Mallory, I understand your difficulty. I am. Christian, fundamental in “stripe”. My faith is the bedrock of my life.
That being so, with the intention of being a person of integrity, I have told pastors church elders, my children, wife and siblings about my gender struggle. I have used phrases like, “I struggle with gender brokenness,” or “I struggle accepting my self as a male,” or “I struggle with being male; I want to be a woman.” Honestly, with all whom I talk to, I dance all around the truth, without confidently affirming it. All those to whom I disclose accept me and my struggle, i.e. they accept that I am a male with a struggle, perhaps like one who struggles with alcohol or porn or fill-in-the-blank.
I suspect if I were to come right out and confidently say, “I am a woman. I simply want to be authenticly related to as the woman I know myself to be,” reactions would be much more negative.
At this point I am not ready to face those reactions so I define myself with words carefully chosen to prevent that wave of rejection. It is this refusal to be totally honest with others regardless of reaction that clearly tells me that I am not yet ready to transition.
Perhaps the most important aspect of being part of this and the CDH community is that I can state plainly, “I am a woman; trans not withstanding; I AM a woman.” My thought is by stating it clearly here eventually I will come to accept it so fully in my heart, that in conversations I will be able to replace, “I am gender broken,” with, “I am a woman, and I am happy to be who I am.”