Finding a sense of happiness in her authentic body and spiritual connectedness as a transgender woman brings her to a more peaceful state, despite what is going on around her. (Photo Credit: Sviatoslav Khomiakov and Scott Griessel via Adobe Stock)

Male to Female (M2F) trans people are among the kindest and most sensitive people in this world. And, that is because we have endured so much pain on our journeys. All trans people are under attack from the religious communities, being told that our “choice” to transition brings condemnation from the Creator who made us; that we are messing with how we were created. Those attacks are felt more intensely on those of us who transition from M2F because society looks upon us as weak and effeminate men. They couldn’t be further from the truth. We have always been women, not men. We are women in the truest sense of the word. Our feelings, our likes, our desires, our entire being, is, and always has been, female.

Transitioning, whether from M2F or F2M, is not a choice. We are wired that way. We can’t change who we are. Transitioning is only making the outside match what is on the inside. Peace comes in knowing we are being authentic. A trans person is the most authentic person there is as we present ourselves to the world, enduring persecution, if necessary, being our true selves. And, I dare anyone who persecutes a trans person to live, in public, for one day as a member of the opposite sex. They would quickly see that a trans person is full of courage to be able to endure the persecution that we receive. No one would deliberately live a life that would put them in a position to be persecuted or discriminated against. Therefore, we are trans because that is who we are.

There is an inner joy that comes with being authentic: no more masks; no longer living a false life. Now there is happiness when we wake. There is happiness being able to wear clothes that matches our true gender. There is happiness when we look in the mirror, seeing the outside match who we are on the inside. We can honestly say, for the first time in our lives, “I love myself.”

Joy comes when our inner soul has a relationship with the Creator. Our Creator has never condemned us for being our true selves. Therefore, we have joy, knowing our Creator loves us just as we are and wants us to live life fully knowing that love.

Spiritually speaking for those who follow the Holy Bible, the Creator told the Israelite nation in Isaiah 35:10, “And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away” (RSV). That same joy and gladness that the Israelite nation felt when they returned to Jerusalem after hundreds of years of Babylonian captivity, is for all of God’s people, including the trans community, when we come into the Lord’s presence. In Nehemiah 8:10 Nehemiah tells God’s people to “…not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength” (RSV). Joy comes from the Lord, knowing that we are who we were created to be. The Lord, our Creator, is our strength and, that strength, will help us endure all things, and to feel happiness and joy.

Rev. Dawn Flynn is the pastor for New Life Metropolitan Community Church located in Gastonia, N.C.