“Essentially the Pastor was giving me two choices. Either to be a part of his church as we were before, mother and son, or continue to affirm my child’s gender and lose my entire church family. I chose my trans daughter.”
I am the proud mother of a trans daughter who is now 18 years old. Sadly, I was not always proud though.
Before my child was born, I became a member of a Pentecostal church. Essentially, it became my life and family! After 20 years of belonging to the church, my child and I were excommunicated because I affirmed my child as a Trans girl.
At 8 years of age, my child was telling me, their teachers, and their surrogate aunt that they wanted to die. They felt unheard, not validated and heartbroken. I didn’t realise it then, but I, their mother, and the person that they solely relied upon, was not listening and a huge contributor to their poor mental health.
I continued to hope my child’s belief set, and the insistent and consistent declaration of their identity being a girl, was a phase. I couldn’t imagine my son being a girl. I perceived that as unnatural, and knew, from the sermons I’d heard, that my church would not approve.
Due to my child insisting that they were a girl, I began searching for answers. I attended a Parent Information night at the Royal Children’s Hospital Gender Service. The statistics presented to us by psychiatrists and paediatricians, about the mental health impacts, when young people were not affirmed, was staggering!
After sharing with my Pastor about my decision to affirm my Trans daughter, I was told that he needed some time to pray about it. I was advised against attending church until he had heard from God. I waited two and half months, then I rang my Pastor. He informed me that God had spoken to him that my son turned into a daughter because Satan had entered my life. I was told that I could have unlimited sessions of the leadership team praying over me until Satan left me, and my daughter turned back into my son.
I was stunned and shocked! Essentially the Pastor was giving me two choices. Either to be a part of his church as we were before, mother and son, or continue to affirm my child’s gender and lose my entire church family. I chose my trans daughter. I lost 150 people that day…. and some extremely close and special folk that I regarded as surrogate family. For the first few years I went through a deep grieving process and depression, but also felt a lot of anger!
How deeply wrong and unforgivable of any human to threaten or intimidate another, of losing God’s favour or God’s family for being their true selves.
I’ve seen firsthand the harm caused by ignorance and misinformation about gender identity and sexuality. Not just the church’s ignorance but also my own. It is so important that the government passes legislation that will protect vulnerable LGBTQIA+ people, especially our youth.
More conversion “therapy” survivor stories HERE
Anthony Venn-Brown says: “I’ve been hearing stories like this for 23 years now. I want them to stop. We can’t legislate to change an outdated, ill-informed religious belief about sexuality and gender, but we can create awareness and pass laws that protect vulnerable LGBTQ people from harm. You can help create awareness by sharing this story and also signing the Equality Australia’s petition in support of Alex Greenwich’s Equality Bill.”
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