I’m writing a blog series: Transcending: They’ll Know Us by Our Love. In this series, I will look at some reasons Christian churches should welcome, affirm, and embrace transgender people.
In my first post, I looked at why this is personal for me. In this second post, I’m going to start right in on one of the only reasons I’ve heard as to why transgender people should not change their bodies.
When Christians attempt to use the Bible to condemn transgender people or accuse them of dishonoring God, they usually go to the account of creation in Genesis, or the places where that account is quoted in the New Testament. It’s very clear that God created mankind male and female.
The trouble with using that against transgender people is that the passage never says how male and female are defined. And we are told that everyone is made in the image of God.
When a baby’s born, the doctor looks at their external genitals and announces which one the baby fits. But what about intersex people? What if the doctor can’t tell? Or what about people whose external organs fit one gender but whose internal organs fit the other? (This does happen.) What about people whose genitals do not match their chromosomes? What about people who have chromosomes different from XY or XX, XXY for example? Are those people made in the image of God?
In the book Transforming, by Austen Hartke, a transgender pastor, he reminds us that God created day and night – and He also created twilight. God created land and sea, and He also created marshes.
God created Adam and Eve male and female. But that doesn’t mean He has never created intersex people and transgender people. All are in the image of God.
Many who use the Creation story to condemn transgender people say that yes, they can get treatment, but nothing that changes their gender.
However, according to transgender people, they are not changing their gender, they are making their appearance and their body match their true gender. The current term for surgery to do this is Gender Confirmation Surgery. They are not changing God’s design but revealing it.
You might say that it’s wrong to make any changes to the body God’s given you. But this is weak since most churches don’t condemn other bodily changes. What about cochlear implants? Coloring your hair? Straightening your teeth? Breast reduction surgery for women?
In fact, if it’s dishonoring to God to change the body He gave you, why did He command that Jewish men be circumcised?
I don’t understand why a prohibition against changing God’s creation would apply to transgender people but not to anything else.
In fact, transgender people take gender – and God’s creation of mankind as male and female – more seriously than anyone. So seriously that they’re willing to upend their lives and go through painful surgery and hormone therapy to get it right.
In my next post, let’s look at some current scientific studies on gender that turns out to back up what transgender people are saying.