Her transformation at church was slow but noticeable.
She let her wavy hair grow out, and occasionally allowed herself to replace the transparent nail polish she wore on her manicured hands with a more vivid pink. Her eyebrows were thinner and more defined, and her cheeks seemed rosier, drawing puzzled looks from congregants at the church she had led for 15 years.
She was known as Peter Strand then, the pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Ridgefield Park. A married man and the father of two.
But after a year of hormone replacement therapy, Strand, who now uses the name Petra, decided in April 2015 to let the congregation know what she had known for some time. She was a woman.
She addressed a four-page letter to the members of her church to explain the physical changes they may have noticed. She invited them to a meeting after a Sunday service, where she offered to talk to them about her transition….
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