Coming out - Hollywood style

Testimony is a documentary that explores the similarity in experience between evangelical Christians who accept Jesus Christ and that of gays and lesbian who come out for the first time. This documentary takes a unique look at people who have had both experiences in their lives – coming out and accepting Jesus Christ. As well as their struggle to accept themselves in spite of God’s seeming condemnation of their life style.

This is not a transgender movie

But there are still many parallels with the transgendered experience. The transvestite who struggles with her disillusionment at the church’s lack of acceptance. The crossdresser who has to cross an untraveled spiritual road, sometimes alone.

No, this movie is not a transgender movie, but rather a movie that captures the troubled journey so similar to ours, as told through the lives of our gay brothers and sisters. Rather than a deep cry against religion, the Testimony movie seeks to offer hope and encouragement to others who are struggling to live as who they are and love the God they know exists.

You can view a mini-film version of Testimony here, which provocatively opens with the question: “Is it possible to be religious and queer?” Where the answers range from the life affirming “Absolutely, I think that Jesus loves us all” and “Love knows no gender” to the hurtful “The people that I grew up with no longer speak to me”.

In my life it has been a struggle to reconcile being transgendered with following Jesus Christ. After many years of agony and soul searching I believe that crossdressing has made me more human. That I have a greater capacity for love and tolerance because I was blessed with being different. In accepting who I am, my soul has had to bend and shape itself to accept others for who they are.

How has being transgendered affected you?

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If you are struggling to reconcile your religious beliefs with being transgendered I strongly encourage you to take a look at the wonderful resources at transfaithonline

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Dedicated to creating a safe, supportive and welcoming environment for everyone in the transgender community.
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7 Comments
  1. stephanie 11 years ago

    Vanessa;

    Just to scratch the surface; I understand the need for community that many have. I have always been very spiritual (which I would think many of us are) and have never felt the need for being bound by the marketed patriarchal religious structures. I have always had the courage to cut my own path. Being a student of my spiritual self and the world around and beyond me for over 50 yrs has brought to a more “open minded” view of “why” and “purpose”.

    I believe that we are all poisoned by evil. It is our own personal struggle and responsibility to hold these demons in check as we evolve. Some find support and relief within mainstream religious structures, others don’t.

  2. Lynn Jones 11 years ago

    I ticked other. Maybe if you’d asked me that question in my teens, I’d have given a different answer.

    Now, it doesn’t bother me. I don’t care if people consider to me to be a ‘sinner’. I dress up? So what? Isn’t it more important to try and be a good person rather than put down people who walk a different path?

  3. Eden Rio 11 years ago

    Life is way too short to think of these things….if it feels right, and you arent hurting others, you should do it.

    Eden

  4. carla 11 years ago

    The movie presents an alternate viewpoint on the faith community/trans community relationship. And i’m glad for this different point of view.

    I consider myself to be spiritual and religious. I am a follower of Jesus and this informs my core values by which i live my life. I am also an m-to-f transsexual. I came to a point in my life where being a transexual and being a Christian fit together in my mind and heart quite well.

    The problem i encountered was between the two communities i was a part of. My spiritual journey led me to the Episcopal Church. There i found a place where i could come out as transgendered and, for the most part, people were ok with that. Coming out as Christian in the trans community has been more difficult. i understand why that is but it is still sad for me.

    My hope is that the trans community realizes that the church is not a monolith when it comes to trans issues. And i hope that the church can learn that the trans community is a place where people are asking serious spiritual questions. Maybe one day the shouting match will become a diolog.

  5. Vanessa Law 11 years ago

    Stephanie, Lynn, Eden, Carla – thanks for your comments!

    Lynn, your thoughts about what is more important resonated with me, bringing Jesus’ words to mind as he told the parable of the good Samaritan. Powerfully saying that doing good is more important, and that those from who one might least expect it are still capable of being divine on this earth.

    Carla, I had not thought before that coming out in the trans community as Christian could be more difficult. It may be that I’ve only had deep conversations about faith with a few sisters. It seems to make sense that many transgendered people may feel abandoned, if not outright hated by the religious community.

    I long deeply for us to look first at what is common among us, so that then we can talk about what is different.

  6. Vania 11 years ago

    Hello. I need help for going abroad in the most private way. I´m transsexual man-woman. It is a torture to stand this hard problem. Please, perhaps would there be goods news for me.
    Thanks. Vania.-

    • Vanessa Law 11 years ago

      Hi Vania,
      I’d recommend you start with a local transgender organization (most large cities have a transgender group), they would be the best folks to talk you through the transition, and going overseas. Even more than at home, I can imagine that you’ll need all the support you can get going overseas to transition.

      Best of luck!

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