Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The Selfish Side of Transition

I am not a theologian, nor am I a bible scholar, hell... I don't even understand most of what I read in the bible. I am an avid reader, though, and I do invest a lot of time reading what other people think about the bible and about spirituality. I may have come to some conclusions. Maybe not. I drink a lot, and sometimes it's hard to tell whether I've had a revelation or just killed another brain cell.

Transgenderism (a.k.a. transsexualism, gender dysphoria, homoerotic tendencies, controlled psychosis, etc.) is a touchy subject in the Christian community. It's touchy in that most try very hard NOT to touch it, and those who do, touch only enough to elicit the moniker "compassionate." The idea does spur some debate though, largely among our simpler minded friends on the extreme fringes: queers will burn in hell, God hates fags - you know the rhetoric. Let me offer my spin.

I don't think my gender issues (or my decision (should I decide it) to correct my gender confusion through surgical reassignment) are issues of sin or salvation. The fact that I choose to become female to fully reflect how I feel about who I am is no more sinful (or damning) than the decision to have a tummy tuck, face lift, or nose job. My concern is not forgiveness. I believe that I am no less forgiven than any other sinner. If "death row confessions" get a murderer into heaven, then what less chance do I, who has never ended the existence of one of God's chosen, have of obtaining the same salvation?

My concern is one of mission.

When you break it down. God, through Jesus, is really asking for something simple (not easy... simple. There is a difference). He wants us to follow. We are called to follow Christ's example to the world - to live a servant's life, to advance God's kingdom through acts of self-sacrifice. This self-sacrifice is not an act of violence, but an act of love. We are called to wash our servant's feet - to work selflessly in the world for the betterment of God's kingdom. In what way does my conversion to femininity accomplish this simple mission?

Who's life is improved by a surgeon's inversion of my penis? Who's life is improved by my ability to not create weird lumps in a bikini? Yes, mine. But was I called to improve my life?

This is my crisis of faith. It is not a question of whether I am saved, but a question of whether my actions further God's purpose for me. I can believe that making the change may further my purpose, but sometimes, that is a real stretch. It assumes that I cannot live selflessly and as a servant until I am able to live in a specific gender role. And if I am capable of living selflessly and as a servant without changing my sex, what then is the purpose of changing my sex?


  1. Why bother with the whole "faith" thing at all? Why agonize over a belief for which there is zero evidence? Why base your "faith" on a book that nearly every bit of discovered evidence contradicts? Or, to put it another way, if you're going to believe in some magical being based on "faith", why not Zeus? Why not Thor? Why not Amenhotep? Why not Quetzalcoatl? Why not the flying spaghetti monster? Why not the Easter bunny? There is just as much evidence to support the existence of those beings as there is to support the one you currently believe in. I think you believe in "God" simply because you were taught to believe in Him as a child. If you had been born in India, you'd probably be just as ardent a Hindu. Had you been born in Saudi Arabia you'd be a devout Muslim and likely imprisoned or executed for your "sin". Why not base your beliefs on something for which there is evidence?

  2. So sad, anonymous. At least have the courage to sign your name to your insults. I am not attempting to convince you to believe anything. Please allow me my beliefs.

    I could point out that choosing to believe there is no God is an equally "unprovable" belief, though I doubt you would willingly concede that point. The fact is, a belief is not reliant on proof; that is the very nature of belief and of faith.

    That I cannot prove something does not make it false... or true. That I cannot see something does not mean it doesn't exist. What's more, the more I've learned in my life, the more I've realized what I do not know. It wasn't that long ago, that all of humanity believed that we'd fall off the planet if we sailed too far into the ocean. To us, the fact that we could not see the land masses beyond the horizon meant exactly what you're suggesting... that they were not there.

    I am willing to embrace the unknown. I am not so caught up in my own self-importance to understand that I am not capable of grasping all the wonders this universe has to hold. And in my experience, those who profess most strongly to know the truth (or lack of it), know it only because of the narrow scope of their own vision.

    Take care, anonymous, and when you want to discuss "belief" openly and without snide sarcasm, I am here.



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