Is Being Transgender Scriptural?

A letter written to a Christian friend who questioned my transition and offered to pray for me to not go through with it. He was aware of another transsexual who had a change of heart and reverted back to male. My friend thought I was making the same mistake and offered to put him in touch with me so we could talk. I declined the offer.
August, 2008

Hi Terry.

Thank you for your email.

My dad, who is a very devout Christian, came with my mom the day after I shared with them in April. He had been wrestling with what I had shared all night and was afraid that I was slapping God in the face and going against His divine plan. Or worse yet, that I had turned my back on Christ. Those questions were not new to me since I had in fact been wrestling with them all of my adult life, since I was 20 years old. That is when I came to faith in Jesus, in large part due to His invitation for all who are weary and heavy laden, and also His promise, that I would find rest. In the ensuing 38 years I developed a very fundamentalist view that was pretty black and white with regards to my "burden." along with my wife, we approach it on a purely spiritual level and saw it as a spiritual battle.

Of course, there is a spiritual component to everything in our lives, but we are also physical and mental beings and consequently vulnerable to temporal frailties. I answered my dad in the form of a question. I asked him what God's divine plan was for our niece who at the time was pregnant and had been told that her baby had a 90% chance of being born with serious complications and possible malformations in her body? And what about people with physical disabilities who required painful surgeries and or who were unable to move or take care of themselves? And why didn't God heal people universally?

These questions were not meant to be a smokescreen or a justification for the decisions I have had to make, because if I could have it my way, these would be the last things I would have chosen for myself, nor would I wish them on my worst enemy. I have only recently been able to reconcile who I am inside with what I have believed all these years. I have come to a place where I no longer view my condition as 'bondage" but as my thorn in the flesh. I think there is a very big difference between the two. Yes, they both result being human and broken at times, but in the same way that Jesus did not heal everyone in His generation, then we must acknowledge like Paul did, that not everything that is broken is going to be fixed in this life. Christ is still first in my life.

I have read many testimonies of others with a similar burden to mine. Like the person you mentioned, I have read about those who have decided to revert to their original gender role and have thought about their reasons and how they might apply to my life. My expectations for embarking on this prescribed path for myself has been tempered by many, many stories like these. As I said, these are really my last options because I have exhausted everything else. I have not rushed into this without serious consideration for what this would mean spiritually, socially, physically, financially and to my family. And I have also come to a place in my understanding of Scripture that there is a lot of ambiguity with respect to many aspects of the human condition.

I also see that when we attempt to establish a doctrine in some of these areas, that we run the risk of becoming like the Pharisees and erect walls of exclusion to separate us from anyone who may hold a different view. Is God not big enough to include and invite those who are marginalized and "different?" I believe He is. Otherwise, why would He have dispatched Philip to intercept the Ethiopian Eunuch as he return home from Jerusalem? The fact is that this person would not have been allowed to step on the Temple grounds because he was ceremonially unclean, yet he had a heart for God and had travelled hundreds of miles to come to Jerusalem. Though being a devoted Jew, he was still excluded until the Holy Spirit drew him in and then there was no distinction between the eunuch and any other believer.

I have come to realize that I misunderstood Jesus' invitation most of my life. I had expected Jesus to remove my burden and weariness and kept waiting for the day when I would be made normal. I became very adept at collecting verses like one might gather ammunition in order to shoot myself down and beat myself into submission. But I had no rest until It dawned on me that Jesus never promised to remove the burden, but instead to give me rest in spite of my burden and weariness. I am finally at rest with who I am in much the same way that a person who is paralyzed is at rest in their condition.

One other thing that I realized was that God was answering my prayers in a way I never acknowledged. It wasn't until I had this mental picture of someone with bone cancer who is told that the only way to save their life is by amputating both legs above the knee and objects to the proposed treatment because they will look different, will have to learn new skills and will be in a wheel chair the rest of their lives. Perhaps God's provision and answer to this person's prayer was that he had the right medical care and access to those who would help rehabilitate him so he could live, rather than die from cancer. In my pride, I was that person. I recoiled at the proposed treatment because it would mean a set of life changing steps I would have to take. Why couldn't God mend something so private and personal quietly and secretly. Why such a public remedy?

The fact is that much more is understood about gender dysphoria today than ever before and we live in a city, province and country that is open minded towards the condition. God has allowed me to live in a time and place where there is hope for me, to finally be released from the sadness and depression that have been my curse ever since I can remember.

As a believer in Jesus, I look for the day when we will be set free once and for all. I look forward to a new spiritual body that will be neither male nor female. More importantly, I look forward to seeing Him face to face and falling at His feet in humble adoration.

I hope this might answer and address some of the concerns you expressed. I have had the privilege of sharing with many fellow believers who have never considered this issue before, at least not until I disclosed to them. I am grateful that I have many who have pledged to journey on with me, with my loving wife and our three sons, and to love us and pray for us.

Faith, hope and love.


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