Ever since I was a little child, I’ve known I was different and I have always kept that in mind, even when living by that can be very hard. My name is Valentina Rodriguez, I’m 23, I’m on my last year at college, I live in Mexico City, I’m a convert to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, I’m a daughter of my Heavenly Father and I’m transgender.
I was born in a humble, conservative family, the youngest child with four sisters and one brother. I was raised like any other child, without favoritism or indulgence from my parents. Even then I knew I was not a “boy”, and I hoped that maybe God had made a mistake with me, that somehow He would realize about it and turn me into a girl on behalf of my pleas and my prayers (which didn’t happen). It was at age 21 when I chose to be and live how I truly felt, even when I had came out as gay some years before, but this was new, something that completely exceeded what I had yet lived. Accepting myself as a transgender woman would be a gargantuan challenge not only to me, but to the people that I cared the most for (my family and friends).
My physical change was gradual, I had plenty of time to gather information of what was happening to me and I also had time to assimilate what would happen to me. I found a lot of support from many different institutions and organizations and spent more than two years before I could start hormone replacement treatment: two years of constantly praying for my family and friends to understand what I wanted to do and for them not to turn their backs away from me. I remember those were moments of despair
and fear, fear of not being who I was and losing everything I had; fortunately, all along this process I had the support of many people who believed in me, people that understand and know how hard it is to live in the shadows being someone you’re not.
Now I live a completely normal life, full of many blessings and surrounded by wonderful people who help me grow day by day. I’m looking forward to completing my legal gender reassignment and I try to constantly inform about what being transgender means within the LGBTQI community and with every person that may wish to know more or that are somehow going through what I’ve gone through. Little by little I get over the fear of showing who I am, I can’t say it’s been easy, specially in the beginning when I felt terrified of going out to the street and feel everyone would judge me for the way I dress or how I behave. Truth be told, it is through constant prayer that I can find strength within me to keep going forward and not giving up.
I am convinced that God loves me and that He has a plan for each person. I know also that the scriptures are our guide and strength in adversity, that prayer is the means to communicate with our Heavenly Father and that prophets are called by God to guide our steps. I bear witness of the church, I know it is true and I also know that God loves us as we are and that He gave his life for us. I am pleased to share my testimony with you in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.