TransFormation Ministry has been created to address the relationships of people who are gender diverse. Relationship with self, with God, with a partner, and with family and friends. Plenty of resources are available that address the aspects of physical transition. You can discover what the medical risks are for hormones, where to buy binders and prosthetic genetalia, how to change your name and gender tag, discuss which public restroom to use, discover tips and tricks on how to pass more effectively, evaluate which surgeons are the best at sexual reassignment surgery, etc. These are all critical conversations to have, especially for someone who is just getting started, but we have noticed a lack of discussion about the transformation that takes place on the inside while the outside is getting all the attention.
As a person who is transgender, you have a lot of work to do on a spiritual, emotional and relationship level while embarking on such a dramatic journey. Your relationships with family might be strained, sometimes to breaking point, over the use of birth names and pronouns. The circle of friends that used to embrace you might now be pulling away, uncomfortable with the noticeable differences in you. Your communication with God might come to a screeching halt due to uncertainty about the spiritual implications of transition. And while there is sure to be much excitement about the changes taking place in your body, you might distance yourself from your own past out of shame for what used to be a duplicitous reality.
As the partner of a person who is transgender who has just revealed their true gender identity, you might call into question the integrity of your entire relationship before now. You may feel confused about your identity and sexual orientation. You may doubt whether you can continue a relationship with a partner of a different gender than you had initially been attracted to. Physical intimacy may change as new boundaries and limitations are established. The transition has now required you to become an educator and advocate to your own family and friends. Children in the relationship will now need to learn how to refer to your partner now.
As the family member of a person who is transgender, you might worry that your loved one has done (or is about to do) something horribly wrong. You might think they will be mutilating their seemingly perfect body. Maybe you have questions that you don’t know how to ask: Is it okay to grieve the loss of the kind of future you once desired for your loved one? Will the children be able to comprehend what’s going on? Is changing your gender like saying God made a mistake? Why does your loved one resist looking at photos from their past or talking about the “good ol’ days?”
As the friend of a person who is transgender, you might feel betrayed. You may think your lesbian friend thinks the lesbian community “just isn’t good enough anymore.” You may think your gay friend is just taking the drag act way too far. Perhaps you think your friend’s behavior is erratic or there is mental instability. How do you approach the new boundary lines your friend has seemingly just drawn, when you need some time to get used to the idea? What ramifications does this now have on your girls’ night or guys’ night out now that your friend doesn’t fit into the same gender party anymore?
These are the kinds of issues we hope to address at TransFormation Ministry. We invite you to take a look around. Follow our blog and stay up to date with us by subscribing to receive our emails, and sign up to receive the latest news on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Tumblr, and LinkedIn. Maybe you are looking for someone to speak with your company, congregation, community, or conference. We provide education, awareness, and advocacy training. Feel free to contact us with your needs.