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How to Love Your Transgender Neighbor

Three Significant Inconsistencies in Transgender Gender Theory

First, a primary tenet of gender theory is that male and female are illusory, merely social constructs forced upon us by traditional culture. They are not rooted in reality in any way, and enlightenment requires we transcend them. Genesis tells us this is incorrect both naturally and theologically and gives us a clue as to the spiritual driver attacking the truth of male and female today: The enemy of God despises the image of God that’s reflected in the human reality of male and female. But given the social construct theory that male and female are illusions, it is curious that if you are a trans woman or trans man, the substance of your male or femaleness is actual and truly who you are and something to be embraced and celebrated rather than dismissed.

Second, an additional basic tenet of gender theory is that a binary understanding of humanity—that we are either male or female—is fundamentally incorrect as it narrowly forces people into one of two artificial categories. Instead, there is a vast spectrum of various genders, as demonstrated here. However, transgenderism itself is founded upon a binary system. Trans-identified individuals refer to themselves as either MTF (male to female) or FTM (female to male). We typically don’t find folks transitioning between any of the other myriad of supposed genders. Transgenderism is about the binary.

Third, there is a great deal of social pressure to embrace and affirm a child’s declaration that he or she is transgender. We are told it is cruel and abusive to tell this little boy he is not actually a girl. Those who refuse to go along with this are often accused of causing the suicides of such children, for which there is absolutely no proof whatsoever. However, the best science consistently reveals that from 73 to 98 percent of gender dysphoric children (leading clinicians use this term, not “transgender” in pre-adults) end up identifying with their natal sex by the time they reach puberty, requiring them to make the difficult transition back to their natal gender identity if their parents facilitated their earlier transition. Enabling this change in our children is not compassionate and it is clearly not a fixed “thing.”

These points are explained not to denigrate the transgender person in any way, but simply to properly understand the nature of the thing itself rather than being misinformed by current gender politics.

How Do I Love My Transgender Neighbor?

Regardless of the truth or assumptions we have about what transgenderism is or is not, we are commanded to love those who identify as transgender as we are all people equally, regardless of their stories. How do we do this? It is not as complicated as you might think. It can be captured in seven primary truths:

• Just Like Anyone Else: In the big picture, which counts the most, your transgender neighbor is no different than you or anyone else. We are each deeply loved by God, trapped in and struggling with our own fallenness and in desperate need of Christ’s redemption and sanctification, none more than another. Engage your potential friend upon this foundation.

• Openness to Friendship: Given who I am and my work at Focus on the Family, I have met no small number of very angry and not-so-kind gay and lesbian people. They have probably met angry Christians. But in my relatively limited experience, I have been struck by how the trans-identified I have met do not harbor this kind of hard edge. They are generally very open to and welcome genuine relationships. Surprisingly, many are ideologically and politically quite conservative and interestingly traditional in outlook and approach to life. They don’t all fit in a box as few people do. I have greatly enjoyed each friendship I have developed. Engage this willingness to form such honest relationships.