As I rushed closer to 30 I felt the pressures put on women by society to settle down and start a family and I realised that ‘mother’ was another label I wasn’t comfortable with.
When I was 24 I was called to work at the Church of England Cathedral in Newcastle. The best way to describe being called would be that ‘this has happened for a reason’ feeling you sometimes get.
I was lay-staff (anybody who works for a church and isn’t ordained) working in the administration office when a new priest joined and talked openly and proudly about her son who was trans. The penny dropped. No wonder I was so uncomfortable as a woman – I wasn’t one.
My colleagues, both lay-staff and clergy, were amazingly accepting when I came out as a lesbian and were just as excellent when I came out as trans.
I had no idea what to do next – there are waiting lists for specialist clinics on the NHS that are sometimes five years long, and in the mean time you are left with no support. I dyed my hair from pink to brown, because men don’t have pink hair. I got rid of my dresses and makeup, because men don’t wear either of those.
I realised I had moved from the pressures of one gender stereotype to another. I now describe myself as gender non-conforming – I am a man, but I like a good dress and smoky eye.
I am also much more comfortable with my sexuality too. I am pansexual, which means I am attracted to people not their gender.
There are Christians who believe that cisgender heterosexuals are the only people worthy of love. What I need people to know is that most Christians believe that everyone is worthy of love.
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