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The Answer to a Question Not Asked, by Alma Frances Pellet

Alma (formerly Frank) is a transgender woman, living the dream of being a stay-at-home-mom while also managing full time work trying to earn money. She is the proud parent of five diverse children, continues to identify as Mormon and attending Church meetings, and is working to be more involved in supporting others in the LGBTQ+ community.

Four years ago, life was in a good place. I was coping well with my gender dysphoria, had a good job,

and nothing big to complain about with my spouse or children. The pandemic, while difficult to manage children at home (while trying to keep a full-time job and doing the work of them schooling from home), brought the gift of working from home, communication handled through video call and email. My coping mechanism of wearing skirts when at home was able to move to full time, as it neither affected my work nor was it noticeable on video calls.

But there are times when life changes dramatically. If you're lucky, you're given a choice in the matter [1].

Part of the teachings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the idea of "personal

revelation." The idea that anyone, regardless of situation or calling, could receive revelation for their

sphere of influence; those they are called to be over. This is balanced against the hierarchical authority

of the Church. It can leave some things open for "local adjustment" or "individual adaptation." Ideally, there is no conflict, but it can happen, and how that is handled can vary widely with which revelations are in conflict and the personal feelings of the people and leaders involved.

Much of the time, personal revelation translates to simple answers to prayer. The little inspirations to go one way or another, help making the right choice in life situations, the simple nudge of memory of where you left your car keys. But sometimes God can be a lot more direct and insistent [3]. I've had four of these that I can recall, each one vitally important to my life at the time, so I've learned that God can be insistent to annoyance when They want to be and that when you get something so explicit (especially if someone else related to the situation gets the same insistence), you need to just drop everything and do.

The most recent for me was a message, loud and clear, that it was time for me to transition, socially and medically changing life to live as a woman.

Again, that wasn't in my plans. It would add extra stress to my marriage and family. My health insurance wouldn't cover a single bit of it. I truly enjoyed going to the Temple, even being on the "wrong" side [4]. I'd spent almost ten years working for the Church [5], where being able to go to the Temple was required to keep employment. My gender dysphoria was being managed well through counseling and simply knowing it was real. Why would I want to upend my life, adding even more trouble by openly being transgender in a Church and place that can be seen as -very- transphobic?

Could I have pushed back? Absolutely. But one thing I've learned is that for me, God doesn't take no for an answer. They can be annoyingly insistent, even when the direction seems impossible to accomplish.

So life changed in yet another direction I couldn't have even imagined when I was a child. And, despite all the difficulties in family, work, and Church, life has become so much better than it was. I not only know who I am, but can show others the joy I have in expressing it. That alone has made all the difference, has made all of the difficulties seem unimportant. I have had my first taste of the fruit called "gender euphoria" [6] and I want to enjoy it forever, never taking it for granted.

[1] Death, disease, and any number of dramatic changes just suck.

[2] Thank you, Family Proclamation

[3] No, I've nothing on how or why answers come. God is not a vending machine, nor do They often

explain why people can get different answers at different times.

[4] Part of going to the temple is doing gender segregated ordinances for the dead. I hope one day they can figure out that getting the gender to line up is not as important as getting the work done at all.

[5] Computer stuff for the Church History Library (-not- family history). I’d go back to it in a heartbeat if they'd have me.

[6] Why yes, it is delicious to the taste and very desirable. How do so many cisgender people treat it like it's no big deal?

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