someone not truly you.
Imagine living in a world that constantly reminds you that there is something bad about being who you are. A world that demands it knows more about who you are than you do. Imagine continuously wondering if your life is really worth living - 41% of transgender people attempt suicide.
Imagine the ray of sunshine that enters your darkness when you discover that you can really be who you are, you are not bad, and your life has potential to be amazing. Imagine the courage to step into the sunlight and begin to live authentically.
I ask you: Are you so certain of your knowledge you would block that light from reaching a person who is transgender? At what gain? What good comes to you or anyone if you choose to block the light? Is this about God’s will?
Sometimes I am asked why God made me male if God wanted me to be female. Simple. Why is the sky blue? Science tells us why the sky looks blue. But, why blue? Why not magenta? Wouldn’t magenta be a pretty color for the sky?
The color of the sky question is really asking: Why does God do anything? Why does anything happen? What just happens and does God do? We don’t know why about a lot of things.
As I look at the dark parts of my life, I was always asking why, and I failed to think about what was the right thing to do. The right thing to do was really important to me. When I finally began thinking about that, everything changed.
Why transgender? I was raised in faith. As I came to believe that faith found me unacceptable, I became separated from faith; spent many years in darkness. Then, I found a place of faith where I could embrace my true self. I have come back to faith in an amazing way.
Maybe, that’s why. My journey has prepared me to help show people who are on a similar journey, who are living in darkness, to know it is possible to come back to faith, to be able to find God. Maybe, God wanted me to shine my light.
I know, firsthand, the harm that comes to a person when they are denied their true identity. I know the amazing beauty of finding a way to live authentically. I am blessed to have many more people in my life who enhance the light that shines into my soul, than people who try to block it. But there are many people who put great effort into blocking the light for me personally, and for all people who are transgender.
To me, that light is God. That light is the presence of God. And with the presence of God comes the love of God. All things are possible with God. Many of them are beyond my understanding. God doesn’t ask my opinion or my permission. God just promises to be there.
In truth, it doesn’t matter if that light comes from God, or if it comes from somewhere else. It is the light that shines into the darkness. Word.
I have learned to let the light shine into my soul. Believe as you choose, but please do not block the light. It is very important to my ability to exist in this world. If I don’t receive the light, I can not share the light with the world. You never know to whom I might bring light, given the chance. It might be you.
© June 15, 2015, Stephanie Mott
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