From my earliest memory, I felt like a male trapped in a female body. It made my day when people would mistake me for a boy. At nine years old, I heard there was such a thing as (what we used to call) a “sex change operation.” I made a vow that one day I would change my name to David, get a sex change, and live happily ever after.
In junior high, I became suicidally depressed. I was intensely jealous of the boys around me who were becoming everything I longed to be. Then, I discovered I was attracted to women. I didn’t want that. I didn’t choose that. But I felt helpless to change it. I wanted to kill myself, because it was too painful to live in this body. As I tried to make sense of my life, I reasoned that as a male trapped in a female body, it was normal to be attracted to women—that just made me a straight man. If I could only hold out for that sex change operation, my world would finally make sense.
But then I started thinking through the results of getting a sex change. How would I tell my family? Would they reject me? I was unsure of how they would respond, so I figured I only had two options. I could run away, get a sex change, and live happily ever after. Or I could give up my dream of being a man. I would be consigned to suicidal despair, but at least I would be sure to keep my family. I remember the day I chose option B. My family was all I had, and I needed their love.
From that point on, I did what I had to do to survive and keep my deep, dark secret. I tried to “cure” myself by experimenting sexually with boys, hoping it would awaken something within me. But it only intensified my jealousy. I wanted to be the man with the woman, not the woman with the man.
As a high school junior, I heard the gospel for the first time and started following Jesus. As a Christian, I thought all my desires would suddenly go away, but I woke up the next morning still attracted to women and still desiring to be a man. I lived a double life until my senior year in college when I confessed everything to my campus pastor. I expected him to reject me, but instead, he thanked me for confiding in him and got me the help I needed. He showed me grace, and it made all the difference.
Over the next eleven years, my life was transformed. I discovered that I hadn’t been born gay or transgender, but rather, painful experiences had affected my view of sexuality. The lie that “it’s better to be a man than a woman” had been deeply embedded in my soul. The answer to my gender dysphoria was not changing my body to match what my sinful mind was telling me, but rather renewing my mind to align with the body God gave me.
As I came into agreement with the truth of God’s Word and received inner healing prayer for painful experiences in my past, my desires began to change. Eventually, I embraced my God-given body. Today, I’m fully content as a woman and fully attracted to men. It’s not that I can’t be tempted with desires from my past. But God has so deeply satisfied the thirst in my soul that I no longer crave what I once did. That’s not who I am anymore. I’m a living example of what Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 6: “Those who indulge in sexual sin . . .or practice homosexuality . . . none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God. Some of you were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God” (verses 9, 11).