Transgender Tells Family: ‘It Didn’t Give Me the Satisfaction I Sought’

pain_disappoint_suffer_sadRICHMOND, Va.—Last week, the world watched as “Caitlyn” Jenner made hisdebut on the cover of Vanity Fair. For the most part, support was positive and Jenner expressed happiness via social media.

But for the families of those who choose to live a transgender lifestyle, there are more difficult emotions to consider.

Denise Shick knows that all too well. As a 9-year-old, she dealt with a hidden struggle. Her father had told her a secret—that he wanted to become a woman. That revelation affected Denise for the rest of her life, and she is one of many with firsthand experience of how transgenderism hurts families.

Shick is one of several speakers committed to the new Safe Exit program from Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays (PFOX,, the nation’s leading advocacy organization that offers love and support to families and friends of individuals with unwanted same-sex attraction and gender confusion and also supports the ex-gay community.

“Man exemplifies true rebellion against God when recreating his gender,” said Shick, who, along with others, will share her personal story as a Safe Exit speaker for interested churches. “When we follow Christ through our faith and obedience, we are fixing our eyes and heart toward our Master rather than our desires.”

Today, Shick is an author and the founder of the ministry,, which gives support to those affected by a loved one’s gender confusion. Denise’s story is also featured on the PFOX web site. But before she found healing and restoration, Shick discovered that her father’s struggles would impact her directly.

“I was so empty inside and seeking the love and the attention of a father, and I couldn’t find that,” she said in her video story. “Right about that time, I thought, ‘Is life worth going on for? Is there possibly a better life if my life were to end, and I could end this pain?’”

Due to the lack of love she received from her father, Shick chased relationships as a way to fill that void. By the seventh grade, Denise had been in relationships with 13 boyfriends.

Shick eventually met a trustworthy and loving man who became her husband; they married when she was 18. By the time Shick was 27, her father had left the family to live fully as a woman. Thirteen years went by before Shick’s father entered her life again, now diagnosed with terminal cancer. Before his death, she discovered the root of some of her father’s struggles. He was rejected by his father, he had been sexually abused, his mother was an alcoholic, and local townspeople called him “the little lost boy.”

“Although my father looked like a woman and lived as a woman,” Shick continued, “on his death bed, he had told my mother, ‘I thought this would give me the satisfaction that I sought after, but it didn’t.’ And that’s why it’s so important to treat the person for what’s going on in the heart. It’s an issue of the heart. We so often can get lost in everything happening on the outside when God wants us to focus on the person and what’s going on inside.

Safe Exit offers curriculum, expert speakers and other resources to churches who want to open their doors to those struggling with unwanted same-sex attractions and gender confusion, and to support those who’ve left the homosexual lifestyle. PFOX Executive Director Regina Griggs, who is also a Safe Exit speaker, says many fail to consider all of the necessary issues when choosing to live life as another gender.

“From the beginning of conception, God gave us our gender; we are his creation,” Griggs said. “Gender and sex are not changeable; you cannot change your DNA or genetics. Realignment surgery may alter what God has created but it cannot make you either male or female. You will always be the male or female God created at birth. A lifetime of male or female hormones given to the opposite sex can be dangerous and must be taken to create the male or female facade. In the end, how you look is not who you are.”

Griggs says thousands of men and women with unwanted same sex attractions and gender confusion make the personal decision to leave their homosexual lifestyle and identity and seek support and help from churches in their journey. Churches interested in finding out more about Safe Exit can visit


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