On July 26, 2022, I was born again and found a peace that surpasses understanding. This was the day that I became Mitch. Earlier this year I celebrated my first birthday as Mitch.
On July 26, 2022, I had gender-affirming chest surgery which has completely changed my life! Up until then, I lived in a body that was assigned female at birth. As a child, it often occurred to me that I wanted to be a boy. I made the grave error of mentioning this to my unsuspecting mother one day and then went so far as to ask her to call me a different name. This happened in the 80’s; she was utterly shocked and probably had no idea what to make of it! She was so shocked that she decided this was an appropriate dinner conversation that night. (Our family was known for having big discussions at dinner time.) Unfortunately, it didn’t lead to our usual neutral back-and-forth about topics, all in the name of having transparent conversations with children. Instead, everyone did what most people did back then; they laughed. I was told in no uncertain terms that one could not change one’s gender and I was never to bring that kind of thing up again. Then started the quest to make me “lady-like.” I rebelled for a while and then simply bought in. That’s just how things were back then and there were no resources for families or parents to tap into. They basically had to do the best they could with the information they had.
Fast forward about 30 years and I was suddenly exposed to a very different narrative. I started working at the school district and was exposed to the concept of there being more than the binary of genders. I’ll never forget when this concept came home to me. We had a speaker come who identified as non-binary. For the very first time, I finally met someone who had a gender story like mine! In fact, I hadn’t fully understood my own gender story until listening to this speaker. It was an absolutely earth-shattering experience for me, and I came home feeling as if my world had both been opened and turned upside down.
I bought some new clothes and started using binders to flatten my chest. It made a difference for a while but eventually I wanted more. Finally, I took the plunge and started exploring gender-affirming chest surgery. It was terrifying and for months, I didn’t fill out the paperwork for the surgery. During this time of waiting to be ready, the gender dysphoria I experienced intensified until I finally reached a tipping point. I took a day off work, filled out all of the paperwork and went for a hike.
The day of the surgery arrived, and I was absolutely terrified! I think I cried my whole way through admissions and pre-surgery prep. I was surrounded by an amazing team including my wonderful partner who has been an absolute rock during all of this and a medical team that was more compassionate than I could have ever hoped for.
After making me comfortable following the procedure, the nurse came to ask how I was doing. I told her that I felt such incredible peace. I told her it was that peace that surpasses understanding so often talked about in the Bible. My partner said the nurse’s eyes just got bigger and bigger and she didn’t quite know what to do with that information. I am blind and couldn’t see her eyes so I didn’t stop there. I went on to tell her that I felt totally at peace in a way that I had never felt before. Yes, one can argue It was all the medications I was on but I know the difference between medication and the Spirit. My partner said she could see it all over my face.
Of course, some people have chosen to cut ties with me and I’ve chosen to cut ties with others. I’m totally okay with that and I hold them in prayer. I know my heart and I know without a doubt that what I did was the absolute right thing for me. It’s between me and the Creator. I believe there is nothing that I or anyone else can do that can separate us from God’s love. Why then are we so quick to judge one another?
If you’re reading this and wondering whether you can engage in your faith and express your true gender I’m here to tell you that yes, you can. I have a much richer journey with God now than I ever did before, and in fact I’m working on finishing my CCS courses. All of the stops and starts with CCS make perfect sense. I had to be who I truly am so that God’s light and love could be a presence in me and thereby shine as a beacon of hope for others.
Thank you to my chosen family, to my friends and to CCS. You have all been so supportive and I couldn’t have done this and become Mitch without every single one of you! I’m looking forward to the rest of our journey together.
Happy First Birthday Mitch!
Mitch Creedy has been a Diaconal Ministry student at the Centre for Christian Studies off and on for a number of years. They live in BC.