I am a real person

I am a real person. I cry real tears. I feel real pain. I experience real joy. I express and receive real love.

For all of the joy I experienced after changing my picture and profile yesterday, I experienced an equal measure of hurt. I received new friends; I lost old friends. I received very serious private messages of concern, and messages in which my intentions, by publicly writing, were called a veiled plan to cover the transition of which I was already certain.

I never wanted this time to come. I fought so hard to remain a male. For as peaceful as I feel about my brain and body finally coming into harmony, and the joy I experience living as a female, the good parts never last for long because the next hard thing appears, issues with family and friends and church and on and on.

I constantly return to the Lord, begging Him for mercy, pleading my cause, confessing my sins and begging Him to show me all of my sins that I might repent of every last one of them, seeking His good and gracious will for my life, imploring Him to turn me around if I am doing wrong—yes, even to literally break my legs if that is what it has to come to in order to wake me up.

People, who do not think I am bearing my cross or accepting my thorn do not recognize the weight of the cross I bear or the pain caused by the constant twisting of this thorn in my flesh. I bleed all the time. I am weighed down all the time.

There is nothing whimsical about experiencing gender dysphoria and transitioning. This has nothing to do with the pleasures which accompany it—as so many people seem to believe it is about wearing pretty things and every superficial aspect—but about being a real person.

I am not a pretender. My life is not a lie. I am a real person, with a real malady, a real mismatch of brain and body and life, who has studied this condition in its breadth and depth and width, who has reached out to so many people to get help, who has done everything humanly possible—to the best of my abilities—to live as a male with some level of peace. Greg did not require total peace. Greg was a realist. Greg was an excellent theologian. Greg experienced plenty of life’s troubles—frankly, most of life’s troubles, either personally or as a pastor—and accepts that life is not about being happy. But, if it is not about achieving a measure of peace so that one’s constant concern is not that suicide or insanity are staring you down, then both he and I fold, then he was and I am a lousy theologian and Christian, then I should just curse God and move along.

I am a real person. I am a real sinner. And, for Christ’s sake, by His death and resurrection, by His Word and Baptism, I am a real saint—justified and sanctified, the Holy Spirit at work in me just as He works faith and perseverance in every believer.

This essay was prompted by yet another extreme meltdown into tears and agony at 8:30 this morning. I have put nothing of the struggle of this life in my rearview mirror. After I wiped my tears, I had to write it out and present it, because my great fear is that, seeing my new picture and name change, too many are left to think that, well, that’s that, he thinks he’s a now a happy woman, he’s cashed in everything he’s ever stood for.

I’m still here. New name. New look. Changed outward identity. But, the same person. The same history. The same loves and joys and struggles and hurts. The same Christian faith. The same philosophies about life and politics and sports and vices and everything else that has formed me over these fifty-eight years of life.

I am a real person. I cry real tears. I feel real pain. I experience real joy. I express and receive real love.

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