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by Kim Jernigan

The fact that I am transgendered came as a complete surprise since I am one of the people somewhere in the middle of the gender continuum and had always been extremely careful to keep my secret. Only my wife knew but this was something we didn't talk about in hopes that it would go away. At this time, it was very difficult for me to verbalize and so I tended to write things down and then read from my notes things such as,

You probably have not known that a transgendered person is a member of your worship community here. I may be the person who sat in front, behind or beside you in church on Sunday.

As you are well aware, a transgendered person is one whose birth sex and gender are not the same. In the extreme case where they are completely opposite, sexual reassignment surgery is often used.

This is not the case for many transgendered people whose gender lies somewhere in the continuum between male and female. As a member of this latter group, many of us live our lives as a blend of male and female characteristics but try to maintain an outward appearance of our birth sex.

The fear of discrimination and rejection is very great for those of us who are perceived as being so different from everyone else. As a result, we tend to live very quiet, private, secret lives in order to survive.

You may encounter our second self in ways which may be analogous to the faint sweet scent of lilac or honeysuckle on a gentle breeze; one moment you are aware that it is there and the next it's gone leaving you to wonder whether or not your senses were playing tricks on you. In my case, you are only the third person in the whole world who truly know my secret.