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Can you really find a Church that will accept all of you???

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Managing Ambassador
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(@codillebenton)
Active Member     United States of America, Maryland, Baltimore
Joined: 6 years ago
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The short answer is that yes you can. But as most of us have encountered, finding that home isn’t as easy as googling it on the internet. In today’s world, the general attendance at churches is dropping, which is probably of no great surprise to anyone. In today’s world, the baby boomers are getting older, and less of them took their kids to church when they were younger. So, Gen X may have never even been exposed to organized religion. There are scandals popping up in what seems to be daily news releases. Many churches are starting to use the internet as a place to advertise as well maintaining a website.

Now, depending on where you are in the world, what religion you may practice or have been raised under is as varying as the types. You could be in San Francisco in the center of self-expression or in contrast, you could be in the deep south of the US, at the center of conservatism. Could you find a church in both locations that accept you for who you are; yes? Could you also hit a wall of disgust in both places; again, yes?

Then how do you start looking? This is the very simplified version. Things will likely never go this smooth; if they did I would not be writing this. Well, a good place to start is to actually look up the list of overall churches and visit their websites. Yes, this goes opposite of what I said about them advertising, but you have to find out what this religious organization is about, and you have to start somewhere. If you don’t like what you are seeing, then there is no point in looking any further at them, and you should move on to the next one.

I am going to use the Episcopal Church as my example. I am Episcopalian, and with the exception of a few, completely accepted within my congregation. If you check the church's main website you'll notice a stated message, “All Are Welcome.” You may find several religions that you never even considered or have heard about; keep your mind open—just as you want a new church home to do for you. When I went looking for my church home, I had two religions that I looked into.

So now what? You found a religion(s) you are interested in; which church should you go to?

Next time, I will offer some help in figuring that out without having to attend 20 places to find out which one might be the best choice for you

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Posts: 13
(@ginnirg)
Active Member     Sweden, Uppsala County, Uppsala
Joined: 6 years ago

I had the same question right when I wanted to start my transition. Luckily I had a friens who was priest in the church of Sweden so I got a short chat with him about how the Church of Sweden would handle the "new" me. was really surprised when he told me that he has led a small service for one person in his parish and he told me that the C of S had no rules about this, just that all are welcome who want to be a member of the church, He just gave me a small warning that there might still be one or a couple of priest that had problems with accepting us, so I should be a little cautious and try to find out how the person that I met, All this happened 18 years ago and I have not had any problems with the parish here in Uppsala, Sweden. I wish you all to meed the same open minds in your congregation. Your Ginnie.

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(@wandas)
Joined: 5 years ago

New Member     United States of America, Georgia, Atlanta
Posts: 4

I live in the Deep South, I really like my church and my pastor however I know when I start HRT, my pastor or anyone in the church will understand. I am really thinking about meeting we my pastor and telling him about Wanda. I have discussed this with my therapist because she knows how important religion is to me.

WandaS

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Member
(@ginnirg)
Joined: 6 years ago

Active Member     Sweden, Uppsala County, Uppsala
Posts: 13

As far as I have understood this , this can be very depending of which "branch" of the religion, Christian or other, that the congregation is represented. I know that some groups of Christians are really upset about the existence of transgender persons. So I would advice that you try to look into how your closest congregation lookse upon us. Ant let that guide you to how you need to treat the relation. Always remember that this is nothing the we have "got as bad ideas" We are just like we are. The most important for you is to feel well in the new social role you will end up in. Some times it is best to take small steps to start with to make you feel secure. It may be easier if you van find someone close that really understand about TSism even if they are not TS themselves. But it is possible to go all the way alone that I did. It can be harder or easier depending on your age,
JUst a small think that you could have in your mind id: IF you find out that this is not the right ting for you, you have learned so much about how to be a woman that you will be a good partner for the one tou might share the future life with.
I really welcome you on the now life that I think and hp you will have,
Many Hugs from
Ginnie

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Managing Ambassador
(@codillebenton)
Joined: 6 years ago

Active Member     United States of America, Maryland, Baltimore
Posts: 3

Wanda,

If you need to bounce any thoughts off anyone on how you want to approach this let me know, I am a pretty good listener.

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Posts: 2
Member
(@charlie)
New Member     United States of America, Ohio, Cuyahoga Falls
Joined: 6 years ago

Try United Church of Christ. They are very accepting of all including me .

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Posts: 4
Member
(@equus)
New Member     United States of America, Washington, Bothell
Joined: 5 years ago

Metropolitan community church is for the entire LGBT community

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Posts: 17
(@patriciamarie)
Active Member     United States of America, Oregon, Hillsboro
Joined: 6 years ago

It's not really easy to accurately assess churches and their acceptance level by their websites. Keep in mind that some churches actually can separate gender identity and sexual preference. This means that they may have reservations regarding all the GBLT, but be able to accept transgender. One web site that rates churches for their acceptance rates my church as non-accepting, but I find that to be inaccurate.

Sometimes, a compromise is necessary, both on the part of the church and the transgender individual. I've worked out that kind of compromise at the church I've attended for over thirty years. I struggled with my trans identity for several months after come back to Christ and began attending that church.

I spent time in prayer; I even did a three day fast. No matter how much I prayed or fasted, I just couldn't shake my need for feminine gender expression. It seemed that God was refusing to answer my prayers. That really frustrated me because I had prayed for many other things and God was quick to answer, but on this subject he was silent.

Then one day in desperation, I fully dresses and went into prayer. I came before God as myself in all my feminine glory. I spent over a half an hour on my knees by my bed crying out to God for an answer. I ended my prayer with my face buried in the comforter with tears flowing. As I lay there trying to catch my breath, God finally spoke.

He simple reminded me of the scripture found in I Samuel 16:7 "... The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart." I then saw myself in a vision, in much the same pose as many paintings of Christ praying in the Garden of Gethsemane, dressed just as I was then, with the light of Heaven shining down on me.

I came then to realize that God had been silent because he really didn't have an opinion about how I dressed or what gender I saw myself as, he only cared about my heart. About what was in my heart and my willingness to follow in Christs footsteps.

Having reached that conclusion, I vowed to always approach God as who I was, and forgo trying to conform to some ridged construct of society. It was then, that I took my underdressing to truly full time, including my bra and at that time modest breast inserts. Over the years, I've done away with my men's clothes in favor of the women's counterparts.

Since that time my pastor brought up to me in a private meeting that some had notice my bra strap. I admitted to him, much the same way I admitted to God, that I was wearing a bra. Having seen me in service to the church and viewing my contributions in time and money to church, he applied the scripture found in Mathew 7:16 and 17. "16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit."

He told me that he would let me work it out with God. Shortly thereafter, he brought in some outside ministers who taught the staff regarding how to minister to transgendered individuals. It was a closed teaching, open only to staff members. I'd have loved to hear that teaching, but, not being staff, I couldn't. I waited to see after that what the fallout would be and saw none.

The pastor treats me the same, valuing my opinion when I make observations. Calling on me to help with maintenance of the church, just as he did before. When I bought a house two years ago, I mentioned to him that it needed painting and asked his advice about painting it because he had, at one time, supplemented his income with a side business house painting. He offered to do the painting for me because he still had all the equipment.

Now to the compromise. Because of all the members who had seen me as male for all those years, I compromised by restricting my attire at church and church functions to the butch portion of my wardrobe. My typical attire for church consists of, starting from the ground up, women's boots with a low heel, elastic waist pull up slacks with no hip pockets or fly, an oxford shirt with the buttons on the distaff side (left) and of course lingerie underneath. My modest breast inserts have been replaced with a full C cup. I've let my hair grow out and while the rest of the time, I wear it pulled back at the sides with a single barrette at the crown of my head, at church and church functions, I pull it back into a high ponytail.

The real compromise is that I use the men's restroom.

Given the horror stories I've heard about others and their problems with church, it's compromise I can live with. I might note that this was all my idea; Pastor didn't make any stipulations beyond leaving it to me and God to sort out.

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Managing Ambassador
(@codillebenton)
Joined: 6 years ago

Active Member     United States of America, Maryland, Baltimore
Posts: 3

God listens to prayer. It is society that doesn't listen always to God (All the way back to the Garden of Eden). Well written Patricia, and pray for others!

Codille

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Silver
(@charee)
Joined: 5 years ago

Reputable Member     Canada, Hawarden, SK, Canada
Posts: 219

Agreed. . . that's why, what we do here is so necessary and important 😉
We are the offspring of a deathless soul. . .
Namaste' 😉
Char

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Posts: 4
(@mchloe)
New Member     United States of America, Georgia, SouthWest Atlanta Metro
Joined: 5 years ago

Find a church that proclaims "No Perfect People Allowed" there's a book out that explains the challenges churches face in our new, "post-modern" world.

https://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/712924-no-perfect-people-allowed

People talk about "tolerance & discrimination". Fact is the most discriminatory group of people are those that get together, all across America, at the same time EVERY SUNDAY MORNING! And it's high time THAT changes . . . (ps: My church's live Sunday VDO stream is here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXSD-02AvgtANhYwdWCrwoQ )

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Posts: 219
Silver
(@charee)
Reputable Member     Canada, Hawarden, SK, Canada
Joined: 5 years ago

I was painting a home interior a few years ago.

I was wearing short cut off denim short shorts, boobs in a tank top, bare feet with painted toes and boho foot jewelry... That's only important to mention because after two weeks of painting there, and joining the home owners for supper each night, did I discover the home owner, a wonderful lady and husband Farmer, is a Minister at a rural United Church.
I have not gone into a church for many years now, yet I do believe we are all doing God's work here. I did tell this wonderful soul that if anyone had inspired me to attend a church again, she could haha

We had some really great conversations in those weeks and remain friends today, still having those wonderful conversations.

Thanks for this Cyn...I look forward to the next read girl 😉

Til then
Namaste' n warm huggles Dear
Char

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Posts: 9
Member
(@josiejay)
Active Member     United States of America, Alabama
Joined: 5 years ago

I live in the deep south as well(Alabama) If you want an accepting church, get thee to a Unitarian Universalist congregation. I attend one sporadically (and will go more often after I move). Wonderful fellowship, wonderful people and they are very accepting of LGBTQ. They are also accepting of Atheist, even Pagans.

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