Super Sereyna Beauty Queen Sabel Gonzales to Mark Estephen
Mark never knew who his father was. His childhood memory was seeing her mother with her friends get drunk while watching porn. There was also drugs and all sorts of things a young boy shouldn’t see.
The pretty boy
At age seven, he knew he was different from other boys. The uncle he thought would guide him abused him sexually instead. As if this tragedy was not enough, neighbors taunted Mark by calling him “gay child.” Life was hard, they were poor, and the only way life can be better was if he can get away from all these.
At seventeen, he met a transgender woman friend from his hometown in Pangasinan. She convinced Mark to live in the city and explore life and possibilities. By nineteen years old, he too began to crossdress. However, his ambition to become a real woman can only happen if he had money.
Dream come true!
Mark became a prostitution and he spent all his money on hormone therapy and cosmetic surgery. Being half-caucasian, he looked like the real deal but he needed more money to complete his transformation. He went abroad and became a “classy” professional hooker this time. She was a looker and real men wanted to marry or woo her into a steady relationship.
In 2014, Mark joined the biggest gay transpageantry in the Philippines. She won as “Super Sireyna Queen of Flowers,” and Sabel Gonzales was born. She was also one of the Top-10 semi-finalists for the Miss International Queen Pageant, held in Pattaya, Thailand. She would later belong to an international modeling agency for transgender.
Sabel began dating online and met an American who was head over heels with her. They married and settled in California just after a few months of getting to know each other.
Life is good for Sabel and was seemingly perfect. She was well loved and taken cared of. She had a modeling career, a car to drive, a loving home where she is treated like a lady, a weekly allowance, and a dog! What more can she want?
Unfortunately, just like hundreds of fairytales stories on same-sex relationships, they divorced in January 2017.
Their separation was not about infidelity, it was too much attention, love, and possession that Sabel was having a difficult time with.
The Pride of California
After the separation, they remained friends but Sabel moved to Los Angeles. She celebrated her gay lifestyle and quickly became popular in the gay community. She even appeared as a TV guest in “Law and Order.” Life again was rolling for Sabel.
She met again a handsome, kind, and decent American who was stricken by her charm and beauty. They lived together in a beautiful home and was well taken cared of financially.
Having more time for herself, Sabel listened to Christian music each morning and even read God’s word. In the midst of all her happiness, she realized that despite everything that she has, something was still missing. She felt a real need in his life could not be satisfied by anyone or anything.
Have I really found happiness?
Questions in her mind kept repeating itself – what is my purpose, am I really happy with this life I chose? She felt gay conversion therapy doesn’t really work. Seeking answers online, she googled the word “preaching” that led to a message from a church in the Philippines, CCF.
→ Jocel Maulana, Muslim transgender to a heterosexual husband
As the Pastor read 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, Sabel realized that her lifestyle was not pleasing to God. She feared death and the consequences of choosing a lifestyle that she knew was materialistic and hedonistic. She immediately grabbed her Bible and God’s word convicted her heart. Inspired, she went to CCF Los Angeles where she met Insong Nolan and his wife. Sabel felt something different. She could not fathom the love and acceptance she began to feel as she attended their service, Sunday after Sunday.
Mark of Grace
God began to work in Sabel’s life as people began to pray for her. Few weeks after, she decided to cut her prized long hair. Sabel died that day but Mark Estephen was reborn! With Mark’s conviction, he shared his faith with the man that he was living with. He stopped their sexual relationship and became good friends.
Indeed, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). “To be a real man is not only to act like a man but to be Christ-like,” said Mark.
Coping with sudden fame
Mark decided to come back to the Philippines. He went to CCF Center and met Pastor Bong Saquing, God’s messenger that changed his life. Mark’s testimony from a transgender to a man quickly spread like wildfire. He was interviewed by the Philippines’ top networks – GMA TV, ABS-CBN, and ABC 5. Several documentaries were made for him in a span of less than one year during his short return to the Philippines.
Although Mark continues to struggle, he knows God’s love has no limits.
Just before Mark returned to the US on September 17, 2018, he underwent surgery in his desire to be a man from the inside.
From a transgender to being transformed, Mark Estephen is a new creation in the site of Christ, but his journey has just begun and life ahead of him will not be easy.
Struggle is real: The transformation continues
Mark announced his “conversion” on January 23, 2018, his fame was blinding and after a few months, he silently struggled with the sudden change in lifestyle. When he went back to the US to complete his citizenship, he underwent a series of depression and on Nov 21, 2018, Mark announced that he was going back to being a transgender.
Mark broke the heart of many people who looked up to him for inspiration. He remains to be a follower of Jesus, but his complete physical transformation is yet to take place. One thing is certain, he remains transformed in the eyes of God and nothing will take away the love of Jesus from him! #PrayforMarkEstephen
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