Transgender: It’s all in your head
Up until the late 20th century the discussion of gender being anything other than the reproductive system you’ve been born with was almost unheard of. However, this does not mean gender dissociation is something nobody has ever experienced before the 1970’s. There wasn’t a universal crisis which occurred where some of our global population woke up one morning and decided they didn’t feel like a man or woman anymore. In truth, for centuries upon centuries gender and sexuality confusion has been existent, but forced into the shadows of immorality.
The history of the church, specifically the Christian church, is viewed with condemnation and disbelief. This perspective is prominent among many cultures including the United States, and there is no denying it has a justifiable foundation. In the early Medieval Ages (500 A.D. — 1500 A.D.) and Renaissance ages (1500 A.D. — 1700 A.D.) the Christian Church was a powerful authority in the lifestyle of Europe which would extend into the United States. This authority was known for it’s aggression and oppression more than it’s mercy and love which is the cause for much of the skepticism and resentment towards the church today.
The church today has in a contradicting way evolved back to it’s roots. There is now a higher emphasis on love, forgiveness and compassion which was the center of Jesus Christ’s message. However, there are still those in this global church community who are well-known for their reflection of the Medieval Age and Renaissance Age attitude. Although these churches no longer practice methods of torture and physical brutality as a form of conversion they are known for their emotional brutality and pious disposition. There is one church well-known in the United States which is an example of this — Westboro Baptist Church.
Westboro Baptist Church is famous for it’s extreme and abhorrent hatred towards not just LGBT but all Americans who do not align with their philosophy and this includes their fellow Christian brothers and sisters. Nevertheless, this church’s emphasis and approach on immorality and condemnation is rare. I firmly believe as the ages passed and the fear of death descended into public shaming and public shaming into judgement, those who once were made to believe they were “beyond the reach of grace” are now emerging from the shadow of immorality cast upon them.
Those who once would have been murdered, tortured, beaten and ridiculed for their gender and sexual dissociation are now able to step out out of the shadows without fear. The understanding and compassion which now exists in the 21st century was almost non-existent in the ages before it. As stated previously, it’s highly probable those who disassociated with gender or sexuality norms did exist in the medieval and renaissance ages, but in fear for their well-being remained silent. Nevertheless, although the LGBT and Transgender community are safe from blatant discrimination there is still a war being waged between them and the church on their lifestyle.
The church because of it’s past has lost much of it’s ability to speak against something they disagree with, even if they do it gently and in love. The Christian perspective on the homosexual and transgender lifestyle is it does not align with God’s intention for His creation of humanity. Biblically this is defensible, but what is not defensible is the belief held by some Christians that being homosexual or transsexual is a choice or that it’s “all in your head”. Science both Neurological and Biological has a growing field of research specifically designed to sexual and gender dissociation which so far is establishing as a fact that being Homosexual or Transsexual is NOT always a choice, but a predisposition based on the physical brain.
According to New Scientist, a research study done under Antonio Guillamon from the National University of Distance Education in Madrid, Spain has discovered through CT scans “… significant differences between male and female brains in four regions of white matter — and the female-to-male transsexual people had white matter in these regions that resembled a male brain.” In order to understand this we have to track research which has established the role of white brain matter. The brain’s white matter is described by The DANA Foundation as “…’providing’ essential connectivity uniting different regions into networks that perform various mental operations.” However, in an article specific to white matter and gray matter by The Journal of Neuroscience, it’s been discovered there are undeniable differences between Male and Female white brain matter. Thus, using these scientific facts in connection with the recent identification of male white brain resemblance in CT scans of female-to-male transsexuals, an answer can be given on whether or not being transsexual is a choice. The answer is we have definitive proof that being transsexual is NOT a choice, but just the way the individuals brain is biologically.
The Christian is no longer able to stand on the premise being transsexual is a choice; however, the Christian perspective does allow for the understanding of how this biological attribute has come into being. In the Bible, it’s explained God created male and female, his intention for sexuality between them and how this has become distorted. In Mark 10:6–9 it states, “But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’ ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” This not only gives us a clear understanding of God’s creation of two separate genders, but also his purpose for marriage and sexuality through the phrase, “…the two shall become one flesh.” Another scripture passage in which God’s position on sexuality is defined is found in Romans 1:25–27, “…they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.” In this Bible passage it’s explained how mankind abandoned their belief and worship in God in exchange for worship in “creatures” which in today’s terminology would be understood as anything you put as more important than God (an idol). Thus, God allowed for humans to act on their unnatural sexual desires outside of His intended purpose, as the consequence of this would be a punishment for their unfaithfulness to Him. This allows a glimpse into the Biblical reasoning behind any biological aspect outside of the norm, including transsexualism. In Genesis 3, the fall of mankind into sin resulted not only in our eternal separation from God, but our vulnerability to evil including disease both physically and mentally.
This is the proper Christian perspective on the reason for homosexuality and transsexualism. That our fall into sin resulted in physical and mental distortion we will never be able to fathom as humans on earth but we still will struggle against. In this struggle it must be known that although some things are not a choice such as our brain having a biological predisposition, WE ALL have been physically tainted by sin’s effects and it is a choice to act on and allow our sinful nature to control us. With this being said, it should be critically understood both by Christians themselves and the LGBT community that WE ALL have fallen from grace past, present and future. It is not our job to judge each other or rate each others sins, but instead as Christ said to “…Love one another as ‘He’ has loved us.” This means being forgiving and compassionate yet holding each other accountable for our shortcomings, and encouraging each other to lean on God to overcome our personal struggles in sin. In the end, no matter what our sinful affliction is WE ALL have the ability to accept the forgiveness granted to us by Jesus’ death on the cross. In John 3:16 it states, “For God so loved THE WORLD that He gave His only begotten son that WHOSOEVER believes in Him will not perish, but have everlasting life.”
It can thus be concluded, transsexualism is in fact physically inside the head, and it’s not a decision. Yet no matter if your brain is biologically predisposed to be associated to your gender or not WE ALL belong in the shadow of immorality. Yet Christ came down, walked dauntlessly into the shadows where we hid in shame, took us by the hand and reminded us His love is not just all about our head, but about our heart.
“Cerebrum: Why the White Brain Matters.” The DANA Foundation. N.p., 01 Jan. 2005. Web. 14 Feb. 2017.
Hamzelou, Jessica. “Transsexual Differences Caught on Brain Scan.” New Scientist. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Feb. 2017.
“Journal of Psychiatric Research.” Science Direct. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Feb. 2017.
“Middle Ages.” Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., n.d. Web. 14 Feb. 2017.
Sex Differences in Brain Gray and White Matter in Healthy Young Adults: Correlations with Cognitive Performance (n.d.): n. pag. The Journal of Neuroscience. 15 May 1999. Web. 14 Feb. 2017.