Exactly what is it that transgender activists are asking society to affirm? And how should Christians respond?
For decades, gay activist leaders worked hard to keep those who called themselves “transgender” or “transsexual” as far out of the public eye as possible. By their own admission, the last thing they wanted was a bunch of “drag queens” and cross-dressers to scare away potential allies and ruin any hope for their community to achieve its political goals. So the activists only portrayed homosexuals in favorable and non-threatening ways.
But recent years have seen a sea-change in attitudes about cultural acceptance of homosexuality. And gay activists now believe that sufficient political gains have been won at the local, state and federal levels that they can now turn their attention to adding the “T” – for Transgender – to the GLB (Gay-Lesbian-Bisexual) acronym that represents their community.
So today, at every level of government, we are seeing the “GLBT” community press hard to add the “transgender” category to existing laws. While the initial goal was to add “sexual orientation” to laws and normalize homosexuality and bisexuality across every arena of society, the goal now is to add “gender identity or expression” to laws and to normalize “transgenderism.” Specifically, the larger goal is to radically deconstruct the traditional and biological understanding of “gender” and “sex” and normalize the notion that gender is somehow “fluid” and changeable.
Ironically, we have now come to the point where pro-homosexual activists are asking us to believe that “sexual orientation” can not ever be changed, but that somehow “gender” can be changed!
So what should we – as Christians – do about this move throughout the culture to affirm “transgenderism”?
Given that the Bible teaches that we humans are made in God’s image as male and female, and that there is a complementarity of the sexes that uniquely brings forth new life and – mysteriously – reflects who God is, it’s clear that gender and sexuality matter to God. Yet, today’s GLBT activists are saying that gender no longer matters and that what should be affirmed in law is whatever one’s self-identification, self-expression and feelings are about one’s gender – whether or not these perceptions conform to biological reality.
In short, these activists are demanding that society not only buy into their perceptions of reality, but to affirm these self-definitions and carve out protected class status for them in the legal arena.
Clearly, God’s created intent for human sexuality and gender has been turned upside down. However, as Christians we must understand that people who struggle with their gender identity have likely lived lives of great pain, confusion and isolation. And just as Jesus went out of His way to minister to the outcasts of society, we are called to humbly share the love of God embodied in the Gospel message of Christ, to lift them up in prayer, and to allow the Holy Spirit to bring about conviction, healing and transformation.
The tiny minority of people that call themselves “transgender” – less than a fraction of one percent of the population – is asking the rest of society to not only affirm them in their confusion and pain, but to radically reorder the ways in which the culture understands gender. The most important thing we can do as Christians is intercede on their behalf through prayer and supplication – asking that God would reveal Himself to them in a new and irresistible way, to lift the veils of confusion that have blinded their eyes, and draw them in to His loving and transformative embrace through a personal relationship with Christ Jesus.
Caleb Price is a research analyst for CitizenLink, an affiliate of Focus on the Family.
This article was originally published on 28 April 2008.