Over at Theologues, Melinda Selmys asks the question, “Is There a Place for the Transgender in the Church?“
Photo by Jeffrey Beall/flickr. Cropped.
I am a Christian, and I experience gender dysphoria. I’m not transgender—I identify as a woman—but I experience a strong sense of discord between my female body and my interior sense of self, my gender identity.
For many Christians, transgender rights seem like the next wave of assault on traditional marriage and biblical sexuality. The idea that anyone would want to alter their “God-given” sexuality, using hormones, surgery or other means to become a member of the opposite sex, seems grotesque. More alarmingly, it seems to fly in the face of Biblical wisdom, which describes the creation of man: “male and female He created them.” (Gen. 1:27)
Trans people constitute a very small minority of the human population, so it’s easy for a discourse to develop that is concerned solely with political or philosophical considerations. I’m not going to claim that those aspects of the question aren’t important. There is a rich biblical tradition surrounding sexuality and gender; questions about how men and women ought to conduct themselves have concerned Christian writers since St. Paul. This tradition cannot merely be dismissed. Problems arise, however, when the tradition is discussed without reference to the real human beings involved.
Read the whole essay at Theologues.