The transgender debate is becoming all-encompassing. Issues such as education, law, government, entertainment all fall in the crosshairs of the transgender debate, and our culture moves with such speed that working out how to respond seems overwhelming, if not impossible.
So here are five essential things for Christians to keep in mind as we think about and speak about transgenderism.
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1. Disagreeing with transgenderism does not mean denying the pain of gender dysphoria.
There’s an enormous difference between the political aspects of the culture war surrounding transgenderism and the reality that there are precious persons who have genuine struggles with gender dysphoria — a condition where a person senses that their gender identity (how they feel about being male or female) may not align with their biological sex and experiences emotional distress as a result.
While we resist the attempt being made at a cultural and legal level to view gender as a matter of choice, we must also recognize that caught up in all this are deeply hurting people. Those who experience gender dysphoria are not necessarily trying to win a culture war. They need to know that (even while we may not agree with them) Christians love them, are there for them, are ready to listen to them and seek to understand the pain they are facing, and deeply desire what is best for them. Compassion and dignity for dysphoric individuals is not in tension with disagreeing with transgenderism as a social movement.
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