Woman, Man, Human

Here’s what happened today. As my family and I walked into church, it came. The urge. I had to pee. And as anyone on medication would tell you, when the urge comes it’s a lot harder to hold it. We were already 20 minutes late for service. OCD brain feared that if they went in without me, I wouldn’t be able to find them amongst the audience. Then I would have to sit by myself, unable to focus on anything else but the worry over whether or not they were okay. But the urge was here and I knew I had to go. So as my family walked into the dimly lit sanctuary, I continued into the light on toward the bathroom. The bathroom which was clearly marked women’s. I reached for the handle of the door to the women’s bathroom and then for a second, I hesitated. Should I knock or just go in? Was it a single use bathroom or was it one that many people could use at a time? What if I walked in on someone and embarrassed both of us? I took a breath. Sometimes just one breath is enough to shut up OCD brain. As I twisted the handle and pushed open the door my decision was made, I would just walk in. But then I heard a voice. And by the context of what the person was saying, the person was talking to me. 

“The men’s bathroom is over here.”

I continued walking into the women’s bathroom. As I grabbed the handle of the stall, I heard the door open again. The person had opened the door.  


I turned around, as if caught in the act. Eye contact was a no, so I looked directly at the person’s chest, his chest. I assume his eyes looked directly at my chest too, at my breasts. 

He closed the door. 

I continued my business in the women’s bathroom. Then headed into the sanctuary, where I quickly found my family in the last row. Since we were late, it was already time for the message. The title screen came up on the projector.


How ironic. A lot of people think I should feel some type away about my encounter this morning. About being mistaken for a man. Some might think I should feel disturbed or angry or hurt, maybe even feel ashamed of myself. Ashamed for presenting myself in a way that made my gender at least ambiguous and at most the opposite of what it is “supposed” to be. But I didn’t feel any of these negative emotions. All I felt was the urge towards reflection. 

For some my gender is a guessing game. I remember this summer being asked if I was a boy or a girl. When I said girl, I heard exclamations of yes and I knew it. For some my gender appears to be male. For some my gender appears to be female. It depends.

I look at myself in the mirror. I feel my body in the shower. I think, “How can anyone not think I am woman?” I see the bulging in my chest. I feel the weight of my breasts. I see the curvature in my hips and my thighs. I feel my hips somehow joining as my thighs rub together. I see the small bushel of black curly hair covering my vagina. It feels warm and coarse. I think, “I am a woman. This is what a woman looks like.” But is it? 

For a few weeks, I was in a partial program. There I met two transgender males. I remember one day one of the patients coming up to both of them and saying, “You guys are transgender. I would have never been able to tell. You look like regular men.” The transgender males thanked the patient for his compliment, saying they appreciated it and it meant a lot to them. But something about this interaction “rubbed me the wrong way”. 

What does a man look like? What does a woman look like? We are learning that it depends. A man can have breasts and a vagina. A woman could have a penis and facial hair. What matters most when it comes to gender is how a person feels and identifies. Gender is a construct and we have the right to choose how we fit into it. 

Many disagree with what I am saying, especially as someone who identifies as a Christian. How can I say that trans is beautiful and Jesus is Lord at the same time? How can I agree that a man can be born biologically a woman and still believe with my heart and soul that God does not make mistakes? To be honest, I am still figuring it out. It is hard. One thing I do know is that God created the human mind and the human heart. He knows our pains and our sorrows. He died on the cross to save us from a life of darkness and despair. Did you know that members of the LGBTQ community are four times as likely to attempt or commit suicide? I can imagine that statistic is because they cannot express their true selves and feel accepted. That is a life of darkness and despair.

As for me, my name is Makayla LeAnne Williams, and I am a woman. I am a woman whether I am wearing tight leggings or baggy jeans. I am a woman whether I am growing my hair out or rocking my adorable teeny-weeny afro. I am woman whether I decide to have children or not. I am a woman whether I marry a man or not. I am a woman. I am not ashamed for how I choose to express or not express my femininity. I am not ashamed for how I choose to express myself as a human being. Whether I identifies myself with she/her/hers or he/him/his or they/them/theirs, I will not be ashamed. I will not allow the construct of gender to define me nor will allow any type of shame. 

My name is Makayla LeAnne Williams. My pronouns are she/her/hers. I am a human of this earth. 

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