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Woman Who Lived as a Man Embraces True Identity

Robert Hull - 700 Club Producer

“I didn't know what sex was,” says Tyeesha. “But I remember feeling this feeling that overtook me, as – like I gained a desire that I didn't even know how to describe, or even understand as a child, but I remember feeling it.”

Tyeesha was just eight years old when she and her female cousins watched a pornographic video that had been recorded on her favorite VHS movie. “It’s our first time seeing this type of stuff, and so we watched it, and we were all just – nobody said anything, it was very quiet, but we all just continued to watch it for about an hour.”

The next week they watched the tape again. Her older cousins made up a game, “And they said, ‘The game that we're gonna play, is we'll make up sexual games, and we'll perform them on each other, how they do on the films, and then we'll have a certain amount of time with each other, and then we'll switch off.’”

They eventually introduced her stepbrother to the game and the sex became real. When he rejected her, Tyeesha began imitating him and playing the role of the male with her female cousins. She says, “We went through those scenes and he didn’t like to be around me, I began to watch him and become what he was. I began to stuff my underwear with socks. And I began to play the role that he was playing with all the other girls with-with my older cousins.”

She found immediate acceptance, which meant the world to Tyeesha, who otherwise felt rejected by her family and had been disowned by her father. She says, “I never understood what’s wrong with me? Why doesn't he want to claim me? Why doesn't he want to be a part of my life? It stripped me from my identity. I didn't know who I was. Because he didn't want me, I felt like there was something wrong with me. And so I told myself, ‘I'm gonna be the man that nobody has ever been to me. I'm gonna be the man that other women should want to be with.’"

By seventh grade Tyeesha fully embraced life as a boy. For thirteen years she engaged in a string lesbian relationships, all while hiding her own pain and confusion behind a manly exterior. She says, “And so I remember on the films they would choke the women, they would slap the women; they would curse them out in the form of role-play. And then all the men that I was exposed to in my family, they were the same way. So what I began to do, I just began to pull from the things that I was exposed to. And so I began to sexually and physically and mentally abuse every single woman that I was with.”

As a joke, one Sunday she went to Koinonia Christian Church with a friend. Pastor Ronnie Goines remembers seeing her for the first time. He says, “I remember seeing her. Uh, she had cornrows, and looked like a guy. But I knew it wasn't a guy.  I just couldn't take my eyes off of her. And I just knew I was to bring her – ask her to come forward.”

Tyeesha expected a confrontation with the pastor as she came to the alter. She says, “So I was like okay, I was about to curse him out in front of the entire church. Because I know what he’s about to say, I’m living wrong, it’s an abomination, it’s a sin. He did something that I wasn't prepared for, that I was least expected for him to do, he just grabbed me and hugged me. And I melted. Because I never received a hug from a man, and he looked at me in my eyes and he said, ‘You are a beautiful little girl.’ And I'm fully dressed like a man. And he said, ‘Do you know you're a little girl?’ Still holding me.

Pastor Ronnie remembers, “It was almost as if I was telling her everything that I would have told my daughter. That I wanted my daughter to know that you are beautiful, you are special, you are anointed, you have favor.”

Tyeesha remembers, “I felt love, I felt security. In that moment, I thought it was just a normal hug from a regular man, but it was the love of Jesus that transferred from him to me. I was secure in knowing that someone's seen the little girl that I was hiding. I was hiding her purposely, because I didn't trust anybody with her, and he saw her through all of that, and he called her out. And everything broke.”

Tyeesha knew she had an encounter with God’s love. She still tried to return to the gay lifestyle but was left empty and frustrated. After visions of gloom and despair she responded to God’s prompt to follow him. “And the Lord said ‘Tyeesha, if you don’t leave this lifestyle you are going to kill yourself.’ I went to my – the girl that was my fiancé at the time, and her brother and her kids, and I said, ‘I think I just gave my life to Christ. I'm leaving.’"

Tyeesha secluded herself from her old life and spent the next six months reading the Bible. She says, “And as I began to study the Word and God – and apply it to my life, it just began to renew my mind and-and just change me in the way I saw myself and the way I saw the world, in the way I saw my father and how he didn't know as well, you know, how to be a father.”

Pastor Ronnie and his wife Nikki became spiritual parents and helped Tyeesha see herself as beautiful young woman. Nikki says, “Just seeing God work in her reminds me that God can do anything. I’m honored to see God do this through someone I love who I truly deem as a daughter even though I didn’t give birth to her.”

“She is the-the living embodiment of what God can do,” says Ronnie, “how He can transform minds. Every time I see her and listen to her I’m reminded just what God is able to do.”

Tyeesha says the wounds from her past that brought confusion and pain were healed as she gave her life fully to Christ. “In three years everything that was taken away from me, when I was a little girl, I got back with him. He healed every wound. Every wound. I haven't had a same-sex attraction, haven't had a desire or a temptation for women, period.”

Tyeesha is now an author and public speaker. She shares her story with audiences across the U.S. and loves to tell others about her new identity and God’s transforming power. “I am an amazing, beautiful, awesome woman of Christ, a servant, faithful, faithful servant of Christ. And a daughter, I'm a daughter.”

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