Reconciling Faith and Your Gender Identity: Living Authentically

The topic of faith and acceptance from God is something I know many people in the transgender and LGBTQ community struggle with.  I have struggled with my own journey of belief.  If you were raised as a strict, or devout in yours or your parents’ beliefs, questions of love and acceptance may arise.  You may be afraid of being unwanted or unloved from God or higher power or believe that you will not be accepted by the church, temple or synagogue.

If you are struggling with your gender transition and/or sexuality and are afraid or wonder if you will still be accepted, know that you are not alone.  Many people in the LGBTQ and transgender community can struggle with their faith. I know that people sometimes have questions if they can still practice their faith.  Although I am a secular therapist, I know that faith is important to some people and the ability to practice what you believe and feel love from your higher power and others is very important.

Religious Shame

Shame and feelings of anxiety and fear can occur when questions of your acceptance to your faith occurs. Religious shame is very powerful and can lead people to feel sad, depressed or scared.  If you are feeling religious shame from yourself, family or others, it’s important to talk about it. I know people talk about safe spaces today in jest, but safe spaces are important.

It is important to find a good fit in a therapist that won’t offer judgement based on doctrine when you are feeling unease about how you fit in your own religious beliefs. As a secular therapist, I acknowledge both religious and spiritual faith and lack of religious and spiritual faith with my clients.

Finding a Spiritual Community

If you are struggling, or looking for answers, there are places of worship that are accepting, loving and open to members across the US.  Transfaith is a gender affirming website that offer insight on religion and spirituality across the spectrum of belief. Many churches have traditionally been accepting of the LGBTQ and transgender community.  Sojurn in Atlanta, Georgia is an affirming organization for the Jewish Community.

Living Authentically

It’s also important to live authentically, whatever that looks like to you.  Happiness can come intrinsically, or from inside yourself as well.  It can be hard to find happiness when there are higher answers that you still seek.  Mindfulness has its place in making space for your own thoughts and belief systems. Seeking new knowledge can be powerful and helpful in concerns with faith and identity. In the fall, I wrote about the concept of sacred time and sacred space for yourself and your thoughts.

Along with all this thinking, it’s also important to experience things that are fun to you.  Is that walking in a park to look at birds and flowers?  Is that going to a free concert on the lawn? Is that singing to the radio or your favorite vinyl?

If you are struggling with self-acceptance and need to reach out to a therapist for new perspective, I invite you to  through the contact pages on my website or call 404-948-6186.

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