Home Podcast Mark Yarhouse: How Pastors Can Address Gender Identity With Compassion, Civility, and...

Mark Yarhouse: How Pastors Can Address Gender Identity With Compassion, Civility, and Conviction

“Gender and sex are meant to correspond to each other. And when they don’t, they’re discordant. Sometimes that’s distressing to people. And that’s what we call ‘gender dysphoria.’”

“A good pastoral response to this would be to try to see through the eyes of the other. And this involves cognitive complexity, just being a little more flexible and understanding.”

“In order to do shepherding with somebody, to meet them where they are, we’ve got to understand a little bit about the journey they’ve been on.”

“I generally do use the name and pronouns of people, and much of that is in the spirit of having some compassion for how they got to where they are…even if I might not agree with all the decisions that they made, they’re at this place and they’re in front of me.”

“Sometimes [the pronoun question] is framed as telling the truth versus demonstrating hospitality. And I think that’s a bit of a false dichotomy…There are multiple truths in this exchange.”

“As you represent [the Kingdom of God], be aware that the people you’re talking to are increasingly unfamiliar with the language and categories that you use around gender and sexuality. That is going to create language barriers for you talking to that person.”

“I don’t think there’s one thing you do for every person who comes your way because you’re going to see multiple transgender people navigating this space.”

“People who are gender dysphoric are also often dealing with a depressive disorder and anxiety disorder, another mental health [problem] we call ‘co-occurring issues.’ So as a pastor doing an assessment meeting with them for the first time, I would want to make sure that the other co-occurring issues are being attended to by a good counselor.”

“I do think you are seeing a lot of cultural variables about this. I do think this is a search for ‘my own authentic self’ for some people. I just don’t want to confuse that with true gender dysphoria when it’s a real condition that someone’s hurting from.”