What Would Jesus Say to Someone Like Leelah Alcorn?

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Leelah Alcorn Selfie

On December 28, 2014 a 17-year old high school student apparently committed suicide after a difficult journey with confusion over gender identity. In his suicide note, Josh Alcorn said that since he was 4 years old he felt like “a girl trapped inside a boy’s body.” Because of this Josh desired to be called “Leelah” and wished for people to relate to him as a woman.

I will refer to Josh as “Leelah” in this post, but will also refer to him as a male, please bear with me, even if you passionately disagree with either of those choices.

This is an excerpt from Leelah’s final words posted shortly before taking his own life:

Leelah Alcorn

 

The letter goes on with sad details that I hope none of us are ever tempted to write or left to read in the wake of losing a loved one in such a tragic way.

Leelah’s final request was, “my death needs to mean something.” I could not agree more.

It is heart-wrenching to know that a young person was so overwhelmed with pain that their only response was to stop living. That should mean something. Whether you’re LBGT, Christian, liberal, conservative, religious or otherwise—we are humans and a tragedy like this should lead us to stop, weep, pray, and take notice.

For me, it made me wonder what I would say to my own child if they felt the same way Leelah did. And more importantly, it made me wonder, what would Jesus say to someone who feels the same way Leelah did?

I do not know exactly what Jesus would say them, but there are a few truths from the Bible that give me a pretty good idea.

1.     Jesus would say…“You are made in My Image, and I love you.”

 Just like Leelah, all people are wonderfully made in God’s image (Genesis 1:26-28). We are each knit together in our mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13-14) and brought safely into this world to walk as an image bearer of God. When people see you, they see a reflection of the glory of the God who made you.

Jesus would say to you that you have value and worth because God made you. He would say something like, “no matter what anyone tells you, you are valuable and I love you. Come and find refuge in My faithful arms, I made you and I will protect you” (Psalm 91:4).

 2.     Jesus would say…“You are broken, just like everyone else.”

Leelah was an image bearer of God, but he was a broken one. Just like you are. Just like I am. Every person who has ever been born, except Jesus, is deeply and totally affected by the curse of sin (Psalm 51:4; Romans 5:12). We are all relationally, sexually, morally, rationally—broken. Sin does this to us. It corrupts our feelings and desires and understanding of life and of ourselves. We are all aware of this brokenness, though we experience it in different ways.

Jesus would say to you there is hope for your brokenness because “in me you can have peace. In the world you shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

3.     Jesus would say…“You have a unique struggle, and I will use it.”

There’s a scene in the Bible where Jesus declared that a man was born blind so “that the works of God might be displayed in him” (John 9:3). God works in the mist of our fallen, sinful, broken lives for His glory. In fact, He only uses broken, sinful, needy people who have sinful struggles.

That does not give us an excuse to give into temptation, but it does give us hope that God can use even the most heinous sinful struggles to display His grace and sufficiency in our lives. If God did this with a self-righteous murderer like the Apostle Paul (Acts 9) and an impulsive denier like Peter (John 21), He can do it with you and me.

Jesus would say something like this to you, “I know you do not understand how I can use your struggle and your pain, but I can. I can work all things together for the good of those who love Me and are called according to My purpose—I can even use your struggle with transgender feelings in ways you cannot imagine” (Romans 8:28).

4.     Jesus would say…“I came to rescue people like you, so trust in Me.”

Jesus didn’t come to rescue people who had it all together. In fact, He said “I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance” (Luke 5:32). It may seem insensitive to talk about sin at a time when you already feel so unloved and misunderstood, but all of our confusion about who we are in life flows from this very issue.

All of us, whether we consider ourselves straight or gay or transgender or anything else, are sinners. That means that we have disobeyed God’s design in every imaginable way. In the way we think, the way we talk, the way we treat others—the ways are too many for us to count. But God has counted our sins, none have escaped His eye (Psalm 69:5).

But in spite of our rebellion against God, He still loves us. There’s a place in the Bible where we are told “God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). Jesus came to rescue us from our sin by dying in the place of sinners and then rising from the dead to forgive us of our sins.

For those who truly believe in Jesus, God will never turn away (John 6:37) and rather than count all their sins against them, He will forgive them and throw them “as far as the east is from the west” (Psalm 32:1-2, 103:11-12; 2 Corinthians 5:17-19).

Anyone who says that is a message of hate is not listening to what has really been said. That is the greatest act of love anyone could ever show us (John 15:13). Jesus laid down His life so that we could be forgiven and made right with God. Does this new relationship change us? Yes, in every way. But please do not dismiss this good news because God calls us to change. He only wishes to transform us into the image of His own dear Son (Romans 8:29). He is better than whatever else we wish to hold on to. Ask God if it is really true that Jesus died for you.

5.     Jesus would say…“The journey is hard, but it is worth it and I will help you.”

 Just because someone becomes a Christian, does not mean things get easy. There is still much pain in this life. People you love will still hurt you at times. You will still be misunderstood by some people. You will still struggle with sin—in all sorts of ways (Romans 7:15-19). Your affections will change toward sin, but often that change doesn’t happen all at once and sometimes it happens very slowly (2 Corinthians 3:18).

You may never “feel” like your body looks. Your sexual desires may never be redirected. But as you walk with Jesus you will understand and respond to your passions differently. This may be a struggle for a long time, possibly for your whole life. But Jesus promises that you don’t have to carry the weight alone. He says to you “come to me all you who are weary and heavy-laden and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).

If you are a born again child of God (John 1:12), your primary identity is now rooted in God’s acceptance of you in Christ. This radically alters the way you see everything, including your gender identity. This journey of understanding how to please God in spite of your struggles may be daunting but it will be worth it because it comes with the promise “I will never leave you or forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5).

6.     Jesus would say…“Your parents aren’t perfect, but they love you.”

I am a parent and as I’ve reflected on this heart-breaking story, I weep for Mr. and Mrs. Alcorn. I cannot imagine how anguishing it must have been to see their child struggling and despairing over such deep questions. I’m sure they wish they had answers to help their child understand why God allowed this pain into their child’s life and how to trust God in the midst of it all. I’m sure they wish they could take their child’s pain and bear it themselves.

Some will scorn Christian parents for attempting to help their child live according to their biological sex, but ridicule is not the answer. You may be upset that it sounds like I’m taking the parent’s side. I’m only saying that sympathy needs to go both ways in a situation like this.

Parents who love God and love their children will do all they can to help their child live in God’s perfect ways. How parents do this will sometimes be right and sometimes be wrong. There are no easy answers for parents either. I wish there were.

If you are at odds with your parents like Leelah was, I want to encourage you to be patient with them. Your parents aren’t perfect, but I suspect they do love you—even if their love feels oppressive. There is a great difference between being an abusive parent and a parent that in good faith is trying to help guide their child.

If your parents are pointing you toward trusting Jesus, don’t receive that as unloving—it is the most loving thing anyone could ever do for you. If they are doing it in a way that hurts you, talk with them and pray for God to help you not give up.

7.     Jesus would say…“Go to my people, they will walk with you in grace and truth.”

Many of your friends may tell you that the church is filled with hateful, bigoted, backwards people. Sadly, there are some people who do horrible things in the name of Christ—things that Jesus Himself would condemn. Sometimes Christians fall short of Jesus’ standard of love, but there are countless others who are trying by the grace of God to do better.  You need to find a church that is not Christian in name only. Find a Bible-believing, Spirit-led community that will love you and walk with you

Jesus came “in grace and truth” (John 1:17) and His people are to live in the same way (John 15:12). The church is filled with people who need your help to walk in humility before God, and you need them to do the same (Hebrews 3:13, 10:24-25). Jesus would tell you that you should not struggle alone, and that the people who tell you the truth are the people you can trust the most.

A true church is a community of people who are patient and compassionate—because Jesus been patient and compassionate with them. They are a people who will help you fight against your sins—because Jesus has forgiven their sins and helps them fight against their own issues. You may be surprised to find how many Christians there are who struggle with the same kinds of things you do.

8.     Jesus would say…“Don’t give up on life, I make life worth living.”

 There are some struggles that feel like they are too much to bear. Sometimes it seems as if ending your life will bring you the peace that has been so fleeting up until now. Maybe it feels like the only way to silence those who hurt you or get the attention of those who won’t listen to you.

If this is how you feel, Jesus would say do not give up because “the Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18). He would say your weeping is not ignored and “I have heard your prayer; I have seen your tears” (2 Kings 20:5). Jesus would tell you that He made you and He has all your days numbered in His book (Psalm 139:16).

He would tell you to not give up on life because He knows how He plans to work all of this together for your good if you will surrender to Him (Romans 8:28). And He would tell you that a day is coming when God “…will wipe away every tear from (your) eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:4).

This is the promise for those who trust in Christ. Do not give up on life, but cling to the Jesus who will bring you through the many trials and temptations you are facing.

 

Some will say that because I am a Christian and believe the Bible to be true that I am the kind of person who causes deaths like Leelah’s. If you feel that way, please look past any of my shortcomings in this post and consider Christ Himself. Take up the Bible and read about Jesus for yourself.

There are no easy answers for any of our brokenness, including the kind of brokenness that Leelah Alcorn knew so deeply. But that does not mean that his death should mean nothing. It should lead us to listen to one another’s stories rather than spew hate at one another. Jesus is the hope for those who are LBGT, just as He is the hope for everyone else. He is the one who understands us, and our brokenness, even when no one else does. Draw near to Him in faith and ask Him if this is true and He will draw near to you (James 4:8).

 

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62 thoughts on “What Would Jesus Say to Someone Like Leelah Alcorn?

  1. RedTrumpet

    Amen and amen. I am done with any and all “culture wars.” I hope to know Jesus and Him only, and introduce people to Him, regardless of who they are or where they are, but especially if they are in pain of any kind.

    Reply
  2. Dan Kreider

    Good thoughts on this horrible tragedy, but you forgot one, straight from the mouth of Jesus: “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female?” (Matthew 19).

    This isn’t cruel or heartless. It’s truth spoken in love. God made Josh a male. Of course a world that rejects God and His design would say that this is a hateful thing to say, but we did not create ourselves and we do not belong to ourselves. As tragic as Josh’s death is, it was ultimately due in part to his rebellion against God’s creation.

    Reply
    1. Jay

      This is not heartless, but we have to keep in mind that sin has corrupted even this. Some people are born with inter-sex conditions, and while those conditions are often expressed externally, some research has shown that they can be expressed internally — such as in brain chemistry or hormone levels. I have no doubt that Josh Alcorn wished very strongly to feel “like a normal boy.” No one chooses to feel such a profound mind-body disconnect, just like no one chooses to experience same-sex temptations. They are all results of a world that is spiritually and physically broken. We should not minimize the potential psychological, environmental, or biological factors that led to his temptations.

      Reply
    2. rose

      My question to you then is what are eunuchs in gods eyes. They are neither male nor female. Jesus states that there are those who are made by man, those who are born, and those who bring it upon themselves for the glory of God. We can also ask what about those who are born with both genetalia are they male or female. The bible is a wonderful book but it does not have all the answers

      Reply
  3. Bill

    Mr Kell,

    In your post you ask that we bear with you regarding your choice to refer to Leelah as he/him and to use her chosen name in quotes. You then proceed to provide a collection of biblical references that are generally in favor of understanding, perseverance, and hope. However, you never explain your rationale for denying Leelah the final respect of at least being recognized as she wished to be recognized. You seem like a genuinely caring person. Would you care to explain?

    Reply
    1. garrettk Post author

      Bill-

      Thank you for your gracious and good question. I wish this kind of follow-up could be face to face, but I’ll do what I can here.

      I certainly mean no disrespect to “Leelah” or to others who struggle with such weighty issues. My heart truly does break and I do weep over pain like this. That is why, as I said in my post, there are no easy answers and a journey like this takes much time, much prayer, and much wisdom.

      The bible verses that speak of understanding, perseverance, and hope are all true, and I believe that this is an essential part of the journey we are all making. But I also believe we must be people of convictions based on everything else the Bible says. This is why I can love people while completely disagreeing with them, even on the deepest of issues.

      I know some will think I’m just a heartless freak because of my use of language, but I must stand by my convictions, as others must stand by theirs. I do not wish any ill-will toward any who disagree with my position, that seems to go against everything that is good about being a fellow human being.

      I do also want to acknowledge that we need to seek wisdom from medically trained people who can help us discern the biological, psychological, and physiological issues at play. But I also believe that what God says to us in the Bible is the truth that must guide all other truths.

      Because of that, I believe that God creates people as either male or female and that our biological make up shows what He intends. That being said, I also believe that there because we are fallen, there are very difficult cases in which some of people are born with both biological genitalia, or none at all. There are no easy answers to this, but I would say the same things I wrote would apply to someone who faces that challenge.

      Some would say that it is wrong to attempt to change someone’s gender identity (because it is fixed and meddling with it is harmful). I understand why someone might think that, but I simply have a different view. I think it is equally important to ask why it is OK to deny or change something fixed like our God-given biological body? It seems that this is a valid question to consider as well.

      Again, I appreciate your kindness in asking a good question, and I hope somewhere in my rambling you might at least understand my position a little more, even if we can’t agree.

      I wish you all the best,

      Garrett

      Reply
      1. Erica

        Garrett,

        I agree with most of what you wrote with the exception that gender is determined exclusively by genitalia. When the brain gender and genitalia gender are discordant, you get a transgender person. The Bible doesn’t say anything about brain vs. genitalia for determining gender.

        As for your question of why change the body instead of the brain, the reason is that no one has figured out how to change the brain. This mind/body discordance can not be ignored, so until someone figures out how to change the brain’s gender, we only can change the body.

        Reply
        1. Aurora

          Not to mention when you change the brain, you change the person. The body is simply a physical vessel. The mind is a bit more than.

          Reply
          1. Erica

            That’s true, but I think many (most?) trans people would willingly change who they were to get rid of gender dysphoria. The extreme levels of guilt and self-hate drive them to kill themselves. So, sadly, I think many would gladly give up themselves just to fit in.

      2. Zoe Brain

        I think it is equally important to ask why it is OK to deny or change something fixed like our God-given biological body?

        Because they die if they don’t?

        Bear in mind that some humans naturally change sex – which can either cause or cure gender dysphoria.

        See http://www.usrf.org/news/010308-guevedoces.html

        Here’s a typical case of transsexuality in adulthood.

        “Secondly, “Dysphoria,” defined by Marriam-Webster’s Collegiate dictionary as “a state of feeling unwell or unhappy,” or in the American College Dictionary as “a state of dissatisfaction, anxiety, restlessness, or fidgeting” is simply too soft a word to describe the angst most clinicians see on intake with this population. At best it may be an apt descriptor for individuals who, despite strong evidence to the contrary, are making an extraordinary effort to convince themselves that they are sex/gender congruent. These individuals make life decisions such as getting married and having children not only because they may find it appealing to have a spouse and have children but with the added hope that this activity will ease or erase their obsessive cross gender thoughts. Although there may be instances where these special efforts succeed, (i.e. the incongruity is mild) the more likely outcome is a realization they have actually made matters worse. Typically, at time of presentation these individuals report that either their lives are in ruin, or they are very afraid that if their gender variant condition was to become known they would loose all that they cherish and be ostracized from family, friends and the ability to support themselves. High anxiety and deep depression with concurrent suicide ideation is common. One of the most extreme cases I have treated was that of a 50 year old genetic male, married and the father of 3 grown children with an international reputation as a scientist who reported to me that the reason he finally sought out treatment for his gender issues was because the number of times he found himself curled up in the corner of his office in the fetal position muffling his cry was increasing. That is not dysphoria, that is pure misery. “

        Reply
    2. garrettk Post author

      And also Bill…just wanted you to know I removed the quotation marks after the first two uses of Leelah’s name. I think it was unnecessarily distracting from the main point I was hoping to make.

      Grace to you,

      Garrett

      Reply
    3. Peter

      Dear Bill,

      The Bible is the Word of the Creator to all of His creatures i.e. humankind.

      Hence, the Biblical references supplied are the words of the Creator to His creatures who are struggling with various issues, gender identity issues being one of them.

      Hence, because the Creator is greater than the creature, therefore the wishes of the creature need to comply with the wishes of their Creator.

      Therefore, Leelah Alcorn’s wish to be recognized in a certain way needs to take second place to the way in which his Creator wanted him to be recognized.

      Does that make sense?

      In good faith,

      Peter

      Reply
  4. Casey

    Mr Kell, I would also like to hear more of your perspective on Leelah’s gender. I’m not sure there is very much biblical support for condemning transgender feelings as sinful. God has certainly made us in his image, but is it not possible that the fallen earth has caused us our bodies to form with the wrong chromosomes? I certainly believe that those with developmental disorders such as Down syndrome will not have those disorders reflected in their heavenly bodies, is it unrealistic to believe the same of people who may have been “born into the wrong body”?

    Reply
  5. Casey

    Mr Kell, I would also like to hear more of your perspective on Leelah’s gender. I’m not sure there is very much biblical support for condemning transgender feelings as sinful. God has certainly made us in his image, but is it not possible that the fallen earth has caused us our bodies to form with the wrong chromosomes? I certainly believe that those with developmental disorders such as Down syndrome will not have those disorders reflected in their heavenly bodies, is it unrealistic to believe the same of people who may have been “born into the wrong body”?

    To be honest I just can’t find very much biblical support for your viewpoint that doesn’t require a bit of reading between the lines.

    Reply
    1. garrettk Post author

      Casey-

      Thank you for an excellent and important question. I concede that there are no clear Biblical texts about transgender specifically. I also agree that there is a bit of reading between the lines required on this issue, as with many other issues.

      Please see my response to Bill’s question above.

      My basic premise flows from the idea that God creates people with biological gender and that is where we should look to for our definition of who we are as either male or female. I understand and sympathize with people who would disagree with this and say that either gender is defined not by biology, but by a subjective sense or who would say that gender is a fluid thing based on that same subjective sense.

      My disagreement with this perspective is rooted the description the Bible uses of people being male or female. Jesus said this in Matthew 19:4 “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female?” I know Jesus wasn’t giving a dissertation on gender, but this is the standard presentation from the Bible.

      That is the short, and I’m sure inadequate answer to your excellent question.

      Thank you,

      Garrett

      Reply
      1. Casey

        Thank you for responding, Garrett. I have read your response to Bill and, as a born, raised, and current evangelical Christian I do understand your viewpoint as it is a fairly common one. I cannot, however, agree. Matthew 19 really doesn’t seem to have *anything* to say about gender outside the context of marriage, and I’d argue that we change our God-given biological body all the time. Things like laser eye correction, hormone deficiency treatment, and organ transplants are all procedures that alter our bodies from the way God created them, but we do not view those as sinful.

        Again, thank you for responding, and for writing this article. For what it’s worth, I do very much agree with your 8 points, just not this specific application. I’m not sure that there is a definitive answer to gender issues like this, but if there is I pray that God changes one of our minds 🙂

        Reply
  6. Casey

    Thank you for responding, Garrett. I have read your response to Bill and, as a born, raised, and current evangelical Christian I do understand your viewpoint as it is a fairly common one. I cannot, however, agree. Matthew 19 really doesn’t seem to have *anything* to say about gender outside the context of marriage, and I’d argue that we change our God-given biological body all the time. Things like laser eye correction, hormone deficiency treatment, and organ transplants are all procedures that alter our bodies from the way God created them, but we do not view those as sinful.

    Again, thank you for responding, and for writing this article. For what it’s worth, I do very much agree with your 8 points, just not this specific application. I’m not sure that there is a definitive answer to gender issues like this, but if there is I pray that God changes one of our minds 🙂

    Reply
    1. Nick

      Casey,

      Regarding your questions related to gender identity, there is a well-written article by Daniel R. Heimbach that you may find helpful on this topic. The only link I can find to the article is a PDF of the entire book in which it is published: Biblical Foundations For Manhood and Womanhood by Wayne Grudem. The title of the article is . The article beings on page 275.

      Grace & peace,
      Nick

      Reply
  7. Pingback: How to think and pray about the suicide of a transgender teen | Denny Burk

  8. Julia Stevenson

    Do you want a direct quote? Matthew 19:12. Ogien. Church founders buried with female implements. Nares, pious Mary and Christ loving eunuch of Byzantium who fought the goths and built cathedrals.

    Ignorance kills.

    Reply
  9. Tracy Revalee

    This post was edifying for me, but more as the 8 points and supporting scripture spoke to my own struggle with mental illness and the temptation of suicide. Leelah’s struggle is a heartbreaking manifestation of sin; my struggle is also manifestation of original sin and my own capitulation to the temptation of despair.

    I, too, mourn for Leelah’s parents. Often, it is only the knowledge that my husband and daughter would have that pain that stays my own suicidal hand. In the end, it is God’s faithfulness, well illustrated by your post, that makes my determination possible:: I wi die of natural causes and call it a victory in Jesus. I wish Leelah could have gained enough years to make that vow as well.

    Reply
  10. Ed Diaz

    Thanks for addressing this difficult question. I am wondering if it would also be good to include the fact that in heaven the need for male/female gender is apparently removed by Jesus Matthew 22:30.
    That would allow a kinder and gentler translation of the Matthew 19 passage where “some or made Eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom”

    Reply
  11. Ed Diaz

    Thanks for addressing this difficult question. I am wondering it would be wise to refer to the Matthew 22:30 passage where in heaven, there is apparently no need for the male/female gender difference. That would give a kinder gentler interpretation to Jesus words in Matthew 19 where “some are made Eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom”. To know that ultimately the vast majority of our lives would be spent without gender frustration might be a good point to make here.

    Reply
  12. Mike Messerli

    The only point that I disagree with was #7. Sadly, the church does not do well with this. I wish we did better with loving people and their brokenness, but we do not. God help us with this.

    Reply
  13. Joe Boerner

    He (Jesus The Christ) would take Him through Book of Genesis, chapters 1 through 4 on everything was called ‘good’ before Original Sin (The Fall); go through the *Book of 1st and 2nd Corinthians on Carnal Christians; Go through the Gospels and show what He did for his sins, and why He (Jesus The Christ) died for Him.

    It’s really whether He seen Christ as His Savior or as His Judge, the popular term the past years “Only God can Judge me!” which has a variation translations: “I can do what I want!”, “Leave me alone!”, “I’m already condemned!”, etc..

    If he was born-again, the work of being a transgender is ” wood, hay, straw” (bad) and show Josh why’s it is bad, which is in 1 Corinthians 3 under the Judgement Seat of Christ.
    The transgender movement/cult existed in the past, people would need to study Greek and Roman history to understand this, it’s nothing new, and it’s what we see today..

    If he was a Gospel Rejector, he would be in Hades (Luke 16) and be their for until the Great White Throne Judgment (Revelation 20).

    Unfortunately, therapists even with the word ‘Christian’ or ‘christian’ (The term ‘Christian’ or ‘christian’ has 7 variations in the Book of Revelation chapters 1 through 3).
    Psychology/Therapy is more secular/pagan based in trying to understand the spiritual mind, which both have failed to do. Only using Biblical Counsel can someone understand what happens spiritually, since He (God) created people when He first breathed into Adam, and became a living soul, we all have inherited this as well.
    I don’t know what type of school Josh went to, it seems to me that it most likely taught Compart-Mentalized Dialectical Relativistic Thinking. Which is to put things into boxes, your Bible life is separated from your school life separated from your personal life (identity) is separated from friendship life, and so on.. Secularists/paganists teach that each one of these boxes and can have their own individual truths, even if they contradict each other; but once the compart-mentalists is shown by someone that starts to connect them to other boxes when a discussion/debate, the person in confusion becomes either convicted (good), frustration (bad), defensive (bad), or offensive (bad), and this changes the whole worldview (how a person sees things) who is a compart-mentalists.. This also shows that he viewed ‘Christians’ as “biased”, when it Fact and in Truth, everyone has a bias; it ‘s whether that bias is True or False. Josh was taught a bias that was false about his own identity in terms of calling himself a female, when God Himself said it was ‘good’ to call Josh a male when he was born..

    It is highly recommended that a person learns about their own identity studying Biblical Creation, a person’s identity in Christ, and last but not least, Satanology (Doctrine of Satan) and Demonology (Doctrine of Demons and/or Fallen Angels) to know their enemies..

    Reply
    1. Zoe Brain

      Unfortunately, therapists even with the word ‘Christian’ or ‘christian’ …Psychology/Therapy is more secular/pagan based in trying to understand the spiritual mind, which both have failed to do.

      I agree. In fact, it’s even worse than that in Astronomy and Geography, where the pagan/secular view has almost entirely displaced the correct, Christian spiritual and biblical view, even in Christian schools.

      Here’s the correct Christian spiritual view of the world:

      “Those who assert that ‘the earth moves and turns’…[are] motivated by ‘a spirit of bitterness, contradiction, and faultfinding;’ possessed by the devil, they aimed ‘to pervert the order of nature.'”

      – John Calvin, sermon no. 8 on 1st Corinthians

      And again, making it clear that the secular and christian views of the universe are incompatible. Either one takes the secular view, that stars are balls of hot gas very far away, or the Christian view, that they are tiny lamps set in the firmament keeping the “waters above” from flooding the Earth.

      “Scripture simply says that the moon, the sun, and the stars were placed in the firmament of the heaven, below and above which heaven are the waters… It is likely that the stars are fastened to the firmament like globes of fire, to shed light at night… We Christians must be different from the [natural] philosophers [or as we say now, scientists] in the way we think about the causes of things. And if some are beyond our comprehension like those before us concerning the waters above the heavens, we must believe them rather than wickedly deny them or presumptuously interpret them in conformity with our understanding.”

      – Martin Luther,( quoted in Luther’s Works. Vol. 1. Lectures on Genesis)

      Reason is no aid, as it only tells you what is, not what you know it must be from faith. In fact, Reason has to be destroyed in order to take the proper spiritual view.

      “Reason is the greatest enemy that faith has; it never comes to the aid of spiritual things, but — more frequently than not — struggles against the divine Word, treating with contempt all that emanates from God.”

      – Ibid

      Here’s the secular view, based on measurements, MRI and PET scans, etc.

      Sexual Hormones and the Brain: An Essential Alliance for Sexual Identity and Sexual Orientation Garcia-Falgueras A, Swaab DF Endocr Dev. 2010;17:22-35
      The fetal brain develops during the intrauterine period in the male direction through a direct action of testosterone on the developing nerve cells, or in the female direction through the absence of this hormone surge. In this way, our gender identity (the conviction of belonging to the male or female gender) and sexual orientation are programmed or organized into our brain structures when we are still in the womb. However, since sexual differentiation of the genitals takes place in the first two months of pregnancy and sexual differentiation of the brain starts in the second half of pregnancy, these two processes can be influenced independently, which may result in extreme cases in trans-sexuality. This also means that in the event of ambiguous sex at birth, the degree of masculinization of the genitals may not reflect the degree of masculinization of the brain. There is no indication that social environment after birth has an effect on gender identity or sexual orientation.

      As for the spiritual view – there are many. Demonic possession appears popular these days. Or just a “wicked and sinful nature”. “Sexual sin” of some unspecified kind. In any case, regardless of the details, Trans people are evil incarnate and so must be destroyed. In a spirit of Love and Kindness, of course.

      Reply
  14. Orpheusgrrl

    From #6: “There are no easy answers for parents either. I wish there were.”
    It sounds like you are not familiar with FAP: http://familyproject.sfsu.edu/home Unfortunately, This study clearly shows the tremendous harm of family rejection, even if parents think they are well-intentioned, following deeply held beliefs or even protecting their children. Dr. Ryan’s research linked family responses with risk and protective factors for key concerns including sexual health, HIV infection, substance use, depression, suicide and well-being. FAP also has resources for parents – check out the Mormon video as a starting place for lay persons to really get to understand the situation. Or, if this is your professional area of concern, check out the research.
    V/R,

    Reply
  15. Joe Boerner

    He (Jesus The Christ) would take Him through Book of Genesis, chapters 1 through 4 on everything was called ‘good’ before Original Sin (The Fall); go through the *Book of 1st and 2nd Corinthians on Carnal Christians; Go through the Gospels and show what He did for his sins, and why He (Jesus The Christ) died for Him.

    It’s really whether He seen Christ as His Savior or as His Judge, the popular term the past years “Only God can Judge me!” which has a variation translations: “I can do what I want!”, “Leave me alone!”, “I’m already condemned!”, etc..

    If he was born-again, the work of being a transgender is ” wood, hay, straw” (bad) and show Josh why’s it is bad, which is in 1 Corinthians 3 under the Judgement Seat of Christ.
    The transgender movement/cult existed in the past, people would need to study Greek and Roman history to understand this, it’s nothing new, and it’s what we see today..

    If he was a Gospel Rejector, he would be in Hades (Luke 16) and be their for until the Great White Throne Judgment (Revelation 20).

    Unfortunately, therapists even with the word ‘Christian’ or ‘christian’ (The term ‘Christian’ or ‘christian’ has 7 variations in the Book of Revelation chapters 1 through 3).
    Psychology/Therapy is more secular/pagan based in trying to understand the spiritual mind, which both have failed to do. Only using Biblical Counsel can someone understand what happens spiritually, since He (God) created people when He first breathed into Adam, and became a living soul, we all have inherited this as well.
    I don’t know what type of school Josh went to, it seems to me that it most likely taught Compart-Mentalized Dialectical Relativistic Thinking. Which is to put things into boxes, your Bible life is separated from your school life separated from your personal life (identity) is separated from friendship life, and so on.. Secularists/paganists teach that each one of these boxes and can have their own individual truths, even if they contradict each other; but once the compart-mentalists is shown by someone that starts to connect them to other boxes when a discussion/debate, the person in confusion becomes either convicted (good), frustration (bad), defensive (bad), or offensive (bad), and this changes the whole worldview (how a person sees things) who is a compart-mentalists.. This also shows that he viewed ‘Christians’ as “biased”, when it Fact and in Truth, everyone has a bias; it ‘s whether that bias is True or False. Josh was taught a bias that was false about his own identity in terms of calling himself a female, when God Himself said it was ‘good’ to call Josh a male when he was born..
    It is highly recommended that a person learns about their own identity studying Biblical Creation, a person’s identity in Christ, and last but not least, Satanology (Doctrine of Satan) and Demonology (Doctrine of Demons and/or Fallen Angels) to know their enemies..

    Reply
  16. LaDonna Rogers

    i think it is helpful to know that there is more to our personhood than gender. We are spiritual beings full of reasoning, emotion, talents, giftedness and many others. The sinful, carnal man focuses his attention on his gender because we are seeking to please and give pleasure to our physical body of which gender is a part. As human beings we get fixated on what we can see, so instead of developing ourselves and growing ourselves on the inside (away from gender) we work on the outside. Please note that God does His best work in your inside-changing your character, creating I you a new heart, transforming us by the renewing of our minds. Changing ones body does not change your heart and it is a heart change that God seeks for us. I think it is interesting that in heaven, there will be no marriage, male or female, Jew or Greek. In heaven none of what we are distracted by will matter at all. It is a broken heart that God will not despise. The church needs to come to grips with our own sin and not be distracted by the sin of others. Compare yourself to a Holy God and be humbled – shout out, “I am a man of unclean lips” with Isaiah, and identify with Paul that we are “chief among sinners.” We need to spend less time in protest lines and more time prostrate before our altars. Instead of telling people they are not what they feel (which is true: you’re more than you feelings) tell them who they are – beloved children of the Most High God; valuable and accepted by Him right where they are! We all come to Christ with nothing to offer: salvation is a FREE gift. If we tell the LGBTQ world they have to leave their sin behind before coming to Jesus, then we are all doomed because we have removed grace from the equation and all our sins need to be cleaned up before we are acceptable for redemption. That puts all if us back under the Law! Come to Christ as you are and let Him heal you from within. It is your spirit that undergoes the transformation of the Holy Spirit, not your outward body. Stop looking at what God will not bother with in heaven – your outward man-look in because that is where Gid resides IN you.

    Reply
  17. tami

    As a person who struggles daily with severe depression and anxiety as my cross to bear, there are days I do not think I can bear the load. I do not wish to get off subject here, but to me, this was a beautifully written piece by one kind soul, who heled me in an angry ans and cruel world. Thank you. I pray Jesus will be as compassionate to others who struggle daily. Thank you once again from my heart. tammie

    Reply
  18. Don G. Paulson Sr.

    A very good presentation of biblical truths. However, I thought you should have mentioned that it is satan who comes to tempt us with ungodly thoughts (Adam & Eve in Gen. 3; CHRIST in wilderness temptations Mt. 4). Both temptation settings were an attack against the thought life of the individuals. CHRIST passed the test, bringing His thoughts into obedience to God’s Word, where Adam & Eve failed, both persuaded by their feelings (senses). CHRIST was tempted with suicide – “cast yourself down…He will send His angels to bear you up.” Each temptation went against God’s revelation and should have been answered with His revelation. Satan wants us to believe his lies. The Apostle Paul tells us to bring every thought captive and into obedience of Christ. 2 Cor. 10:5; and that we don’t wrestle with flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness OF THIS WORLD, against spiritual wickedness in high places ” Eph. 6:12.
    In short: satan and his demonic powers are at war with the saved and unsaved both bodily and spiritually and their are CHOICES TO BE MADE IN THE PHYSICAL AND SPIRITUAL REALMS – FOR THE GLORY OF GOD OR THE CORRUPTION OF SELF.

    Reply
  19. Paul M

    Beautifully and charitably presented…when we place our focus fully on God and His prescription for our lives, passing no judgement on others, pettiness of disappears and love of our fellow man prevails.

    Reply
  20. Nick

    Garrett,

    First, let me commend and thank you for applying the hope God gives all of us as broken sinner to a very specific form of brokenness that we can see increasingly manifested today. We are not the first generation to address struggles related to gender identity, but it is clearly an issue for Christ’s church in this generation. Your article is an excellent example of how the grace and hope found in the gospel can be applied to a very difficult struggle that is also a “tinderbox” in our culture. Well done, brother.

    Regarding your assertion that gender identity is unchangeable, I believe you are on biblically solid ground. Daniel R. Heimback has written a very helpful article in Wayne Grudem’s book Biblical Foundations For Manhood and Womanhood. The title of the article is . The link is to a PDF of the entire book. The article beings on page 275.

    Be encouraged, brother. God gave you the wisdom and grace to lovingly speak the hope His truth gives to those facing this very difficult struggle, as well as to those who desire to give hope to those struggling.

    Serving Christ with you,
    Nick

    Reply
  21. melina

    I can’t fathom how horrendous life would be after losing a beloved child and reading a note such as that. My heart goes out to those parents. All one wants is a child to love and bring up in the way of the Lord.
    Their failure to correctly address the situation is not one anybody else could ever judge without declaring themselves so far above the common rung. How can life ever be right again for them?
    What an unbearable tragedy to befall one small child and two loving parents.

    Reply
  22. Table Top

    A very difficult situation and not easy for the parents too.
    I heard they’d received a lot of hatred from people (ironically) trying to label them as haters. Typical hypocrisy. Even threats to attack the funeral and change the gravestone of their kid. Imagine what they are going through now. They’ve lost their kid and are mourning and are being attacked too.
    It looks like they tried hard to honor God and bring their child up to respect God. It would be hard for me to pay for really expensive surgery for gender reassignment for my child. I’ve no problem paying for laser eye surgery etc as I think that is entirely different.

    Reply
  23. Ashley

    I thought long and hard before leaving a comment but thought the good Christian folk on this thread might benefit from my story. I am a mid to late 30’s Christian, I have with the power of my faith overcome a multitude of natural inclinations to be mean, selfish, and on and on. I am also a transgender woman and was never able to overcome that condition – despite hearing the message of this article on many occasions. The bible (which I have read and mediated on countless times and which I have found refuge in times of hardship and crisis) has vague references to male and female that good people cling to in support of theoretical arguments about what is and isn’t sin. Our trans community has been here for ages, we have simply been cast aside, shunned, left invisible and hopeless due to a lack of realistic care protocols, and in many cases driving us to end our lives because of a lack of hope – even in light of the Good News. That is changing, thank God. Many here would accept a blood transfusion, seek intervention for congenital abnormalities, and seek treatment for all sorts of illnesses and diseases that might also be blamed on the fall of Mankind. It wasn’t that long ago where depression was considered a character flaw, weakness, rooted in sin and from Satan. Yet medicine and science prevailed and now God loving people can be saved from the condition with medical intervention that many used to speak to just like the article above speaks to trans lives.

    When we look to the science there are dozens of conditions that impact sex and gender and there are notable physiological differences in brain structures when trans and non-trans brains are compared (before hormone treatments). The biological basis for less than a perfect gender binary is indisputable at this point.

    The reality which most good Christians (including my southern baptist parents) fail to acknowledge is that while you argue gender in the abstract based on these scriptures, trans people are suffering systemic violence, rape, assault, bullying, isolation, employment discrimination, housing discrimination, court house discrimination, denial of routine health care and access to insurance all because they are transgender. As a result, mental health outcomes are equally as dismal. 40% of homeless youth are LGBT kids and a good portion of them are trans. This leads to kids turning to sex work, dropping out of school, contracting HIV, living in poverty and the list goes on. Probably the most shocking, is that over 40% of trans people attempt suicide when the general population rate for attempted suicide is under 2%.

    Fortunately, when trans kids and teens transition with support of their parents their mental health outcomes return to normal with few suicide attempts, no housing crisis and general well being. The same goes for adults. The statistics show an overwhelming 90%+ of trans people see dramatic increase in mental health outcomes after transition and over 90% report satisfaction and no regret with their transition.

    These reasons and more are why the American Medical Association, American Psychological Association, American Psychiatric Association, National Association of Social Workers and many more professional organizations unanimously support transition as the only effective treatment for trans people with gender dysphoria and unanimously support the end to discrimination against trans people in all respects.

    For my life, transitioning had been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. My relationships with my kids are vastly improved, their mental health is better, their school achievement is better and my capacity to be kind to others (a hallmark of the true Christian faith in my view) has grown immensely.

    In my transition I have good friends and a supportive spouse and a sister that are walking with me in a way that blesses me and allows me to bear witness to the power of faith but also the power and miracle of trusting my doctors, therapists and the broader medical and mental health community. Many Christians try to demonstrate their compassion by saying how unfathomable a transgender life would be, and I agree untreated gender dysphoria is something I would not wish on my worst enemy. However, with treatment, a trans person can lead a happy, productive and enjoyable life.

    Trans people deserve medical treatment for their “imperfections” just like you do. It is time to stop simply saying you have compassion while demanding in real action that trans people just deal with it or find hope in Jesus and instead match your words of compassion with the helping professions who are trained in delivering practical compassion in the form of practical and effective treatments.

    You may chose to continue a theoretical and abstract discussion about these short and ambiguous biblical references, but I “know that I know that I know” that my transness and my life as a woman are not incompatible with my faith and I have the fruit to prove it.

    blessings to you all,
    -Ashley

    Reply
    1. garrettk Post author

      Ashley-

      Thank you for sharing your story. I appreciate your tone and being so open about where you have been and where you are now. I do not claim to have all the answers, and I will certainly be in prayer for wisdom for you in the days ahead, and for myself as I desire to help whomever the Lord might bring across my path who is facing these sorts of challenges.

      Have a blessed week,

      Garrett

      Reply
      1. Ashley

        Garrett,

        thank you for the respectful and kind response. My hope is that when people ostensibly on the “opposite sides” of a position stop and recognize our shared humanity and in many cases our shared desire to love one another that there can be room for people like me who choose treatment as opposed to managing the dysphoria with only faith. Gender dysphoria is not a “one size fits all” condition and many seek treatment to varying degrees and others none at all with other coping mechanisms used to round out their attempts to manage. I hope that most can use faith as part of their path regardless of how else they treat their condition. Unfortunately, most of us, even those that love God are left without a Church home or are required to attend Churches we may have other notable disagreements with simply to be included. My hope and prayer in the end is that seeking medical treatment for my condition won’t per se exclude me from fellowship, but to date, that has sadly been the case either formally, informally or by expectation. Just something to consider as you work through these issues yourself.

        Reply
      2. Courtney

        Garrett (and I know Ashley is following),

        Thank you for allowing Ashley’s voice to be heard. She is a treasured friend of mine. We’ve known each other and walked through many things together for 20 years. We’ve walked in faith together and served together in ministry years ago. We are loving our spouses & raising our families in the face of many things we did not expect to encounter all those years ago when we cried out to the Lord, “take all of me!” He has answered our prayers and then some.

        Ashley’s journey has flooded my life with love. As a Christ follower with a deep grounding in the Bible I (still) often wrestle with questions surrounding gender identity as well as other issues that isolate and marginalize many people who do not fit the Christian standard of “normal”.

        I have no desire to debate theology at this point–I’m still getting my bearings on many issues and my desire to debate may never develop or it may come at a later time, I am only interested in love and understanding. I also want to grow in advocacy and championing the message of the love of Christ for all people.

        I can say with confidence and conviction that I would rather have a child who has been loved, helped, and accepted by me in their gender dysphoria than a child who feels that they have to die to escape my rejection. If I were to follow the logic that rejecting them in the name of Christ seeks to keep them from the fires of hell, then I suspect driving them there as quickly as my rejection would take them would not help at all–if Jesus comes back while I am loving a child or friend who is LGBTQ then I will stand before Him unashamed and take the consequences if they prove different than I expect. (I do not support this logic of “keeping them from the fires of hell”, I am just addressing a certain view point and how it falls apart when you think it all the way through–drive them there faster cannot be the way).

        I sense that you long for both scriptural accuracy and love. I applaud you for bringing up the subject with compassion and welcoming voices that need to be heard. You have young, precious children. They–and your flock–need you to continue be ready for the unexpected, dare I say, historically “abnormal” things that befall all people in the course of time, believers or not~

        Please excuse any typos related to using a cell phone 🙂

        Reply
  24. Kathy Baldock

    Jesus might also say — ” I gave people brains to understand science and the complexity of human sexuality. It is not a sin to become informed.”

    I always find it quite arrogant to announce what “Jesus would say” about a condition not addressed at all in the Bible.

    What you suggest is what YOU say as you wrap your ideology around theology and present it as the mind of God.

    Take a class on human sexuality and gender identity — transgenderism is a new understanding of the past about 75 years. The Bible NEVER addresses gender. We had NO CLUE as to the lines between gender and sex before the 20th century.

    The BIble works perfectly once unwound from ideology. Religious leaders are part of the problem of LGBT depression, isolation and suicide. Your ignorance on the subject becomes “Gospel truth.”

    http://canyonwalkerconnections.com/holding-religious-leaders-accountable-for-damage-to-lgbt-youth/

    Reply
  25. amy brendtro

    Huge issue and red flag with number 3. Acting transgender and being born blind are not the same. The Scriptures definitely portray sexual sins in a different light as being born blind. One is a struggle against sin… In the other case, the person born blind had not sinned. Having two handicapped children, both in essence born blind, I take both issue and offense in the comparison of their disability with a transgender choice. They are not at all relatable….

    Reply
    1. Courtney

      I guess I see it differently. I know this may offend and possibly repulse some and for that, I am burdened because I don’t like to alienate people.

      I have a child with a genetic disorder who was born that way and can’t change it. My daughter can’t make herself talk, use her hands, or run, even though she tries and desperately wants to. My friend who is transgender can’t (not for lack of trying) stop feeling like a girl despite being born with male anatomy. She was also born that way and can’t change it–despite desperately trying through many avenues, including devotion to Christ. The only solution to her turmoil has been accepting that this is how she is meant to be and embracing it (incidentally–and this is addressing a stereotype–she didn’t suddenly run out and indulge in a life of debauchery! She is family-oriented, devoted to her spouse and children, and enjoys her career, football, shopping [shoes!], good food, intelligent conversation on a range of topics, music, and the same day-to-day simple pleasures that anyone might enjoy –coffee! sunsets! a boat ride around the lake! a walk on the beach!)

      She has had to face losing everyone and everything she holds dear just to treat her gender dysphoria in a manner that is considered psychologically healthy (by transitioning). She has been rejected by a Christian community she loved and served (surprisingly, and thankfully– when given the chance to individually hear her story, there are Christians who have extended the hand of love to her).

      There are not many who would risk losing all they love and know for a fad, a phase, a statement, a lifestyle, or a casual “choice”.

      I encourage all of us to sit with men and women who have been diagnosed with gender dysphoria–we all know someone who is living with this, we just might not know it yet! We must listen to their stories, open our hearts, and we may find that we can relate to something they have to say about how powerless they feel at times over something that most of us take for granted (a gender identity that matches our anatomy).

      Even if a theology rejects it, we must look in the eyes of the person before us and see what they are facing: a gender identity that is no more in their control than the man more blind could control his sight!

      Reply
  26. Zoe Brain

    Acting transgender and being born blind are not the same. The Scriptures definitely portray sexual sins in a different light as being born blind.

    So exactly what “sexual sin” does a transgender person commit by being transgender? Many are asexual. Some are straight. Some gay. Regardless of sexual orientation, many live, and die, virgin. Yet you say they “sexually sin” because….. why exactly? I’m asking you a similar question the Protestant Fundamentalist Jews – the Pharisees – asked. What sin did they commit to be born this way?

    For that matter, what about those people who naturally change sex, due to 5ARD, 17BHSD, 3BHSD, 45X/46XY MGD or other, rarer syndromes? What “sexual sin” are they guilty of?

    You probably don’t even realise that happens. It’s “against your religion”, Yet it does.

    Perhaps this article might explain the biology of transsexuality. We’ve known this for 20 years now.

    A sex difference in the human brain and its relation to transsexuality. by Zhou et al Nature (1995) 378:68–70.
    Our study is the first to show a female brain structure in genetically male transsexuals and supports the hypothesis that gender identity develops as a result of an interaction between the developing brain and sex hormones

    This girl was born, through no fault of her own, with mixed anatomy. Some parts of her body most resembled a male norm, other parts (only visible with MRI and PET scans) most resembling a female norm.

    We have known for some time now that the mind, the personality, the identity, the self, is a product not of our liver or heart, but our brain. Injure the brain, and personality can change. Injure it too much, and even if the heart continues to beat and the lungs to breathe, the person is dead.

    Male and female brains differ, just as male and female genitalia does. What makes us male or female is not upbringing, it’s not mere superficial appearance, but our neurological anatomy.

    This is most obvious in the case of Intersex people. Their superficial appearance is often neither typically male nor female. So how do we know what sex they are? We ask them. They’ll tell us. They know, based on the physical, anatomical characteristics of part of their body – their brain. Anatomy they were born with.

    If we take no notice and surgically alter them without their consent – often before age 18 months – they develop Gender Dysphoria, the symptom of Transsexuality, when we guess wrong.

    See: Discordant Sexual Identity in Some Genetic Males with Cloacal Exstrophy Assigned to Female Sex at Birth by Reiner and Gearhart, N Engl J Med. 2004 January 22; 350(4): 333–341.
    Eight of the 14 subjects assigned to female sex declared themselves male during the course of this study, whereas the 2 raised as males remained male.

    “Genetic Males” is a bit of a misnomer. 1 in 300 men don’t have “genetically male” chromosomes (46,XY), and some women do. Rarely, so do some of the daughters they give birth to.

    See J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2008 Jan;93(1):182-9
    A 46,XY mother who developed as a normal woman underwent spontaneous puberty, reached menarche, menstruated regularly, experienced two unassisted pregnancies, and gave birth to a 46,XY daughter with complete gonadal dysgenesis.

    This stuff is not taught well in schools – if taught at all. The resultant ignorance, with many, many misconceptions such as “genitalia at birth defines sex” or “chromosomes define sex and they can’t ever be changed” and other good approximations that are mostly close enough to true being regarded as universal, fundamental facts, when they’re false.

    And people die as the result.

    The parents wouldn’t send their child to a medical expert, a gender specialist, because that aspect of medical science is “against their religion”. They were afraid of their faith being undermined by facts.

    But Reality wins in the end. Look at the many deaths of children from easily treatable conditions such as appendicitis because the parents relied on prayer instead of antibiotics and surgery.

    In this case, they put their child in the care of “christian counselors” who knew just enough about medicine to see the depressuve sequelae, the results, of Gender Dysphoria, and treated that with an anti-depressant drug known to cause suicidal ideation. It didn’t work – it never does as depression was a consequence, not a root cause. But they couldn’t admit that as it was “against their religion” too.

    So apparently they upped the dose, in desperation. And upped it again. And again.

    Prozac, the drug they used, is known to cause suicidal ideation when depression isn’t the root cause. It should never be given in doses of above 20mg to anyone under 20.

    She was prescribed 60mg before the end.

    I’m trying really, really hard not to blame the parents for their willful ignorance – for they were told about these facts that were “against their religion”. I have to try much, much harder to be charitable to these “christian counselors” whose incompetence made the outcome here all but certain, possibly because, as one catholic christian advisor” said, “it’s better to die than to offend God”.

    Reply
  27. Zoe Brain

    Acting transgender and being born blind are not the same. The Scriptures definitely portray sexual sins in a different light as being born blind.

    So exactly what “sexual sin” does a transgender person commit by being transgender? Many are asexual. Some are straight. Some gay. Regardless of sexual orientation, many live, and die, virgin. Yet you say they “sexually sin” because….. why exactly? I’m asking you a similar question the Protestant Fundamentalist Jews – the Pharisees – asked. What sin did they commit to be born this way?

    For that matter, what about those people who naturally change sex, due to 5ARD, 17BHSD, 3BHSD, 45X/46XY MGD or other, rarer syndromes? What “sexual sin” are they guilty of?

    You probably don’t even realise that happens. It’s “against your religion”, Yet it does.

    Reply
  28. Zoe Brain

    Perhaps this article might explain the biology of transsexuality. We’ve known this for 20 years now.

    A sex difference in the human brain and its relation to transsexuality. by Zhou et al Nature (1995) 378:68–70.
    Our study is the first to show a female brain structure in genetically male transsexuals and supports the hypothesis that gender identity develops as a result of an interaction between the developing brain and sex hormones

    This girl was born, through no fault of her own, with mixed anatomy. Some parts of her body most resembled a male norm, other parts (only visible with MRI and PET scans) most resembling a female norm.

    We have known for some time now that the mind, the personality, the identity, the self, is a product not of our liver or heart, but our brain. Injure the brain, and personality can change. Injure it too much, and even if the heart continues to beat and the lungs to breathe, the person is dead.

    Male and female brains differ, just as male and female genitalia does. What makes us male or female is not upbringing, it’s not mere superficial appearance, but our neurological anatomy.

    Reply
    1. Zoe Brain

      This is most obvious in the case of Intersex people. Their superficial appearance is often neither typically male nor female. So how do we know what sex they are? We ask them. They’ll tell us. They know, based on the physical, anatomical characteristics of part of their body – their brain. Anatomy they were born with.

      If we take no notice and surgically alter them without their consent – often before age 18 months – they develop Gender Dysphoria, the symptom of Transsexuality, when we guess wrong.

      See: Discordant Sexual Identity in Some Genetic Males with Cloacal Exstrophy Assigned to Female Sex at Birth by Reiner and Gearhart, N Engl J Med. 2004 January 22; 350(4): 333–341.
      Eight of the 14 subjects assigned to female sex declared themselves male during the course of this study, whereas the 2 raised as males remained male.

      “Genetic Males” is a bit of a misnomer. 1 in 300 men don’t have “genetically male” chromosomes (46,XY), and some women do. Rarely, so do some of the daughters they give birth to.

      See J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2008 Jan;93(1):182-9
      A 46,XY mother who developed as a normal woman underwent spontaneous puberty, reached menarche, menstruated regularly, experienced two unassisted pregnancies, and gave birth to a 46,XY daughter with complete gonadal dysgenesis.

      This stuff is not taught well in schools – if taught at all. The resultant ignorance, with many, many misconceptions such as “genitalia at birth defines sex” or “chromosomes define sex and they can’t ever be changed” and other good approximations that are mostly close enough to true being regarded as universal, fundamental facts, when they’re false.

      And people die as the result.

      Reply
      1. Zoe Brain

        The parents wouldn’t send their child to a medical expert, a gender specialist, because that aspect of medical science is “against their religion”. They were afraid of their faith being undermined by facts.

        But Reality wins in the end. Look at the many deaths of children from easily treatable conditions such as appendicitis because the parents relied on prayer instead of antibiotics and surgery.

        In this case, they put their child in the care of “christian counselors” who knew just enough about medicine to see the depressuve sequelae, the results, of Gender Dysphoria, and treated that with an anti-depressant drug known to cause suicidal ideation. It didn’t work – it never does as depression was a consequence, not a root cause. But they couldn’t admit that as it was “against their religion” too.

        So apparently they upped the dose, in desperation. And upped it again. And again.

        Prozac, the drug they used, is known to cause suicidal ideation when depression isn’t the root cause. It should never be given in doses of above 20mg to anyone under 20.

        She was prescribed 60mg before the end.

        I’m trying really, really hard not to blame the parents for their willful ignorance – for they were told about these facts that were “against their religion”. I have to try much, much harder to be charitable to these “christian counselors” whose incompetence made the outcome here all but certain, possibly because, as one catholic christian advisor” said, “it’s better to die than to offend God”.

        I ask though, as did Leelah, that the science of sex and gender be taught in schools. Leelah’s death was publicised because of her note. The two other similar deaths that week were not. If we don’t start teaching biology better in schools, even if that upsets some people’s deeply held religious beliefs, then the pile of corpses that result will just get higher and higher.

        Reply
  29. Lonnie

    Good and fascinating post! I would have to say that all we need do is go to the teachings of Jesus for how he would approach this situation.

    First, I think it is sad that no one really offered, in my humble opinion, Jesus to Leelah. I’m not saying believers never approached, but Jesus had wonderful ways of dealing with sexually broken women. Am I saying Jesus would respond to Leelah, had he met her in life, as a woman? I don’t believe Jesus would necessarily have had to deal directly with that particular issue. Would Jesus have delt with Leelah’s specific brokeness in such a way that Leelah would see past her own sin to the one person in the universe who had the answere she needed? YES!

    I will not cut and paste the entire text from John, but the story is one every follower of Christ knows well; The Samaritan Woman At Jacob’s Well. The text is found beginning in John 4:1 and ends at verse 42. Take a careful at how Jesus deals with the woman. With the Jewish leaders Jesus could be very direct, and actually quite harsh. With the Samaritan woman Jesus avoids any kind of direct confrontation of the woman with her sin. Jesus speaks of “eternal water”, he does correct her beliefs about what Samaritans teach about where to worship God. Jesus doesn’t deal with the Samaritan woman’s sin until she ask Jesus to give her this water which quench her thurst forever. When the little woman has finally asked Jesus for what he has to offer then, and only then does he confront her sin. But even his confrontation is completely non-confrontational. Jesus asks the woman to go, get her husband and come back with him to Jesus. The woman told Jesus she had no husband, and Jesus praised her for her truthfulness!! Jesus then laid bare the truth of shame, pain, frustration and yes sin. Jesus said, “Thank you for your truthfulness! You have been married five times, but the man you have now is not your husband.” (My paraphrase of John 4:17-18). Right after this Jesus’ disciples returned and the woman returned to the village. When the woman arrived in her town she spoke to all around her, “Come and meet a man who told me everything I ever did.” (sin; failure; broken heartedness). (John 4:29)

    But did Jesus tell the Samaritan woman “everything she ever did??” Jesus didn’t tell here “everything” she ever did, Jesus specifically told her she’d been married five times and that she was not married to the man she lived with. What Jesus did was reveal a great heart wound. Jesus gently, kindly, carefully, and lovingly lead the woman to what was the source of her greatest wound. Jesus lead the woman to the source of what was actually leaching the life out of her soul. Jesus didn’t even directly tell her she was a “sinner”. BUT when the woman left Jesus and returned to her own people, people who all knew her sin, she freely confessed to them openly, “Come and meet a man who told me everything I ever did.” Jesus, doesn’t call her sinner, Jesus doesn’t condemn her for her sin, but when she leaves Jesus she is able to say, “He told me my sin! What do you think? Could this man be the Christ?” (John 4:28-29).

    What Leelah needed was to meet someone indwelt and empowered by the Holy Spirit. A Christ follower could have quickly asked the Holy Spirit for wisdom and guidance. The Holy Spirit would have showed this follower that he or she needed to greatly respect and take enormous care when reaching to Leelah. Just as the Holy Spirit guided Jesus, the same Spirit guides us today. Leelah, needed Jesus. Leelah needed the same Jesus who took such care with a deeply wounded Samaritan woman, until her wound was uncovered. Leelah needed a Christ follower who would love, and understood that Jesus has the power to heal the greatest and deepest heart wounds our sin and the sins of others can inflict on our hearts. Leelah, needed to meet a Christ follower who followed Jesus teaching from John 4. And just as Jesus’ approach from John 4 lead a woman to finally deal openly with her sin, and confess it openly, so Leelah could have felt and behaved in a similar way. If Jesus is truly presented as Jesus presented himself, then the question can’t help but arise, “You don’t suppose this man is the Christ,” (the savior, the healer, the remover of sin, the way the truth and the life everlasting…).

    Leelah had certainly heard no end of talk about her sins , but where was a Christ follower who gave Christ, the one who removes sins, heals, and makes everything new? What is greater the sinner or the one who takes away the sins of the world? (John 1:29). If the One who removes sin is greater then why has he not been given primacy? Why this continual focus on sin, if Jesus removes it, and makes everything new (2 Corinthians 5:17)???

    I didn’t know Leelah, and I didn’t know her sin, but I know the one who took my sin, and could have certainly handled every spiritual need Leelah had as well. When Jesus is offered in love, with great care and concern for the Leelahs of the world then we’ll see what Jesus can do: defeat sin. If we want to continue to condemn or simply swallow sins by telling broken folks “God made them that way,” then we’ll continue to get the results we’ve been getting for 35 years.

    Jesus is the answer and if we will but recognize that Jesus doesn’t act like a religious bull in china shop we’ll see a lot more mercy and grace in our own lives as well.

    Thanks for your courage to take up this situation in conversation

    Love and Peace

    Reply
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  31. Grace

    I wanted to say THANK YOU! My goodness, THANK YOU. This is what God has called us to share! This is the love God tells us to carry, to shine, to bear! I wonder if it would have saved her life if Leelah got to hear it? Imagine… she heard a lot of what this particular Christian blogger said to me when he verbally attacked me and my daughter. Leelah, Josh, EVERY child . . They JUST need to KNOW that someone loves them and they matter! And I wanted to thank you for sharing THIS kind of love!

    A piece of my letter, perhaps you’ll read it! I wrote it with the VERY best of intentions! I AM A BELIEVER!

    After reading a ridiculously loud message of love, you found the hate and judgement. You were the same way in your article about the death Leelah Alcorn.

    You see, with every single article I have written, I’ve used “we, people, us” etc.

    I’ve reminded people that we are all human and I’ve plead to the people,

    Tell them that you love them and they matter! 

    God called us to do just that.
    Sounds like He has called you to judge. And the message that you’re sending speaks loads.

    Doors closed.

    If God has called you to be a light in this world, why is it that none of your posts reflect it?

    We do have a culture of violence.
    Some of the most horrendous acts of violence we see
    flow from the very mouths of people.

    Much like yourself. 

    Keep your religion. I’ll keep my faith and choose love.

    Love changes people.

    [soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/185310789" params="auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true" width="100%" height="450" iframe="true" /]

    Reply
  32. Brad Eggerton

    I could imagine Jesus saying (if he’s being honest), “I predestined you to feel that way, and that way is wrong. I want you to follow me and be saved, and when you do you’ll realize that you really are a dude. How you’re feeling now is because of sin, which, by the way, also how I created you. I love you, I really do, but come follow me so I can change you. I don’t accept who you think you are now.”

    Jesus is the last thing Leelah needed. Jesus is one of the reasons she killed herself! I wish fundamentalist Christians would understand that.

    Reply
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  35. Frank "Mike" Davis

    I am Frank “Mike” Davis, Next-Door-Neighbor of Leelah/Joshua Alcorn & Husband of Annie Davis, writing this Comment:

    Leelah attended school with my children, and Leelah expressed her utter devastation when Leelah’s parents, upon learning she was “gay”, yanked Leelah from school, confiscated Leelah’s cell phone, deleted Leelah’s facebook profile, and isolated Leelah within her bedroom. She was no longer permitted to associate with my son who shared classes with Leelah at Kings High School. My son supported Leelah’s “coming out” and was one of few people who knew about Leelah’s transgender issues.

    Leelah was always kind and soft spoken around me. I deeply regret that Leelah was forbidden to visit our home because my family has always wholeheartedly accepted Leelah without judgment and, maybe…just maybe…this tragedy would not have occurred if we could have shown our love and support for Leelah.

    When the grief has been processed, Leelah’s parents need to admit and to believe that they made a mistake, rather than sanitize Leelah’s suicide, before any healing and closure may occur within our Community..

    MUST READING for Those Who Sympathize with LEELAH ALCORN’s Struggles: https://www.yahoo.com/parenting/they-loved-their-son-so-much-they-killed-their-108292136718.html

    Reply
  36. Pingback: An Interview with Pastor Garret Kell: “Before We Take a Stand, We Must Begin on Our Knees” - Juicy Ecumenism

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