Monday, November 2, 2009
Not a Mistake
The above clip is from an episode of The Tyra Banks Show in which Tyra interviews Isis King, the first transgender finalist on America's Next Top Model. Many of the other finalists raised concerns during the show about living with Isis and in this segment of the episode, Isis talks with Clark, one of the other finalists from that season, about her concerns. Clark, a self-identified Southerner and Southern Baptist, raises an issue that is often echoed by Christians who do not agree with transgenderism in general and transsexualism in particular which is that by wanting to change your body to match the gender you feel you are, you are implying that God made a mistake by putting you in the wrong body and this isn't possible because God doesn't make mistakes.
I use this clip as an example to discuss my feelings about this argument. I am a Christian, and was also raised Southern Baptist, and while religion will not be a major focus of this blog, it is an important part of my life. My transgender/transsexual feelings and my faith are important parts of who I am today.
In response to Clark's statement, Isis says "God doesn't make mistakes and I'm not a mistake." This is the same way I feel about my transsexuality. This issue was one of the major barriers I had that prevented me from understanding my own transsexual identity. I repeatedly heard and read other transsexuals say that they felt that God had made a mistake and that they had been born in the wrong body. But my faith had led me to believe that God doesn't make mistakes. It took a lot of self-reflection and prayer for me to reconcile these disparate feelings.
This reconciliation came out of my wish that I could one day just magically wake up a woman. I would constantly pray to either wake up the next day a woman or for the past to be changed so that I had been born female. I always felt things would have been so much simpler if I had been born female but I found that as I thought about this idea, I would spend a lot of time trying to think about how the events of my life could have been basically the same so that I would still be the same person, like the same things and have the same friends.
Then, one day I had the realization that if I had been born female, I would not be the person I am today. I might have been a very similar person personality wise and in terms of the things I like, but I would not have had the exact same life or the exact same experiences. And I realized that I like who I am. Even though I may feel that I am a woman and want to change my body to match that feeling, I like who I am as a person and wouldn't want to change that. That's when I had my epiphany.
God made me who I am and being transsexual is part of who I am.
He did not make a mistake, either for Isis or for me. Being transsexual is not "fixing a problem," it's just part of who I am. I was a man before and now I'm on the road to becoming a woman. Sure, it's not the same path that the majority of people take but that doesn't mean it's wrong. Being transsexual isn't a problem to be fixed or overcome, it's part of who I am.
I'm proud to be transsexual!
Now, this doesn't mean I won't have my doubts or concerns but it is something I'm feeling more confident about each day. All I know is that I can't do this alone. I love everyone who has been there to support me so far and I hope I will always have great friends by my side as I walk down this path. I also hope to someday have a partner, that special someone, who can walk this path with me. But that's a post for another time :)