For years, Laura Perry rejected God and hated her own body. Laura thought she would find answers by transgendering herself into a “man”. She had numerous hormone injections and extensive surgeries, removing every female organ in her body.
But after living as a transgender “man” for almost 10 years she encountered the love of Christ and was transformed by Him. Laura’s mother, Francine Perry, joins us as well to share her perspective throughout Laura’s journey.
The following is a summary of the podcast interview above with Laura Perry and Francine Perry. Many more details are included in the original podcast episode and we encourage you to listen.
Raised in the Church
Laura Perry grew up in Bartlesville, Oklahoma with all sorts of head knowledge about God. She attended a Christian school where her mom worked as a teacher and was in church as early as she could remember.
But it seemed to Laura that all she ever heard about God was rules and things she had to do for Him. She hated it and grew up with no real relationship with Jesus.
She didn’t have much of a relationship with her mom either, although that was something Laura longed for most.
Laura’s mom, Francine Perry, was quite different from her daughter. While both grew up around the church, Francine fully embraced a works-based approach to Christianity.
For Francine, performance-based Christianity started at a young age. When she was 4 years old, she was in a Sunday school class when the students were challenged to memorize Psalm 23 and quote it for the entire congregation. The first child to do this would receive a small white Bible with his or her name engraved on it. Francine had the passage memorized by the next week.
This was the catalyst for a lifestyle of legalism that Francine took with her into adulthood – something which had far-reaching consequences she would only discover many years later.
Laura’s appreciation for her God-given gender was problematic from the start.
As Laura grew up, her mom, Francine, told Laura that boys are typically closer to their moms while girls are closer to their dads. Laura’s brother was much more compliant and calmer in personality while Laura was loud and rambunctious and was often told that she was annoying.
As a young child, Laura interpreted all of this to mean that her mom loved her brothers more than her.
Fantasizing Being a Boy
And then Laura learned about 2 miscarriages that her parents had experienced, both of which had been boys. Laura’s well-meaning parents told her that the miscarriages had been a good thing because they had only wanted 3 children, and, if the babies hadn’t miscarried, they would not have had her.
For Laura, this only added fuel to a small-burning fire which already existed. She began to wish that she could have been one of the brothers who had died. She even fantasized about it, imagining with longing what it would be like to be a boy.
This started a vicious cycle. The more boy-like Laura’s behavior became, the less she fit in with the girls her age. And the more she felt rejected by girls, the less Laura wanted to act like a girl.
And then, at 8 years old, Laura’s innocence was stolen when she was sexually molested.
Laura was young and vulnerable and was molested at a place that was supposed to be safe. She was immediately ashamed and felt terribly dirty, but because the relationship with her mom had deteriorated so far, she was afraid to tell her mom or anyone else about the molestation.
It was a dark secret she would carry for the next 25 years. It was also the beginning of a long slide into a promiscuous and sinful lifestyle.
In her early teens, Laura began consuming pornography and by high school she had begun sleeping around. She experimented with alcohol and drugs and even brought them to school to secretly share with her friends.
Frustrated Being Female
During this time, Laura was no closer to appreciating her female identity. She was experiencing multiple female body problems, all resulting in a lot of pain. She hated her body for it.
Laura was looking for love and acceptance from boys, but she never found it. Instead, she routinely heard the guys she was dating make derogatory comments about women, sometimes about herself. These experiences caused Laura to view women as weak.
At a Loss
Laura Perry’s parents knew little of what was going on inside their daughter’s heart. So, when all of Laura’s internal turmoil began manifesting itself in extreme anger and rebellion toward her parents, they were taken completely off guard. They couldn’t fathom what had happened to their daughter and couldn’t understand why she was continually getting into trouble.
Even more perplexing to Francine was the way Laura would explode into fits of anger for hours at a time, then go to bed, and wake up completely different. She would hug them and tell them she loved them, as though nothing had ever happened the night before.
Laura’s parents tried everything they could do to help her, including sending her on multiple mission trips and seeking counseling. But nothing seemed to make a difference. Laura’s parents, and especially Francine, were at a loss.
A False Conversion
Eventually, Laura’s parents made the difficult decision to send her to a group home for troubled youth in Montana where they hoped Laura would find help.
The group home tried to bring the light of the Gospel to troubled teens like Laura. Internally, Laura wanted nothing to do with God, but after several months she made a profession of faith.
In reality though, it was simply to conform and fit in, and there was no real heart change. After graduating from the program, Laura enrolled in college back home in Oklahoma, and things quickly devolved once again.
Desperate for Acceptance
Laura began to experience loneliness and turned to the wrong places seeking comfort. She started dating and sleeping around again, and once again got involved in pornography.
Desperate to find acceptance, Laura participated in a hookup website where she engaged in “casual encounters” with men, sometimes driving several hours away to meet up with strangers for a single night.
Every encounter left Laura’s heart emptier than before and searching for something that would make her happy.
Introduction to Transgenderism
It was at this desperate time in Laura’s life that she once again began entertaining thoughts of becoming a man. Laura had never heard of the term “transgender.” But when she Googled “girl becoming a boy,” she was surprised to learn that she wasn’t the only one who was dissatisfied with her gender.
At last, Laura thought she had found the key to her happiness. The more she learned, the more excited she became. She started making changes immediately.
In July 2008 it had been 8 months since Laura’s parents had last seen her. In that time, Laura’s appearance had completely changed. Francine and her husband chose to celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary by having dinner with their daughter Laura. But that evening was nothing like what they expected.
Laura’s Family was Shocked
After Francine saw her daughter, it was all she could do to eke out the question, “Laura, are you trying to look like a man?”
And when Laura answered with an adamant “yes,” the perfect world that Francine had been trying so hard to hold together as a perfect Christian came crashing down. Francine’s disappointment was so overwhelming that she felt physically ill.
Francine was Humbled
After leaving dinner that night, feelings of failure washed over Francine – failure as a mother for raising a daughter who had strayed so far away from God. She also felt as though God had failed her. This God whom she felt she had faithfully served had allowed Laura to engage in a lifestyle that was not only harmful, but destructive to Francine’s own reputation and pride.
The experience brought Francine to her knees, seeking God’s help and strength. In her moment of desperation, Francine’s eyes were finally opened to something she had never truly comprehended.
God showed Francine that He didn’t simply want her to do things for Him. In fact, the prophet Isaiah preached that anything that she could do for God in her own strength simply amounted to filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6). More than Francine’s works, God wanted a relationship with her.
Healing and freedom came flooding over Francine as she internalized this truth.
Over the next several years, God would re-impress on her heart that she couldn’t “fix” Laura. Only God could. God simply wanted Francine to walk in obedience and grow in her own faith with Him. Pray for Laura? Yes. But allow God to work in Laura’s life and trust the results to Him in His perfect timing.
Laura Became “Jake”
But while God was doing a mighty work in Francine’s heart, Laura wanted nothing to do with God. She began running away from Him faster than ever. She stopped using her name Laura and instead called herself Jake and did everything in her power to become a man.
She started dating a man who was living as a woman. After a while, they moved in together and eventually considered themselves married.
Laura started taking hormone injections, and all her desired results followed. Her voice got deeper, and she started growing facial hair. At first, Laura was elated. Surely this would bring the elusive happiness Laura had been searching for.
Still Not a “Man”
But it wasn’t long before Laura realized that she still wasn’t happy. And she still didn’t truly feel like a man.
Laura decided that, if she could have the body of a man, she would finally feel like one. So, she scheduled a double mastectomy, certain this would be the change she needed.
Life or Death
Although Laura Perry was certain that she was doing what was right for her, not everyone felt the same way she did. One day, Laura received a letter from a dear friend who had always felt more like family to her. This woman, whom Laura had grown up calling “aunt”, had written to tell Laura that what she was doing was wrong and that she was headed down a path of destruction.
The letter made Laura angry, and she made up her mind to ignore it. However, God had other plans for the letter.
When the long-awaited day finally came for Laura’s surgery, she lay on the operating table in eager anticipation… but also in fear and dread. As she looked down at the dotted cut lines marked all over her body, she suddenly felt a sense of terror. What if she didn’t wake up?
The letter which had made her so angry just weeks before now haunted her with a truth she couldn’t ignore. Laura knew that she was in rebellion toward God and that if she died in surgery she would wake up in Hell.
This knowledge frightened Laura enough to pray to God to spare her life. But the desire to be a man had such a strong hold on Laura’s heart that even the fear of Hell wouldn’t reverse her decision or lifestyle.
In just a few short moments, the surgery proceeded as planned. When Laura woke up, she felt happier than she had ever remembered. But it wasn’t a happiness that would last.
A Horrible Realization
Not long after Laura returned to work, her boss, a lesbian who had been supportive of Laura’s lifestyle, pulled her aside and told her that she “wanted the old Jake back.” Even though Laura had been so pleased with the results of her surgery, her boss perceived her as depressed and “moping around.”
As Laura reflected on what her boss had said she came to the horrifying realization that her boss saw something she couldn’t – all this time, her happiness had only been manufactured. It wasn’t real. Even after surgery, she was still a woman, not a man.
Still a Woman
Laura concluded that having her female organs removed would put an end to these feelings once and for all.
But that surgery came and went. And Laura admitted to herself that all the surgeries were only an outward change. Even at a new job where everyone only knew her as Jake, a man, she still had an innate knowledge she couldn’t rid herself of that she was a woman.
She was a woman. And no matter how hard she tried, whatever she named herself, whatever hormone she took, or how many surgeries she had, she would always be a woman.
Francine’s Bible Study
No matter how dark things became for Laura, God was still working. Eventually, people in Francine’s church started hearing about what was going on in Laura’s life. Instead of becoming an outcast, Francine found herself encouraged and supported by her fellow believers.
As the years passed and Francine learned to surrender Laura’s future into the hands of God, Francine began teaching a Bible study for other women, many of whom also had prodigal children.
The Bible study grew larger and larger and eventually women began asking Francine to record the studies and put them online.
Just a Website
Francine knew nothing about websites or technology, but she knew someone who did – Laura. Laura worked as a website developer and, in God’s providence, was currently working on developing a portfolio.
So, when Francine approached Laura about hiring her to create a website for the Bible study, Laura was eager to tackle the project. As she started putting the website together, Laura decided that each lesson should have a brief summary and took it upon herself to write them.
To write the summaries, Laura chose to listen to the lessons. And as she listened to the lessons, God’s Word began to permeate Laura’s hard heart.
Slowly, through this most unexpected means, God began opening the doors of communication between Francine and Laura. Before Laura knew it, she was calling her mom every day to ask questions about the Bible.
A Different Mom
It struck Laura as she read the lessons that this was not the mom she had known. When she listened to Francine’s lessons, she didn’t hear about rules and working for God but instead about God’s love and the Holy Spirit’s power to change hearts.
One day, Laura was experiencing something stressful and called her mom to ask for advice. Growing up, Laura’s mom had always had a solution and opinions about what Laura should do in any situation. So, when Francine instead responded by telling Laura to, “Trust the Lord,” Laura knew her mom had changed.
She asked her mom about the changes she saw in Francine’s life, and Francine told Laura all about the change God had worked in her heart.
All her life, Laura had never known her mom to have the kind of peace that Francine now had. A peace and joy that Laura had tried to manufacture for years through her lifestyle decisions yet had always eluded her. But now, Francine was a living example of how that peace could be Laura’s too.
And with that, the Gospel became alive to Laura and that evening, in the privacy of her own home, Laura prayed the sinner’s prayer and asked God to save her.
A New Laura Perry
The road ahead was not an easy one. God had transformed Laura’s heart, but it would take quite some time before things began to change on the outside, particularly, Laura’s lifestyle of transgenderism.
It was difficult for Francine to be patient, but she felt God impressing on her heart to allow Him to grow Laura in His own time.
Laura continued her Christian life for several months, consuming the Bible and growing in prayer. She enjoyed listening to messages from Dr. Everett Piper on a local radio station.
But then one day Dr. Piper started talking about transgenderism. Laura was surprised that he didn’t express hate toward transgender people. Instead, he spoke about a bigger purpose for life than what simply makes a person happy.
“Jake, or Laura?”
Still trying to silence the growing conviction in her heart, Laura called her mom and asked what she was studying in the Bible.
“The judgment seat of Christ” was Francine’s reply. This was not the distraction Laura had been hoping for. Instead, it initiated a question she felt that God was asking her.
“What name will I call when I judge you? Jake, or Laura?”
It was at this point that Laura made one of the most difficult decisions of her entire life. She chose to live as Laura, the woman God had created her to be. After living as a “man” for almost 10 years, she was no longer Jake, a transgendered man.
She was Laura, a daughter of the living God. Transformed into a new creation.
Laura Perry Today
Laura was finally free. But even more importantly, she had found a saving knowledge in Jesus Christ.
Over the last four years, Laura has grown and matured in her faith, and today, she and Francine share their testimony with women all over the nation.
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- Laura’s website (full of other great testimonies!) – TransgenderToTransformed.com
- Laura’s book “Transgender to Transformed” (on Amazon)
Laura Perry’s Recommended Resources
- Trans Life Survivors (book)
- Affirming God’s Image (book)
- Don’t Get on the Plane! Why a Sex Change Will Ruin Your Life (book) [Note from Laura: written by a man who is not a Christian, but has lived as trans after a “sex-reassignment” surgery and regrets it]
- List of recommended videos (video)
Laura made this detailed card showing her transformation into and out of her transgender lifestyle. Lots of other great photos are available here!
Laura’s appearance on the 700 Club.
A short video Laura made called “Can You Be Transgender and Christian?”