In the part of Kentucky that I live in everyone is religious and I mean that to the most extreme of existent(of course it's nothing like the WBC.). Anyway ever since I was small I related more toward boys thank I did the girl's my age. However it wasn't my parents that were the problem...No both my parents provided neutral choices and let me choose whatever I liked and for that I am grateful. However the one thing that I can never shake is the fact that I was Forced to go to church as a preteen. I was around eleven when she started making me go. Sure I had went up until that point but I always had a choice. Now don't get me wrong I am religious but my Mom's reasoning is what I don't completely understand because it was when I was around that time when I chopped my hair off for the first time. Now in my mom's opinion a girl/woman is suppose to have long hair and she expected me to follow that code. But the thing was, I hated my hair....I could always imagine myself with something similar to a buzz cut and always said that was what I would do when I got older. The hair style I settled for back then was more of a pixie cut than anything else because the hairdresser refused to do what I wanted(hair dresser was my cousin also so she knew my mother.) Needless to say my mom freaked out and basically asked me why I wanted to look like a boy. At that time I had no answer. So she assumed that I was lesbian and made me begin to wear dresses and skirts and asked the preacher to pry for me since I was going through a phase after the passing of my dad. Everyone I knew (minus a few cousins that got forbidden from talking to me during this time) began to tell me how I was wrong for wanting to be like a guy and I started believing it; even if I still dressed in pants and kept my hair shorter than my mom would have liked. This lasted up until I met this one girl invited me to come to her church. she's in her mid twenties now though I have no idea what age she was at that time Though she was obviously older than me. I'll call her "A" to respect her privacy but she was the reason I didn't turn my back on religion. You see what made "A" different was that she was masculine and she felt the same way toward girls as I did, and the best thing was...the preacher at her church knew. He didn't agree with any of it but he didn't judge and that was more than what I could have asked for at that age. For that short while I didn't feel lost, I felt like I could finally be myself but it wasn't meant to be because "A"s parent's had gotten divorced and she was moving in with her dad downstate. Again I fell into a slump because hardly anyone understood how I felt; even the guys I had use to hang out with only saw me as a girl and I hated it. I think I had only five friends in middle school and only one knew how I felt and didn't try to change me and actually helped me through a lot of my emotional problems during that time and even if her and I are not on speaking terms at the moment I still owe her a lot just for putting up with me back then. High school was a different story all together. I met a group of students that had a lot in common with me. One was MTF and actually on hormones, one was FTM and the other four was just crazy. It was because of them that I started expressing my gender identity and even had my hair cut in an almost army fashion for the first time. But like always people's always saying "You're going to get kicked out of church." So what? It's just a building and there are churches that would accept me. Just because I am not comfortable with the gender I was assigned at birth doesn't mean my faith has lessened. My mom still see's me as a girl...My brother is homophobic and everything else in between but most of my family knows something's up with me; especially when I tell them to call me Lane. But I know that if I ever want to be happy I have to break away from the social norms and be my own person; even if it means losing the support and love of members of my family.