Reply To: Transgender People of Faith


I am continually trying to understand myself, and one big question is: Why do I persist in trying to fulfill my commitment to the Catholic faith. Although I’ve been trans since puberty, I only started going to church in my female form about seven years ago. I’ve never had anybody be mean or unkind to me, I’ve never had any off-color comments, and nobody has ever refused my hand. I do pass but after all this time I don’t doubt the congregation has seen enough to spot me. But I struggle with the guilt they want to put on me in the confessional. When I was in my teens and 20s I went through a few brief phases where I was in-between boyfriends and felt very desperate for attention from men, so I often went out and about presenting and behaving in a slutty manner. And I did some things I’m not proud of. I’m looking for forgiveness not just from myself but from God. Well I finally told all this in Confession — probably the longest Confession ever! — and before being given my Penance I got a lecture that was really a bit out-of-bounds. These were sins from a long time ago, I didn’t need to be told that my feminine impulses and my transgenderism generally was a sign of hopeless moral corruption. I sat there and listened respectfully, I did my Penance and tried harder to be what I am within the bounds of my religion, whether or not they accept me. But I have to admit what the priest said to me really hurt my feelings. I cried over it. I feel guilty enough as it is, but never got the caring, loving forgiveness I was looking for.