If you’re transgender and especially if you’re transgender AND a Christian, you’ve probably heard that phrase A LOT.
I recently had a conversation with my Pastor and as I had never asked him how he personally felt about my being transgender, he came out and said it: “God doesn’t make mistakes”. And I was in TOTAL agreement with him, except that we both were inferring a different meaning out of the phrase. His viewpoint is being born with a male body means that God made you to grow up to be a man in body and soul. My take (and actually LIVING it I think I have a pretty good perspective) is that I cannot deny being born with a male body, but for reasons NO ONE TRULY KNOWS – my heart, my soul, my very being was female.
[pullquote class =”left”]I can’t fathom why someone would WANT to live a life in polar opposite to their birth sex[/pullquote]
Somehow I came into the world with a male body. It may not have been God’s perfect plan for me, but it’s how I was made and I continue to contend that God doesn’t make mistakes. Maybe after thinking about it for a while my Pastor wishes he hadn’t used the “God doesn’t make mistakes” argument to justify the position that being transgender is something other than how you’re born.
Here is what I DO know – this is not a choice, nor is it something that happened in childhood that made me suddenly want to be a girl. I can’t fathom why someone would WANT to live a life in polar opposite to their birth sex UNLESS it was absolutely necessary just to survive, which in my case it was. I DO know that it is human nature to be unsure of, distrustful of and even fear what we don’t understand. I DO know this had NOTHING to do with being or not being homosexual (a common misconception.) I DO know that having the body of one gender and being “wired” as the other CAN drive you to suicide because you can’t resolve the incongruity of your existence. I DO know that all the wishing, therapy and even prayer can’t change who God made you to be. And yes, I DO know that God doesn’t make mistakes.
[pullquote]I take it by faith because I know I didn’t CHOOSE to be this way.[/pullquote]
God doesn’t make mistakes. I was made this way. It took me over 30 years to come to the realization and accept that FACT. Now, I don’t know HOW it is that I’m transgender, but I’m leaning toward some kind of (currently) unknown genetic or perhaps inutero issue before birth. Here’s why I say this – it’s pretty well understood that there are more transgender women (born male) than transgender men (born female). Studies seem to put it somewhere between a 2:1 and 3:1 ratio of transgender women to transgender men. This is NOT unusual among the population to have one group more likely to have a higher incidence of something than others. Women for example are three to four times more likely to have gallstones than men, three times more likely to suffer migraine headaches. Autoimmune disorders like multiple sclerosis and lupus sufferers are 75% women. Studies seem to indicate that men have a higher incidence of Parkinson’s than women. All this makes me think that yes, there’s something there in our genetic makeup that affects issues like this and why I think it may just be in our genes.
I don’t say this to justify who I am or make myself feel better. If scientists someday find a gene that can be associated to people being transgender or another cause is found, it would make absolutely no difference to me. I don’t need science to justify who I am any more than I need science to prove there is a God. That being said, if it ever IS found to be genetic, PERHAPS it will make it easier for some people to accept that for a very special few, we are BORN this way. I take it by faith because I know I didn’t CHOOSE to be this way. Where my choice came into play is when I finally realized it IS how God made me, that He loved me and wanted me to live life abundantly. The MOMENT I stopped trying to NOT be whom God made me to be and decided to live fully as he made me, who I’ve always been – suddenly suicidal thoughts went away and peace that surpasses ALL understanding came over me.
[pullquote class =”left”]This “invisible” and unseen situation of being transgender doesn’t lend itself to being the recipient of compassion in the Church today.[/pullquote]
I’d like to also clarify what I mean when I say God made me this way. I don’t mean to imply that this was God’s perfect PLAN for me. God knew His perfect plan for us when He created the world. It was not His PLAN for me that I be transgender. It was not His PLAN than my cousin and 3 very good friends have multiple sclerosis. We live in a fallen world. As a result of Sin NO ONE is born into perfection, we ARE however “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14) – ALL OF US! We may not always LIKE just how wonderfully made our brothers and sisters are, but the Lord didn’t give us the right to pick and choose who was and was not wonderfully made. We ARE told in Romans 15:7 to “Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.” It IS God’s plan that we love and accept one another.
If you’re a Christian and have doubts about whether a person who is transgender was “born that way”, I hope you’ll at least CONSIDER the possibility that they were. We are so compassionate to people who are born with all kinds of differences, from Autism to missing limbs to conjoined twins. This “invisible” and unseen situation of being transgender doesn’t lend itself to being the recipient of compassion in the Church today. No one among your transgender Christian brothers and sisters are trying to rewrite God’s word, no one is trying to force you to like it within the Church – if they are they’re wrong. All your transgender brothers and sisters would like is to be able to join with you in God’s house in worship and communion – the same thing you want.
So if we can all agree that God doesn’t make mistakes, and that there is a LONG list of disorders that can occur at birth many of which we don’t yet know what the cause is, can we entertain the thought that it’s POSSIBLE that God allows some to be born this way? If you think that MAYBE it’s possible that people can be born this way, don’t you think that as a Christian you should try to find the grace and compassion that the Bible DOES tell us to have: Eph. 4:32 “And be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as God also forgave you in Christ.”