I Am Wilshire – Chelsea Hopkins.
Name: Chelsea Hopkins;
Education: Bachelor of Music Education, Texas Tech University;
Profession: Band Director
Present city: Mesquite
Tell us about your family.
My parents and younger brother live a few minutes away from me in Mesquite. I’m godparent to my best friend’s 4-year-old son, James, and I try to spend time with them and James’s younger brother, Daniel, at least once a week.
How about your work or volunteer life?
Well, this is a lot more complicated now, but for the last six years, I worked at a middle school in Mesquite as first the orchestra director and then as one of the band directors. Now I’m seeking other career opportunities.
What are your favorite hobbies?
I love to not only watch movies and TV but also talk about them with friends and as a podcaster. Trivia — whether at a brewery with friends or at home watching Jeopardy — is a favorite pastime. I try to read as often as I can and love few things more than brewing a fresh cup of coffee at home and cuddling up under a blanket with a good book and my cat, Tucker.
What brought you to Wilshire and when?
I came out to myself as transgender in early 2022 after a lifetime of struggling with this part of myself. I had spent the pandemic distancing myself from the Southern Baptist church I’d grown up in and been a member of for nearly 25 years … and had no plans of returning. Early in my transition, as I had all my life, I feared that God wouldn’t love me or that transitioning was sinful. Researching various Christian perspectives led me to finding Mark Wingfield’s writings and videos, and I was delighted to find that Wilshire was only a 20-minute drive away. I attended virtually for a month or so before attending in person and have loved it since! Finding Wilshire is one of the best things to happen to me. Thank you. I’ve never felt closer to God or to a church than I do now.
Where are you engaged in Wilshire?
I’m a member of Ithaka Class, the New Member Committee and Wilshire Winds. I’m taking a break from Sanctuary Choir and Nova — at least for now — but hope to return in the future.
What’s something interesting most people wouldn’t know about you?
Well, most of you didn’t know this about me! After a year, almost to the day, of attendance, I’m glad to finally share my true self with Wilshire! Thank you for your advocacy and for accepting and loving all as they are. “They will know you by how you love.”
*If you are interested in being featured in an upcoming I Am Wilshire feature, contact Carolyn Murray(email@example.com)