After seeing an article, from a well-known Christian org on "Why the Transgender Debate Is About Redefining Reality":
What is at issue is not merely the question of which individuals can use what bathrooms but whether individuals have the right to redefine reality in a way that the rest of society is forced to accept. At issue is whether there is any fundamental reality that all people must acknowledge or whether reality is itself is malleable and based on personal preferences.
Those who accept the idea that we can ignore biological sex for the mental construct of “gender identity” are endorsing metaphysical subjectivism, the view that “our own mental activity is the only unquestionable fact of our experience.” They are not only disagreeing with those of us who believe reality is created by God, but are attempting to make metaphysical subjectivism the standard that trumps all others in determing norms and ethics.
Christians, let's start with this little ditty:
Trans people have always existed in Scripture. It is not about redefining reality - or your holy text; it is about seeing reality as it is - and has always been.
To think that humans have only existed in a gender binary (distinctly male and female) is a completely Western idea; and not congruent with any sort of research. Third genders, intersex, and multiple expressions of gender have always existed, period.
But Lauren—you say—what about the Bible? Other cultures or time periods are insignificant. What about this NIV/KJV Bible I hold in my hands?
Oh, good; you have one too? Let’s say this again:
Trans people have existed in Scripture.
And yes, you’re right; transcendent Truth is not relative. But what exactly have you digested as “Truth”, from childhood until right now—without researching, questioning, or asking (when presented with different life experiences from suffering humans)?
I understand that Hebrew words and translations may not be able to fit on felt-boards and within kindergarten attention-spans, but Christians; not only are we not children any longer, but these people that you are reducing to an uncomfortable debate, are your spiritual siblings; or, if you cannot see them as that, then you must at least see them as human beings. They are that. And if they are that, then you must pay attention to the way you treat, regard, and love them; human/beings.
When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a [grown hu]man, I set aside childish ways. 1 Corinthians 13:11
[American / Christian] Church;
1) Scripture is human. It just is. It was written; it was felt and translated and emoted by human beings with a range of feelings, just like us. If it had come from an angel, all in one piece, with each letter signed and affirmed by a celestial being, then I have an alternative religion you may interested in studying (but Christianity isn’t it). Your Bible is breathing; your Bible is messy; your Bible is you—and it is not concrete; it is human skin (malleable and breakable and bloody and interconnected).
2) Trans people exist(ed) in Scripture; in reality; in society. We just haven’t taken the time to see them. Because when you see “man” in Scripture you pay attention, as you are a man; when you see “woman” in Scripture, you pay attention, as you are a woman. But the gender-implications (or lack thereof) of a eunuch wasn’t something you paid particular attention to, was it? And why? Because you are not someone that exists outside gender norms, which Israel was very interested in preserving, because gender norms were a way of distinguishing their existence from neighboring communities. (Quick aside: Are gender norms and roles necessary to your Gospel and salvation? It’s an important starting question for many - including myself. Is procreation a necessity for Kingdom gates to swing open? If procreation is not, why "male" and "female"? What role does gender serve? Is it deeply tied to divine purpose and worth and family-status in "the Kingdom"? Minor questions, I know. For a starting point, try "Bible, Gender, Sexuality").
Deep breath; with all that said - please do not call the “Transgender Debate”, a debate about “redefining reality”. The more accurate description: It is about redefining your reality, which is a very precisely created mirror—the Western, White, American, Christian, Colonizing reality—that affirms everything you are, and makes small packets of room for that which you are not. This is not about redefining reality; this is about realizing that we have been out of touch with other people/cultures/our own humanity, for quite some time. But don’t worry; Jesus allows grace, even when we deny it.
3) If you think “identity politics” is “too much”, your identity is probably not one that has fought or feared the systems around you - so please try to listen, and make room. You probably haven’t been threatened because of your whiteness or maleness or high socioeconomic status (and no, I don’t mean “threatened” as in, being uncomfortable — I mean, literally threatened because of an unchangeable factor of your self; not a uniform or a job; but your very skin; your heart’s very insides, trying to be seen outside for the first time). These are not one-liners we think of; not agendas; not identity politics—these are survival.
I’m sorry if these statements feel abrasive or harsh - I get protective when I feel people/family/hearts being dehumanized.
Christians - we are not children anymore. It’s time to put the felt-boards away, and ask the hard questions. Look for resources from both sides (I am). Make up your own mind (I am). But do not make blanket statements based on untested or un-researched ideas; based on something you grew up “knowing”. These are real people, so you must do real research on the assumptions of gender that we all grew up believing.
Here’s something I grew up knowing - Fact A: N’Sync is the most popular band of my heart and life and in society as a whole. Here’s something that has changed since - Fact B: N’Sync was a boyband that was created by the manager who also created Backstreet Boys, for the purpose of competition for the Backstreet Boys (yes, Backstreet Boys actually came first, and they were betrayed by said-manager…I know, I know). Also something that has changed since Fact A was true - Fact C: N’Sync and Backstreet Boys no longer exist.
Apologies for the strong words. But I am speaking and trying to make room for the Trans Youth and students I worked with during my time as a Social Worker.
I am speaking and trying to make room for B, a Trans Youth who—also a deeply committed Christian—was beaten up in an alley, to the point that he was in a coma for weeks. When his mom said; “B — do you really have to do this? Can’t you stop?” He responded: “I’m not scared anymore. I was more scared inside myself, lying and afraid, than I am now - out, as myself. I’m not giving up.”
I am speaking and trying to make room for the men, women, and in-between and not within gender binary humans—strong, persistent, hopeful, and undeniable siblings of mine—like B, who show me what True Faith (all the capital T's and F's) is about; Justice, Hope, Love, Us. The greatest; Love. And your reality must make room for it.
Because these people are real.
Because these people are your people.
Because this family is yours too.
Because B and me and the kid down the street—we are your family too.
And we are not leaving.