Saturday, June 06, 2015

"God doesn't make mistakes." This is a phrase I have repeatedly heard some Christians say towards people who are transgender. It is a way of dismissing a transgender person's identity and condition and journey. It is saying, essentially and rather crudely, "You may think that your gender identity doesn't match your physical gender, but if that were true it would mean God made a mistake, which can't be the case, and therefore your experience and understanding of yourself (and the assessment of medical and psychiatric professionals) must be wrong." And so with a four word sentence that person's life-long struggle is brushed off as mere "confusion" or "disobedience to God."

But you never hear Christians use that phrase in that way when speaking to the parents of a child born with a birth defect, or to someone with a congenital condition--because, obviously, it would be idiotic to try to deny the existence of something that is in plain sight. Most Christians (nowadays at least) wouldn't use that phrase upon someone who had an "internal" condition such as bipolar disorder either. To do so would just be crass. And yet "God doesn't make mistakes" will flow right out of someone's mouth (or keyboard) when talking about (or to) a transgender person.

The fact is that in the messy world of biology, all kinds of variations and anomalies occur. To deny them is to deny reality. And to assume that you know better another person's internal condition than they and their health professionals do is the height of ignorant arrogance (and arrogant ignorance).

On a related tangent, it is now estimated that 1 in 2,000 people are born Intersex. Sometimes this presents as "ambiguous genitalia" or a chromosomal identity other than XX or XY (such as XXY) or a person being physically one gender and chromosomally or hormonally the opposite gender, etc. There are a multitude of situations that come under the Intersex umbrella.

Maybe the error is assuming that a variation from the norm is a "mistake." Maybe it just is what it is: a product of the complexity of biology. In that case, "God doesn't make mistakes" has an entirely different meaning: variations--including transgenderism--are all part of God's intent.

For more information, I highly recommend this 32 page document entitled "The Myth of a Pink and Blue World" written by Kathy Baldock:…/The-Myth-of-Pink-and-B…

(Pictured: A cardinal with bilateral gynandromorphism, which means it is literally half male and half female)


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