I Wished I Had Been Born a Boy

I am a 52 year-old woman and mother of four. A wife for almost twenty-six years but I wished I had been born a boy.

Probably until I was well into junior high and maybe even high school I was fairly convinced God had simply mixed me up with John Mark, the name my parents had selected if I had been born male.

photo-2-2You see, I am over six feet tall and very large framed. I wear a size thirteen shoe. My hands are as large as any man my height. I was always told I had a pretty face but because of my height I was able to carry a lot of extra weight without looking fat and the fullness on my frame tended to make me look less pretty and just attractive. Still I never felt pretty or much less feminine.

So for many years I wondered. Did God make a mistake?

As I watch and listen to the coverage of Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner and the many stories of gender identification concerns, I wonder what life would have been like for me if I were growing up now rather than in the sixties and seventies.

Back then when a girl like me came along they called me tomboy. For the guys the term was sissy or girlie.

I suppose it was probably easier to be a “tomboy” rather than a “girlie” or “sissy” guy but maybe not. Just like the guys opposite me, I was having trouble finding comfort in what God made me to be.

But that was part of the journey He had for me.

It’s a journey I am thankful was accompanied by parents, peers and mentors that taught me God does not make mistakes.

Life was very difficult at times and the scars of adolescent taunts, a very low self esteem and deep, deep loneliness took its toll for many years but that was the journey God had for me.

I am so thankful I was not approached by anyone that might have worked to convince me I was not what God made me to be and I wonder often, what if?

photo-14What if I had been raised that the choices for me sexually were vast and practically limitless?

What if, in my adolescence, my deep loneliness, a girl had kissed me and I liked it?

Think back to your own adolescence.

Remember how the slightest intimate touch induced chills?

What if someone of the same sex had touched you? Could the flutter and chills of your adolescent senses have possibly been misinterpreted? Leading you to a destiny not planned for you?

My heart aches for Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner and those who have walked a similar journey. If he were my friend or part of my family I would simply love him.

My concern is for what we are doing to ourselves as we seek to continue down a road that tries to recreate our lives into what we want them to be rather than what God created us to be. The road we are paving for our children is so confusing and hard and it doesn’t have to be.

I am so thankful my path was exactly as it was.

I am so thankful that eventually it was a path that led me to a man, my husband, that filled the deep loneliness with a love so complete I can’t imagine life without him.

I am still a tomboy. I struggle to identify with many of the women in my life.

I had a conversation with a co-worker just last year. I was concerned about my inability to connect with a couple of the women I was working with. I told him I could not understand why they seemed to not like me, why they almost seemed uncomfortable around me. His response still makes me laugh. He said, “Well LaVern, you’re basically a dude! You’re intimidating as hell.”

So still, as basically a dude, I am completely and fully a girl, a woman.

Fully and completely comfortable with who and what God made me to be.

I still detest dressing like a woman. I hate dresses and frills.

I spend as much time as possible in my favorite muck boots and weathered tattered clothes working outside, getting as dirty as possible.

photo50I love working with my hands till they are rough and worn.

I’m proud my hands look like hands that work, not like a man but like a woman.

A woman that may be a bit rough around the edges but make no mistake, still one-hundred percent woman.

The woman God made me to be.

Perfect but flawed.

And praying without ceasing for those still on the journey to find peace and understanding of their own flawed perfection and the perfect plan God has for them.

God Bless and Laus Deo.

lavA career long broadcaster, most recently with The Blaze TV, LaVern Vivio is an author, speaker, and works in ministry and community outreach programs throughout the Christian community. She attended Freed Hardeman University, graduated from David Lipscomb University and served as an adjunct professor and High School teacher part time. Her website is http://lavernvivio.com


  1. Thank you so much for sharing this! I also went through something similar at this age. It also took me a few years to work through this and to get to a place where I am so glad that I was not put in a place to be exposed to a different sexuality as an option. Praying with you for those struggling through this.

    By Dani B | 6 years ago Reply
  2. No words…. just beautiful… Thank you for sharing!

    By Carmen | 6 years ago Reply
  3. Wow. This is a beautiful testimony!! Thank you so much for sharing!! I grew up a “tomboy” myself, but was blessed with a mother who told me it is ok to wonder and question, that is normal, but God does not make mistakes. Now, I am with a wonderful man who I know without a doubt was created with me in mind. As a campus minister on a college campus, I also encounter a lot of students, both male and female, with the same questions and struggles about their sexuality. Thank you for sharing this part of your life and helping others to know that God does not make mistakes, and that we are born through reason and with purpose!

    By MR | 6 years ago Reply
  4. May God bless you for your honesty & vulnerablility. And may He help those who read this to understand that they are loved by Him – and this is not a condemnation of ANYONE.

    By Michelle | 6 years ago Reply
  5. Thank you so much for your willingness in sharing this life journey! You are beatiful and unique, just like God intendwd you to be!

    By Maria Cristina | 6 years ago Reply
  6. I totally relate to this. I am not as tall as she is but often question who I am. Biologically I am female yet I can’t relate to any females. I don’t understand the need for drama, jealousies, make up, or even the need to tell everyone what someone else’s business is.

    Since 7th grade all of my friends have always been male. As I got older I realized why I needed them in my life so much. They are laid back and rarely freak out on stuff that females surly will.

    From the pressures of society, I dated guys that I wasn’t atracted to because as a good Christian female its your duty to marry and pop out some kids for your hubby. Deep inside of my gut, this wasn’t me and I couldn’t let it happen. To marry then have my body willingly violated by both a man I didn’t want and kids I didn’t need. I love men and need them in my life. They are my only friends BUT they are also all like brothers to me. I’ve never married, I’ve never had kids, nor have I participated in any child making activities. The thought of being with a man or even a woman in such a way really grosses me out.

    Even now that I am 40, I sometimes question why God did not allow me to be born as a unic. At the same time, I realize God is perfect and His ways are above ours. Likewise, His thoughts are above ours. Who am I to question my maker? I still need reminded of this.

    I thank God that I never gave into the pressures of marriage and kids. I have a great life. If I want to visit the Blessed Sacrament at 1AM who is there to tell me not to? Life is good only if God is in it.

    By Jane Doe | 6 years ago Reply
  7. i so agree with your stance and am so happy for you. And I pray you can get along better with other women.
    Just wondering, did you ever get kayotyped? You could always get tested for a genetic abnormality… But I support your decisions 100%!!!!!

    By Kyle | 6 years ago Reply
  8. So just because YOU identify as a woman, after what sounds like years of struggle, you’re saying that God made Bruce a man and he should stay a man? I have such a hard time with religious people judging others based on their own experience and belief only. What works for you might not work for others.
    Please stop judging and see the beauty in that kids (and adults) of today DON’T have to be stuck in a boys/girls stereotype. I bet that if you didn’t believe in God and that God ‘never makes mistakes’, you would have much more compassion toward others and their choices.

    By Karin | 6 years ago Reply
    • I could not find anything in the blog entry judging Bruce/Caitlyn. In fact, the writer said she would “simply love him.”

      By Nora | 6 years ago Reply
  9. This year I found out that people at my new high school had thought that I was a lesbian. This really offended me, because I’m pretty sure I’m not. The reason I think they thought this was because I’m not really into the gossip, twenty-four pounds of makeup and hair-spray every morning, revealing clothes, and I haven’t had a boyfriend. It’s not that I don’t want a boyfriend, it’s just that I wasn’t allowed to date until I was sixteen and either way I think dating in high school is pointless so I want to wait until college. The other thing is that I really wouldn’t mind kissing a guy, but the idea of intercourse with anyone is kind of gross to me. I don’t really understand why everyone is constantly wanting to do it. I like the idea behind it (two people become one, deep connection, etc.) but the actual act is not very appealing. By the way, just as a side note, the Church does not expect everyone to have ten kids, it’s ok to have just one (or even to adopt).
    Also, I think that the reason it is hard for me to relate to the girls around me is because most are not striving to be holy. Being overly flirtatious with guys, dressing immodestly, and spreading mean rumors are not holy acts. I think this is something to keep in mind: what kind of girls are around us? The reason it may be hard to bond with other women may not be because we are struggling with our sexual identity (though for some that is a reason) but it may be because the females we are around just aren’t on the same page with us regarding faith/holiness. The two girls that are my best friends are striving to be holy and so they don’t do the whole drama/gossip thing and neither one is really into makeup or dating at this age. I’ve met other kind women who work to serve God and others and who don’t gossip so much as show concern for those around them.
    I am by no means trying to discount what this article was saying though. It was very well written and the pain is real for many people. I really do think that many people, male and female, struggle with feeling that they should have been born the other sex. It’s just that sometimes I think the reason we struggle to identify with people of the same sex or to feel attraction to people of the opposite sex is because we are not around males and females who are living out authentic masculinity or femininity. If we were around authentically masculine males and authentically feminine females, it might be easier to identify with people of the same sex and feel that sexual attraction towards people of the opposite sex.

    By Olivia | 6 years ago Reply
  10. I read your article “I wished I had been born…”

    I want to say that looking at your picture I feel you are 100 percent perfectly a woman. Height has nothing to do with being man or woman. Your face, smile, eyes, lips, hair, say that you are perfectly a woman.

    By Khurram | 6 years ago Reply
  11. Thank you for that great article.

    By Candace L | 6 years ago Reply
  12. Thanks, I hope the purity of your message helps us to help our kids and others as well.

    Thanks be giving to God for you.

    By Carlos | 6 years ago Reply

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