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Transgender Student: Heartfelt Thoughts From a Youth Pastor

In the Bible, we find that God made us in His image. So we are of inestimable value. God made us like Him and for Him. He made us both male and female. God made us with this intended distinction, not as interchangeable pieces. He made us male and female to complement one another and to fulfill His purpose in and through us. God calls this design very good! But why doesn’t it feel this way? In short, the answer is sin.

Since our first parents’ sinful rebellion, we are broken people. We live according to broken desires in a broken world. And this brokenness is just as true of our relationships with God and others as it is of our relationship with ourselves.

However, I want to make something especially clear. Your feeling as if your gender doesn’t align with your biological sex is not sin. It is evidence that we live in a sin-stained world. Sin would be rejecting your God-given sex and gender in favor of your own feelings. Struggling with your gender identity while trying to live in obedience to God is different from embracing a transgender identity.

Dear Transgender Student: Choose God’s Design

By embracing an identity as a transgender teen, you’d be choosing to define yourself by and act on your feelings rather than God’s design. We do this same thing when we act on desires of lust, same-sex attraction, anger or lying. Regardless of how we sin, we are always rejecting God’s design and trusting in ourselves to be our own god, to determine what is right and wrong, and to define ourselves according to our own liking rather than according to His image.

But God doesn’t leave us in our sin and brokenness. He sent Jesus Christ to bear in His body on the cross the judgment we deserve for our sin. Jesus not only bore the weight of our sin but defeated death and rose from the grave. He now offers new life to all who turn from their sin and trust Him. Jesus forgives, cleanses and restores. He gives us His Spirit to transform our desires and actions. Our Savior adopts us into His family. There we enjoy fellowship alongside other equally broken but restored brothers and sisters in Christ.

The life Jesus offers us is good because He Himself is good. He provides soul-satisfying rest and life-giving peace even as we walk through trials and suffering. When we come to Jesus, He doesn’t always take away our struggles or remove our circumstances. But He does give us Himself in the midst of them.

Dear Transgender Student: This Doesn’t Need to Define You

Through your struggle with gender identity, I long that you come to rest in your identity in Christ. Feeling as if your gender doesn’t match your biological sex doesn’t cut you off from God. Rather, it provides an opportunity to trust Him through the struggle and to testify of His goodness in our broken world.

I can’t pretend to know that deep struggle of wrestling with gender identity. And I don’t know the pull to identify as a transgender teen. I feel the deep sorrow, confusion and doubt you’ve faced on this journey. As you shared, I saw and heard this. And I can’t promise it disappears the moment you embrace Christ and choose to align yourself according to His design for your life. Nor does it mean this struggle invalidates your faith in Christ.