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Church

This was written at least four years ago and it still resonates.

At the suggestion of our late friend Pat (God rest her soul), I thought I’d go deeper on one of these valuable recent comments:

I have visited churches while dressed as a man in a skirt/dress (no make-up, etc.) on four occasions. Each time, it was to a different church. I was treated well in each experience. One of the churches was decidedly more conservative than the others. In every case, some people did not notice, some people were not very comfortable and kept their distance, and some people were more comfortable with me and engaged me in conversation and welcomed me. In that regard, church is like everywhere we crossdressers go. The difference is: I think we anticipate that [some] churches will have more people who disapprove of us and who will judge us. We encounter the same people everywhere we go, but in church, we are in their domain.

Each time I visited a church, I expected that I might be asked to leave. But, quite the opposite has occurred in every case, if I recall correctly. I have been invited back. The more conservative the church, the fewer people invite me back, perhaps.

I am an extrovert. I love to meet new people. Most of the outings that I have gone on, while crossdressed, were non-social. Eating out by myself, shopping by myself, etc. Those are not very good socializing opportunities, except with the employees. Book clubs, meetup.com events, and volunteering are examples of things where I was able to go out dressed, and actually interact with people. Going to church is a very interactive thing (at least for an extrovert). People come up and introduce themselves to you. Some churches have a time set aside for shaking hands with each other. Definitely, going to church pushes my “extrovert button” firmly. So, I enjoyed it.

jjjjohanne

I am myself, a church-goer. This is done for many reasons. Habit certainly is one of them. A belief in a greater being, that we all have to be here for some good reason. A sense of belonging. A place where I am generally as calm as I can be. My wife and I attend weekly Mass as long as schedules allow. I am a firm believer in faith, but a huge skeptic of “the church”.

As Kandi I have been a part of two different congregations, attended many other church services. All many different denominations. Why?

Look, as a crossdresser (now admittedly transgendered), I love to get dressed. I love to get dressed nicely. You can do that, being completely appropriate, in a church. (Be appropriate.)

I am a faithful person. So I get that there.

Hey, I’m human, I have an ego. The love I get when I go to church is incredible. The complements, plentiful. (Be confident). Numerous people every week make a point of walking up to me and either offering a hug, handshake or a face-to-face hello. Women who I really don’t know have often come up and told me they admire my fashion sense. Me being what I am is never an issue, discussion point or addressed. Acceptance is understood, complete and absolute.

It’s a safe space (outside of some nut, which is a random occurrence, possible anywhere). (Be smart).

I have stated frequently, the best outings are the ones I get in front of as many “mainstream” people as possible. I get that at church. (Be visible).

From a practical standpoint, it’s a weekly, inexpensive means of getting out dressed.

Now for me, I am a part of the congregation and have developed and strengthened real friendships. Between churches, I went to various different churches, knowing no one and I really enjoyed that. But now this church feels like home and I hate to miss a Sunday.

jjjjohanne mentions above that many think churches will judge us negatively. Let’s go back to my core beliefs, being smart. I am sure there are churches that disdain those along the LGBTQ/CD spectrum. Those on the whole are rare and are not true places of God. Be smart, do your research.

If you gave me only a two hour weekly window to go out dressed, I’d select my church every single time. It goes beyond being dressed, I get “fed”, relaxed, loved, it meets all the rules, it costs little, it doesn’t involve any bad habits (drinking, over eating), feeds my ego, you get the point.

❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

My dearest Faye, forgive me for sharing this, but it fills me with tremendous pride (an email I received yesterday):

My dear sister, you have no idea how I felt emotionally after reading your beautiful tribute to the wonderful ladies who have contributed to your inspirational blog, then there was my name, my dearest Kandi. My emotions got the better of me and tears did well up.

You have inspired this woman to heights I could only once have dreamed of. I would love to have my own thanksgiving moment, I wish to give thanks to a woman I have never met but has changed me in ways I could have never imagined, and in doing so has hopefully brightened the days of the lovely elderly ladies who reside in the care home where I work.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving day and can only thank you from my heart.

Faye x

This is the best gift I could ever imagine!

Love you even though we are separated by circumstance and geography.

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11 Responses

  1. Kandi,
    I attended many church services but of course that was part of my profession as a photographer , I had to be open minded , don’t knock the true believers if it gives them strength and happiness to get through their lives BUT to some of the clergy it was no more than a job which usually gave them a roof over their heads . Some were a joy to work with and some sold their product very badly .
    On the subject of those people who welcome you with open arms and those who back away , at times you have to conclude they have the problem not you . I find some couples form an isolating shell , each is concerned about breaking out of that shell in front of the other and it’s not always the issue with being transgender . I have couples like that at my art group who when they attend without their partner are only too happy to chat , I guess it’s a form of protection between them .
    Many years ago I studied World religions at school , on the whole people need some sort of guiding light , a belief in a guiding power , Dave Allen the well known Irish comedian used to sign off his shows by saying , ” May your god go with you !” how succinctly put .
    Do I attend church ? No not really , I love certain hymns and love singing them but my voice isn’t up to female tones . I will add that my local church now holds regular social/ media events . Earlier this year they held an organ concert , more recently they invited the choir from St. John’s College , Cambridge to perform and only last week I enjoyed a great evening listening to the Band of the Irish Guards . Perhaps not to everyone’s taste but as you say it’s a great way to dress up and socialise and they do serve a very good red wine in the interval .

  2. Kandi
    I attend church regularly. Always dressed in my Sunday best, knowing that I do not pass, but I am always treated with respect and often complimented of how put together I look. It is because of reading the wonderful posts here that I have gained the confidence.
    Thanks !
    Vanessa

  3. My worship experience is much different as I’ve never felt like going as Rachael is appropriate, at least when I go on a regular basis
    I don’t think I would be asked to leave but it’s just I’m not sure it would be best for me.
    Now yes I have been a couple of times to another place of worship fully enfem but I also knew they would fully accept me.
    I do feel without question that God does not care how we appear because He looks into our heart for who we are.
    Unfortunately it’s we humans who find fault in those of us who must deal with being trans
    It’s really a shame but all we can do is try and let others know we are just people who need love just like anyone
    Rachael

    1. My question to anyone who would give me a problem would be “Do you think God makes mistakes?”. If the answer is no, then I must be okay because this is the way He made me. Fortunately, I haven’t had to make that argument yet!

  4. Kandi,
    You could argue that God gave us nature and left it to it’s own devices , so do we get mistakes in nature ? The only species that concerns itself with mistakes are humans , the rest just get on with survival .

      1. Cali,
        Our existence today is mostly through quirks of nature , OK perhaps not mistakes , personally I’m just happy to be here now as nature intended me to be .

  5. I was reading this post, because crossdressing and church is very interesting to me. I was happy to read about someone who had gone to church in a skirt as a man, because I am a man who wears skirts as a man. I kept reading and did not realize it until the signature that I was reading MY OWN WORDS. HA!

    I have gone to church only a few more times since way back then. All three of those times were to a Seventh Day Adventist church. (That way I didn’t have to miss going to the “Sunday church” that I attend in guy-only mode.) I was treated with immense respect. I was welcomed back. People came up to me to meet me and they introduced their family members to me. People remembered my name when I returned. On two occasions, people who had met me earlier joined me on my row where I was seated. I emailed with the pastor and he said that he received no negative reaction to me attending. In fact, he said that someone was concerned about me not returning and asked him if there was a problem.

    I went back and re-read my comment that you quoted. I feel like those words are still true. I wonder if I projected my fears and expectations onto the people. Perhaps the most conservative church was just as welcoming as the least conservative church. Otherwise, I stand by my words. 🙂

    Here is a link to the story of my most-recent trip to church while crossdressed. https://joeypress.wordpress.com/2023/10/01/i-returned-to-church-in-a-skirt/

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