Let's Drop the Act

Ever since I was about 7 years old, I knew that I wanted to be an actor when I grew up. I loved the idea of being on stage or in a film performing. During my school years, I would frequently perform in a variety of productions and I received positive affirmation regarding my abilities. I had dreams of being able to pursue my love of theater and performance as a profession. In college, I studied the Performing Arts and I desired so deeply for this to be my life’s focus.

I studied books on acting and for a while I carried around a book on Stanislavski’s system. One popular style of acting that gained traction in the ‘60s and ‘70s in particular is commonly known as Method Acting. The concept that, when given a role, the actor completely immerses themselves in that role. The ultimate desire is that the actor disappears and the character that he or she is portraying is all that is left to be seen. You certainly take on the mannerisms and speech of the character but also the body shape and experiences. Sometime an actor may go to extreme lengths all in an effort to be the character they are portraying. There is less focus on performing and more on becoming the character. There are numerous method actors who have taken on a character so masterfully.

Generally though, when I am watching a method actor like Daniel Day Lewis or Robert De Niro, I can easily be so enthralled in the story and deeply impressed with their acting. All the while, no matter how much I may be drawn into the performance, I know it’s still an actor. I may be completely in awe of Daniel Day Lewis’ performance of Abraham Lincoln and the lengths he took to look and act as Lincoln. Yet, I don’t believe that he actually became Abraham Lincoln.

While the audience may be lost in the show, they know it’s still a show.

In my more honest moments, I can admit that this is pretty much what I’m doing when I pursue my fantasy of living as a female. Hard as it may be, I know that there is nothing physical about me that would justify me calling myself female. My looks, my DNA, my anatomy, my chromosomes, etc. are all solidly male. The thought that I am a female is completely in my mind.

My desires and emotions are telling me one thing but the reality is telling me something else. When it comes to my gender identity and my suffocating desire and longing to be a woman, that is where the difficulty lies…that this is all in my mind. It’s my mind that’s telling me that I don’t fit in this body.

No matter how many hormones I may pump into my body or how much surgery I have, all I am doing is seeking to transform my body into a particular role that I desire to live in. There are numerous programs that will teach a man how to develop a feminine voice, how to walk like a woman, the dos and don’ts for passing as a member of the opposite sex. This is just like those acting classes that I took which worked to teach you how to take on another character. The harsh reality is that a person who is transgendered is someone who has gone to, sometimes, very great lengths and expenses to look very convincing as a person of the opposite sex. It’s one of the ultimate forms of method acting. It’s a role that they play and, depending on their financial ability and acting ability, they may play it very well.

But that’s what it is…..It’s an act.

As much as I am manipulating myself to perform a role, I know that is all I’m doing, trying to perform. I’m acting. I may fantasize that I am someone else but the reality is that my DNA, chromosomes, and basic makeup are male. There is nothing physical about me that is female other than what my mind is telling me.

Now the question is periodically raised in my mind…

Even if this is an act, would I rather live this act that feels right to me or live a reality that feels wrong?

In many ways the answer for me is “Yes”. I think that it would be more desirable to live the act. But then again, does it feel right to live a lie? Living a lie for the rest of my life does not sound fulfilling and abundant. I believe that God created humans with purpose and calling. I think that the one who created me knows how I should operate and live. He calls us to live in truth not deception.

2 John 3-4 says, “Grace, mercy and peace will be with us, from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love. I was very glad to find some of your children walking in truth, just as we have received commandment to do from the Father.”

What do I think that the one who created me would want? Did he create me to live a lie? Is it his will that I live something that is not true? The Psalmist said in Psalms 51:6, “You desire truth in the innermost being”. In the deepest parts of me, God desires truth. Why?

Jesus said in John 14:6, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” I cannot fully walk in the truth with Jesus Christ when I’m walking in a lie. As hard as it may be in the moment, walking in the truth and life of Jesus Christ is a reality that is infinitely better than any fantasy that I can imagine!

Let us live in truth!

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