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a question of faith

My religious upbringing has always had me pondering the legitimacy of modifying one’s body in order to align it with our self image. I am fortunate that I have not had to face a level of dysphoria so extreme that I could not survive another day as a male but it makes me wonder about those who feel that way.

I was watching a program where a religious school denied a 10 year old transgender girl from attending class as her chosen gender. Her parents had not encouraged her in any way and from a very young age she had been firm in her identity as a female. Finally and somewhat grudgingly her parents accepted her as a girl and allowed her to live that way. They were shocked when the school denied what they had allowed their own daughter to do.

These are not easy questions because they go to the root of what fundamentalist Christians believe: God does not make mistakes. If you were born a male then that is how you should live.

Clearly there are people who transition who perhaps should reconsider but these young very insistent trans kids seem not to waver in their determination. They don’t outgrow their identification the way my nephew outgrew his penchant for wearing princess dresses. If that young child ends up transitioning have they done the right thing?

I don’t believe that it is for us to judge.

I am now and always have been a maverick within the faith I was raised in because I needed to understand why I was to believe something. Faith without reason was not a path that I could take like some fundamentalists have done. I believe in evolution while at the same time understanding that the atheist mantra of everything comes from nothing is incredibly presumptuous. It’s akin to saying that the house they are staring at built itself and presumes that human intelligence can compete with a force which conceived an entire universe.

Therefore I have decided to accept that I cannot know all given my human limitations.

The people who are often the most adamantly against modification of the human body are those who are least well placed to understand what dysphoria is like. They feel they can pronounce themselves based on a logical argument in an area where it cannot possibly govern. The mind of a person with extreme gender dysphoria cannot rest until it finds resolution and if that includes gender reassignment surgery which produces a better and more whole individual then they will know they have not erred.

Conversely I am glad that Joel Nowak and Third Way Trans are out there reminding us that transition is not the way for everyone and that mistakes can and are sometimes made.


Comments

  1. Like you Pope Francis noted "Who am I to judge".
    Things are changing for the better. I have someone very close to me who at the age of 50 decided to study to be a Catholic Deacon. Upon his ordination he selected as his special mission finding ways to make members of the LGBT community feel more welcome and be more welcome in the Church

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  2. looks like you have a smart friend Pat...

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