Reply To: Transgender People of Faith


Confession: I am a cis-gendered, hetero male. I am a conservative, a (fairly closely) orthodox Catholic, and (to be honest) opposed to transgender ideology.

If you can believe that I am not here to tear anyone down or to get on a soapbox, I hope you will. Mainly I am writing because it seems more and more that people (left and right people, traditionalists and progressives–everybody)–stay in their comfort groups and to talk only with people that agree with them.

I can for my part speak to traditional, conservative Christian teachings and thoughts on transgenderism (sorry, if that is the wrong term) and transgender individuals. I mean no harm to anyone–I pray for everyone’s peace–but precisely because I desire that others find peace, I have to say that I don’t believe it can be found by rejecting one’s assigned gender.

I do have a question that I hope someone will answer with thought and patience. Why is a person’s phenotypical sex (i.e. the male or female genetics and genitalia they were dealt at conception and through gestation)–why is that any LESS a part of who that person IS than the feelings that that person has about their gender?

I am not here talking about society’s seemingly arbitrary assignment of what males and females should wear or how males and females behave. Rather–another way to phrase the question–if person born male, in living life, finds himself drawn to feminine gender expression (or vice versa) why does that not stop at crossdressing and exploring traditionally feminine pastimes–why continue to transgender surgery and hormone therapy? Why not embrace your curiosity of the other gender without rejecting your body itself?

I realize that gay men and women, queers and non-binarys do not generally follow this pattern I am talking about. But to the transmen and transwomen in the forum: why is your body, from the womb, “wrong”? Why not rather consider that your pull to the opposite identity is a challenge–to explore your “masculine side” or “feminine side” without rejecting another important part of yourself–the very thing that sets off the beautiful CONTRAST to the gender you more admire?



PS (To Carla) I am going through my own crisis of understanding myself before God. It is unrelated to my gender identity or to sex. Really, I just look at myself in the light of some of Christ’s teachings and wonder if I am not the proud, unrepentant Pharisee in the parable. How do you reconcile yourself with God when it seems that reconciliation is the rejection of who you yourself are? The thing about Christianity though (and the Catholic Church especially) is that to accept Jesus (really to accept the Christ) IS to die to yourself.

But it does get tiring, doesn’t it: when you are called to repent, but at the same time, you are just SO TIRED of feeling guilty, that you cannot muster up the energy to think about how bad you should feel? (I am talking to myself now.) I mean, why did you create me, God, if the highest thing I can be asked to do is to deny all that I think that I am in order to get Christ.

Yet, that is what Jesus said: unless a man deny himself, he is not worthy of me.

Love and peace.