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In case you're just tuning in, Bruce Springsteen, Target, and bathrooms are at the center of controversy these days, as Americans learn more about the T in the LGBT acronym - Transgender.

Broadly speaking, transgender refers to people who believe their gender identity does not correspond to their biological sex. The psychological description, which applies to a narrower slice of those who identify as transgender (and some who do not so identify), is "gender dysphoria," defined by Mark Yarhouse as "a deep and abiding discomfort over the incongruence between one's biological sex and one's psychological and emotional experience of gender."

With Caitlyn Jenner's appearance on the cover of Vanity Fair last year, and books and shows like Transparent finding an audience, there is a societal push to celebrate transgender experience as an expression of human diversity or as the next stage in extending human rights.

But this push has run into pushback. Access to bathrooms and locker rooms may be the battleground, but the bigger debate concerns the nature of humanity and, by extension, the best way to approach (or treat) gender dysphoria.

These newfound controversies are complicated, at least in part because of transgender theory itself. The unmooring of "gender identity" from "biological sex" leads to a number of unresolved questions, as well as troubling inconsistencies among advocates of transgender rights. (I realize that not every transgender person or LGBTQ activist agrees on every point or holds to the same ideology. Still, there is broad agreement on a number of important issues.)

In my reading of articles and books about gender identity in the past year, I've come across seven issues that challenge the coherence of transgender theories.

1. Do transgender theories undercut or contradict the idea that sexual orientation is unchangeable?

The LGBT's success in pushing for civil rights legislation on the basis of sexual orientation has relied heavily on the assumption that sexual orientation is "fixed," or genetically determined. But more and more scholars today argue that sexual orientation is "fluid," not fixed (especially in females). And these two perspectives are colliding in real life situations involving transgender persons.

Last year, New York magazine’s article "My Husband is Now My Wife" by Alex Morris featured the stories of several spouses of transgender persons who transitioned later in life. Morris describes the women who witnessed their husbands' transition as feeling pressured to not voice any disapproval, to avoid the accusation of being "transphobic." They were expected to be "celebratory" and helpful," no matter how their spouse's transition would affect the rest of the family.

LGBT theory rests on the assumption that sexual orientation is determined by biology and that it is misguided, even hateful, to seek to change one's orientation. But, as Morris points out, the spouse of a transgender person is expected to remain and support a partner during and after their transition. And for a wife to celebrate her husband's transition means she must face questions about her own sexual orientation.

The article quotes from a woman perplexed about what it means for her, a heterosexual woman, to suddenly be the spouse of a woman. She says, "I don't know how comfortable I would feel in a group of lesbians...Because here I am doing the very thing that they're trying to prove is not possible" -- change the gender to which she is attracted. Such an expectation destabilizes some of the foundational elements of LGBT theory on homosexuality.

2. If gender identity is fixed and unchangeable, why do many children who experience gender dysphoria lose these feelings after puberty?

The next wave of societal controversy is likely to involve one's approach to children. Studies show that a significant number of people who experience varying degrees of gender dysphoria as children choose to identify with their biological sex after puberty.

New Jersey currently forbids any change or direction given to a child's sexual orientation or gender identity or expression. A similar bill in Canada assumes that sexual orientation and gender identity are the same - determined at birth.

But, as Alice Dreger in Wired points out, "by 'affirming' a 'transgender' identity as soon as it appears--the clinician might actually be stimulating and cementing a transgender identity... Maybe the child who is 'affirmed' will be just as well off with a transgender identity as she would have been without, but the fact is that being transgender generally comes with non-trivial medical interventions, including hormonal and surgical."

3. When a person feels a disjunction between one's sex at birth and one's gender identity, why is the only course of action to bring the body into closer conformity with the person's psychological state, rather than vice versa?

If the disjunction a transgender person feels between their gender and their body is psychological, why should we recommend invasive surgical procedures to make the body more closely match the mind instead of seeking treatment that might help move the mind closer to the sex they were assigned at birth?

In other words, why do many transgender advocates claim that the only loving response to a transgender person is to support their desire for a surgical procedure? The most extensive studies of people who have undergone sex-reassignment surgeries (in Sweden, over a period of thirty years, in a culture that celebrates transgender persons) delivered disturbing results, including a much higher suicide rate.

Furthermore, how do these surgeries fit into the broader medical tradition in which the purpose of treatment is (usually) to restore bodily functions and faculties that are ordered toward certain ends? Why is it acceptable to oppose a "transabled" person's desire to undergo surgery that would blind them, or leave them without a limb, but it is "hateful" and "transphobic" to oppose surgeries that damage body parts that are in no way dysfunctional?

4. Is the higher rate of suicide among transgender persons due primarily to the inner tensions of experiencing gender dysphoria as a disorder, or are these acts motivated primarily by societal rejection?

In the past six months, I have noticed the same trend among many transgender advocates: that questioning a course of treatment or wondering out loud about the significance or meaning of gender in a way that dissents from transgender theory is responsible for transgender suicides. According to this way of thinking, gender binaries are inherently oppressive and damaging to the mental health of transgender persons.

I recall reading a columnist last year who was sympathetic to transgender concerns and who asked for patience on the part of transgender activists as he and others learned how to adopt the new linguistic guidelines and avoid causing unnecessary offense. A transgender woman fired off a response claiming that such a request is impossible because people are killing themselves due to these kinds of verbal mistakes.

It is difficult to make the case that transgender persons exhibit no signs of mental disorder while at the same time saying that the wrong pronoun can lead a person to suicide.

5. Why are the strongest critics of "gender binaries" the most likely to support gender stereotypes on display in transgender celebrities?

Feminist writer Elinor Burkett explained in the New York Times last year her surprise at seeing our society's idea of womanhood return to the stereotypes she had long fought against.

"Suddenly, I find that many of the people I think of as being on my side -- people who proudly call themselves progressive and fervently support the human need for self-determination -- are buying into the notion that minor differences in male and female brains lead to major forks in the road and that some sort of gendered destiny is encoded in us."

I have seen LGBT activists decry the notion that one can, by visual representation only, determine the gender of a person, and at the same time question the legitimacy of someone's claim to being transgender based on the visual perception (or lack thereof) of their desire to transition.

Why do those who demand empathy and acceptance toward the transgender experience dismiss feminist critics who believe the movement fails to properly understand the female experience? 

Burkett goes on to write:

"People who haven't lived their whole lives as women, whether Ms. Jenner or Mr. Summers, shouldn't get to define us. That's something men have been doing for much too long... Their truth is not my truth. Their female identities are not my female identity. They haven't traveled through the world as women and been shaped by all that this entails. For me and many women, feminist and otherwise, one of the difficult parts of witnessing and wanting to rally behind the movement for transgender rights is the language that a growing number of trans individuals insist on, the notions of femininity that they're articulating, and their disregard for the fact that being a woman means having accrued certain experiences, endured certain indignities and relished certain courtesies in a culture that reacted to you as one. The 'I was born in the wrong body' rhetoric favored by other trans people doesn't work any better and is just as offensive, reducing us to our collective breasts and vaginas."

6. Why must one's declared gender identity be accepted without question, while other forms of self-identification can be dismissed?

In making her point about women embracing men who transition, Burkett writes:

"Imagine the reaction if a young white man suddenly declared that he was trapped in the wrong body and, after using chemicals to change his skin pigmentation and crocheting his hair into twists, expected to be embraced by the black community."

Something similar took place last year with Rachel Dolezal, the former president of a chapter of the NAACP. One columnist described Dolezal's claim as "perverse and pathological," a version of "identity theft" that fails to consider the cultural significance of the African American experience.

"For me, Black-identifying was not a choice so much as a fact. I am Black. Rachel Dolezal is not."

This categorical rejection of Dolezal raises interesting questions about people's freedom to self-identify. Unmoored from biology, what reasons can we give to oppose a white man's decision to identify as a Chinese woman, or a man in his forties who decides to identify and live as a seven-year-old, or the tragic cases of otherkin – people identifying as animals? Please note: I am not claiming that these other modes of identification are on the same plane as gender dysphoria, only that there is no established consensus for why certain experiences are embraced and celebrated while others are considered outrageous or the sign of a mental illness.

7. Without a settled definition in our legal system for transgender, how can we avoid all sorts of problems, including bathroom access?

Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry writes:

"Presumably, post-transition transgender people look like the gender they identify with. Who, exactly, is going to stop someone who looks like a woman from walking into a ladies’ room? Or someone who looks like a man from walking into a men’s room? The American nanny state may be out of control, but we still don’t have bathroom police."

So why the uproar? Because, without clear definitions and markers of transgender beyond "I am what I say," we are left with unclear guidelines and chaotic standards. Carl Trueman pointed to the incoherent regulations proposed by his local school board:

"On the one hand, it asserts that a student's asserted gender identity has to be accepted, and must not be questioned or disregarded by staff. Moreover, the only exception is if staff have a 'credible basis' for believing the student is 'improperly' asserting a gender identity, vague and undefined terms that are open to abuse. Yet, the policy also claims that a student's transgender status may constitute confidential medical information that should not be disclosed to parents or others, suggesting it is a medical condition. Which is it?"

Conclusion

The debate over the T in LGBT is likely to get louder in coming years. Yes, there are some in our society who would scapegoat people with gender dysphoria who would cast them as predators and "freaks." Meanwhile, there are others who believe societal evolution depends on the abolishing of gender altogether and see the transgender experience as a way of moving beyond oppressive structures of "male" and "female."

For Christians, however, neither of these options is available to us.

We believe God's design of male and female to be structurally good, but we also understand gender dysphoria to be another symptom that reminds us we live in a fallen world. For this reason, we must extend love and compassion to anyone who experiences this kind of distress, even as we reject society's efforts to establish a fluid understanding of personhood.


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Comments:


108 thoughts on “7 Troubling Questions About Transgender Theories”

  1. Celest Puls says:

    In the first line of the article, you mention Bruce Springsteen. How is he related to this topic? Did you mean Bruce Jenner?

    1. Trevin Wax says:

      Bruce Springsteen canceled a concert in North Carolina in protest of the state’s new law restricting bathroom access to biological sex.

      1. Neil Pratt says:

        HR2 has a much broader implications for discrimination of transgender people outside of the scope of bathroom access.

        1. Melody says:

          Really? A statement without explanation or reference is the same as a lie.

          1. Bill says:

            Or it’s an invitation for you to use google and see what he is talking about in regards to HR2.

          2. Ned Flaherty says:

            The anonymous “Melody” claims — incorrectly — that all un-explained, un-referenced statements are lies.

            She is wrong.

            Her un-explained, un-referenced statement is a lie (mainly because it’s mere nonsense and lacking any evidence), but that doesn’t mean that all un-explained, un-referenced statements are lies. Most such statements are, in fact, not lies; they are merely inept, inapt comments from uninformed, misled people who are taking up other public space and public time, but contributing nothing useful.

            1. Phil H says:

              As explained by Ned Flaherty- The Professor

            2. Matthew says:

              Anytime someone says “Mere nonsense” I am imagine they picked that phrase up from C.S Lewis. Am I correct?

              1. Ned Flaherty says:

                No. You are not correct to assume that everyone in the world who combines the two words “mere” and “nonsense” is copying text from a Christian apologist.

        2. Boyd Thomas says:

          HB2 was passed to stooped Democrat controlled Charlotte’s Nondiscrimination ordinances before it started on April 1st forcing every student to allow anyone claiming to be transgender to use the restroom, shower and locker room with the opposite sex against the will of other students. Transgenders have stated they are attracted unto the sex in which they identify with. This would would give transgenders the right to use the restroom, take showers with and use the locker rooms with the sex in which they are attracted unto against their will. Obama stated there could be no separate restrooms, showers or locker rooms for anyone claiming to be transgender. these people don’t have to prove to be transgender to receive these rights, only make this claim. Democrats stated that this person making the claim they are transgender has the right to state they are male one day, female the next and then male the next day. These are not transgender people that cannot control the desires or their sex identity if they are welcome to take these actions. Less than 1% are transgender, but Obama states all religious beliefs must be cast aside and honor the LGBT civil rights. Will Obama have everyone claiming to be transgender in the restroom and shower with his wife and children? Will all Democrats do the same? This Gospel Coalition should know that God in (Romans 1) that men will leave the natural use of a woman and women will leave the natural use of a man, burning in lust men for men and women for women in these last days. God said these people and many supporters of their actions will be turned over unto a reprobate mind. No person with a reprobate mind can be saved or enter heaven.

          1. Ned Flaherty says:

            Boyd Thomas’ arguments fail, primarily due to (1) his ignorance of the topics; and (2) his phobias around related topics.

            Firstly, Boyd Thomas assumes — incorrectly — that transgender people use or want to use facilities for people of the opposite gender.

            He is wrong.

            Transgender men are men, and want to use only facilities for men. Likewise, transgender women are women, and want to use only facilities for women.

            Secondly, Boyd Thomas claims — incorrectly — that all transgender people are sexually attracted to people of the same gender.

            He is wrong.

            Just as cisgender men can be attracted to males, females, both, or neither, so too, transgender men can be attracted to males, females, both, or neither. Likewise, cisgender women can be attracted to males, females, both, or neither, and transgender women also can be attracted to males, females, both, or neither. Gender identity and sexual orientation are separate, independent, and unrelated. This is explained in college level health science courses.

            Thirdly, Boyd Thomas assumes — incorrectly — that only cisgender hetereosexuals use locker rooms, rest rooms, and showers.

            He is wrong.

            Ever since indoor plumbing was invented, Americans have used locker rooms, rest rooms, and showers with people who attracted to the opposite gender, and/or the same, gender, and/or both genders. This was never a problem before, and it is not a problem today.

            Fourth, Boyd Thomas claims — falsely — that people change their gender identity every 24 hours.

            He is wrong.

            Transgender people spent years with qualified health professionals before declaring their new gender identity. There is no record of any transgender person switching every 24 hours.

            Fifth, Boyd Thomas claims — falsely — that religious beliefs and secular civil rights are in conflict, and one must give way to the other.

            He is wrong.

            Secular civil rights are separate from, independent of, and unrelated to sect-based beliefs. Some who are subservient to religious superstition claim that their sect requires them to oppress other people; however, most sect-based believers honor the necessary separation of religion from state, and follow their sect’s Golden Rule (“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”).

            Sixth, in only one short, disjointed paragraph supposedly about divinity, Boyd Thomas mentions Democrats and President Obama at least 6 times, using religion as a political weapon, and politics as a religious weapon, even though neither strategy is valid.

            Finally, Boyd Thomas claims to know that apocalypse is imminent.

            He is wrong.

            He has not one shred of evidence, but, like most delusional mystics across recent thousands of years, he thinks that his presupposition is holy truth. He forgets that people of every other sect have counter offers about which they are equally fervent.

            1. Bob says:

              Hi Ned; Thanks for the reminder in your point 4, that just because youre TG doesn’t always mean you want to use public facilities of the opposite sex. What seems to be complicating this issue even further are people who are claiming to be non-binary, saying they should be allowed to use any public facility of their choice…I’ve had many online engagements with online trolls and the rhetoric that I often read from these posts sound very similar to trolls or haters who make comments just to stir up ill feelings…

  2. Neo says:

    All I know is, lately I’ve become far more paranoid whenever I step into a public bathroom, not knowing who or what will be there…

    1. Milton says:

      Or you could quote Genesis 1:27 to anyone who has become confused enough to use the wrong bathroom.
      “God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”
      And Neil Pratt, that does not mean God created male AND female simultaneously in the same person. Genesis speaks of God’s original uncorrupted creation, not the sad cases of hermaphroditism we see now as another result of the Fall, to be treated individually, not with public policy or law that endangers the 99.999%.

      1. Ned Flaherty says:

        The anonymous “Milton” writes — incorrectly — that people who understand things which Milton himself does not understand must be “confused” (his word).

        He is wrong.

        Using ancient, anonymous, foreign-language religious sect texts as a weapon never makes for intelligent discourse, especially when the same source books provide competing, contradictory arguments. For example, Milton’s religious sect’s main doctrinal source also recognizes the 3 kinds of transgender people (by birth, by force, by choice) and then tells society to accept them. (Matthew 19:12). Such contradictions prove that tossing sect-based passages back and forth — whether among members of the same sect, or between members of differing sects — always loses the snowball fight for everyone.

        The anonymous Milton assumes — incorrectly — that every human being is either 100% male or else 100% female.

        He is wrong.

        Most people are mostly one gender or the other, but no one is 100% of either gender. Milton denies modern medical science, yet embraces religious superstition (supernaturally authored texts, “uncorrupted creation,” a “Fall,” etc.), such as when he calls naturally occurring phenomena “sad” just because they don’t appeal to him personally. A hermaphrodite is no more “sad” than a brunette person is “sad” (for people who like only blonds and the black-haired); likewise, red-haired people are not “sad” just because they are only 1% of the human population.

        Finally, treating transgender people with the same degree of humaneness and fairness that everyone else automatically expects does not “endanger 99.999%” of the population, or endanger anyone, at all. All of the danger that Milton imagines arises from religious superstition, which occurs most often when people cherry-pick passages that seem to suit their biases.

        1. Mary76 says:

          I as well as many people question any of this TG as “modern medical science,” since it never even existed most of my life, or was spoken off, in the same way as transvestites or homosexuality. I knew transvestites and gays even as as a twenty-something or younger, but my only exeriences of men in women’s rooms were those of peeping toms. Sorry, but the case for TG’s is much weakened by this problem, however proponents may make it.

          Any danger involved in all this does not arise from religious superstition but from someone who decides to use the change of law for his own purposes.

          Further, I question why it is only the West that has this problem. Imagine a man in Arabia or another Moslem country. Do you truly think anyone there would wish to be a woman? He would be out of his mind. In Africa or Native American cultures? Men had privileges that no woman ever had, as was the case in this country even up to the last century. Where is the science in all this?

          1. Ned Flaherty says:

            The anonymous “Mary76″ rejects the modern medical science of which she is ignorant. She gives 4 reasons for her rejection:

            1. Many ignorant people do what she does (reject facts which they do not have).
            2. She claims that transgender people didn’t exist when she was younger.
            3. She claims that people who weren’t talked when she was younger don’t exist today.
            4. She does not know what a transgender person is, she does not know that she does not know, and she rejects the modern medical science that could teach her what she does not know.

            The anonymous “Mary76″ claims — incorrectly — that a transgender person is a “man in a women’s room” (her words).

            She is wrong.

            A transgender woman is just one type of woman, and a transgender man is just one type of man. Transgender women belong in women’s restrooms, and transgender men belong in men’s restrooms.

            The anonymous “Mary76″ claims that bigotry against transgender people is not rooted in religious superstition.

            She is wrong. Every lobbyist, hobbyist, lawmaker, and preacher now working to oppress and criminalize transgender people always returns to scriptural fiction to justify what they do.

            The anonymous “Mary76″ claims that transgender people don’t exist in Islamic cultures, Africa, Native America, the Near East, and the Far East.

            She is wrong. This is an excellent example of her refusing to get the knowledge she lacks, and her insisting on pursuing arguments which the science and history books refuted long ago. Transgender people have existed throughout human history.

            The anonymous “Mary76″ complains that her history of transgender people contains no science. That’s true. Her history doesn’t contain the knowledge she would need to understand what is happening in the 21st century. But to publicly say “I refuse to give up my opinions even though I don’t know anything about this” insults other readers and wastes everyone’s time.

  3. JG says:

    Trevin, thank you for this article. I’ve found there’s very little in the way of a Christian theology of the body or other works that interact biblically this issue. Most content either comes from a Christian perspective without really understanding the complexity of transgender issues, or exists simply as a vehicle to advance the transgender cause while doing violence to Scripture. Do you have any books or resources you can recommend that approach this biblically but also interact with the inherent intricacies and difficulties? Thank you, again!

    1. Neil Pratt says:

      I would recommend Matthew 19:12 or the story of the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8 for a Biblical approach to this issue.

    2. Phil H says:

      Deut 22:5 says:

      “A woman must not wear men’s clothing, nor a man wear women’s clothing, for the LORD your God detests anyone who does this.”

      This is just one biblical warning against men behaving as women and vice versa.

      1. Ned Flaherty says:

        The anonymous “Phil H.” does not understand what a transgender person is.

        He proves his misunderstanding by quoting this passage by one of the many anonymous authors, of one of the many Bible versions, translated from and to many languages, and then anonymously edited and anonymously revised over many centuries.

        A transgender woman is not a “man wearing a woman’s clothing” (his words), and a transgender man is not a “woman wearing a man’s clothing (his words). Transgender women are women, and transgender men are men.

        Finally, world cultural history proves that there is no universal clothing standard based on gender or on gender identity. Skirts and dresses are worn by both men and women; likewise, pants and jackets are worn by both women and men. Democratic societies do not survive when they are governed by religious superstitions about apparel, or when they deny the facts of the modern health sciences.

        1. Phil H says:

          Why are you here exactly Ned Flaherty? TGC is an unapologetic Christian site. And since you apparently feel compelled to enlighten all us who are ignorant with your vast knowledge of the transgender issue let me enlighten you on our faith. There is Man’s way (as in Mankind) and there is the Lord’s way. We choose the latter. This often times puts us in conflict with a secular worldview which emphasizes the abilities and knowledge of humans. Based on your reply above, it doesn’t appear that you hold the words of the Bible in high esteem which, of course, we do. I also saw in one of your other comments here the obligatory reference to the Roman Catholic Church fighting science on the heliocentric rather than geocentric solar system back in the day. Nowhere in the Bible have I found it written that we are told the earth is the center of the solar system or universe. Some members (but not all) were wrong on the issue. But belief in God does not necessarily put the Christian in conflict with science as many would have us believe. I note here that the rapid growth of science and the arts, industrialization, all occurred under the umbrella of Christianity in western civilization.

          The fact that there are all kinds of deviations from God’s original plan for humans is not surprising to us and is explained.

          But again, why are you here if you are not a believer. Are you an evangelical atheist?

          1. Ned Flaherty says:

            The anonymous “Phil H.” asks why readers here are replied to.

            Replies go to three groups of commenters: (1) those who make statements that are scientifically false; (2) those who get misled by their own linguistics or the linguistics of others; and (3) those who ask sincere questions that deserve a factual, sincere answer.

            Among sect-specific believers, some people today claim that their doctrines still support geo-centrism, while others claim their doctrines support helio-centrism. The point of mentioning the infamous question is not to re-argue it, but only to illustrate one of the many examples of sects using their doctrines to insist upon notions even after those notions are disproved.

            Likewise, many sect followers feel that their beliefs and their deities don’t put them in any conflict with the sciences with which they are personally familiar, but there are billions of people worldwide who still insist that their beliefs and their deities absolutely refute all kinds of science. So, yes, many sect followers are in conflict with science, and don’t even realize it.

            The anonymous “Phil H.” insists that western science, western art, and western industrialization were developing during the same centuries that his sect(s) were expanding. That’s true. But it’s also irrelevant. Eastern science, eastern art, and eastern industrialization also developed, and they developed beyond the influence of western religious sects. Just because any two things occur in the same century doesn’t mean they’re related, and doesn’t entitled any claim that one benefitted the other. Singing in the shower while it is raining outside doesn’t mean that the singing caused the rain, or that the rain caused the singing.

            A reader can post a useful reply to an uninformed, misinformed, confused, or questioning commenter without that reader having to become a deist, a theist, or anything else.

        2. Justin H says:

          Ned, what does Deuteronomy 22:5 say in its original autograph, then? Unless you have proof of a significant change, the evidence of historical manuscripts is that they stick very closely with the originals (consider Dead Sea Scrolls, which revealed that later copies were extremely in tact with ancient texts).

          Also, the context of the verse reveals that there is a problem in God’s eyes with men and women crossover issues. Genuine psychological issues do not excuse sinful behaviors, though they should make us more sensitive in how to better help people with such issues.

          1. Ned Flaherty says:

            The anonymous “Justin H.” speaks of “evidence” without knowing what it is.

            He is wrong.

            Jason believes that ancient texts, written by anonymous authors, in foreign languages, can be considered “evidence” of something just because they have some similarities to other old texts, by other anonymous authors, in other languages. That is not evidence. He mistakes his beliefs for evidence precisely because he believes, but not because he knows.

            Jason believes that a supernatural deity objects to “crossover issues” (Jason’s words), but except for his blind faith, he has no evidence of either the deity he imagines, or the issues he imagines that his deity imagines. Confusing the physical realm (psychology) with a metaphysical realm (sin) enlightens no one, and solves nothing.

            It is folly for Human A to tell Human B that the deity which Human A imagines is insisting that Human B is divinely commanded to do whatever Human A demands, because Human B imagines a different deity entirely, or no deity at all. Human A cannot order Human B to follow Human A’s deity any more than Human B can order Human A to follow Human B’s deity. The idea of a deity ordering people around can succeed only if people keep their own notions of such deities and orders to themselves, and avoid imposing their notions upon others who don’t share them. Declaring one’s own deity to be supreme and all others to be fakes does nothing but guarantee permanent social chaos and eternal religious war. Theocracies feel comfortable only to theocrats of the same cult; to everyone else they are totalitarian dictatorships.

            1. Justin H says:

              If my name is Justin and I post as Justin, how does that make me anonymous? Also, I assume when you talked about Jason, you were talking about me?

              Ned, the problem with your response is that you “waxed eloquent” for three paragraphs and really didn’t even say anything. You certainly didn’t respond in any direct way to my argument. I’ll communicate it once again:

              In response to your assumption that because the Bible has been copied, edited, and translated over time we, therefore, cannot trust it, I made the specific argument that your line of thinking squares with the liberal theologian assumption that the Bible must surely have gone through so many changes over time that it cannot be infallible and its message must surely be convoluted. Then I parenthetically offered the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls as evidence that documents written roughly 1,000 years before the Masoretic text were almost exactly the same of that of the standardized text. This, of course, is not proof of their divine origin, but it is proof that through the ages scribes and copyists took great care to preserve the original text.

              With that said, it is simply conjecture on your part to assume that we can’t trust verses like Deuteronomy 22:5 when history clearly points to textual fidelity and you have no positive proof for your contrary position.

              Lastly, though, as you state, there is no common dress code for human civilizations throughout the ages, God’s Word makes clear that whatever the common dress standard is from culture to culture, men must not make themselves to be like women in their apparel. This has nothing to do with theocracy and theocrats, but everything to do with life and ethics before the living God, to whom we must all give an account. The good news of the gospel, however, is that Jesus Christ came to save sinners. As humans, we are all born with a sinful, corrupted nature, yet Jesus came to redeem (by his life, death, and resurrection) those who by nature pervert what is holy, engaging in behaviors such as sexual immorality, marital unfaithfulness, lying, gossiping, acts of violence, etc. Through repentance and faith in Christ sinners can be forgiven, made new, and granted eternal life in His kingdom.

              1. Ned Flaherty says:

                The anonymous “Justin H.” asks what it is that makes him anonymous. What makes him anonymous is the fact that there are over 491,567 people already named Justin, so signing messages that way is, in effect, the same as signing them “Anonymous.”

                Justin treats anonymous, ancient, foreign-language, sect-specific religious texts as “evidence” but those writings have none of the characteristics of evidence. Yes, there are many versions of such texts, and yes, there are many other texts with duplicative stories and similar themes, but multiple versions of companion volumes doesn’t bring any of the texts one iota closer to being evidence of anything. One might discover a late era Superman comic book, and then discover an early era book, but simply finding such books doesn’t make Superman stories true, and it doesn’t make Superman real. All it proves is that some people published some comic books.

                Justin claims that an ancient, anonymous text which he calls “Deuteronomy 22:5″ must be factual simply because he perceives that other ancient, anonymous texts are similar to it. That text claims to itemize regulations ordered by a supernatural deity, yet contains no proof that the regulations ever existed, no proof that they came from any deity, and no proof that the deity ever existed. More chapters from the same books are not evidence of anything.

                Justin’s supernatural deity isn’t everyone’s supernatural deity. His ancient, anonymous, texts aren’t everyone’s texts. His concept of divinity isn’t everyone’s divinity. His holiness isn’t everyone’s holiness. And so on.

                Justin imagines that “all” human beings are accountable, and he insists that they are accountable only to Justin’s deity, but insists that his view has nothing to do with theocracy or theocrats.

                He is wrong.

                His view has everything to do with theocracy and theocrats. In fact, Justin’s view suffers from all the key features of any theocratic dictator: “My deity is everyone else’s deity, and all humans are subject to my deity’s rules, whether they like it or not, because I said so.”

            2. Mary76 says:

              You seem very fond of “He is wrong.” It creates a tedious read. Try to vary it to emphasize your point and to make a stronger case for your argument, Repetition is rather arduous after awhile.

            3. Mary76 says:

              You are entitled to believe as you choose, but given that you are on a Christian site, I advise you not to be insulting by calling the God imaginary. I would not do so anywhere. They are making a weak argument by using a source which you do not accept, but you weaking your authority just as much by calling God imaginary. Both of you use logical fallacies and neither of you can hope to perrsuade anyone.

              1. Ned Flaherty says:

                The anonymous “Mary76″ objects to recognizing imaginary things as imaginary, even though she admits that imaginary things are “weak arguments” (her words).

                But she contradicts herself.

                When an imaginary thing is a weak argument, then calling out its imaginary qualities is the very best response of all. Exposing the lack of evidence in other people’s claims is never the “logical fallacy” (her words) that she believes. In fact, it’s the perfect approach to anyone who relies upon ideas for which they haven’t any shred of evidence.

  4. Michael F. says:

    Interesting discussion of the transgender issue. But I think another aspect of this discussion that has not received enough attention relates to the so-called “estrogen overload” that has been discovered in the environment — driven by a) the estrogen that women on the birth control pill pass through their bodies, b) certain fertilizers that mimic estrogen, c) certain plastics. We’re finding all sorts of fish and amphibians that are biologically male, but that have eggs inside them, etc. And we also know that estrogen has a number of serious, adverse physical effects on men (for example, see: http://www.livestrong.com/article/127328-high-estrogen-symptoms-men/). What if the rise of sexual identity confusion is at least also partly the result of hormonal pollution in the environment — particularly estrogen and estrogen mimicking chemicals?

    National Geographic: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2007/05/070521-sex-fish.html

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/02/160203-feminized-fish-endocrine-disruption-hormones-wildlife-refuges/

    Masslive:

    http://www.masslive.com/sports/2016/01/all_outdoors_jan_10_2016.html

    1. Bob says:

      Thanks Michael F. Very interesting theory.

  5. Nick M says:

    The question of suicidality is a good one. In their attempts to quash any dissent or questioning of their agenda, many in the trans movement do, as you say, seek to place a sort of blood guilt upon any who question the best way to help those who experience gender dysphoria. To blame the trans suicide rate on public disapproval is intellectually dishonest and fails to recognize the lack of such a problem of suicidality among historic groups which faced far worse disapproval and oppression (see Jews in the third reich, black slaves in the United States, first century Christians, etc). The disparity between rates of suicidality in these kinds of groups and trans individuals may possibly be attributed to a variety of sources: perhaps faith in the other groups, comorbid mental disorders in the trans community, or even a current social climate that fosters these feelings through a combination of elevating the role of sexuality in one’s identity, elevating the importance of the individual, and reducing stigma around (or even slightly glorifying) suicidal behavior. The bottom line is that oppression alone cannot be the driver behind this suicide rate, because the level of oppression for the transgender community in 21st century America (being featured in reality shows and garnering the backing of major corporations) is certainly worse than the fates of those groups that were enslaved, tortured, and killed en masse as a result of their race or religion.

    1. Neil Pratt says:

      One of the major differences between gay/transgender people and black people/Jews/etc is the fact that the former traits are not heritable. There is no such thing as a “gay family” in the same way that there are “black families”. While a black person might face discrimination as a part of their family/community, they still have their family/community as a source of support. Gay/transgender people have no support or community, and are kicked out of their homes in massive numbers, so much so that 40% of homeless children throughout the country are lgbt.

      1. CraftworkTheory says:

        I agree with your first sentence, but I question the rest of your commentary. People who are LGBTQ have quite a bit of family and community support, moreso in the last 5-10 years as this issue has grown. Where did you get the 40% of homeless children statistics? The “fact” that “gay/transgender people get kicked out of their homes in massive numbers”? And in which parts of the United States do the lack of community and homelessness occur more frequently? (I don’t dispute that these things occur, but the statements seem more speculative than grounded in fact.)

        1. Ned Flaherty says:

          The anonymous “Craftwork Theory” asks why LGBT youth are so often homeless.

          Here is the answer.

          While LGBT people make up only 5% of the youth population, they make up 40% of the homeless youth population, since families often throw away their own children — penniless and homeless — because of religious superstitions.

          “Rising Number of Homeless Gay Teens Are Being Cast Out By Religious Families”
          Rolling Stone, 3 September 2014

          http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/features/the-forsaken-a-rising-number-of-homeless-gay-teens-are-being-cast-out-by-religious-families-20140903?page=2

    2. Mary76 says:

      Very good.

  6. Curt Day says:

    I thought that the challenge in #4 was rather trite and did not address the physical and emotional abuse transgendered people too often experioence from others. Those abuses are real and can have a traumatic effect on people.

    As for which identifications should be accepted, that should be done on a case by case basis rather than an all-or-nothing basis. In any event, we share society with transgendered people. And the question for us is how do we want to share society with them. If we choose to share society as equals, then we will recognize their choice. Note that racognizing their choice in society does not imply that one must agree with them. After all, we recognize people’s right to adhere to the religion of their choice though we may not agree with every choice being made. And it is at this point that we can preach the Gospel most effectively.

  7. Melody says:

    Thanks for writing about this. This issue has stressed me out more than I think it should – mostly because so many of my christian friends have jumped on board this particular bandwagon – decrying the hate of anyone who disagrees.

    1. DCal3000 says:

      Thanks for noting this, Melody. I’ve seen the same phenomenon in religious circles, and it’s been very discouraging for me too. I think changing attitudes on gender should at least be discussed before they are accepted, but I find that, both in Christian communities and in society at large, questioning society’s new status quo can lead to accusations of bigotry.

  8. Houser says:

    Small factual correction: Dolezal was the president of her local NAACP chapter in Spokane, not the whole NAACP. See, e.g.,
    http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-spokane-naacp-rachel-dolezal-resigns-20150615-story.html#page=1

  9. Laura says:

    I think it’s a very positive thing to ask these questions, and to ponder them and seek information about them. I think it’s right to accept that the questions may be open for a while, and not rush to close them so that we can maintain our personal worldviews unchanged, whichever way those worldviews tend to push us. Obviously, the idea that gender identity is unchangeable can’t be right, since the majority of children with gender dysphoria resolve it by adulthood. That doesn’t mean the dysphoria isn’t real, though, and it says nothing about the people for whom it doesn’t resolve.

    This: “When a person feels a disjunction between one’s sex at birth and one’s gender identity, why is the only course of action to bring the body into closer conformity with the person’s psychological state, rather than vice versa?” I would answer like this: our bodies are the clay vessels we have our treasures (our immortal souls) in, until we die, they return to dust, and our souls live on. If you had to pick one, soul or body, as the essential part of you, which would you pick?

    1. B says:

      “If you had to pick one, soul or body, as the essential part of you, which would you pick?” Interesting, Laura – I hadn’t thought of it this in these terms before.

      Considering this, I would offer that God promises a new heaven and earth in the life to come, including renewed, perfected bodies, so I don’t know if it’s helpful to create a conceptual hierarchy between mind and body. I say “mind” because, in our broken world, my concept of self is also broken, and my psychological state shouldn’t be assumed to reflect the true nature of my soul. “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?”

      Eternal life won’t be a disembodied ethereal existence, but one where soul and body and mind and all things work together as an unbroken whole. Come quickly, Lord, and let us be people who seek healing and wholeness as we wait…

  10. Jonathan Roberts says:

    You referenced books in your article. Could you list a few that you would recommend on this topic? Also a list of articles would be nice (other than the ones linked to in the article)

  11. paul says:

    Trev, thanks so much my brother. I worry that the “science” that the same Post-modern Post Christian culture in America embraces so richly when it supports their bias will be unheard when it questions their motives in celebrating the new LGBT fame in America.

  12. David says:

    I just had to take a mandatory HR training (I work for a college) covering, among other things, Title IX and transgender students. What was the training called? “How to Save a Life”. But of course. As Rod Dreher says, yelling at the smallest notion of disagreement “you’re killing people!” is par for the course for transgender activists.

    1. Neil Pratt says:

      I’m curious, do you think that transgender people are being disingenuous when they share the pain they face as a result of discrimination in society? Do you think that the suicides in the transgender community are for political effect, rather than a tragedy that must be prevented?

      1. Milton says:

        Suicidal ideation is not best treated or prevented by surgery. We know hormones have a strong effect on emotions. Why not use hormones to line up the mind with the body instead of vice versa? Biological males with gender dysphoria could be given testosterone treatments, and vice versa. Counseling should get at the fctors that may be causing the gender dysphoria instead of encouraging someone to apply a misguided “solution” that solves nothing and instead creates a whole new set of problems for a person. You state a false premise by attributing motivation for suicides of trans people to political effect (go down for the cause? hard to believe) and use that to keep the direction one way only – to deny and reject our created biology.

        1. Bill says:

          I think you have bought into the false dichotomy of mind and body. Chrtisitnaity separated dsire and pleasure, mind/body in a way that doesn’t make sense.

        2. Ned Flaherty says:

          The anonymous “Milton” assumes — incorrectly — that transgender surgery is an anti-suicide treatment.

          He is wrong. It is not.

          Surgery is chosen by some — but not all — transgender adults as one of several concurrent approaches to living in line with one’s true identity. The idea of pumping transgender people with hormones they don’t want and don’t need is inhumane, indefensible, and medical malpractice. It was erroneously presumed to be a possible treatment long ago, but no credible scientific evidence exists to support that hypothesis, and plenty of evidence demonstrates that it not only does no good, but also is harmful.

          The anonymous “Milton” also assumes — also incorrectly — that “counseling” cures dysphoria.

          He is wrong.

          Counseling is pointless because what causes and aggravates gender dysphoria is not any defect within a transgender person, but, rather, society’s treatment of the transgender person. Allowing the transgender person to live life in line with their lived reality and true identity ends the dysphoria.

          Medical treatments for transgender persons are real, and both patients and practitioners alike report that they benefit the patient with scientifically measurable improvements. On the other hand, notions such as “created biology” are sect-based religious superstitions without a shred of scientific evidence. Since all the effort, time, and expense of transgender treatments are borne by the patients and practitioners, and not by anyone else, it is shockingly inhumane that people claiming to be Christians aggressively deny relief to other people for no reason except superstitions dictated by a sect to which the other people often don’t even belong.

    2. Ned Flaherty says:

      Training courses about transgender people are titled “How To Save A Life” because most transgender people are killed in 1 of 2 ways: (1) suicides by their own hands; or else (2) murders at the hands of others. Until this training is commonplace, the phrase “You’re killing people” will, sadly, remain perfectly appropriate and accurate.

  13. Bill says:

    As some others pointed out can you list the books you read for this article?

    1. Trevin Wax says:

      I plan to do a follow-up post soon, with a list of articles I’ve found helpful as well as several books on the subject.

      1. Phil Layton says:

        Looking forward to your links and articles, as there is not much on the “T” in LGBT from a gospel perspective, but here’s what I’ve gathered in my research:
        http://media.sermonaudio.com/mediapdf/5116188010.pdf

        Owen Strachan’s article “A Gospel Approach to Transgenders” was a notable exception: https://stream.org/bruce-jenner-gospel-approach-transgenderism/

        I found it interesting that according to Robert Gagnon’s scholarly book The Bible and Homosexual Practice, the Greek terms in 1 Cor 6:9 included transgenders, males who changed their appearance to be feminine, including some by surgeries to remove masculinity (Darby’s 1890 translation has “men who make women of themselves”). v. 11 says the gospel had saved some of the Corinthians from these background and gave them a new identity in Christ. The OT was aware of this also (Deut 22:5, 23:1) but even the OT gave hope in the Lord for the future of eunuchs (usually castrated involuntarily as slaves) who would join themselves to the Lord (Isa 56:3-7). The Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8 is a great example of gospel hope even those who have had irreversible operations, and as he was saved reading Isa 53, it’s not hard to imagine his hope reading Isa 56:3-7. May God help us to look past politics to people in need of gospel grace and truth in love.

        ,

    2. Neil Pratt says:

      Megan DeFranza’s “Sex Difference in Christian Theology” is an excellent resource!

  14. Neil Pratt says:

    A little pushback on some of these points:

    1. The question of whether a married person who comes out as transgender later in life should stay in their marriage is a profoundly complicated and painful one, just like the question of whether a person who comes out as gay later in life should stay married is a complicated and painful question. I’ve heard of nobody who expects the non-transgender partner to adjust their sexuality, and indeed many of these marriages end because of this issue. Those who stay prefer to uphold their vows to love the person regardless of whatever challenges come between them.

    2. This phenomenon is precisely why hormone treatments and surgical options should not be available to children until they grow up to be adults who can legally make these kinds of major decisions for themselves. Currently the standard of care is simply to give treatment to delay some of the effects of puberty to ensure that they can make the decision themselves as an adult. Currently the status quo for intersex babies is to force cosmetic surgeries and treatments on them to force them into the gender binary, without going through any thoughtful process to determine if this is appropriate. Many of the victims of this kind of surgery end up transitioning later in life to their original biological gender, thereby making them “transgender”.

    3. McHugh’s interpretation of the Sweden study is widely inaccurate. I’ll let the WPATH’s statement on the matter speak for itself.

    “McHugh does cite one study from 2011, by Cecilia Dhejne, MD and colleagues at Karolinska Institute in Stockholm. However, he misunderstands Dr. Dhejne’s work. In the paper, Dr. Dhejne states that the study was not designed to draw conclusions on the efficacy of transgender surgeries, yet McHugh does exactly that. A closer reading of the paper shows that the increased mortality is in those who had surgery before 1989, and that mortality in trans people after 1989 is not statistically different from the general population. A recently published paper by Dr. Dhejne and colleagues shows that the regret rate for those having surgery from 2001-2010 is only 0.3%. Dr. Dhejne’s work shows that outcomes for transgender surgery have improved tremendously in the past 30 years, which supports the HHS decision to remove trans exclusions.”

    McHugh spreads the theory that transgender people are all sexually aroused by their own transition, a theory that is not backed by any scientific literature and completely alien to most transgender people’s experiences.

    4. Simply based on the fact that calls to transgender suicide hotlines have more than doubled since the antagonistic political climate in North Carolina has gotten much worse with HR2, I think it can easily be traced that transgender people’s despair comes from the massive amount of societal bias against them.

    5. The intersection of male privilege and cisgender privilege is, again, complex. Just as cisgender women cannot speak to the experiences of transgender women, the reverse is also true.

  15. Neil Pratt says:

    For complicated and difficult topics like this one, it is best to turn first to the Bible and the teachings of Jesus Christ for what they teach us about them. Matthew 19:12 is quite clear on this particular topic when Jesus speaks of eunuchs, a word for a type of transgender person in Biblical times, “For there are eunuchs who were born that way, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others–and there are those who choose to live like eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it.”

    1. Phil says:

      When Jesus says “there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others,” the reference to castration is indeed quite clear (usually done involuntarily on slaves, which is quite clear in ancient literature). The last phrase “those who choose to LIVE LIKE eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom” is a third class separate from those castrated by others, that most scholars connect with those who live like that in celibate lives in 1 Corinthians 7. Are you suggesting the last phrase means ‘transgender’ men in a modern sense, who do a self-surgery of castration, and if so, what are your sources that people in the time of Jesus or before did this to change their gender? Even if Jesus is speaking of people who did self-surgery of genitalia thinking it would get them to heaven, physical emasculation isn’t for God’s people (Deuteronomy 23:1) but walking by the Spirit instead of the desires of our flesh (sexually or otherwise) is the way of the kingdom (Galatians 5:12, 16-24 NIV).

      I’m not aware of any source in Jesus’ day or earlier where surgery was sought in a “transgender” sense, are you? Are
      Self-mutilation would have been extremely rare, but some devotees of Attis are known to have been self-castrated.

      Nolland John, “Preface,” in The Gospel of Matthew: A Commentary on the Greek Text, New International Greek Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI; Carlisle: W.B. Eerdmans; Paternoster Press, 2005), 778.

      1. Phil H says:

        Very glad that you made this point.

      2. Neil Pratt says:

        Eunuchs are, by definition, transgender, though not all transgender people would find themselves as eunuchs for obvious reasons. But let’s explore what the Bible says on the subject. You are quite correct to bring up Deuteronomy 23:1, as it directly condemns transgender people and should be taken as proof that transgender people are suffering under sin unless the NT deals with this specific passage. However, Act 8 directly deals with this question, implicitly referencing the Deuteronomy verse. The Ethiopian eunuch was leaving Jerusalem after being turned away from the Temple (aka turned away from God in Jewish belief) based on Deuteronomy 23:1 (trans people cannot enter the “assembly of the Lord”). Phillip then shares the good news of Jesus with him prompting the question, “Look, there is water, what is to prevent me from being baptized?” This is not a rhetorical question, he is asking whether Deuteronomy 23:1 applies given the good news of Jesus Christ. Phillips answer is quite clear when he baptizes him with no hesitation; Deuteronomy 23:1, just like laws about circumcision and sacrifice, no longer apply. Transgender people are fully covered by Christ’s sacrifice and welcomed into the church.

  16. Susanna says:

    This is a really good and thoughtful article. I’ve bookmarked for future reference.

    One other point that’s occurred to me: the irony of a movement that insists that gender has nothing to do with biology or physical attributes, also insisting that a person who is transgender has to physically conform to the biological markers of the opposite sex in order to really “express” their genuine sexuality. It’s a bit strange that naturally having attributes like breasts, a uterus, lower testosterone, a menstrual cycle, etc doesn’t make you a woman, but that artificially creating those things is essential to the trans person’s perceived identity. Don’t know if I’m expressing this well, but to me it’s pretty contradictory.

    1. Neil Pratt says:

      Actually many (if not most) transgender people don’t choose to have the varying surgical/medical options to express the physical characteristics of their gender. Most transgender people would hardly call those aspects “essential” to their lives.

    2. cheryl says:

      Yes, that confuses me as well. It is as if they are defining “woman” to mean…. what exactly? Someone who likes pink sparkly things? And why should the bathrooms, locker rooms, rape crisis centers, athletic teams,, prisons, etc etc etc, be segregated by “here is the room for people who like pink sparkly things and here is the room for those who like plain non-sparkly things”?

      Biology works pretty well as a way to insure privacy and safety during those times when the weaker impregnable people are disrobing or otherwise vulnerable. I have all the sympathy in the world for those who believe themselves to be something they are not, yet my sympathy does not extend to allowing penises in spaces where females are disrobing.

      Their entire argument is circular. They say they are women because they say they are women because they say they have the gender identity of a woman. Well, their only definition of “woman” and “having the gender identity of a woman” appears to be limited to stereotypes. Liking pink or what other stereotype they want to use, isn’t the thing which makes someone a woman. I’m female because I was born with a typical female reproduction system. Which of course they need to redefine as well, otherwise their ideology has yet another inconsistency. Their only purpose for redefining “typical female reproduction system” to include those born with a typical MALE reproductive system is so they can then claim that men are women — and we’re right back to where we started. Define “woman” without resorting to stereotypes and all that is left is biology but they don’t like that either.

      If it is true that “transwomen are women” then it is also true that “women are transwomen”. We can also say that if it is true that transmen are men” then it also true that “men are transmen”. So now there is supposedly no biological sex and it’s all just a mystery how babies are made.

      1. Ned Flaherty says:

        The anonymous “Cheryl” misunderstands what she is reading, and also even what she is writing.

        Firstly, she assumes — incorrectly — that gender identity is defined by relative “weakness” and relative “impregnability” (her words).

        She is wrong.

        Strength and impregnability do not define gender identity. One or both can be factors, but only for some people; they are not factors for everyone, and so do not form any definition.

        Secondly, she also assumes — also incorrectly — that what makes a person female is being “born with a typical female reproduction system” (her words).

        She is wrong.

        Gender identity is separate, different, and unrelated to reproductive organs, as proven by the 70 million people worldwide who were born with both reproductive systems.

        Thirdly, the anonymous “Cheryl” makes the same mistake that most elementary school students are taught to never make. Cheryl assumes that “if transwomen are women then women are transwomen” and “if transmen are men then men are transmen” (her words).

        She is wrong.

        Yes, all whales are mammals, but no, not all mammals are whales. Whales are a small subset, in the infraorder Cetacea, of the larger class called mammals, but reindeer, which are mammals, are never whales. This principle is taught in every good elementary school, in subjects such as language, science, mathematics, music, and more.

        Finally, the anonymous “Cheryl” writes that “there is no biological sex” (her words) and “procreation is just a mystery” (her words).

        Again, she is wrong.

        Yes, biological sex does exist, and it is understood. Likewise, procreation also exists, and it also is understood. The anonymous “Cheryl” knows very little — and understands even less — about sex, biology, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, procreation, strength, impregnability, and “pink sparkly things” (her words). She can begin to remedy her lack of knowledge with some modern courses in health science, psychology, sociology, and anthropology.

        1. cheryl says:

          Dear “Ned”. Unless you are willing to post your name address picture and website information here, then you too are “anonymous” and could be a serial killer out on parole for all anybody knows.

          It always surprises me how transgendered people — the very people you’d think would be able to use gender and biological sex correctly in a sentence — cannot.

          Gender, is not the same as identity. Gender is sometimes used as a euphemism for biological sex (among people who are afraid to use the word sex) but besides those folks the term is limited to those stereotypes which are traditionally associated with each biological sex. The criteria for biological sex focuses on reproduction: who is of the class which produces ovum and who is of the class which produces sperm. Simples. Identity, is how one chooses to perceives or define oneself from one day to the next. As opposed to reputation, which are independent thoughts which other people are freely allowed to speculate and theorize about us.

          Intersex, is a medical disorder. As such, it has zero relevance to transgenderism, the vast majority of whom are born with healthy male or female bodies. Intersex individuals, are opposed to medical mutilation of children’s bodies and are tired of their medical condition being appropriated by trans for nefarious purposes. They actually had to start a new intersex organization because the first one was over-run by trans, who upon once becoming members, insisted that the entire focus of the org must “center the needs of trans”.

          “Ned dear”, you appear to not understand the concept of simple logic which is not surprising but still sad nevertheless. I can only take comfort in that fact that most people can indeed comprehend the point. To reiterate, we’re all familiar by now with that thought-terminating cliche shouted by trans: “transwomen are women”. They mean to imply that dysphoric males with fully intact male genitalia are the exact same as real women with the exact same lived experiences and the exact same needs and therefore should use the exact same facilities when disrobing. But if it were true that “transwomen are women” then it is also true that “women are transwoman” — and biology gets in the way of that misleading slogan pretty fast so no need to belabor the point. If trans people don’t mean to misuse basic logic then stop saying it.

          For someone who is so convinced that everybody else is wrong and yet so painfully oblivious where the true problem lies, I think it behooves all of us to remember with as much sympathy as we are able, that according to trans themselves, 41% of all trans are so unstable that they kill themselves each year. Yep, that’s what they say. Each year. I wonder why I never hear about all these suicides, considering they are so common and trans likes to tell us about every horrible thing which ever happens to them…

          Btw. I identify as the Queen of England. Please respect my pronouns!! You may address any further correspondences as “My Queen How May I Serve You Today”. And remember, to not do so, is violence.

          1. Bill says:

            Cheryl,
            A person’s experience then means nothing to you. I would point you to the Star Trek movies (old ones) where Spocks battle to logic lost out with human “emotion” a necessary thing for growth. Compassion is nice too. May you follow Spock’s lead.

          2. Ned Flaherty says:

            The anonymous “cheryl” notes that everyone posting on this forum could be a serial killer, and then worries that I might be anonymous.

            She is wrong.

            Ned Flaherty is not anonymous. He has lived at the same address in Boston, Massachusetts, for 25 years, is reachable via the public phone book, has never committed a crime, has no police record, and his state legislators can attest to his good citizenship.

            The anonymous “cheryl” uses the meaningless verb “transgendered” and noun “transgenderism” and plural noun “trans” but never explains why she uses them, what she thinks they mean, or why she doesn’t use a standard collegiate dictionary like most educated people do.

            The anonymous “cheryl” claims that “transgender people cannot use gender and biological sex correctly in a sentence” (her words) but she cites no evidence. And she is wrong. Transgender people form millions of proper sentences every day, worldwide.

            The anonymous “cheryl” claims that all transgender people mean and imply that “transgender women and cisgender women all have the exact same lived experiences and the exact same needs” (her words).

            She is wrong.

            That is not what all, or most, or even many transgender people mean, or imply, or say, or write.

            The anonymous “cheryl” claims that if all transwomen are women then all women must be transwomen.

            She is wrong.

            Yes, all whales are mammals, but no, not all mammals are whales. (Whales are a small subset, in the infraorder Cetacea, of the larger class called mammals, but reindeer, which are mammals, are never whales.) This principle is taught in every good elementary school, in subjects such as language, science, mathematics, music, and more.

            The anonymous “cheryl” writes that she heard that “41% of all transgender people kill themselves each year” but then writes that she “never hears about all these suicides.”

            The reason that she never hears about the suicides she claims happen is that they do not occur at the rate that she imagines. In 2011, 41% of 6,400 transgender people did report attempted suicides at a higher rate than the entire population, but for transgender people, most attempted suicides and most successful suicides do not result merely from a person being transgender. The primary cause is the cruelty that they suffer at the hands of others, both those who are uninformed and — especially — those who are misinformed, angry, and needlessly cruel toward them.

      2. Roxy says:

        I agree Cheryl, everyone is trying to neutralize gender nowadays and create this “non-gender” society and yet transgender-ism is such a huge topic (awakening?) right now. And yes, they don’t want it to be based on biology but then what? On stereotypes? Wasn’t that what they were trying to steer away from? They identify as “female” not because of any sort of biology but because of preference of gender stereotype? It is fascinating to see people transition into “womanhood” and become very stereotypical women. Feminine clothing, makeup, and voices/lingo. One of the most baffling things to me was to watch Bruce Jenner, a man who didn’t seem to care for publicity, vanity, materialism, and all things “girly” has suddenly transformed into this woman who is obsessed with herself, vanity, publicity, and practically every female stereotype there is. It is a fascinating contradiction.

        1. Ned Flaherty says:

          The anonymous “Roxy” confuses herself even further, and confuses other people even further, when she uses meaningless words such as “transgender-ism” (her word).

          Any educated person with a dictionary knows that there are people, but there is no such thing as “people-ism” and — likewise — there is the adjective “transgender” but no such thing as the noun “transgender-ism.”

          Some people applaud Caitlyn Jenner’s adherence to female stereotypes, and some people don’t care, and some people are unimpressed. But no one can blame any of those stereotypes upon Jenner herself, because none of them are her fault. Across the ages, billions of women (and men) created those stereotypes, and billions of women (and men) continue to perpetuate them. Jenner is only reflecting the customs prescribed by her society.

          People are free to pursue any stereotype which is harmless, just as people are free to dismiss any stereotype which seems obsolete. But it’s childish and silly for anyone to tell anyone else, “You may not pursue cowboy-ism because I don’t like it,” or “You may not pursue cowboy-ism because I don’t like you” or “You may not pursue cowboy-ism because I don’t like it and I don’t like you.”

      3. Mary76 says:

        Somehow I can’t help but think that this whole thing is A) a part of the movement to feminize men as much as possible, and B) to reduce the number of babies made.

        1. Ned Flaherty says:

          The anonymous “Mary76″ admits that she can’t stop herself from assuming — incorrectly — that societies are moving toward full citizenship and equal civil rights for transgender people only because some mysterious, unknown movement wants (a) men to be “feminized” and (b) fewer babies born.

          She is wrong, in 3 ways.

          1. It’s like admitting to an assumption that some cats wear leashes because some mysterious, unknown movement wants (a) cats to become canines, and (b) fewer worms used as fish bait. Such imaginary explanations don’t come true just because the person who came up with them couldn’t think of anything better, or scientific, or intelligent.

          2. The reason that she can’t identify any “movement working to feminize men” is because there is no such thing.

          3. Yes, every intelligent person on earth wants fewer babies born. The planet is incapable of supporting 7 billion people. With inadequate drinkable water, breathable air, healthy food, and functional space, humanity is speeding toward extinction. However, ensuring full citizenship and civil rights for transgender people has nothing to do with solving the overpopulation problem.

    3. Ned Flaherty says:

      The anonymous “Susanna” misunderstands both what she is reading about, and also what she is writing about.

      Firstly, she writes that there is “a movement that insists that gender has nothing to do with biology or physical attributes.”

      She is wrong. There is no such movement. That movement exists only in her imagination.

      Secondly, she writes that there is “a movement that insists that transgender people must conform to the biology of an opposite gender.”

      Again, she is wrong. Again, there is no such movement. Again, that movement exists only in her imagination.

      Thirdly, she writes that “artificially creating breasts, a uterus, low testosterone, and a menstrual cycle is essential to the trans person’s perceived identity.”

      She is wrong.

      Apparently, she knows almost nothing about transgender people (both pre-transition and post-transition), and what she thinks she knows isn’t even true, either.

      1. Milton says:

        Yes, there is “a movement that insists that gender has nothing to do with biology or physical attributes.” It seeks to deny the “gender binary” of being born either male or female which we cannot truly change. That obvious reality must be denied and suppressed because it implies that some things about our nature cannot be chosen or changed by us, which implies creation by a higher power than ourselves, which implies a Creator. Romans 1 gives the whole sad downward slide into defilement, degradation and insanity.

        1. Ned Flaherty says:

          The anonymous “Milton” assumes — incorrectly — that “gender” and “gender identity” are the same thing.

          He is wrong. They are not.

          This misunderstanding is most prevalent among people who are subservient to religious superstition and who deny modern science.

          He also writes — also incorrectly — that every human is born either 100% male or else 100% female.

          He is wrong again.

          Though most people are mostly male or mostly female, no one is 100% male or 100% female; everyone is a mixture, and in some people the mixture approaches 50%, as expressed in biology, gender identity, or both. All males and all females have both male hormones and female hormones. Modern health classes include these and other facts, while ancient religious sects still deny them.

          He also perceives — incorrectly — that people who recognize their true and full natures seem to be “changing” something.

          Again, he is wrong.

          People who recognize they are transgender aren’t changing anything at all. All they are doing is acknowledging what is true for them.

          The anonymous “Milton” discards science in favor of superstition by claiming that a sect-specific doctrines override scientific knowledge of the modern health professions.

    4. Tom Deason says:

      You’re looking for logic where there is none. When it comes to the LGBTIXJEIEO alphabet soup, feels reign supreme.

      1. Ned Flaherty says:

        Tom Deason claims — incorrectly — that there is no logic.

        He is wrong.

        There is plenty of logic, for those who know where to find it.

        The reason that Tom Deason comes up empty-handed is that he looks only to a fictional “LGBTIXJEIEO” (his word), and, since it doesn’t exist, he finds no associated logic. Religious sects work the same way. Looking at an imaginary, non-existent sect produces no logic (or anything else), whereas looking at an extant sect produces all the logic that any of its believers require. Although in both secular societies and in religious sects, feelings are often high priority, it’s not true in either setting that feelings always “reign supreme” (his words). Other factors carry weight, too.

  17. Mark Mitchell says:

    All of the questions seem to be predicated on the idea that the transgender is a real issue rather than a perverted sin. Such, if true, is false.

    1. Phil H says:

      Amen to that brother. In fact, to engage the issue at all is foolish for a Christian.

  18. Ned Flaherty says:

    Managing Editor Trevin Wax could solve most of his confusion with some courses in modern science.

    Firstly, Wax uses the word “theory” every time that he should use the word “hypothesis.” He is wrong. The two are not the same thing. A theory is a scientific explanation for proven, undeniable scientific facts, whereas a hypothesis is a guess which has not yet been tested. Consequently, “transgender theory” and “homosexuality theory” are facts, not untested guesses about unknown realms.

    Secondly, Wax denies the existence of bisexuality. He is wrong. Science proved long ago that it exists. Bisexuality is one of the 5 sexual orientations (lesbian, gay, bisexual, heterosexual, asexual). It occurs with remarkable regularity throughout human and animal populations. Whenever lesbians, gays, or heterosexuals end up dating both males and females, they are never “changing” their sexual orientations; they are just permanent bisexuals who are changing their dating partners.

    Thirdly, Wax asks why transgender people don’t just “change” their psychologies instead of their bodies. They change their bodies instead of their minds because the psychological condition of gender dysphoria cannot be altered or removed by surgery, chemicals, or psychotherapy, and the only treatment option for transgender people is to change the physical body.

    Fourth, Wax claims that since some transgender people commit suicide, then all transgender people must have a mental disorder. He is wrong. Being transgender is not an illness, and transgender people who get appropriate health care are not suicidal. Suicide occurs when transgender people are treated as if they were ill, and/or are denied the necessary health care.

    Fifth, Wax frets that society can’t exist without “clear definitions, transgender markers, good guidelines, and orderly standards” (his words). He is wrong. No citizen needs to know any other citizen’s biological sex at birth, sexual orientation, or gender identity. It’s already a crime for anyone to use a restroom for anything other than its official purpose, and for anyone to intimidate, harass, or assault another person, whether in a restroom or anywhere else.

    Finally, Wax claims that Christians are incapable of ignoring other people’s sexual orientation and gender identity.

    He is wrong.

    Christians are fully capable of maturing in this way, and about half of them already have done so. The only thing stopping the rest of them is an abject subservience to long-ago-disproved ancient religious superstitions about procreation, sexuality, breeding, and human animal husbandry.

    Several centuries ago, most Christians began understanding that the Earth revolves around the Sun. Those Christians who already caught up to 21st century science now understand that there is no divine command to oppress other human beings on matters of sexuality, orientation, and identity.

    1. David G says:

      Theories are not “proven, undeniable scientific facts”. Science operates on the basis of inductive reasoning, not deductive. Which is precisely, why many theories have been changed, adjusted and modified with new discoveries over time.

      Taking that point to the issue at hand, you have no evidence to assert that people have a fixed nature of one of the five supposed sexual orientations. How else do you explain the “fluidity” of sexual orientation particularly among teens as even reported by lesbian researcher Lisa Diamond? How do you explain the conversion of someone like Rosario Butterfield from lesbian to a married heterosexual mother of four? She had a spiritual transformation that completely changed her desire and affections and yes, orientation. And she is among thousands of others who have done the same. I would never make the claim that it is easy or even typical, but it does happen and is often a consequence of the motivation of the person. Such a phenomenon does not fit into your presupposition that the human being is nothing but a soul-less physical entity. This is not about Christians “maturing” to your anti-biblical worldview, but by knowing that we live in a broken, fallen world that affects us all and affects even our sexual orientation. Mr. Wax is spot on when he says Christians cannot ignore one’s sexual orientation. Christians recognize and understand sin and we all have it. And we all need a resolution for it; what you are proposing is that Christians reject the notion of sin (those so-called Christians who have “matured” – the only thing stopping them is the “abject subservience to long ago ancient religious superstitions”. There is only one answer to that problem – the atonement of sin from the shed blood of Christ. Jesus got reality right.

      1. Ned Flaherty says:

        The anonymous “David G” denies that theories explain scientific facts.

        He is wrong. Theories do explain facts.

        Just because theories which explain facts get updated after new discoveries does not mean that they do not explain facts as well as possible during the time that they are in effect.

        He also claims that because some teens aren’t yet certain of their own sexual orientations, then all orientations in all people must be “un-fixed, fluid, and convertible” (his words).

        He is wrong.

        Curiosity or exploration does not alter anyone’s sexual orientation. Moreover, all people who have sexual relations with both genders are just bisexuals, not people whose orientations “change.” Likewise, people who cease dating don’t become asexual; they are just lesbians, gays, bisexuals, or heterosexuals who, despite and above and beyond their orientation, simply choose celibacy (without changing orientation).

        His notions about “soul,” “brokenness,” “fallenness,” “sin,” “atonement,” “spiritual transformation,” etcetera are all theocratic, religious superstitions for which — beyond wild, subservient belief — there is no evidence. With no scientific evidence, there is no basis to write such sect-specific folklore into the civil laws governing people of all other faiths and of no faith.

    2. Milton says:

      How about linking some sources for “bisexuality” or homosexuality, for that matter, among animals during mating season? The examples given always seem to be of male animal homosexual behavior, which is more one male asserting dominance over another. I have never seen an example given of female animal homosexuality, maybe because they feel not instinct to assert dominance? Try to find a male animal who prefers to “mate” with another male during mating season, when hormones, biology, and created instinct take over. The switch from asserting dominance to actual mating when females are in heat probably accounts for so-called “bisexuality” among animals.

      1. Ned Flaherty says:

        The anonymous “Milton” assumes — incorrectly — that bisexuality and homosexuality don’t exist if they don’t occur during mating season.

        He is wrong.

        Just because a phenomenon occurs under different circumstances doesn’t make it any less real, or any less valid. Bears nap during the summer, and they hibernate during the winter, but neither sleep can be discounted just because it occurs somewhat differently or occurs under different circumstances. Both are sleep.

        The anonymous “Milton” admits to total ignorance about female animal homosexuality, but then claims to know what female animals “feel” when, in fact, he cannot know what any female animal feels. Homosexuality is observable in over 1,500 animal species, including mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, amphibians, insects, and other invertebrates. For example, bonobos are one of humankind’s closest living relatives because they share more than 98% of human DNA. They are the most vocal of the great apes, using complicated vocalization patterns that communicate detailed information. The caring, compassionate bonobo society powerfully demonstrates peace and cooperation. These complex creatures have profound intelligence, emotional expression, and sensitivity, and bonobo society is peaceful, matriarchal, and more egalitarian than chimpanzee society. As in human society, bonobo sex transcends reproduction, and promotes bonding, reduces tensions, and is pleasurable. Both males and females engage in both heterosexual and homosexual activity, especially the females, and about 60% of all bonobo sexual activity occurs between two or more females.

        The anonymous “Milton” also admits to total ignorance about male animal homosexuality, and admits that he believes in a superstition about “created instinct” (his words). But there is no such thing. There is no evidence that any instinct was created, but there is abundant evidence that all instincts evolved. In giraffes, 94% of all male sexual activity is homosexual.

        Finally, the anonymous “Milton” refuses to recognize bisexuality in animals, just because some animals proceed from same-gender relations to mixed-gender relations.

        He is wrong.

        Switching from same-gender activity to opposite-gender activity does not disprove the existence of bisexuality. In fact, it proves it. Further, Milton ignores the animals who also proceed from mixed-gender activity to same-gender activity, which further proves that bisexuality exists, rather than proving that it doesn’t.

        Finally, trying to deny most human sexual orientations by trying to deny the same in animals not only is a scientific falsehood, but even if it were true, such denials still would prove nothing. For example, animals don’t read or write, but that doesn’t provide any logical reason to demean, dismiss, or outlaw literacy among humans.

        “List of Animals Displaying Homosexual Behavior”
        Wikipedia, 25 March 2016
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_animals_displaying_homosexual_behavior

  19. Matt says:

    There are approximately 70 million people on the planet born with both genitalia (e.g. hermaphrodites, androgynous individuals). What does God’s plan say about who those people should be attracted to or where they should go to the bathroom?

    The author is right… the realization that there are people in the world that don’t fit our social norms, does present some tough questions that we are going to have to wrestle with. We should wrestle with them as civilly and sympathetically as possible.

    http://www.who.int/genomics/gender/en/index1.html

  20. Nate Collins says:

    Great questions, Trevin… quite probing and worthy of reflection. Thanks for sharing these thoughts.

    You mention a follow-up post… I wonder if you could perhaps reflect on the pastoral issues involved. In my experience interacting with and befriending trans* people, I often feel like I’m constantly holding seemingly opposing postures in tension. I wonder if this is similar, in fact, to how a trans* person might feel if faced with the questions you mention above. Simply recognizing this helps me be both more compassionate and even teachable when building relationships with people in this population, even while I keep my own faith commitments and presuppositions about creation, fall, redemption, etc, in mind.

  21. Luke Lawson says:

    I loved this article. Thank you for taking time to write it. I want to know some of the books that you have been reading gone this topic so that I can go deeper myself. You may have already answered this in the comments, if so I apologize. Thank you for your help.

  22. Bob says:

    Transgender activism = Forcing the public to submit to private belief by ignoring biology.

    1. Bill says:

      Bob- biology is private belief forced upon society and proper interpretation by a community (biologists) that claim authority. Or you could use this as a definition of theory, one that is constantly changing. Biology is not static.

    2. Ned Flaherty says:

      The anonymous “Bob” assumes — incorrectly — that he knows what “transgender activism” is.

      He is wrong.

      He does not know the meaning of “transgender,” or “activism,” or “transgender activism.”

      Firstly, no transgender efforts ever resulted in the rest of society being forced into anything. Bob cites no examples of the type of “force” that he imagines.

      Secondly, no activism ever resulted in the rest of society being forced into anything. Again, Bob cites no examples of the type of activism that he imagines.

      Every effort to extend fuller equality from the 99% of citizens who are cisgender to the last remaining 1% who are transgender occurred only after the public agreed — through elected officials — to extend that equality. When the public did not agree with such proposals, the equality was not extended.

      Over 200 American jurisdictions (cities, counties, states) democratically passed regulations and laws requiring equal treatment of transgender citizens. America’s state and federal democratically staffed judicial systems uphold and enforce these laws.

      Bob does not object to the activism of his fellow citizens who are transgender. Instead, he objects to 3 things: (1) democratically enacted laws, (2) democratically upheld laws, an(3) modern health sciences (of which he apparently knows not even the basics). The remedy for his first two objections is to move to a theocratic dictatorship in which his sect is the law, and all others are outlawed. The remedy for his third objection is to enroll in a few semesters of modern health science courses, taught by professors who are not clergy members at institutions which are not sect-sponsored.

  23. D says:

    Right off, since yes, obviously I am being plenty anonymous for this kind of public commenting, anonymity or not doesn’t have anything to do with content, unless the anonymous person is purposefully personally attacking someone else, or using inappropriate language, in which case their comments shouldn’t be allowed anyway.

    My comment is that I believe that many tragic suicides (all suicides are tragic) in the transgender community among those that have had surgery to support their feelings about themselves – feelings about their gender that are different from their physical body’s gender – could have a lot do with their despair that would lead them to consider suicide (their getting that kind of surgery could have a lot to do with that, among those who have gotten that kind of surgery).

    That kind of surgery to dismember perfectly healthy body parts can’t help but be a traumatic experience to anyone who has had that done, and my heart goes out to those individuals. I pray your healing, in Jesus’ Name.

    1. Ned Flaherty says:

      The anonymous “D” thinks that anonymity in public commenting is irrelevant.

      He is wrong.

      In practice, anonymity greatly affects content. Web site owners consistently report that uninformed, misinformed, low-quality, reckless, pointless, angry comments disappear as soon as anonymous commenting is prohibited.

      Yes, suicides among transgender people often involve despair, but the despair arises not from being transgender, or from surgery, but instead from expecting that surgery will halt the mistreatment by society. When the surgery finishes but the mistreatment continues, people with unrealistic expectation are often disappointed.

      Lots of people remove lots of “perfectly healthy body parts” (D’s words) for cosmetic reasons (hair, nails, nasal tissue, ears, breast reduction, appendix, tonsils, wisdom teeth, etc.), without trauma. Nonetheless, you’ve decided that what you expect might be traumatic for you must always be traumatic for everyone else.

      That is untrue.

      Many transgender people get only partial surgery, and many transgender people get no surgery at all. Those receiving proper health care from qualified practitioners don’t make any medical decision until it’s clear that the outcome offers an improvement, and not a setback.

      No one suffers any malady that would be affected by an anonymous stranger’s prayers, because science has shown that such praying has no effect. While telling other people that they have illness about which you couldn’t possibly know anything might make you feel well-intentioned and righteous, remember that to those who know better, such remarks are presumptive, dismissive, condescending, and arrogant, and it’s best to make such offers only to people who like having unknown strangers beseech supernatural deities to cure undiagnosed, non-existent maladies.

      1. Nakamura Idelphi says:

        LGBTQ activist Ned Flaherty of Boston makes claims that things are false without (generally) posting any proof of the falsehoods, and shows that even non-anonymous posting can be “uninformed, misinformed, low-quality, reckless, pointless…”

        1. Ned Flaherty says:

          Nakamura Idelphi complains that no one demonstrates falsehoods to him, but he doesn’t research the falsehoods himself, and he doesn’t even identify those falsehoods for which he still needs more information to understand why they are false. Under such circumstances, he can’t blame anyone else, because he is the cause of his own lack of information.

  24. Carolyn Putney says:

    Here is my perspective on this whole issue. One few people seem to even consider. I personally do not care to get caught up in the debate about how anyone in the LGBTQ believes they became as such, psychological vs. birth, whether they seek treatment, have surgery, how they identify or even with what they identify as, etc. So, when I speak of a man, or a woman, I mean the sex that was written on their birth certificate based upon basic scientific determination using obvious anatomy. I am a Christian, and I do not believe God makes mistakes and that any deviation man claims, is a result of the sinful, fallen nature which got its start when Adam and Eve decided to disobey God.
    I also want to make it perfectly clear that I do not hate anyone who belongs to the group inclusive as LGBTQ. I do hate, however, what I perceive as bullying tactics to shove their perceived rights to outweigh mine. So, here is my story:

    I am 67 years old, married with two grown children. My very earliest memories as a child were ones of fear, particularly of my father. He was a bad tempered individual, not to be crossed. He ruled by intimidation 4 daughters, and our mother was just as much a victim of him as we were. Even as a very young child, I remember her pleading with him to stop, later realizing he was raping her. While I do not remember him raping me, he was sexually, physically, mentally, emotionally, and verbally abusive. And, those traits were used by four other men, in addition to my grandfather, his stepfather, to sexually abuse me throughout my entire childhood and teen years. Not just me, but my younger sister, and to a lesser degree, my next to the oldest sister. My oldest sister claimed none of these things happened to her. My earliest memories of the sexual abuse began when I was about 7 or 8 with the man who lived across the road. By the time I was 10, I was being raped on a regular and frequent basis. I did not know it was rape, but rather that it was something to be kept a secret, and to make sure of that, my father’s wrath was used as the means to keep me silent! I repeatedly heard about what would happen to me if anyone were to find out. I do not know how it came to pass, but soon I was a target for a man who lived around the corner, the man who did the crop sharing on our farm, and then one occurance when my grandfather climbed into the bed in which I was sleeping (we were all visiting my oldest sister) and proceeded to rape me. Let me pause here and explain the ages of us girls: my oldest sister, now deceased, was 11 years older than me; the next oldest is 7 years older; then my younger sister is 18 months younger. The two neighbor men had children we played with, but I was quickly sent apart and they would soon show up. As I got older, as my mom worked and my dad would leave the house, one was sure to show up. We !ived I. The country, and there was only one safe place I found, without them learning where it was. The guy that farmed our land only had to say he needed my help in the field, and I did not dare say no. I learned how to hide bleeding as the result of their lewid acts, hide the wet of semen in my underwear, and cry silently and alone from the sheer physical pain. I could tell no one, and had no one to take care of me and protect me from hundreds of times of being molested/raped. I felt, as literally was, trapped until I had graduated from high school, and was working, even though I remained at home. I just didn’t spend much time there. It would be 25 years before I learned my younger sister was one of their victims, too. It would take nearly that long again for my next oldest sister to admit to being a victim.
    In my early teen years I became a Christian, the only one in my family and began experiencing another kind of humiliation. I can only say that God held me close, and while I still told no one about “my” sinful behavior, by His mercy I survived.
    Fast forward to age 37. I was married with two wonderful children, but a far from ideal marriage. I found myself at a loss with myself, we were strapped financially, but seeking employment became impossible. I could not leave my kids in the care of another while I worked, nor could I manage to market myself and my skills. On a day filled with worry and tears, I found myself making an appointment with the mental health department of our HMO. Little did I realize I was about to embark on a journey that would be the most difficult I could ever have imagined.

    Over the course of 7 years, under the guidance of a highly skilled psychologist, I began to chip away at memories I had not forgotten, and in the process discover that little girls do not choose to become sexually active. It took a long time and a lot of HARD WORK to learn that at the time all this was happening, I was, indeed, a child. Because of family dynamics, I was doing laundry at the laundry mat by myself, fixing meals for hired hands, and on nights when mom worked late, cleaning house as most adults do, etc., all by age 10. All this in addition to my body being used in a manner that should have been reserved for when I was an adult. I suffered from migraine headaches, which made me horribly sick, but worked and was raped regardless. And if something set my father off, there was his wrath to deal with. The pain of recovery was nearly as awful as the abuse I suffered in the first place. My dad had died in my early 20s. I was never sorry, and remain that way.

    After 7 years, my therapist was moving and I believed I was strong enough to carry on from there. Please understand this is but a drop in the bucket in describing what I went through.

    But, ironically, one emotion I could not feel, would not allow myself to embrace, was anger. I would not be like my father! That has been the case until just recently, and the catalyst that brought it rushing to the surface has been this whole transgender/bathroom/locker mess. Make no mistake, I am angry, but I believe it is more appropriately righteous indignation. Anger, left to its own devices can quickly lead to sin, and I have had to harness a few sinful desires and thoughts that accompanied my anger. I had to seek forgiveness for some of my thoughts. I began to journal again, as I sought God to help me sort out my feelings, to come to terms with what is a very uncomfortable emotion for me. I sought out Godly advice from my pastor. I have had to battle again the fear of having to revisit memories long laid to rest. I have believed with my heart that God brought healing to a very broken woman whom had been broken nearly beyond repair as a little girl. Please, dear Jesus, don’t make me fall back into that place, I would cry. I wanted to turn away from it, let someone else deal with it, and ignore it, and stay silent. I had once confronted my perpetrators, had had my say, and was done. I did not let them win! And they will not win on the day of judgment, either. In my quest, I realized that the difference between my first wave of anger with a vengeance, and righteous indignation is wisdom. And, I have gained a good deal over the years.

    This whole movement by the LBGTQ activists – I can’t bring myself to refer to them as a community – is wrong and evil at its core. I have decided that if I stay silent, I let evil win. That is the trouble with Christians. We have meekly stood in the corner, wringing our hands, and the cost of our silence is staggering! We have allowed ourselves to fall into the pit of political correctness, afraid to call sin exactly that. God showed no mercy when he opened the earth, and another time incinerated a large group of Israelites because of their sin. He did not extend grace to the money changers in the Temple. Why? Because it had nothing to do with how much He loves us, but rather with everything that is holy, just and righteous. Jesus loves anyone who falls under the LGBTQ heading, but make no mistake, He will not tolerate the sin. As a result, I will not tolerate any man who enters a personal space, traditionally reserved for females, and be quiet about it!

    Their perceived fear, does not come close to the absolute terror that rises from the depth of my being at the mere thought! Their little whine is drowned out by the scream that sounds from my heart! Their “offense” at being made to use a facility for men does not rule over the very brutal way men offended, abused, and scared my body! Men have found a way to abuse children and women in nearly every place possible. I will not sit quietly by as they bully their way into where I carry out my most intimate and personal needs of my body! Nor will they impose their way of life in front of my granddaughter, and all the other little girls out there!

    This issue is not just about the .003% of the population who claim their so called rights are being violated. This is about a whopping percent of the female population who HAVE been violated. When people mention the suicide rate among LGBTQ as being so high, they fail to explain how I am some how responsible some how responsible for that. The truth is, I am not. They also fail to mention the suicide rate among women who have been molested and/or raped as children and/or as adults. Their suicide rate is of no less significance than the other; and the biggest difference is that it was not a woman who violated them, but in every incident on the other hand, it was a man who violated a female.

    The lid has been tossed off Pandora’s box. It is not a matter of if a little girl or woman is violated in some manner, whether by pictures taken, watching between the gaps in the stall, exposing the male equipment, or even the attempt to accost anyone, but when it happens. For people to even suggest that only transgender men would exercise this “right” is stupidity that defies all reason. That it is people who have lofty degrees and are considering this agenda for our schools, CEOs making these choices for business establishments used by the public, is proof that the diploma on the wall is void of all common sense.

    Anyone can identify any which way they want. But as long as they keep it out of my space, have at it. Identify as a gorilla, if that floats your boat. But, good luck getting into the gorilla exhibit at the zoo. If other places would not allow someone that says they identify as thus or such, to invade that space, then don’t look to invade the spaces reserved for those who were born female, either.

    I apologize for the length, but not the content. I will not be silent.

    1. Ned Flaherty says:

      Carolyn Putney’s confusions are life-threatening, both to her and to others.

      ON MISPLACED ANGER

      Carolyn is right to object to crimes committed by cisgender, heterosexual men, but she is wrong when she blames similar crimes on transgender women. They do not commit the crimes she imagines. Law enforcement officials from the 200 cities, counties, and states that already protect transgender rights confirm that the crimes Carolyn worries about are not committed by transgender women, and that the real culprits are cisgender, heterosexual men.

      Carolyn admits that the people who scared, scarred, and abused her were cisgender heterosexual men, not transgender women. Nevertheless, she thinks that denying restroom usage to transgender women and transgender men will help her get revenge upon the cisgender heterosexual men who violated her. That is a grave mistake, as one group has nothing to do with the other. Such misplaced outrage is never justified, because it directs anger onto innocent people instead of onto actual culprits.

      ON RIGHTS AND TOLERANCE

      Carolyn claims that she does not hate anyone, yet she insists that her rights “weigh more” (her words) than other people’s rights, and she calls other people “wrong” and “evil” (her words again) just for wanting the very same rights that everyone else enjoys automatically. That’s not so. Everyone’s rights exist. Everyone’s rights are equal.

      Carolyn claims that she “tolerates” people identifying in ways that are appropriate for them, but then she forbids people whom she does not want to “tolerate” from coming anywhere near her. That is not tolerance; it is intolerance, ignorance, fear, and bigotry.

      ON THEOCRACY

      When Carolyn claims that her supernatural deity “does not tolerate” LGBT people, she proves that she is a theocrat and wants a theocracy in which her sect is the law, and everyone else’s sect is outlawed. What she doesn’t realize is that modern democratic societies are not theocracies, and they don’t tolerate theocratic dictators. Each time that Carolyn proclaims who is tolerable versus who isn’t, she is acting like a deity herself. She wouldn’t let anyone declare her “intolerable,” so there’s no excuse for her doing it to other people.

      Each time that she publicly labels others as “wrong,” “evil,” and “not tolerated” by her deity, Carolyn contributes to other people’s suicides. Needless public displays of hatred always aggravate others’ despair.

      Carolyn wants her sect to call people “sinful” more often. She’s wrong. Today, the main reason given by younger people for rejecting her sect is that, in their own experience, its members are preachy, dogmatic, unfair, and mean.

      Carolyn writes that her vengeful, righteous, indignant anger is “wisdom” (her word). She is wrong. Such anger is never wisdom. Yes, her deity is vengeful, but when she acts in vengeful anger she herself is committing “sin” (which she abhors). Vengeful anger is enormously antisocial, because it violates the Golden Rule (“Treat others as you’d like them to treat you.”).

      It is fine to name and blame every actual culprit individually, but Carolyn mistakenly blames all of her own suffering upon people who weren’t responsible for any of it. Sexual abuse victims often expect religion to relieve all their suffering, and then express their religious rage by labeling millions of strangers (about whom they know nothing) as inferior and unworthy. Identifying sinners may be a deity’s job, but it is not Carolyn’s. If Carolyn truly believes that her supernatural deity will eventually judge everybody correctly, then there’s no need for her to be judging everybody right now.

      ON HEALTH SCIENCE

      Carolyn claims that all humans are cisgender, heterosexual, and either 100% male or 100% female, and that there are no lesbian, gay, bisexual, intersex, or transgender people, because she thinks that they, too, are all cisgender heterosexuals who just don’t know what she knows. She is wrong. LGBTI people exist, they are real, they are full citizens, and they have equal constitutional rights. No matter how much she dislikes them personally, she may not use her sect to delete their rights from the civil laws, or to deny them their humanity.

      Carolyn claims that the label of “man” or “woman” should be decided only and entirely by birth certificates. She is wrong. What makes a person a man, a woman, or both, or neither is far more than just a paper voucher. She has too much to learn to try and explain it all here, but several semesters of modern health science courses would be a good start.

      IN CONCLUSION

      Carolyn is unaware of the meanings of biological sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, and quite a few related topics. She suffered so much during her childhood that now it is hard for her to learn about any of these things. While she is free to either educate herself or to stay uneducated, she is not free to refuse people’s equal rights, or to deny others their own humanity, or to make her sect the law, or to outlaw other people’s sects.

      Carolyn Putney was violated as a child, and now wants to treat the transgender women of today as if they are the cisgender heterosexual men who violated her 70 years ago.

      She is wrong. None of today’s transgender women ever assaulted her.

      In fact, transgender women suffer many of the very same prejudices, injustices, and crimes that Carolyn suffered (and still suffers). If she would just take the time to sincerely befriend some actual transgender women (and some actual transgender men), she would discover that they are the least threatening people of all.

  25. Jour Grean says:

    The apostle Paul wrote to the Galatians that, in Christ, “there is no male or female” rather, all are one (Galatians 3:28).

  26. Phil Hicks (formerly Phil H) says:

    “If she would just take the time to sincerely befriend some actual transgender women (and some actual transgender men), she would discover that they are the least threatening people of all.”

    Of course they are.

    The LGBT activist Ned Flaherty paints with a broad brush very typically found in the LGBT community. That is, that people of faith are intolerant, uncompassionate, self-righteous jerks who wish to impose their beliefs on everyone whereas the LGBT’s of this world are the more merciful, understanding and tolerant that are likely more truly living out the standards of Christianity. In fact, neither is true.

    Too often, the actions of quiet, unassuming Christians are sadly underreported or ignored altogether in the mainstream press and rather the scandals highlighted. Statistics show that Christians are large givers of their money and time to relief organizations locally, nationally and internationally but as we are told to do our good works anonymously, many of us do. A strong recent example is Dr. Kent Brantly doing the Lord’s work in Africa fighting the deadly Ebola virus via the medical arm of Samaritan’s Purse headed by Billy Graham’s son, Franklin Graham.

    But I have a question for the LGBT activist Ned Flaherty-what is gender exactly?

    In other words, in the case of Caitlin Jenner-what is a man and how does he know he isn’t one? Or alternatively, what is a woman supposed to feel like? What did Bruce mean when he said he “felt like one all his life”?

    1. Ned Flaherty says:

      When Phil Hicks mentions “people of faith who are intolerant, uncompassionate, self-righteous jerks who wish to impose their beliefs on everyone” (his words), he misses the most important fact of all.

      He omits the numbers.

      About half of all Christian broadcasters in America are precisely those jerks. The other half of Christian broadcasters are not jerks, but when they stay silent about the jerk broadcasters, they let half the Christian broadcasters speak for all Christian people.

      Phil Hicks claims that LGBT people are not more tolerant than those who oppress them, but he fails to cite any evidence for this notion. He could start by admitting that: (1) no LGBT organization, activist, or politician ever tried to write religious beliefs into the civil laws governing everybody else; and (2) the state laws, federal laws, constitutional amendments, and lawsuits filed over the last decade to legalize discrimination against LGBT people were all drafted by extremist Christians who claimed that their religions require discrimination against LGBT people. For details, just tune in to any of America’s many xenophobic Christian broadcasters who insist that the United States of America is only — and always — a “Christian nation,” and who demand that its laws must reflect such ethnocentric nationalism.

      Biology, orientation, and identity are separate, independent phenomena. Each occurs on its own continuum. The simplistic, always-all-black-or-always-all-white kinds of definitions that Phil Hicks seeks don’t actually exist. There are always more examples which fall outside of his own experience, understanding, and imagination. Likewise, faith is a different thing for different people, and no one can prove that someone else doesn’t have faith, or doesn’t have the “right” kind, or doesn’t use it the “right” way. Insisting that biology, orientation, and identity are only one thing, never anything else, always work exactly the same way, and any variation is unlawful is no different than insisting that one religious sect is valid and all others are false, and that one is the law and all others are outlawed. Such authoritarianism is never necessary, and it benefits no one.

      1. You have demanded evidence from everybody, and provided only one piece of evidence yourself (which is from the fabled wikipedia – the lowest possible source of credence on the internet).

        Additionally, you have not responded to ‘any’ of the arguments or questions given to you. You have only attempted to reframe them into a set of assumptions that you can refute, which in philosophy, is an established means of creating red herrings.

        Is there something inherent in transgender theory that makes you immune to the burden of proof and laws of rational debate?

        1. Ned Flaherty says:

          The anonymous “Bane” demands that other people answer his questions about “transgender theory” but then he refuses to even say what he suspects “transgender theory” might be, which makes his questions about it meaningless.

          Experience shows that what he is thinking of as “transgender theory” is neither transgender nor theory, and so is not a topic for which other people can answer Bane’s own questions. His “transgender theory” appears to be his own invention, which, so far, he is unwilling, unable (and probably unqualified) to share.

          Bane demands that other people answer his abstract, hypothetical questions about his unexplained topic. That is not the intellectual coup that he pretends it to be.

  27. Phil Hicks says:

    “When Phil Hicks mentions “people of faith who are intolerant, uncompassionate, self-righteous jerks who wish to impose their beliefs on everyone” (his words), he misses the most important fact of all.”

    This isn’t a fact and there are no numbers to support it because this is nothing but your personal opinion. And a very uneducated one at that. There are plenty of good pastors, theologians and bloggers who regularly point out and lament the bad preaching of the televangelists and the like which is easily researched at good Christian sites beginning here at TGC. You would do well to visit them rather than channel-surfing on the television.

    Your last paragraph is gibberish except for one statement- “the simplistic, always-all-black-or-always-all-white kinds of definitions that Phil Hicks seeks don’t actually exist”. This is correct. Science has not been able to define gender or gender identity and transgender is still considered by many in the psychiatry field to be a mental disorder.

    So that leaves feelings. A man has only to feel like he is a woman and vice versa. And feelings now reign supreme in this society and must be honored and respected no matter how ludicrous. If someone (religious or not) says they don’t like the idea of a grown man who feels like a woman using the same bathroom/locker room as their mothers, wives, daughters, granddaughters because common sense dictates that it is loaded with potential mischief, they are shouted down by the progressive left and federal directives (under the current administration) are issued by the Dept of Justice against states who don’t comply under the threat of withholding federal funds, an incredible overreach and abuse of power. And therein lies the tyranny of the secular progressive left, they will tolerate anything except those that hold to a Godly view. And their tyranny will be far worse than the one Ned Flaherty imagines comes from the Christian community as our children are indoctrinated at the earliest possible age, businesses sued and shuttered, websites trolled and laws changed at the whim of feelings.

    Your utter contempt for people of faith generally and Christians in particular is clearly evident in your comments on this thread. It would be nice if you would move on as it doesn’t appear you are winning over many converts.

    1. Ned Flaherty says:

      Phil Hicks claims — incorrectly — that there are no statistics on so-called “Christian” broadcasting in America.

      He is wrong.

      There are 41 national broadcasting networks focused on “Christian” programming which share statistics with the public. Further, the Public Religion Research Institute offers more in-depth figures on deeper topics. Finally, the scientists and analysts at Gallup have been colleting statistics on American religious experience for over 80 years.

      Phil Hicks also claims — also incorrectly — that there are no scientific definitions for gender or gender identity.

      Again, he is wrong.

      Both gender and gender identity were well defined decades ago, and the definitions are available in college level textbooks for the health sciences curricula.

      Phil Hicks also claims — again incorrectly — that “many psychiatrists” still behave as if transgender people suffer a mental disorder.

      Again, he is wrong.

      Only a few psychiatrists still share Phil Hicks’ obsolete view. But the major psychological, psychiatric, mental health, and social work professions follow the latest scientific evidence, and they no longer treat transgender people as mentally ill.

      Phil Hicks thinks all his worst fears come from a single source which he name-calls as a “progressive, leftist, overreaching, power-abusing, shouting, tyrannical, secular, intolerant, un-Godly” foe.

      He is wrong.

      The fears he is succumbing to are needless, because the threats they represent are imaginary. No one is indoctrinating his children (unless, of course, he is teaching his children nothing at all). No one is closing his business.

      For people being chased by the kind of imaginary fears that are chasing Phil Hicks, one side effect is a growing paranoia that they and their sects are being viewed with contempt by others. That contempt doesn’t exist here; however, it does often develop in situations where a blind-faith believer is confronted with historical, scientific facts, and the sect member goes off the deep end because his faith and the facts can’t be reconciled. It’s a danger worth looking out for.

  28. Phil Hicks says:

    One again Ned Flaherty ignores what was clearly said and opts to refute what was not stated. This has become tiresome.

    So in order to be clear, his statement that is clearly personal opinion was:

    “About half of all Christian broadcasters in America are precisely those jerks. The other half of Christian broadcasters are not jerks, but when they stay silent about the jerk broadcasters, they let half the Christian broadcasters speak for all Christian people.”

    What he refutes I said and didn’t is:

    “Phil Hicks claims — incorrectly — that there are no statistics on so-called “Christian” broadcasting in America.”

    I have no doubt various media research groups and polling companies compile statistics on all types of media.

    The issue of gender and gender identity are easily researched and can be found by any interested party. I would refer anyone to the recent study showing the different effects of prescription drugs on males and females which has caused the scientific community to again question their conclusion that there is no difference between genders. The issue of businesses being sued and shuttered is also easily researched and probably familiar to many readers at TGC.

    1. Ned Flaherty says:

      Phil Hicks refers everyone to a “recent study” but then he never identifies it. Heartily endorsing a source and then never identifying it renders the endorsement empty and meaningless.

      Phil Hicks claims to be familiar with “the scientific community” and also claims it concluded that “there is no difference between genders” (his words). Again, he never identifies the community he imagines, and there’s no record of any such conclusion. It’s impossible for a conclusion to be under question if it was never reached in the first place.

      Phil Hicks claims “many” of his fellow readers are familiar with businesses being “sued and shuttered” over the existence of transgender people. Again, he cites no such suits, and he cites no such closures.

      Hint: Most people who make claims like the ones that Phil Hicks makes are conflating two separate things: events they imagine (which never happened), and actual citations of commercial firms that chose to violate state and/or federal Public Accommodation laws which require goods and services to be provided to all customers equally and fairly.

  29. Nancy says:

    If God’s design on gender is perfect then why is one in every 2500 children born with ambiguous genitalia? Why are people born with male on the outside and female ovaries etc on the inside? Not that I care but why do you need to lump all LGBT people together and why do you think being biologically attracted to the same gender has anything to so with gender dysphoria? Almost every creature of God has homosexual relations and many only have heterosexual relations to reproduce but live their lives in homosexual bonds. I am not 100% convinced of gender dysphoria nor do I think anyone under 18 should be able to choose their gender (Germany now demands the child be able to choose after 18 bc previously children born with ambiguous gender the parents were forced to choose which led to problems later in life. Again, I dont really care but if you are going to state facts or quote God perhaps you should have your facts straight. You will get bling hateful followers I am sure but is that what God really ants from you?

  30. CraftworkTheory says:

    Thanks, Trevin, for these questions, especially #s 2, 3, 4 and 6. The LGBTQ issue is one topic in which the people within that community have not only demanded that we treat their issue just like a civil right, but also asserted that we must bend over backwards to award them even more rights and privileges (seemingly) than for women and African Americans (and other ethnicities). Many people in the LGBTQ are simply asserting “equal rights for us all”, yet viciously attack others who politely (and reasonably) call their choices and demands into question, as if the homosexual agenda is the only perspective that must be honored. I hope that our churches take the time to carefully consider these questions, and equip their members to respectfully and compassionately engage LGBTQs in discussing biblical truth.

    1. Ned Flaherty says:

      The anonymous “Craftwork Theory” assumes — incorrectly — the civil rights which most people automatically enjoy should be denied to some fellow citizens.

      He is wrong.

      All citizens are entitled to the same civil rights as everyone else, and no group is entitled to extra civil rights which other groups don’t enjoy.

      The anonymous “Craftwork Theory” also claims — also incorrectly — that transgender people seek special, additional rights that other groups don’t have.

      He’s wrong.

      No civil rights organization ever sought any rights for transgender people that the rest of society doesn’t already enjoy automatically.

      The anonymous “Craftwork Theory” also claims — also incorrectly — that it is permissible to “call into question” other people’s human and civil rights.

      He’s wrong.

      It’s never permissible. No citizen, lawmaker, politician, group, or sect is authorized to question any of the fundamental civil rights to which everyone is entitled.

      The anonymous “Craftwork Theory” assumes — incorrectly — that civil rights are tangible quantities that should be collected, stored, and dispensed to some people, but denied to other people.

      He is wrong.

      Human rights are not tangible commodities that run out as soon as the warehouse supply is exhausted, which is why no civil marriage certificate issued to a same-gender couple ever reduces the number of certificates left for mixed-gender couples. Civil liberties is not a zero-sum game in which one person gets a right only if some other person is denied a right; which is why no woman’s vote ever prevents any man from also voting.

      The anonymous “Craftwork Theory” wants constitutional civil rights for all of society to be decided by his religious sect.

      He is wrong.

      Only in a theocratic dictatorship is one religious sect the law and all others outlawed. America is a democratic republic, under a constitution which guarantees equality for all, and guarantees separation of religion from government. One person’s freedom to be subservient to any religious sect requires that everyone else also have freedom from that sect. That’s why sect-based superstitions are never permitted to be a basis for civil laws affecting everyone, while science — which is universal and provable — is always permissible in civil law.

  31. Anonymousey says:

    1) I don’t get it. They cite a source that decribes sexual fluidity in *all* women not just cis. Then they start talking about how spouses are expected to stay with their partner post-transition. That’s not true. There’s no outside pressure. Maybe the person who transitioned is asking them to stay. You can’t blame them for wanting to stay with someone they love. But it’s not expected for the other person to stay with them.

    2) Idk. Why are there late-onset trans people?

    3) Because vice-versa never works. So why not go with what actually works?

    4) What “new linguistic guidelines”? If you’re talking about xe, xer, xur type stuff, I say it’s reasonable to give it some time. I’m trans and even I haven’t really studied all that stuff.

    5) If I’m not mistaken. Isn’t science still shaky on the whole “brain sex” thing? I keep hearing arguments from both sides. In any case, when a trans person says that there are differences in the brain, they’re not saying it to make either gender “inferior” or anything. Just that there are differences. What’s wrong with that? After all, many people who discredit trans women will say something like “she’s too muscular to be a woman”. Isn’t that a stereotype that women can’t be muscular?

    6) You might not believe this considering I’m a faceless, anonymous person on the internet with no pictures to back this claim up, but I’m black and don’t care about the Rachel Dolezal thing. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I’ve grown up seeing tons of black people claim they aren’t black, some of which bleached their skin to appear more white. Why should I get mad when the reverse happens? In other words, I don’t care for the trans-racial debate at all.

    7) Wait. Correct me if I’m wrong, but you’re saying that staff can have a credible basis for saying that a kid is lying. But then you say that it’s problematic because an actual trans student may be targeted? Is that right? If so, my question is, if you don’t really care for trans people, why do you care if some may be unfairly targeted by teachers or staff?

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Trevin Wax


​Trevin Wax is Bible and Reference Publisher at LifeWay Christian Resources and managing editor of The Gospel Project. You can follow him on Twitter or receive blog posts via email. Click here for Trevin’s full bio.

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