Today, as we continue our popular “Ask a...” interview series, I’m pleased to introduce you to Lisa Salazar, a Christian who is transgender.
Lisa was born in Colombia, grew up in California and moved to Vancouver, BC in the early 1970s to start a successful career as a graphic designer and photographer. After living for 25 years as a devoted husband and father, Lisa was diagnosed with gender dysphoria. She had struggled with a gender identity that did not conform to her biological sex ever since she could remember. She says this diagnosis was both a blessing and a curse. Though it offered an explanation for her years of struggle, confusion, and guilt, it did not offer any simple solutions.
It would take another ten years before she could come to terms with the diagnosis. She first had to reconcile what the doctors said with her faith in Jesus Christ. For years, she had used clobber passages in an attempt to correct the flaw and fight the spiritual battle. It was Jesus’ words on eunuchs that finally bridged the gap between faith and her medical condition. This allowed her to begin the difficult process of transitioning from living as a man to living as a woman; transforming her body medically and surgically. She knew it would impact the most important people in her life—her wife and three sons. For years, she had shown her love for them by attempting to die to herself daily, suppressing who she was.
In 2007, she came to the point where the most loving thing she could do now was to choose life, even if this meant making hard choices. She began her transition in July 2008. “This is not what I wanted to do—it is what I had to do," she says. "There was no thrill in this. My decision had nothing to do with courage; it was an act of desperation. The alternative was dying."
Lisa has written her autobiography, Transparently: Behind the Scenes of a Good Life, which is available on Amazon. She has given sensitivity workshops at Gay Christian Network, companies, high schools, and churches and hopes to do more in the future.
You know the drill: If you have a question for Lisa, leave it in the comment section. At the end of the day, I’ll pick the top seven or eight questions and send them to her. We'll post Lisa’s responses next week. Be sure to take advantage of the “like” feature so that we can get a sense of what questions are of most interest to readers. I’ll be monitoring today’s questions to ensure that they are appropriate and respectful.
(You can check out every installment of our interview series—which includes “Ask an atheist,” “Ask a nun,” “Ask a pacifist,” “Ask a Calvinist,” “Ask a Muslim,” “Ask a gay Christian,” “Ask a Pentecostal” “Ask an environmentalist,” “Ask a funeral director,” and many more—here.)