This week, I am so happy to have my very good friend, Kayla, write about this topic. I met Kayla through church, and I am so thankful for her and the joy she brings to my life. -Michael
Kayla and I. I don’t like this picture, but I absolutely adore the person in it with me.
My name is Kayla Shade and I am a twenty three year old transgender woman. Church is a wonderful place where we can find a community with God and others that are like minded, however there are issues with the expanse on transgender people in churches. I find that when I go to church it’s not only amazing but difficult at the same time. I enjoy seeing some of the church members but others I do not. For reasons of maybe not agreeing with who I am or maybe something else like a fallout. I don’t need to explain the details on whether or not its easy or hard, I think that every church is different and some can be more inclusive than others. I have always been in a small church and really enjoyed that through my youth. The aspect that you get to know everyone can be something totally amazing and filled with joy, however that can also be a curse. When I transitioned and began my journey I was very nervous about coming out to my peers and my fellow worshipers. I found out that some people whom I really admired did not agree with my standings, and others that did. I grew to find that about half of my church was totally willing to accept me for who I am and where I was going. For a small church I think that is truly amazing and when I go back to church (which I do not go very often anymore) I see that more and more people are willing and open towards me. I think that over time anyone and everyone can respect one another.
transformation tuesday! stunning & so gorgeous!
I believe that churches are going in the right way, and that the difficult times can be found at any church. I still have kids that don’t recognize me anymore, or that ask me why I have a deep voice with their parents looking at me like what do we say back… I still feel sad that I do not feel right going on a stage where I used to sing, and now will not. I know that I would be welcomed back on that stage but I digress. Churches have a long way to go but they are starting their journeys as well. I cry about this subject a lot because I don’t know what I believe in anymore, and journing into a world where I see signs that say pretty falgure things about whom I am and coming from a small part of the church community it can be hard. I believe that not every christian or person is like that. However, I have friends in the LGBTQI+ community who think that every christian is like that. Where I find my peace and my relationship with God is not in church, not in a car blasting music… it’s nature that is where I find my peace, and that’s my sanctuary. I believe it’s my church and I find that I do not need to feel threatened in a way, or asked questions or what am I doing with my life, but just be with peace, love and caring. I wanted to express that I found that when I lived in a different state and different places that I did not want to go to a church but find peace. We all have to find our own way, and being transgender and out in the world can be hectic almost all the time. And for me I did not want others to be apart of that experience I have unless I want them there to worship with me. Do not let anyone tell you that you can not be who you are or what to do. You are amazing and can go to any church find those people that will love you for who you are. Now I might be in a church alone but I find that to be the best place for me. Find your home, find your people, and find love with your community at churches.
(this is my favorite photo of her <3)
You are strong and amazing, and be who you are at church and in life, because you should not feel trapped in anyway. I thank you for allowing to write my little thought on this subject and thank you again! I hope your day is magical and full of love and finding that relationship with the one.
Sincerely, Kayla Shade