I was a very active member of my last church for many years before they kicked me out all because I just wanted to be me. When I came out to them as a transgender woman they gave me three months to make things right with God because of this so called sin I was now
committing and at the end of three months they would have another meeting to see what they would do with me.
Three months past and they saw no change other than steps further in my transition so because of what I had done to myself and because I had gone public with my coming out they said they had no choice but to ask me to leave the church. I was told that I no longer had the fear of God in me I’m now walking with Satan and than I was told to gather my things and leave, now! This coming from the minister who was a very close friend. (So I thought).
I drove home in tears, all these people who I loved so dearly, such close friends had turned their backs on me. I felt like some kind of criminal when I did nothing wrong. They sent me very hurtful emails, text messages and articles to read like, science is now trying to prove that people who are gay or transgender are not born that way, it’s a choice they are making.
I really needed to find a church that would accept me for who I am so I took it in prayer and did a search for transgender friendly churches in the area, at the time only two came up. I chose King Street United Church of Christ because I liked what the website said where it says, "no matter your gender identity or sexual orientation all of God’s children are welcomed here".
I sent the Pastor (Rev. Paul Bryant-Smith) an email letting him know that me and my little girl would be coming to church on Sunday because we are looking for a new place to call home and I asked if it was really true that all of Gods children are welcomed there and he assured me that yes this is true and they take that very seriously but as much as I wanted to believe him I really had to see for myself. I wanted to see if this church not only talked the talk but more importantly, walked the walk. A lot of places will say you are welcomed until you get there and find out it was not true.
We walked through those doors that first day and I was so nervous given what my last church had done to me. I really didn’t know what to expect, although the rainbow flag out front was very assuring. And I kept remembering what Paul had said to me.
Come towards the end of our first service my little girl looks up at me and says, I really like it here, can we make this our new church home? I had tears flowing out of me by what she just said because it was just as important that she liked this church. I said I like it here, this is going to be our new church home, I have a really good feeling about these people and I was right, just six months later I stood up during our Sunday service and came out to them just like I did in my last church and they didn’t give me three months to get rid of some so called sin I was committing, they didn’t turn their backs on me, they actually applauded my courage for coming out to them, they hugged me, they cried with me, they made us feel so very loved and welcomed, they made me feel accepted for who I am.
Wherever God takes me in this life I will forever remember the loving kindness, the compassion, the acceptance that was shown to me by the King Street United Church of Christ.
This church is a true example of following Jesus' command to"Love one another as He has loved us"