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religious orthodoxy and dysphoria

Isaac is an Orthodox Christian who suffers from persistent gender dysphoria.

He has always wanted to be a woman and he is certain that this desire will never change and yet he has made a decision that God's will to make him a man is one which is immovable and unchangeable.

Those of you who read my blog know that I support transitions but I can relate to what Issac is saying because my religious instruction has permeated my consciousness to the point where, if the strength of my dysphoria mandated I transition, it would make my decision that much more grueling. My solution to managing my dysphoria is not what Issac has chosen which, in his case, is to try and live with it and do nothing else.

As he speaks you can see Isaac has struggled and continues to do so. His assertion that God makes people either male or female is not exactly correct however since there are people born with ambiguous genitalia and moreover gender identity arguably resides in the brain more than anywhere else. Hence the idea that one cannot tamper with that reality is one which is up for discussion.

The way I look at this subject today is more along the lines that we are all human beings and gender is just one marker that makes the overall individual. If that person suffers as a result of a disconnect then a correction should not be seen as a disrespect for the way they were created. After all do we not undergo surgical corrections for other conditions?

One could argue that if God made you perfectly male or female, you wouldn't suffer from gender dysphoria and, whether divinely mandated or not, nothing that is derived from nature is wholly predictable, monolithic or steeped in perfection.

For Orthodox churches however, this issue touches on bedrock of their dogma which is that that tampering with your birth sex is tantamount to a rejection of your creation. So while you can be operated on for a whole host of preconditions this is not one of them.

I used to be more firmly on the side of the way Isaac thinks which only added to my grief regarding my own situation, except that I know people for whom a full transition has been a life saving thing. Nevertheless I have nothing but respect for someone with their own convictions and wish him well on his life journey.....


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