Ex-gay pastors like Real Love Ministry’s Edmund Smith may preach to people with so much prejudicial blindness with misinformation on transsexualism. But when it is unmasked, the truth remains; there are no thousands, let alone hundreds, even ten “ex-gays”. But when one opens their eyes, a troublesome fact is revealed – many, many ex-Christians. For some years, I tried to reach out to those who have turned away from God. But at the end, I understand why they reject Christianity.
Some people, transsexuals like me, cannot choose who we are. Unless there is technology to electrocute our brains to recognize our birth sex, we are stuck trying to get our sexual identity to match our brain sex. The pain and distress is real. But it is easier to let go of an idea about God. And forget religious faith.
In the years after leaving the community of Real Love Ministry, I have discovered just how untrue the ministry is in its set up, especially in their revised interpretation of the medical condition transsexualism, into some “lifestyle”, and ridiculous attempts from ex-crossdresser Edmund Smith in declaring himself an ex-transsexual.
Transsexualism, or in World Health Organization’s oft-used term Gender Identity Disorder (Dysphoria), is something we are born with and have to live with until the day we die. So imagine my disgust of someone preaching to me that my existence, down to my genes and medically female brain sex, is a “sin”.
God at that time, was as real as what tremendous suffering I have to go through. At my time in this “ministry”, this “ex-transsexual” tells people how he flipped genders between his mother’s choice and his boyfriend’s request. I cringe at his declaration. Because regardless of my mother or my personal relationships, I have been, still am, and always will be in my gender identity. That is my transsexual curse.
So I drifted away from God, wondering why He refuses to stop these false witnessing and parroting of self-created junk science with a pastorial front. Amazingly, some people are paranoid enough to believe him. Makes sense though, considering faith healing is a scourge in today’s society. God, became distant.
Based on a few curious infiltrators into their group, there are only a few celibate gay boys. However, in my days in Seksualiti Merdeka, I am acquainted with more than a hundred ex-Christians, many of them ex-gay ministry survivors, some that had since become atheists. I was still holding on to a hope, that there is some being up there looking our for me, and I could look up to.
After a panel discussion for the movie “For The Bible Tells Me So” about the ex-gay movement in America, I met some of them, and they shared to me stories that I can relate with, about who they are, their existence being more real than the existence of God in the end. I began to feel the same way too.
The decision to part ways with the gay church in Malaysia also left me with a dilemma; it is hard to find and be finally at home in a church that have not been adulterated with Edmund Smith’s toxic transsexual misrepresentation, even though I am now in a point of trying to discover more to the meaning of my life.
Every church I took time to visit, thinks that I have some naughty and perverted gender issues that needed to be referred to him, or Tryphena Law from Pursuing Liberty Under Christ. I am effectively being prejudiced and pre-judged to a point I can no longer find a church to quietly seek God in my life again.
So not only am I losing God, I have no avenues to even start looking. Add to the fact that for some reason, transsexualism is often linked to LGBTs on both sides of the divide, people believe my medical condition is “incompatible” with Christianity, and churches cannot “agree” with my feminized brain.
God today, is one I have almost lost faith with. I am still curious, wondering whether He is really there. Because if He is, He is the only one who could understand the torturous journey I have to partake in my life. He would know how it feels to have His own shepherds preaching falsehood about us, the weak among His people.
I guess I will continue to dwell in the philosophies of existentialism and absurdism for comfort, and for guidance. Because I do not hear God in my heart anymore. All I hear now is my friend’s brother continually misusing his authority to parrot my condition as some “lifestyle” that can be changed.
Edmund Smith is an ex-transgender. That we can believe him. He just stops pretending he was the woman he craved himself to be, like how I masked my transsexual condition by pretending to be a boy I wanted to be for many years. But he is always a man. He was never born transsexual. I am born a classic transsexual female. I know I am a woman. We are not the same, however he tries to create himself to be. I wish one day he realizes what he and his ilk have done to deny the presence of people like me, of the solace in churches.
Everybody has the right to find their place in this world. Perhaps I should stop searching for God in the Christian faith. After all, my lifetime of suffering as a transsexual is now being trivialized and the damages done by ex-gay ministries can never be mended fully. Still, there are meaningful pathways I can take, outside the walls of those sanctuaries through my journey on this earth, to make life extraordinary.