A Familiar Face Returns to e-Veritas
Long-time readers of e-Veritas will recognize the name 25366 Mike Shewfelt. She (and no, that’s not a typo!) left the CF in 2014, moved to the United States to be with her wife and settled down to a career in customer service and pastoral work as a minister in the Southern Baptist Convention. That journey took an unexpected turn in 2017 when she came out as a transgender woman.
“I’m Anna-Michelle now,” she said. This revelation was a surprise to many, herself included. “I’d known for a long time that something was off inside, something not quite right, but I couldn’t articulate it until then,” she explained. “After the Pulse Nightclub shootings in 2016, I was moved to begin the very long process of trying to reconcile love and respect for LGBTQ people with the conservative evangelical views I held at the time and, in trying to bridge that gap and get to know those wonderful people, I learned a great deal about myself.” After a year of intellectual back and forth, she came across an article on trans people that finally made what they were saying “click” for her on an intellectual level. “And about two seconds after that, it ‘clicked’ for me on a personal level, too. It’s who I am. It’s everything that I couldn’t articulate before.”
As she knows all too well nothing is ever the same after a moment like that. “It took me a very long time to come to terms with that knowledge and what it meant for me and for those closest to me.” Her immediate family has been very supportive but her transition has still come at a high personal cost. When Anna-Michelle finally came out to her wife earlier this year the two of them went through a lengthy period of trying to adjust before, ultimately, deciding to divorce. They are now separated. “It’s a reality for many trans people,” Anna-Michelle said. “Not everyone is willing to support a spouse through the process of transitioning and that’s something I have to respect.”
Anna-Michelle has now moved back to Ontario and is in the process of resettling in the Kingston area where she will once again be employed in the publication of e-Veritas. She is delighted to be back in a place that meant so much to her. As she said, “It’s been four years since I was last on the peninsula and so much has changed in such a short time. I am excited to once again be involved with telling the stories of life at the College!”