Tuesday, July 2, 2013

A Christian Perspective on Dysmorphia

Been thinking a lot about my transgender friend, since he had his chest reconstruction surgery. I know the attitude of most Christians is that God doesn't make mistakes and that people who experience dysmorphia between their physical gender and the gender they feel in their soul are somehow wrong, ungrateful, or sinning. I can't think that.

While obviously I agree that God is perfect and that when He created this universe, He created it perfectly, I believe that since the Fall, sin has permeated and polluted our world. Genesis 3 supports this belief. Genesis 2 implies that human souls are created male and female. And so, I have no trouble following logic to the next step, which is that it is entirely possible, due to the aggregate pollution (both literal and metaphysical) of the world and the human genome, for a person to be born in the wrong-gendered body. 

I have never had this type of dysmorphia issue. I cannot even imagine how it must feel. Even though I was a complete tomboy growing up - I gravitated to the boys for play, I spent equal time or more with my Legos and little green soldiers as I did with my Barbies - I have always felt female. I cannot judge someone for feeling things that I have no personal context for understanding or even imagining. I am no position to determine whether someone who decides to travel the extraordinarily difficult road of changing gender - legally, physically, socially - is right or wrong to do so. 

What I can do is offer unconditional acceptance, encouragement, and support for someone who is facing such an enormous burden. I think that attitude correctly reflects Jesus Christ. I am not afraid to stand up for what is right, true, and moral, but this situation requires discretion, discernment, and most of all, love. I can respect my friend for choosing to spend the time, money, and emotional effort to make his outward appearance congruent with his inward identity without any judgment. And I can be grateful that God provided him a loving and supportive wife, since his decisions cost him his biological family.