Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Seven Questions About Transgender Theories

This post echoes my honest questions about the phenomenon. If you're reading, please give an honest and informative (rather than an ad hominem) response. It'd be helpful for me as I continually strive, with my church, to find ways to serve others in the north Chicago metro. If you're interested more about the background of each question, you can read the explanations. (The post's conclusion is a call to Christians).

1. Do transgender theories undercut or contradict the idea that sexual orientation is unchangeable?

2. If gender identity is fixed and unchangeable, why do many children who experience gender dysphoria lose these feelings after puberty?

3. When a person feels a disjunction between one’s sex at birth and one’s gender identity, why is the only course of action to bring the body into closer conformity with the person’s psychological state, rather than vice versa?

4. Is the higher rate of suicide among transgender persons due primarily to the inner tensions of experiencing gender dysphoria as a disorder, or are these acts motivated primarily by societal rejection?

5. Why are the strongest critics of “gender binaries” the most likely to support gender stereotypes on display in transgender celebrities?

6. Why must one’s declared gender identity be accepted without question, while other forms of self-identification can be dismissed?

7. Without a settled definition in our legal system for transgender, how can we avoid all sorts of problems, including bathroom access?

3 comments:

  1. I think these are honest questions and deserve an answer in the interest of helping people to understand. However I think it's important to note that the linked author was fairly biased, as he was coming from a pre-defined perspective that being transgender or gay is morally wrong. Cherry picking is going to be result. It's fair to say this can happen from the opposite perspective as well.

    1. I think it's important to realize that sexual orientation is a spectrum, with attraction to both genders being possible, and is probably a bit variable even within an individual. Apparent changes in orientation could simply be people ridding themselves of internalized shame and allowing themselves to feel things that have always been there underneath. The underlying causes do seem to be biological.

    Because of the biology, I think that therapy to change orientation is unlikely to have any effect and should be considered abuse when it's forced on people by families, especially when children are the subject of the therapy.

    As for the spouses of trans wives, it's entirely unfair to expect them to change orientation. Both parties have to do what will make them the happiest. Choosing to stay with someone regardless of attraction can happen in many situations though. Other examples may include disabilities, sickness, aging, etc. In that case you are prioritizing your relationship with someone over sexual attraction. That's awesome as long as it's a choice.

    2. Do we understand why people choose to identify with their birth sex afterwards? Maybe the feelings are being supressed because of societal pressure since being a trans person is difficult. It's also possible that not everyone identifies on a binary. Maybe the person is non-binary or genderfluid.

    Either way, the only perspective that avoids pain is to be okay with whatever gender presentation a person wants to present. If we don't make a huge deal about it then we aren't "affirming" or guiding anyone anyway.




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  2. "1. Do transgender theories undercut or contradict the idea that sexual orientation is unchangeable?"

    Even if some do change, in either circumstance, it does not mean that others can. Why punish those who have a set self identity because someone else might change their mind?

    "2. If gender identity is fixed and unchangeable, why do many children who experience gender dysphoria lose these feelings after puberty?"
    That is why it is important to seek a professional to help guide both the guardian/s and the child, and to minimize any lasting harm to the child from improper handling of the situation.

    "3. When a person feels a disjunction between one’s sex at birth and one’s gender identity, why is the only course of action to bring the body into closer conformity with the person’s psychological state, rather than vice versa?"

    It's not. Some deal with it in different ways. However, it needs to be dealt with due to the high rate of suicide in that group.

    "4. Is the higher rate of suicide among transgender persons due primarily to the inner tensions of experiencing gender dysphoria as a disorder, or are these acts motivated primarily by societal rejection?"

    Societal and religious rejection are major contributors. One only needs to look at cultures where there are well defined and accepted "3rd gendered" individuals.

    "5. Why are the strongest critics of “gender binaries” the most likely to support gender stereotypes on display in transgender celebrities?"

    I have no idea who or what this references. Anecdotal evidence is not good evidence.

    "6. Why must one’s declared gender identity be accepted without question, while other forms of self-identification can be dismissed?"

    No one has to accept anything anyone is asserting. However, if we want to get along we should treat each other with respect and not pretend to know the individual better than they know themselves.

    "7. Without a settled definition in our legal system for transgender, how can we avoid all sorts of problems, including bathroom access?"

    What problems actual have been caused and is it proportional to the legislation taken? It has mostly been hypotheticals and straight people dressing up going into bathrooms to get a story.
    Sure, some people die in car accidents, but taking away everyone's license isn't the solution.

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  3. Thank you both for your input. Some of your questions can be clarified by reading the explanations to the questions in the link I provided. The author, though he does not support transgender activism, links to many sources who have different theological views.

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