These articles are very informative, thanks Carson.
My co-worker and friend (female) is a very interesting individual. Her social network is as diverse as any person I’ve ever known. She’s active (as a friend and advocate) in the transgender community here in our city, as well as regionally and nationally. She is currently dating a transgender person (now male, previously female).
She is also one of the wisest and emotionally mature persons I’ve ever met. She is extremely intelligent as well as open to all people and all ideas. Her mother is Thai and a Buddhist, her Dad was from a Christian household but a non-Christian. The first half of her childhood was lived in Singapore in a diverse, international community. That has made her a seeker of diversity and a loving supporter of all. Including me. She is not a Christian, but a respecter of Christ and is able to distinguish between the human foibles of Christians and the true intent of the faithful when earnestly following Christ.
For me she’s a safe source in trying to understand facets of the world I hardly know about at all and have great confusion over–largely the LGBTQ community. Every time a letter of the alphabet gets added, she’s my go to person for finding out what it stands for. She calls them her “alphabet people.” She has great insights and I can inquire from someone who is not an angry activitist, but a loving advocate of many.
We’ve talked quite a bit about transgender issues. It’s through her I have come to understand how deeply they are in pain and how many commit suicide. Much of what she’s told me aligns with these articles. I was shocked that nearly every transgender person she knows had been a victim of a violent beating (and that’s a lot of people).
Several discussions started when the issue of transgender persons and public bathrooms was a news item every day. She pointed out that the potential scenario of a man dressed as a woman assaulting women and/or children in a Ladies room was largely hypothetical–there are basically no statistics to back this up. But with transgender women(?) using a Men’s room, the statistics bear out the great potential for hate crimes.
This post is not about bathrooms, or even how I feel about a facet of the world I have no frame of reference for, it’s about the sense of compassion it stirred in me for the pain these individuals suffer.
I’m grateful for these resources and I plan to get Ryan Anderson’s book. I feel a need for us all to remember that beyond the debates about human sexuality, in the church and society in general, are deeply hurting people who need what only Christ can give.
In one of the Sam Allberry links that I think you posted, he says that we all need intimacy (not talking about the sexual kind here) and that if people don’t find it in the church they will go elsewhere. That really touched me. I’ve been in plenty of discussions with Christians where it would not have been a safe place for a homosexual to be, let alone a transgender person.
How can we as the people of the church universal do a much better job of showing Christ’s love? How can we do it in a way that holds true to the sanctity of God’s plan for men and women? How can we stand against hate?