So About Transgender People: Also Known As “People”

michchen asked a question:

What is your opinion on transsexual people? Besides the fact that God loves them, what does the bible have to say about it? I’ve been reading a lot of articles and I really don’t know what to think. I really respect your answers and wanted to know your take on it. Thanks 🙂

Hey there dear friend, I believe you’re referring to this post.

I’m not sure there’s a whole lot more to say than “God loves them” and that we’re called to love them, too. I’m afraid the Bible doesn’t go into specifics about this, and there’s probably a good reason for that.  Here’s why.

Some of us will be individually called to reach out to a certain group of people, whether gay or transgender or Republicans or the poor.  It will be helpful to understand that particular culture and language if you’re called to do so. But the moment we begin to see a certain group as a “charity case” or a “working project,” then we lose sight of the fact that they’re just people too, like you and me.  We’re not the savior and they’re not some secondary character to fulfill our hero-narrative. I’m not saying that this is your motive, but we too easily slip into main character syndrome and treat others like the props in our catharsis.

When I first began looking into gay rights and the abortion debate, that was my problem: I was treating it as an issue instead of seeing the people inside the issues.  I had to address the entire person as a whole, not by their “problem.”  Sure, I wanted to know what was offensive and what was acceptable; I wanted to know how God’s grace actively applied to each distinct context. But by seeing their problem as a problem, I was inadvertently calling attention to their “disadvantage” as a pseudo-savior instead of entering their world as equals.

In Asia, there’s currently a growing boom of cross-dressing and transgender individuals.  When I last visited (in the Philippines last year), I really just tried my best to see this person as a holistic life, who had to go home and pay bills and resolve conflicts and make it through rush hour and endure insults and visit the doctor and find God.  My priority as a Christian is to see the heart, because this is where love is most crucial — it is not to change someone’s behavior or opinions or appearance.  I can bring grace, truth, and conversation, and God will show up, like He always does.

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