Focus on the Family

Transgenderism

by Focus on the Family Issue Analysts

Genesis 1: Casting God's Vision for the Sexes

As Christians, we know from the creation account in Genesis 1 that God creates by "calling forth" by His spoken word ("Let there be…"). We also learn that His creation and ordering of the world involved a series of "separations." These separations include heaven and earth, light and dark, day and night, morning and evening, clouds and seas, and water and dry land. Profoundly, the Hebrew concept of "separation" is rooted in the word kadosh, which – while often rendered as "holy" in English – here carries the sense of being "set apart" (separated) unto the Lord. Thus, in this series of separations, we see a consecrated and holy ordering, which at its essence reflects a "setting apart" unto the Creator God of the Universe.

Out of this paradigm, the creation account further delineates a distinct separateness for plants and then seasons, followed by all manner of living creatures found in the seas, on land and in the air. Finally, in the 26th verse, we see the pinnacle of God's creation – mankind – called forth into being. Specifically, in humans we see not only a separation from the animals, but also a separation of mankind into two sexes – male and female – wholly complementary, yet each uniquely and mysteriously bearing God's image – the imago Dei. It is in this bearing of God's image as male and female that we humans are called to make visible the invisible Creator God on this planet.

Thus, it is out of the diversity and distinctive separateness of male and female that we humans are called to not only represent God in the proper and ordered stewardship of His good and wonderful creation, but to come together in unity and be joined as "one flesh"1 in order to bring forth new life that will also somehow look like God and bear the imago Dei.

As it was from the beginning, so it is to this very day.

Transgenderism

In contrast to this divinely ordered vision for human gender and sexual expression, today we in the West are confronted by a spirit of "transgender" activism – flowing out of the gay rights movement – that says gender no longer matters, that the distinctives of male and female are merely social constructs and that the sexes are interchangeable. Ironically, while these activists argue that a homosexual orientation is fixed and immutable, they incoherently claim that gender is "fluid" and changeable. For example, Caitlin Ryan, a gay activist, clinical social worker and researcher at San Francisco State University recently said:

"I think the fluidity of gender is the next big wave in terms of adolescent development… Gender has become part of the defining way that youth organize themselves and rebel against adults."- Caitlin Ryan 2

In short, a profound deconstruction of gender is taking place within every arena of society that undermines the fundamental order established by God Himself – reflecting the very essence of who He is and who we were created to be. And when God's order is deconstructed and then necessarily redefined, the consequences for gender, sexuality, marriage, family and, ultimately, society are profound and far-reaching.

"Transgenderism" is an umbrella term that covers a legion of differnt feelings, thoughts, behaviors and identities, including: cross-dresser, transvestite, gender-bender, "two-spirit," gender-blender and gender-queer.  Some examples:


1Genesis 2:23-24; Matthew 19: 3 – 6; Mark 10: 6-9; Ephesians 5:28-32 New International Version.
2Associated Press"Youth Culture Testing the Boundaries of Gender Identity and Roles," The Advocate online, 4 October 2005, http://www.advocate.com/news_detail_ektid21307.asp, (7 October 2008).
3"Mistakes in God's Factory," 26 January 2007, Spiegel online, http://www.spiegel.de/international/spiegel/0,1518,druck-462516,00.html, (29 September 2008).
4Laura Clark, "Don't Say Mum and Dad... teachers told not to assume pupils have heterosexual parents," 30 January 2008, Mail online, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-511209/Dont-say-mum-dad--teachers-told-assume-pupils-heterosexual-parents.html# (29 September 2008); Safe to Learn: Embedding Anti-Bullying Work in Schools - Preventing and Responding to Homophobic bullying in schools, Teachernet Online Publications for Schools, September 2007, http://www.education.gov.uk/publications/eOrderingDownload/HOMOPHOBIC%20BULLYING.pdf (30 September 2008).
5Paul Brooks, "Principal Undergoing Sex Change," Times Herald-Record online, 25 August 2007, http://www.recordonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070825/NEWS/708250334 (30 September 2008).
6See, for instance, Pagan Kennedy, "Q & A with Norman Spack," The Boston Globe online, 30 March 2008, http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/ideas/articles/2008/03/30/qa_with_norman_spack/, (7 October 2008); or J. Michael Bailey, The Man Who Would Be Queen, (Washington DC: Joseph Henry Press, 2003), pp. 26-28.
7See, for example, Gender Public Advocacy Coalition's "2008 Genius Index," which noted a large increase in college campuses offering "gender neutral" housing and restrooms, and groups like "Safe2Pee," which map gender-neutral bathrooms around the world, http://www.safe2pee.org/new/, (30 September 2008).
8Associated Press, "Cross-Dressing Students Get 'Transvestite Toilet' at Thai School," Fox News online, 18 June 1008, http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,368301,00.html, (26 September 2008).
9Sheila Marikar, "America's Next Transgender Top Model?" 22 August 2008, ABC News online, http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/Story?id=5629177&page=1, (30 September 2008).
10SB 777, Official California Legislative Information, 12 October 2007, http://leginfo.ca.gov/pub/07-08/bill/sen/sb_0751-0800/sb_777_bill_20071012_chaptered.pdf , (30 September 2008).
11Patricia Leagh Brown, "Supporting Boys or Girls When the Line Isn't Clear," New York Times online, 2 December, 2006, http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/02/us/02child.html, (3 October 2008).
12"California Transgender Student Allowed to Run For Prom King," Fox News online, 22 April, 2007, http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,267543,00.html, (3 October 2008).