Sunday, July 7, 2013
Never on a Sunday
My answer is a mash-up of two past blog posts: June 16, 2009 and January 21, 2010.
In June 2008, when I spent a long weekend in New York City en femme, I visited Saint Patrick’s Cathedral.
This was a big deal for me. I was raised a Roman Catholic and my religion was the source of much needless guilt about crossdressing throughout my life. I overcame the guilt years ago and now I was entering the church for the first time en femme.
I thought that my visit would be like spitting in the eye of the Church of Rome. "Take that for all the pain and suffering you brought down upon me for so long."
Instead of feeling vengeful, I felt wonderful. Your prodigal son has returned, but your son is now your daughter!
I decided to attend the Mass. I remembered and recited all the prayers and when it was time for the Sign of Peace, I exchange handshakes and "peace be with you's" with all the folks around me, or so I thought.
From behind me came an anxious voice, "Peace be with you, Ma'am. Peace be with you, Ma'am."
I realized I missed someone, so I turned around and exchanged another handshake and "peace be with you" with a fellow two rows behind me.
During the Mass, I noticed a reproduction of the famous painting, the Black Madonna of Częstochowa in one of the side altars of the cathedral.
Being a Pole, I checked it out and discovered that that side altar was dedicated to the saints of Poland. It included biographies, paintings, and sculptures of all the saints. After saying a prayer for all my deceased relatives at the side altar, I exited the cathedral.
I stopped attending church about ten years ago. I began doubting the existence of a God about that time and about a year ago, switched from being an agnostic to an atheist.
“You’re too scientific,” my daughter said upon hearing that news.
I don’t know about being “too” scientific, but I do hold science in a much higher regard than religion.
So, why did I feel “wonderful” when I attended Mass en femme at Saint Pat’s?
Do I have some doubts about atheism like I do about religion?
Did I feel spiritual because I was in such a spiritual place?
Was it nostalgia for something that had previously been part of my weekly routine?
Was it simply the thrill of being out en femme in a new venue?
Anita also asked, "Do you know what other girls do?
I don't know about all the other girls, but Barbara, one of the girls I have known for over 20 years, has been attending a local Episcopal church en femme for quite awhile. The church community has accepted her feminine persona wholeheartedly and she not only attends services, but is very active in other church activities.