There and Back
As a sound engineer, my career was mainly in Italy. I am a Kiwi, (New Zealander) but all of my recoding and producing albums was overseas. It was a pleasure to work with that industry, but all of that time I had quite a nice little secret, one which Christians can have; something I couldn't resolve. I loved Jesus, and I moved to many places and so many people had been praying for me and casting out everything, but I still had this problem. I will now tell you how I got the problem.
I was the first born and my parents owned a hotel, so they were very busy. I was very little and Ididn'treally realize it, but in fact my mother didn’t give me any attention, and I clearly had ‘maternal deprivation’ and desperately needed her affection. It really came out when I was about four, when my sister was born, and I saw my mother pouring all her love into this little thing.
I remember saying "How come she gets all your love?” and my mother said, "Because she’s a girl.” This was a strong message to someone who was very desperate for mother’s love… you needed to be a girl.
At the age of six my parents broke up and my sister got to stay with my mother and I had to go with my father. And I asked, "How come my sister gets to stay with my mother?” (I wasn’t ready to detach from my mother because I hadn’t received the goodness of the maternal and so I didn’t want to go with my father). I was told, "you have to go with your father because you are a male. If you were a female you would have stayed with her.”
This reinforced it! I should have been a girl. My father at that time was behaving very badly as a masculine role model, and he offered me nothing desirable in the masculine. I did not want to be what he was.
At about the age of seven I did something that people do to protect themselves and I defensively detached from my father. I remember consciously deciding from this age about my father, "whatever you say to me, good or bad, I will not receive it”. In truth I just ‘killed’ my father. I emotionally cut him off.
Doing a thing like that at that age has a terrible effect on you. A little boy from the age of 6 – 12 (adolescence) should be out there with his own sex, learning to be a male, playing rough and tumble, perhaps into sport. He needs to be learning to be his gender. During this time, the opposite sex are ‘germs’, something to steer away from. This is healthy child development, and I should have gone through that.
Then what happens when the hormones kick in is that they eroticize the mysterious sex which should be the ‘opposite’ sex. So, at this time you start to look at the opposite gender and think,” well, as ‘germs’ go, that particular girl isn’t so bad” and you begin to notice the opposite sex for the first time.
But for me, by this time, I had already figured that it was better to be a girl. I had decided that my father had shown me nothing that was attractive to be a male, plus I had this maternal deprivation and I developed this determination that I was meant to be a girl
Already at the age of seven, I started dressing in girl’s clothes. I was a transvestite at the age of seven. This felt so normal and logical and natural when I was doing it. What happened the first time I put girl’s clothes on, I felt the love of my mother. I felt the feminine touch. I felt that sense that my heart was craving for. I felt the cuddles and all those things that I hadn’t received and I was convinced. "You see? I was supposed to be a female!”
So I grew up through those years avoiding the masculine. Not playing the rough and tumble, not developing my masculinity, avoiding and hanging around with girls more. The girls didn’t really want me around because I was a ‘germ’. So I became isolated and lived in a fantasy world.
When the hormones arrived, which sex was mysterious to me? As one learns to be their own gender, the other sex becomes more mysterious. It depends on how well you qualify in your gender, how well you will do later on with the opposite sex. With those of us who never tried, or who have a bad run of being their own gender, our same sex is still a mystery, and so our hormones eroticize our own gender, and so you get same sex attraction. You get it at all levels.
You get the pure homosexual and you get the pure heterosexual and you get every shade in between, depending on how well you developed. Once those blessed hormones arrive, it kind of seals your fate and it hammers the nails into your coffin and you cannot get out of it. What is the strongest force in you? It your sexual drive and it shapes your identity. I was totally convinced that I was supposed to be female and so I just moved through life, getting worse and worse and worse. I spiraled down.
Through all this Jesus still managed to break in. At eighteen I became a Christian and fell in love with Jesus. I was totally crazy for Jesus. There was no doubt about me being born again. In the Lord’s great wisdom, he didn’t cure me immediately. His Word said it was not something desirable and yet, I was not cured. Still, I loved him and wanted to serve him.
I spent from age twenty to twenty nine going to bed early, on my knees praying every night pleading that in the morning I would be a girl and I would be the best Christian girl he ever had. That didn’t work.
So from thirty to thirty nine, I figured, "There is obviously some problem here”. So every night my prayers changed to "Either in the morning I am a girl and I will be the most faithful female you ever had, or you cure me; because I am struggling with this, so fix me one way or the other.”
Now I was in the music industry. While I was serving the church all over the place, the Christians and people around me did not know what was happening inside me. I was in terrible turmoil and frustration.
How can a Christian be like this? In Thessalonians, (1 Thess 5:3) it says you are body, soul and spirit, so how this fits together, is that my spirit had been born again, and had found its maker, had found peace and had found the lover of itself. That beautiful relationship never ever stopped. But my soul, which was my mind, my thoughts and my emotions and experiences and conditioning that life had made of me, was still broken and dysfunctional.
The body and soul are completely different things; they have nothing to do with each other. This is why one can be up and one can be down.
I fought with this. The guilt that you feel when you have gender confusion is really bad, because the Word says one thing and you feel in your soul something else. Your spirit is saying inside of you that it is not good, but there is no ‘out’
The church has no place for it and doesn’t know what to do with it. This type of people can’t be accepted by their brothers and sisters so they lose faith and give up, losing the lot. I preferred to live a lie because I decided to put my hope in Jesus and stay in the fold.
I got to age forty and I couldn’t do it anymore, so it was sex change time. I had the first operations and I began chewing female hormone pills like they were lollies. I was going all the way with surgery, I was totally desperate, and let’s just say, as of today I can’t have children. Right at the last minute, at my church, this programme came through called, ‘Living Waters’ which was a programme which helped relationally broken people like myself.
That’s nice, I thought, "When I am a Christian girl I will be able to help people”. So I did the programme, but what it did was bring out all my own stuff and it ministered to me and brought healing to me. Jesus was able to get at me and deal with those things and show me that I wasn’t born like that, nor designed like that. I had been made that way by others, and the Lord was able to walk me through and convinced me He was prepared to get me out of it.
There’s probably only one thing more desperate than someone willing to go through the hell of changing their sex and that is somebody who then has to come all the way back. So now I have to chew male hormones like lollies.
My voice is deep now and has been for the last five years, for the first time in my life. I am now proud to have a deep voice and I grow hair on my face… because I can! Which is already a miracle. I am very proud to be a man, and I am totally and singularly attracted to females.
Jesus heals. There is no question. You are not going to get much more of a problem for him to solve than what I challenged Him with, and I assure you it was nothing when he started to move. He just needed me to be stretched out, where I had no where else to go.
He never left me; there was never a question that he wasn’t there. But it was his timing. And he fixed my soul up to be more in line with my spirit and give me peace. We find ourselves with these things in our souls that don’t line up with the Word of God and that’s ok. We have the Bible that we know is the truth and then we have our reality, that we know is not exactly in line with the truth. But we just need to be honest and have faith that he is going to walk us through and line us up.
Jesus is here for the long haul and there is nothing too hard for him. As for gender confusion, he is real and he can fix it. If he can walk with me all the way over to the other gender, and then march me all the way back again. My heart has been turned inside out.
In more recent times, I was teaching in Italy. I speak Italian as I do English. I worked on a mission there to start helping people with this problem. There are 60 million Italians, so it was quite busy! In a world where they say you are ‘born that way and that you cannot change’, they quickly heard about me. The press got on to it.
They asked me to go on a private television station. It was a regional one. They asked me to go onto a programme. There were twins who were going to change gender and the TV station heard about me so they were going to talk or discuss this thing. Of course their argument was that it must be genetic, because twins wanted to change which they figured prove that. But the twins had the same difficult upbringing; that was all. It would be like having two Kevins. If you grow up with the same story, you often grow up with the same outcome. It is not exactly rocket science!
So, I prayed about it. I wasn’t sure if it was a good idea, I had never been on television, but the Lord said, ‘do it’. So I went on TV. So I was amongst the guests and there were all these people talking and they passed me the microphone and they said to me, ‘You have been all the way and all the way back, how come?’, and I said, ‘because being a Christian, my faith is really important to me’.
The studio audience went silent. You could have heard a pin drop. I thought, ‘uh oh’. Somebody came up and snatched the microphone off me and I never saw the microphone again. They edited me out. I was sitting up the front and they successfully edited me out so that I wasn’t even in any shot the whole evening!
Fortunately there was a Catholic psychologist present and he was appalled at what he saw and he told his friends the next morning. I went home that night in shock saying "What was all that about Lord? I prayed to you, and look at me, they just slaughtered me!” But the following morning that Catholic man told his friends and it got all the way to the Vatican.
The Vatican has a radio station called ‘Radio Maria’. They started a talkback topic, talking about the poor Kiwi missionary who came over to help them, and who had been treated appallingly. There are around 18 million Catholics and they were all going bananas over this. I was famous by lunchtime.
A big daily national newspaper called up and said, "We have heard what’s happened. If we gave you a page, would you tell the public what you wanted to say on the television programme and weren’t allowed to? Because the whole country wants to know what you were going to say!” So I got a whole page in the national daily. And they wanted to know about the ministry too, so I got all of that in there as well.
Next day, "Hello, this is the national television.” I said, "well I think you can appreciate that I have just had a bad run with television stations”. They said, "no, no, we are the government station, we are not allowed to do what they did. We guarantee that you will get your say.”
So I went on national television. When they saw me on one channel, the other channel wanted me so I got to go on that as well. "They said, so what were you actually going to say?” So I got to say it all again.
And then Vanity Fair which is a magazine, glossy paper, thousands of dollars per page, wanted to know and so I got in that; and all of Europe knew.
Friends, we need to be faithful and trust God, even when it is dark, even when it is long. We have to keep trusting because nobody is more faithful than our Lord.