From preacher to a prostitute
I was an adult child of an alcoholic and I felt constant emptiness and depression. The Jehovah's Witnesses seemed to be the right solution for me right then, for they were strict and authoritarian and gave structure to my life. Strict authoritarianism was the voice that I had heard since my childhood so it all rang true and familiar.
I joined Jehovah's Witnesses in 1991 although deep down I knew something was profoundly wrong, but I brushed it all away. For instance I did not believe that the carnivorous animals would be able to change their diets. Instead of causing ruckus, I soon found myself in field service and pioneering, work that I really liked. Growing in a home of alcoholics I had learned pleasing and understanding the slightest hints and I found field service pleasurable.
I still had my problems and my depression and it was very obvious to the brothers and sisters that I had problems. I struggled with uncertainties. I found out that the Watchtower and Awake offered only simplistic solutions of the type: 'Do you sin? Well, then don't!'
I married a sister named April from the United States. She moved to Finland with me, but 1994 we moved to California. We lived in extreme poverty, with which I was content, but she was not. We had fights and marital problems. I had extreme distress. I felt something was profoundly wrong, but I couldn't name it.
The marital problems became worse and my wife turned unfaithful. The elders could not help. Jehovah was no help either. We moved to Southern California and I started to work secularly pretty hard. Meeting/field activity dropped for both of us. I did not talk much with her and I had started to doubt my identity.
She left me and we divorced. By this time I had found out that the Watchtower was not a solution for my problems. I found out that I was really a transsexual person, I had the brain and mind - the gender of a woman. This struck me with horror. I thought I was going crazy.
The Watchtower magazines offered really no help for the transgendered individual that would go beyond generalizations and misunderstandings. Clearly they did not even understand the issue sometimes. How many other issues were there that the magazines failed to present correctly?
I started to live as a woman in January 1997 for that was the only way to test if I were really a transsexual person or whether I had just gone plain crazy. It did not burn off, on the contrary, I felt that I had to live as a woman from now on instead. I have lived as a woman for three years already and planning for a surgery.
Since I was fooled by my emotions into the watchtower I have been extremely critical in what comes to being transsexual.
I was disfellowshipped in April, 1997 for "lying, apostasy and loose conduct". I had a discussion with an "elder" and he basically said that Jehovah would forgive me if I killed myself instead. Such a bad sin is transsexualism. If I explain this, lying was that I was cheating myself, being delusional, that is. Loose conduct is visiting women's restrooms and causing ruckus doing so. Funny, no such thing has ever happened, so I was disfellowshipped in advance. I was also disfellowshipped for promoting the belief that god did not create man male and female. I had never said anything like that. No book in the Watchtower condemns transsexualism as a disfellowshipping offense.
Around my divorce and coming out I lost my wife, job, belongings, two cars, green card, pretty much everything and I had to move out of the country.
I have got my share of prejudice in this society and I started as a prostitute to earn money for my surgery and life. Since I had learned the ways to be a gentle, compassionate person taking a lot of nonsense from people at home as well as in my life as a pioneer, I do an excellent work as a prostitute with the customer being the strict elder/organizational/father-figure. Many of you are also whores of the society, but you do not get paid as well as I do.
I tried a 12-step program to get out of these love/hate-relationships with authoritarian figures, but 12-step programs are cults. I still feel the emptiness within my person, an "itch" that is only filled by - - a trick. I am learning slowly to stand on my own feet. When I learn to be an independent individual not always leaning on authority figures, I have learned to be free and one day I will walk free, from all cults, from my craving inside, from the voice inside telling me I am not really worth it... it'll take years. The years spent in Watchtower was just a symptom.
I have forgiven the individual Jehovah's Witnesses that have shunned me or that have judged me. I know, in their situation I would have done the same.