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Katie

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I've been making efforts to rebuild my social life. Most of you who are friends with me on Facebook probably saw a recent post I made about how isolated I became for over a decade due to involvement in fundamentalist, conservative Christianity. It really destroyed my ability to associate with other people and have a healthy social life.

Transitioning and being kicked out of the church I had been part of has given me an opportunity to realize just how emotionally and socially unhealthy I had become, and start rebuilding my social life. Perhaps the best thing I have done so far is to become involved with two local offroad cycling groups. One is strictly a women's group, and the other is open to men and women.

I was hesitant to join the women's group when I was invited. With all the hoopla about trans women in sports, I was worried that I would be viewed as some kind of threat. It has been so amazing to see how much they have accepted me. I'm invited to rides by other group members even on days when we aren't having a group ride (we do group rides every Monday). This morning I was invited to ride with a couple of the ladies at a nearby set mountain bike trails. They accepted me 100% as a woman.

There's also a local bike shop that is known for being especially LGBTQ inclusive, and they got hold of a picture from a recent women's group ride where I was changing another rider's tube and its now on their site promoting a basic bike maintenance and repair class for women.

I never dreamed any of this would be possible. I really though that the social integration part of transitioning would be a lot harder. I figured nobody would ever see me or treat me as just another woman. Sometimes, even after close to 10 months of living full time as a woman, it still astonishes me.

This morning's ride was pretty laid back. We had a beginner mountain biker with us (only her second time riding mountain bike trails), so we weren't setting any records. I do happen to be a faster rider off-road than most of the women in the group (only AJ has ever kept pace with me) and I have to consciously slow myself down for newer or less experienced riders. My casual pace is often way too fast for the newer riders. I did get a few chances to blast some sections at full speed just to give myself a little fun, though.

Screenshot_20210912-191404_Strava.jpg
 

Mim89

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Wow, that's wonderful, Katie. I'm so happy for you that the women in this group accepted you as one of them. :) It's always great to make new friends, with whom we can be just the way we are. 🥲
 

Lexxi

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That's fantastic news @Katie I'm so, so happy for you. I've seen you in a Zoom before and seen you on your YouTube channel and I totally understand why those ladies have accepted you....you're a woman. When they look at you they just see a woman. Hope you keep on having fun on those rides.
 

Entropic Variable

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@Katie

I am so very sorry to hear about the challenges you’ve faced with your church, and hope that you’ll be able to find a religious community that fully supports both your personal spirituality and desire for spiritual fellowship.

But I’m so happy to hear about your experiences with your cycling groups! These are such a lovely reminder that we are obviously so many things in addition to being trans people, and it’s so important to focus on everything in our lives that gives us joy and connects us to others.

To me, exercise and celebrating the profound beauty of the natural world have always felt very meditative and spiritual, and sharing these experiences with others has always felt like the essence of the best supportive social energy that religion can offer.
 

michaela

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Cycling is a GREAT way, Katie! It's certainly HEALTHLY . . . unlike being sedentary, spending too much time behind a keyboard or watching too many youtube docs about how "The End of The World is Coming", at least "as far as we know it" is concerned!

Between babysitting four grands and helping out "original two" (lol that's six-plus "spouses, other siblings, and associated inlaws"!) who's got time but play . . .

"The Watchman" . . .

Have you read The Old Testament's last great prophet "Ezekiel" lately?
 

Katie

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@michaela I have not read Ezekiel lately, but am very familiar with its contents. I spent 20 plus years in a church with a very heavy emphasis on prophecy. And I agree, obsessing over things and having a "sky is falling" state of mind is not healthy.

You should find time to "play". Your brain literally needs it. Recreation of some variety is necessary for mental health. Even if it's something as simple as crocheting.

While Ezekiel can be fascinating, I prefer Revelation. Therein is the fullest presentation of the good news:

"And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among the people, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.”

And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” And He said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true.” Then He said to me, “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give water to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life, without cost. The one who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son".
 
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