I preached the below SEVEN years ago. I studied and sought to understand my trans kin because I was curious and wanted to fulfill Christ's command to love my neighbors as myself.
Christians, we can and must do better about engaging in curiosity and not judgment when it comes to people and experiences we don't yet understand.
Gender euphoria or gender-sex confluence is actually pretty remarkable. Gender-sex confluence is when everything related to one's gender (internal) and sex (external) line up—primary and secondary sex characteristics; chromosomes; attraction; a sense of lining up with your culture’s gender roles; the concept of brain sex, i.e., your psychological self seems to match with your biological self. That’s a lot of things to line up perfectly.
Modern psychology recognizes that just as strong—though not as apparent—as chromosomes and sex characteristics are the psychological aspects. Meaning some folks have a sense that the gender they feel themselves aligning with does not match their physical characteristics or the roles placed on them by society.
To most of us in this room, that is a feeling we cannot imagine. You might even strongly doubt that that feeling could exist. But I love this quote about pain—
'To have great pain is to have certainty; to hear that another person has pain is to have doubt.'
Imagine telling the depressed person that things aren’t that bad. Or someone with phantom limb syndrome doesn’t have a limb, so just get over their pain. Or the person with anorexia that they’re thin enough, so keep eating. Those would be gross examples of doubting someone else’s pain and thus denying them the care they need.
To have any ability to speak about gender dysphoria and transgender people, we must begin with a place of empathy. Instead of doubt, claiming that people with gender dysphoria are making it up or are only doing it for attention, start with a position of trust—that their pain is real.
The next question is, 'In what way does the Bible talk about gender dysphoria.' And the obvious answer is: It doesn’t. We are only now beginning to wrap our minds around this issue. The Bible has things to say about gender and creation, but no single verse on this topic.
If you think you're able to quote a single scripture on a complicated issue, then you’re most likely either misunderstanding the meaning of Scripture or misunderstanding the complexity of the issue.
We have to approach this with sensitivity and humility. When we don’t, we alienate and push away.
That’s not to say that the Bible has nothing to say about creation, gender, and sex. But we must tread carefully when applying an ancient text onto contemporary issues.
The one thing I will say about Scripture comes from Acts 8. The deacon Philip finds this eunuch on the road, returning from a trip.
There were many reasons that someone might be a eunuch (specifically to remove one’s male genitalia) back then. They could have been born that way. It could have happened for religious reasons. It could have been done to them so they would stay adolescent or female-looking to work as a prostitute with men. Acts 8 doesn’t say.
Regardless, the eunuch is reading the prophet Isaiah; Philip asks, “Do you understand what you’re reading?”
The eunuch says, “How could I unless someone explains it?”
Philip explains, gives this person the gospel, and then - I love this part - the eunuch asks,
"Look, there’s water--what’s to stop me from getting baptized?”
To which Philip says, “Nothing.”
One Christian psychologist conducted a study of transgender Christians, asking, "What kind of support would you have liked from the church?"
A trans woman responded,
"Someone to cry with me rather than denounce me. Learn to allow your compassion to overcome your fear and repulsion."