Transgender Christians

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Posted

Last night I happened across several remarkable videos from an organization called "Qideas.org" which is described on their website as:

Q was birthed out of Gabe Lyons’ vision to see Christians, especially leaders, recover a vision for their historic responsibility to renew and restore cultures. Inspired by Chuck Colson’s statement, “Christians are called to redeem entire cultures, not just individuals,” Gabe set out to reintroduce Christians to what had seemed missing in recent decades from an American expression of Christian faithfulness; valuing both personal and cultural renewal, not one over the other. Re-educating Christians to this orthodox and unifying concept has become central to the vision of Q.

The videos (available here and on YouTube) were recorded at a TED-like seminar for Christian leadership, and made some very important points:

The first one features Dr. Mark Yarhouse, who is a psychologist and holds an MA in Christianity. He very articulating explains the transgender umbrella, gender dysphoria, and especially, how people (particularly Christians) may view trans people through different "lenses" that, unless recognized and understood, make it difficult to communicate. I do take an issue with one statistic he mentioned, that 3/4 of gender variant children desist as they grow and become adults. That said, he recommended that parents and others treat them with a wait and see approach: don't try to force anything upon them.

The second video features a gender fluid woman (Melinda Semlys) who describes her real-life experiences, how pregnancies affected her gender dysphoria, and now that she's past that (with seven children!) she's learned that her GD is real, and how she is living her life.

The last video is a Q&A with Mark and Melinda answering audience questions. One that came up asked what the scripture teaches regarding crossdressing and/or transgender people. Here again, Mark knowledgeably challenges the "wisdom" of the religious right saying that although there are some Old Testament mentions, that they are far out of context and don't mean anything substantial or negative about transgender people. 

 

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Posted

I have to admit, I find the idea that other cultures need redeeming to be absolutely horrifying.  I'm glad to see him trying to increase communication, but...the rest of that sentence really scares me.  No one culture is better or worse than an another.  All have flaws and strengths, and this comes across as just another variant of the 'outsider savior' complex that has done so very much damage throughout history.

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Posted

I hadn't thought of that and I see your point. Perhaps what they are referring to is at least in part their practice of trying to convert ("save" in their language) others to Christianity. I also don't agree with that. However in this case they are trying - I believe - to redeem their own religious culture to understand, accept, and validate diversity. Nothing wrong with that.

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Posted

I hope their main interest is letting those who wish to be a part of some Christian group, that they are welcome, no matter their gender identity or sexual orientation.

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Posted

Here's an interesting addition to this thread: an article in Good Housekeeping no less!

I Had 4 Boys — Until One of Them Told Me She Was Really a Girl

"As early as 18 months old, Kimberly Shappley's son started showing signs he identified as female. Now, the Christian mom shares how she learned to embrace Kai's transition — for her child's happiness and safety."

In fact, after reading that article I found almost 10 more there. Simply amazing. :D

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