This post is the second part of Transition & God I, where I discuss transitioning (and being transgender) within the context of faith. I described how identity is a big aspect of our relationship with God, and how to some people, transgender confusion about identity could indicate a lack of such relationship.
We all raised in a context that shapes our identity, whether we like it or not. We adapt to values, expectations, learn behaviors and unlearn others. Through this process, we often learn who we are. I talked about that with a friend recently. For transgenders, I daresay that this process is the opposite.
Our experiences with the identity that we are given, teach us who we are not. For example, whenever I tried to adapt to the idea of being a daughter, granddaughter, or niece, I would feel excruciatingly uncomfortable. I never felt genuine, and in fact, I felt like I was lying to the world, fooling everyone.
Twenty-five years passed before I realized that all that time, I had been feeling like I was just playing a role. I put on my female identity like a mask, and pretended that it was me. Putting on a mask and feeling like you have to hide yourself isn´t exclusionary to transgender identity.
Every one of us experiences a point in life where they are acutely aware that something is wrong. Sometimes we feel this through a midlife crisis, or through a depression. However, it always results in change and always brings us closer to our true selves. For transgender people, this feeling is constant.
Imagine living your entire life in crisis because you know who you are, but your assigned identity does not seem to match. And that is the moral of this story. Sure, there is confusion about identity that was assigned at birth, and societal expectations thereafter. Self-discovery dissolves this confusion.
Read the last part of this post in part III.