Uploaded by iamanexmormon on Aug 19, 2011
When I was 19, I made one of the best decisions of my life, and left the LDS church. I had finally accepted that the part of me that was attracted to women was a beautiful part of me, and that I deserved an environment of respect and love. Although at the time I had hope the church would change it's views and I could exist in their walls again some day, I knew what would be best for me, and that wasn't to continue as an LDS member. When I was 20, my relationship with my girlfriend was suddenly revealed to several members of our very, very Mormon neighborhood, including my girlfriend's family. The constant, longstanding abuse and manipulation received at the hands of people that had been close to us in the recent past, caused an enormous amount of stress to be put on me and on my girlfriend. And although I recognized that the LDS leaders were not directly to blame for the members' bad behavior, I wondered about the effect that the Church had had on these members to have them act this way. It hurt to watch my girlfriend, a woman I deeply loved, being so directly harmed by the community that had, only a few months ago, always had their arms open. After finally moving away, I welcomed a chance to heal-- but more changes were on the way.
Since I was a young child, I've quietly thought of my Self in male terms. I never quite felt right in my female body or my life. It was deep and intangible, and I didn't have the language to consider it consciously until I was almost 21. As a young child, I thought I would, and desperately hoped I would, grow into a man. I was a staunch feminist, and did not necessarily mind being a woman if I was one, but I would think about how much I wanted facial hair, and to look like a man and to live as a man and how much I did not fit in. I felt that this was how it was- I was born with a female body, and that was it. I had no clue that I would be able to better match my body to my brain, my self.
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