It’s been a very, very long time since I’ve put up a new post. But Jamie left a comment on the “My Story” page, and my response got so long and involved, I thought it deserved its own post. So Jamie, here are my thoughts:
Hi Jamie. First of all, thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment.
Having GID/being transgender really, really, really sucks. I’ve seen dark days in my life. Can you imagine how awkward, uncomfortable, dreadful, and awful it would be to have been born with genitalia of the other sex? To cross your legs or use a washcloth to cover up what you don’t want to see while in the shower/bath? To feel sick to your stomach while/after being intimate with your spouse? Etc. It’s hard!
Yes, I have experienced almost all of that.
I can choose my actions but I can’t choose to not be transgender.
You’re right. You can’t just “choose” the feelings away. It’s part of who you are.
I can’t change nor do I want to change my female wiring.
Nor do I. It would be like taking a knife to myself. It would be to destroy who and what I am. It has been the source of some of the deepest and most intense personal spiritual experiences I have had. But only after years of struggling. I have had those intense spiritual experiences only because I have struggled so long and so hard that I have had to strip myself of all sense of personal identity and cast myself before the Lord in abject humility, utterly naked in a sense, and tell Him that I would do and be what He wanted me to do and be rather than what I wanted. And after I had done so, He began to teach me what this all means to me and how it fits into my eternal identity and purpose—how the deepest yearnings of my heart could be fulfilled in a very literal and real sense, not by rejecting my role as a male, but by embracing it and fulfilling my entire mortal purpose.
I hope the same happens for you. And I hope it doesn’t take as long for you. I hope that you are wiser than I was, and that you commit yourself fully to the Lord with less fuss than I did. But I know that because He loves me, He permitted me to suffer as long as I needed to until I was ready to truly consecrate myself to Him.
Is it wrong for me to have strong, internal longings to be a loving mother, and a wife, and to nurture, and to care for others in a gentle, feminine way? Is it wrong to want to be a sister? To be a daughter of God?
No. I think it just means that you are tapping into your sense of eternal identity in a particular way that most people never do. That doesn’t make you better than them. It just happens to be the path to discipleship that the Lord would have you take. Remember, we all must travel the same strait and narrow path and enter in at the gate. But the Lord knows each of us well enough to know just what prick of pain we need to wrench us away from Babylon and drive us to our knees.
Am/Was I supposed to be able to go more than 12 consecutive months wanting hormones and a path toward sex change without doing so?
I have gone my whole life feeling an intense desire to change myself hormonally and physically. But I and many others have chosen not to transition. It can be done. And we have found our own places in the Kingdom and ways of dealing with it. The fact that I shave my legs and often wear nylon stockings under my pants doesn’t make me unworthy of serving the Lord. It’s just a coping mechanism. I have a friend who has found that an androgynous look works well for him. He is a counselor in his Elders Quorum, and is worthy of the post. I have another friend who is lovingly supporting his son through a transition, because he would rather see his son at Church in a dress than not in Church at all. He is a counselor in the Bishopric, and has the support of his Stake President.
Why do some people think I can’t or shouldn’t contribute to the world, serve in the church, and/or praise God as a woman?
I think no such thing, and nobody else should. The official position in the Church Handbook, as far as I’m aware, is that a post-operative may be baptized if otherwise worthy, but may not receive the Priesthood or Temple ordinances. So if, theoretically, you transitioned but continued to support the Church and those whom the Lord has chosen to be His servants, I personally see no reason you could not be baptized, take the Sacrament, attend Relief Society, and serve. But at what cost would you do it? You have been endowed, so you have already received higher ordinances than baptism. Did you marry in the Temple? If so, you have already received all the ordinances necessary for your exaltation. I can’t tell from your post if your wife actually has left you, or if you’re just going through a rocky period, but either way, the ordinance wouldn’t be dissolved unless and until she remarries. So that means that all that is left for you to do is endure to the end, that your ordinances may be sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise, and if you do, your exaltation is guaranteed. There is no fuzziness about that. The Lord has told us what we must do to receive those blessings in very clear terms.
Are you prepared to sacrifice those covenants for the sake of transitioning, even if you can still hold to a lesser law and covenant? Are you prepared to concede that the least of the three heavens is “good enough” for you? Particularly because I believe that there is a way for those very feminine parts of you to find expression and embodiment themselves, but only if you are faithful and enter into your exaltation. I hesitate to say to much on that point, because it is revelation that is personal in nature. But I will say that what the Lord has revealed to me on the point is very comforting to me, because it means that internal feminine expression will not be eternally trapped if I am faithful. And what I have felt is absolutely consistent with what the Lord has revealed through His prophets. I have tested my theories against scripture both ancient and modern, and where any speculation has veered from revealed truth, I have revised it to fit with revealed truth. What I personally believe on the point does not require me to reject the Prophets or their teachings, nor does it make me a “special exception.” Indeed, it requires me to embrace the Gospel and its covenants and ordinances in their fullness, and requires me to endure faithful to the end that all of my covenants may be sealed up unto my exaltation.
And if what the Lord has revealed to me on this point is true, He can reveal it to you. But it must come by the Spirit. I cannot give it to you. If you want, I will tell you what led me to it, and you can try it yourself to see if the Lord teaches you.
Bottom line: Despite my continued yearnings, I have no intention of making myself into a poor facsimile of a woman in mortality. The cost would be too high for me, and the benefits too few.