Trans woman says church banned her from events

Posted at 11:10 PM, Sep 09, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-10 01:10:51-04

For years, Melissa Chapman, 43, has been searching not just for a place of worship, but also for a place to accept her for who she is.

"All I wanted to do was to learn how to continue my relationship as a woman of God," she told 7NEWS reporter Sally Mamdooh.

But it is her previous identity as a man that caused churches to shut their doors -- until she found Flatirons Community Church.

Chapman said something suddenly changed two weeks ago when she was told she could not partake in the women’s retreat.

"I wouldn't be able to attend gendered activities unless I were to repent and go back to my original born sex," said Chapman. 

The conversation caught Chapman off guard. She said she participated in a past retreat and the church has always been supportive of her identity. 

Chapman received a six-page explanation by the pastor for his sudden change of heart.

He writes, "You are living and pursuing an effeminate life that is different than your biological DNA-defined male gender and that is by definition, sin."

The pastor said she is still welcome in the church, but for Chapman the damage has already been done. She will not be coming back to Flatirons Community Church and will not change who she is.

“I know that I am a woman and I have gone through so much and I've lost so much,” she said.