From the Christian Mother of a Transgender Young Man

(I last week received this very moving letter.)

Dear John,

Sometimes I think that being able to see from the perspective of a mother what my daughter (who is now my son) went through before his admission of his true self shows why God is with us, no matter what.

My son was never an ordinary daughter. I did not, for instance, ever know what the current fashion style of teenage girls was, because “she” didn’t wear teenage girl clothes. But the darkness, the two years of depression, and of wondering if I was going to come home to find a suicide attempt or worse, was very real and frightening. But once my daughter admitted who he really was, the one thing that I knew in the back of my head—even though at first I couldn’t quite come to terms with it—was that a great relief had taken place. All of a sudden, the eyes of my child were more alight, the shoulders no longer hunched over. And the laughter was back. The beautiful belly laugh that was silenced for two long long years was back.

Although that great happiness came back, the change was still hard for me to come to terms with. I wondered what Christian friends would think. My son sent out a message to all the people whom he wanted to know, and they have been nothing but supportive and loving. That is what being a Christian is all about. Accepting the person. Loving them through the dark times, and supporting them when and if they come to terms with who they are.

We are all children of God, and for me to say that my child will not get into heaven because he cannot live with the body assigned to him is ludicrous. His heart for God, although having been shaken, is strong, because of the wonderful Christians in his life who accept him as the person he is.

Galatians 3:28: There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

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About John Shore

John Shore (who, fwiw, is straight) is the author of UNFAIR: Christians and the LGBT Question, and three other great books. He is founder of Unfundamentalist Christians (on Facebook here), and executive editor of the Unfundamentalist Christians group blog.  (In total John's two blogs receive some 250,000 views per month.) John is also co-founder of The NALT Christians Project, which was written about by TIME,  The Washington Post, and others. His website is JohnShore.com. John is a pastor ordained by The Progressive Christian Alliance. You're invited to like John's Facebook page. And don't forget to sign up for his mucho awesome monthly newsletter.

  • charles

    very moving…..

  • Andie

    Beautiful. I have a friend who is post-op transgender and it really hurts me when people say cruel things about her and people like her, and it especially confuses and enrages me when they try to use the Bible to defend their small-minded assumptions. That Galatians verse is well-chosen!

  • Jeff Huckaby

    A mother’s love is a universal standard we should all strive towards having for each other. The characteristic of the human heart to be able to stretch it’s love to envelope more than we thought humanly possible is surely a gift from the divine. Choosing not to use that gift is surely not. Bravo for this mother. BRAVO, indeed.

  • Rebecca

    *big hugs* to you and your son. Thank you for embracing your child. Now, if only others will follow your lead.

    Peace

  • Ann Y

    What a wonderful Mom! And a true witness to her Christian faith. I wish others would be so accepting.

  • Joyce

    Well done, Mom. This is parenthood at its best. I pray that someday all children will have this kind of support for their differences.

  • http://imagaybloke.wordpress.com Paul Clevett

    Wonderful.

  • Jessica

    I have to say…Well done Mom! I wish there were more mothers like you out there. Except we have these small minded people who call themselves “Christians” yet use the bible to promote their little thinking. I hope all Christians can come to being as accepting as you.

  • Dirk

    What a great mom he has!

    Given that we all begin life female – and it isn’t until (relatively) late in the fetal development process that sexual differentiation begins, I don’t understand the passion so many people bring to this otherwise very clear situation: Some people are born in the body which fits their true sex. Others are born into bodies which share characteristics of both sexes, to a greater or lesser degree. Yet others are born into bodies which do not fit their true sex.

    And that’s all. We need to find better ways for those born into the wrongly gendered bodies to restore those bodies to the right gender. We must begin accepting those among us who are not clearly male or female for who they are – God’s children, just like the rest of us.

    Most of all, we need to drop this conservative Christian driven, Republican backed nonsense of ‘heteronormative’ behavior being the proper way to act. We especially need to drop it for the heterosexuals.

    • Diana A.

      Thank you, Dirk. I especially love you’re last line. It’s so true.

  • M.

    What a beautiful example of what it means to be a loving mother. Thank you, thank you, thank you, from all of us who do not fit into the mold our society demands of us.

  • http://www.sparrowmilk.blogspot.com Shadsie

    Whenever I hear stories about parents kicking their kids out because of being gay, or questioning their gender or whatever, I’m baffled, because, though not a parent, myself, I think parents should be like this – loving.

    That said, I always feel a little weird hearing about this transgender stuff… what I mean is, it makes me question how much of it is the real deal (really feeling like one has the wrong body) and how much of it is societal/culture. I mean, there’s so much emphasis on the “heteronormative” in our society, meanwhile, I prefer boots and a flycaster to makeup and heels, but still consider myself “a girl.” (And oh, do I ever *know* I’m a girl today. I called in sick because of it…. ugh).

    I had an (online) friend once who wound up becoming something of an enemy because of her narsassictic, manipulative, whiny, emotinal-vampire ways. It’s been a long time, so I can only hope she’s grown and learned as much as I have in that time. I say “she” because that’s how I knew her. On the tail end of my contact with her, she was trying to live life as a “he.” Unlike some other people I’d run into online in the same boat, it didn’t strike me as “real” with her. Here is why: My ex-friend had a lot of self-esteem issues combined with being raised in a Fundamentalist family (well, what she said) and had all these BIZARRE ideas about women, their roles, what their brains were limited for, etc. that made it seem like she’d stepped out of Victorian times! She was always going on about how she was “superior” because she’d taken a stupid online quiz that told her she had a “male brain” and I seem to remember her suspecting me of being “male brained.” (I found an online quiz that told me I was 50/50 and I told her that I was female and proud of it). She would argue with a mutual feminist friend of mine over how women had to “nest” and be mommies and couldn’t hold “male” jobs, like factory work, and she’d talk about how people doing anything bad (gossipy acquaintences and so forth) were “typically female.”

    In short, this ex-friend of mine… I was left certain that she only wanted to be a man because she hated women (and herself), not because she had any actual gender identity issues. It prompted me to ask a forum online if people going in for reassignment surgery are given a sufficent battery of psychological tests, just to weed out the real deal from people with entirely different issues.

    I don’t know… I guess I’m saying is “narrow it down as a real issue, weed out anything society might have fed you” before you commit to a new life.

    • lmlk813

      It sounds like your friend may have had some problems, but please understand that the vast majority of people who identify as trans are not crazy. I don’t know what answers you got on the forum, but people are indeed subjected to a barrage of tests before they undergo gender reassignment surgery (the treatment is insanely expensive, which means insurance companies are involved, and insurance companies don’t really like paying for unnecessary procedures). It also usually takes years of dealing with doctors, mental health professionals, etc. before the surgery is actually performed. Not all trans people even have surgery, finding hormonal therapy to be perfectly sufficient. Gender reassignment surgery is not a quick and easy thing, and you would have to be deeply, deeply disturbed to actually attempt it if you were not really transsexual- so disturbed that someone would pick up on it well before you got anywhere near an OR. So I wouldn’t spend any time worrying about people going around and getting gender reassignment surgery willy-nilly. Also, I don’t think this was your intention, but many trans people would find the tone of your post very offensive, so you may want to be more careful in the future.

      • Dirk

        I appreciate the information. A small piece of criticism.

        One of the greatest weaknesses we of the GLBTQQA&who knows what else have is our tendency to go all politically correct on people who don’t voice their concerns in exactly the approved PC flavor of the week.

        Now, we do have enemies – the conservative Christians are just as happy to torture us as they are to rape us, beat us and murder us. Still, not every person who makes statements and asks questions which strike us as naive needs to be told to be more careful.

        Just my two cents, for what they’re worth.

        (Why, yes – Autumn hates my guts and has threatened to trapdoor me zillions of times. Not every discussion forum or blog follows those rules.)

      • http://www.sparrowmilk.blogspot.com Shadsie

        I had worried about coming across offensively, even though that was by no means my intent – it’s just one of those “Do I ask a question and get an answer or do I clam up and remain ingorant just becuase I know there’s no way of framing the question that isn’t going to offend somebody?”

        It’s just… wanting to know that every precatuion is made so that actual life-altering things, such as surgeries and hormone therapy and so forth went to the people who really needed them and that people with other issues will get referred to the right people.

        This ex-friend of mine had a shipload of things for which she needed but refused help for – I mean, I’d suggest seeing psychatric professionals regarding her depression issues (LIKE I HAVE AND DO) and pretty much got a response of “going to therapy makes you inferior and not worthy to live.” I *wish* I was exagerrating here, but she often turned to “society should euthanize certain people/ people like us” when I tried to suggest help. In other words, this specific person was a headache-burrito and I try not to make her reflective of anyone but her own insane self, really.

        However, thinking about her makes me really hope that people whose real issues do not stem from being in the wrong body but with their own depression / bad self-esteem or misguided misogyny bred into them by their families will get those issues addressed instead of making actual transgenders look bad.

        I guess that’s what I’m saying. This person was really my first encounter with personally knowing someone (as deeply as one can online) who expressed this kind of thing.

        • http://www.barnmaven.com Mary @Barnmaven.com

          I think you asked a really important question and for extremely valid reasons.

          I have very limited experience with gender reassignment surgery, but I do have a friend who has undergone this and she was kind enough to answer a lot of questions that I had about her experience very frankly. The process seemed excruciatingly long, expensive and painful, and seems generally designed to weed out people who are uncertain or seeking reassignment for reasons other than biological fulfillment of their inner selves. There is a great deal of therapy involved, and my impression of my friend was that by the time she was ready to make the surgical change from male to female was that she was more well-adjusted than most people I knew. She had reconciled her relationships with her family, reconciled her relationship with God, and accepted the struggles that she was facing in her relationship with her now-former spouse and as a parent. Its hard for me to express an appropriate amount of gratitude for her candor and her willingness to share a highly personal and painful account of what it was like to be a male college athlete and later a husband knowing fully inside that her inside and her outside just did not match.

          Like you, I am more comfortable in traditionally male-oriented pastimes and clothes. Weekends find me in jeans and boots and on my horse. I work in a mostly male-dominated field and I’m very good at my job. At the same time, I love my femaleness. My respect for my body and how it functions borders on the spiritual at times, particularly after giving birth to my children. Feeling the way I do I can only imagine the torture it must be for someone to know on a cellular level that they were walking around in the wrong shell.

        • Gretchen

          I really think your question is a valid one. It’s one I asked myself when my son came out as a son.

          I tend to like what a man wears over a woman, and I don’t wear makeup because my skin looks fine without it. I’ve even wondered if that’s why my daughter is now a son-but to no avail, I can’t blame myself for being the cause. There was a lot of conventional therapy, and I think it was the therapy that made my son be able to voice what he couldn’t before.

          My son knows that anything surgically done is on his dime, and he still has college to get through, so whatever he decides between now and then is not in my hands. One thing I do need to say is that we as people do own our issues of self-esteem and such. I believe if my son had self-esteem issues as a daughter, then he would have tried harder to be more of a girl, and if he decides down the road that this transition was not correct, as I’ve said to him, he owns it and is stilled loved.

  • Mindy

    This made me cry. Bless you for being the kind of mother every single human being deserves. This is true parental love, and to me, a mirror of what God feels for every single creation on the planet.

  • Joe Lang

    That people exist who are, through no fault of their own, placed in these difficult situations is fact. It should be self-evident that they deserve not only the support of us all simply by virtue of the fact that they are human, but they deserve every opportunity to be as free and self fulfilled as any one of us.

    It’s really very, very simple. Our support of our brothers and sisters guarantees our own support in time of need, and to damage one person’s freedom and rights is to damage our own.

    “Each man’s death diminishes me, for I am involved in mankind…”

    As are we all.

  • Sissy

    I watched a very touching documentary on the subject, with young children as the focus. These kids knew, at 3 to 6 that something was very wrong with the gender they felt vs what it was they were in. The parents of these children were baffled at first – it’s not something you would ordinarily expect from your offspring. But they supported the gender-correction (my term), and the kids seemed to be very well adjusted.

    I have heard that there is some hormonal imbalance or overload while the child is in the uterus which preselects the wiring for either male or female. This is, of course, an oversimplification of the causes, but the outcome is that these kids were wired one way, and built the other. Why that is so hard for society to accept is what is really baffling.

    I cannot see that God would love them any less for their physical mismatch to what they truly are.

  • A’isha

    You know, sometimes something, just a word, can be the most poignant thing. When I started crying was when I read this, not even a full sentence, ” But once my daughter admitted who he really was…” For this wonderful mom to use the words she chose this way showed me the true love she feels for her son. The rest of the letter had to be read twice, so I could dry my eyes first. Thank you for sharing this, John, and thank you to the mother for speaking so eloquently and honestly. The world would be a better place with more moms like this.

  • Gina Powers

    I’m glad John posted this, and all the best to the mom who originally wrote it. I have to add my two cents, because I’m the cousin of a transgender, and I’ve known about her struggle since she chose to trust me enough to let me in on what was going on twelve years ago. It was more of a shock initially than I let on–Miss “Badass” here thought she’d heard everything up to that point!–but after “Ariele” (who started out as “Bill”) let me on to this new revelation and impending change in her life, I remember laying on my bed at 3 a.m. hours after our conversation thinking…”OH…MY….GOD!!”. But my family has been very cool about the whole process, even though Ariele’s mom and dad still struggle a bit with things on occasion.

    And for the record, it matters not to me one BIT what “Soul cage” one needs to live in to be comfortable–and I’ll bet the farm it matters not to God, either. If I have any personal issues with Ari, it’s not because she’s a transgender–it’s because she’s six years younger than me and sometimes thinks she knows everything! I say this with a laugh; doesn’t that apply to most “younguns”….but at heart–she is sensitive, an artist, crazy smart; yes, she and I both struggle with mental illness issues (I think those are irrelevant to her need to change gender, by the way), but she is a good person. No matter what Soul Cage she is in. As long as it is a beautiful, non-abusive, benevolent “house”–she will be fine.

    Thanks for letting me throw in my words, all…peace.

  • http://transparently.ca Lisa

    This is such a wonderful letter. How I wish all transgender/transexual persons had parents as supportive and loving as this mom. Unfortunately, I have met some whose stories are sad and you could say horrific. I know a young transsexual whose very churched parents help a funeral service and filled the church with mourners when their son transitioned to female, claiming their son had died. Stories like this are not the exception and the rejection and judgment is not only devastating to the TG/TS person, it pushes people away from God, basing their hostility on what they see the churched doing and saying. So many TG/TS persons want nothing to do with God. I am grateful that my experience has been one of affirmation and inclusion and I am compelled to say that God does not look at the exterior packaging, He looks at the heart.

  • Don Rappe

    I have always liked this Bible verse.

  • http://www.barnmaven.com Mary @Barnmaven.com

    This took my breath away, filled my eyes with tears.

    This mother is the living, breathing embodiment of LOVE.

  • http://www.pinkisforboys.com Sophia Cairn

    Wonderful letter and beautiful verse–

  • Tommy Y

    So if someone is a Gentile, but wishes to be a Jew, Galatians 3:28, empowers him to switch his identity to Jewish? Or if someone finds himself a slave, does this verse give him the right to set himself free from servitude? Obviously not.

    It seems a more reasonable interpretation of the verse is that in Christ, the distinction between Jew/Gentile, slave/free, man/woman becomes irrelevant for the purposes of inheriting God’s promises. Providing just a bit more context demonstrates this point:

    Galatians 3: “26 So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”

    The idea that the above verses represent the Biblical position on the transgender issue is unreasonable. If we are looking for a single verse which directly applies to the situation, Deuteronomy 22:5 would be a far more rational choice.

    There are many Christians who are happy living in a cramped, shoddy apartment. Other Christians, living in much nicer houses, remain unhappy because their house is not yet “good enough”. Is it the work of Christ to upgrade to a nicer house as a pretext for happiness, or is it the work of Christ to enable someone to be content wherever it is that they are living? How is one’s gender different from one’s house in this regard? By God’s power and grace, we should be capable of living a contented–even joyful–life, regardless of what our gender is. We should submit our will to God’s will–and we should be willing to forsake our own ideas and plans if they reasonably contradict God’s ideas or God’s plans.

    I am not saying that it is necessarily ungodly to upgrade one’s house–this is a separate issue. However, it seems reasonable to question the idea that someone NEEDS to upgrade their house in order to lift their depression, feel normal, be happy, etc. Who exactly told you that you NEED a better house to be happy–God, or someone else?

    The obvious question is whether the “darkness” and “depression” is truly CAUSED by one’s gender identity (or one’s shoddy apartment), or whether there might be other issues involved. Do you suppose that God believes that a gender identity change is a prerequisite for happiness? How does this mesh with Gal 3? The simple truth is that if someone is telling you that you NEED to change your gender identity (or upgrade your house) to be happy/fulfilled, it most likely isn’t God.

    I am not claiming here that every person who has ever changed their gender identity was necessarily doing so in defiance of God’s plan–that is between them and God. However, with reference to stories such as this, the focus always seems to be on whatever makes the person “happy”. Well, there are a lot of things which allegedly make people “happy”, but are generally destructive to the individual and/or society– illegal drug abuse, prostitution, child-porn, etc. So the “if it makes you happy” argument doesn’t really fly. How many people incur the difficulty of a gender change, only to discover that they aren’t actually any better off afterwards?

    It is a well established scientific fact that sexual orientation can be successfully changed by individuals who seek therapy to do so. It seems reasonable that gender identity and gender contentedness can also be changed over time. Rather than focusing our first efforts on encouraging people to go through with whatever gender (and/or sexual orientation) change ideas they come up with, why not focus our first efforts on trying to help people become content with their most biological natural gender identity (and sexual orientation)?

    In the same way, if someone is seeking a divorce, our first efforts should generally be focused on restoring the marriage, rather than embracing the divorcee. It is not a question of whether or not we love the person–the question is HOW do we best love the person.

    • Diana A.

      Wow. Who died and made you God? Seriously, I don’t think you know enough to be judging this woman, her child, or their situation. Thanks for sharing though.

    • Dirk

      Tommy,

      There are so many clear lies and falsehoods in your statement it is beyond question that you are in direct violation of the Commandment that we are not to bear false witness.

      First, any statement which begins with ‘scientifically proven’ is, in fact a lie. The real, hard, natural sciences NEVER speak of ‘proven’ or yet ‘proved’.

      At most ‘demonstrated’.

      So that’s the first clear evidence that your are lying through your hateful conservative Christian teeth.

      Second hateful lie:

      That one can be content living in a body which is of the false gender. The tremendous number of hoops and hurdles which the transgender are required to go through – not only the foolish nonsense called psychology, 99% of which is junk science, but the medical exams and the real science behind those exams clearly show (I’d even say ‘demonstrate’) that people are born whose anatomies do not line up with their sex.

      Third hateful lie: Sexual orientation can be changed. No. It can not. Conservative Christian psychologists, through the application of torture (electroshock for one) can bring a victim to the point at which their capacity to express love is thoroughly deadened. But the immutable sexual orientation is not changed. Every single time one of you hateful conservative Christians trots out a ‘saved’ ‘gay’ it turns out that they were either bisexual or, after a few breaths of freedom, they clearly say that their attraction to men has not changed.

      Lying filth is what you have poured forth here.

    • DR

      The insensitivity of this remark is kind of shocking but I’ve gotten used to the inability of many christians to be able to empathize with anything that is remotely gay or transgender in nature. Their impulse is to be terrified, then move immediately into “correction”.

      Comparing the transgendered experience to “living in an apartment” or the “gentiles and Jews” are such useless analogies, it’s like saying “Earth – because it is a planet – is exactly like Jupiter. They are both round and exist in space, therefore their oceans and their rain forests are exactly the same.”

    • The Mom

      As the mother who wrote this, I am going to just say that, as a person who has been on the “Christian swing” as I would call it, both being conservative at times in my life, and also being what I consider what Jesus wants me to be. If you think that I just layed down and said “whatever makes you happy”, you really need to get a hold of my son and the people that I talked to about this.
      This was a battle that was being fought long before my son ever came out. It was what I saw. I tried to pray it away. I had very faithful people who prayed with me. I encouraged feminity. We’ve gotten nails done, went shoe shopping, and I’ve surrounded my son with lots and lots of daughters (other people’s). I’m taking this more personal than I probably should, but understand that I have questioned my parenting and if I raised “her” right. I did. I can’t question anymore. Is he always going to be happy? Are any of us? That is a battle that is no longer mine. It’s his now, and all I get to do is care, and pray that he stays a Godly man. As for Galatians 3-yes, I’ve read the whole thing.

    • Carlotta H.

      Let’s go to the bible in response to this nonsense. You’re suggesting that for a person to have the sex changed suggests a belief in God fallibility. God put you in that body, God makes no mistakes, you’re wrong to change what God has wrought. Hmmmm. If we can not change what is physically wrong with us why did Jesus give sight to the blind? Heal the lame? Cure Mary magdalen? If a child is born with a harelip? God’s will? Do nothing about it? A soldier that loses a limb in combat? God’s will? No prosthetic for you, just accept that this is how God wants you to be now. Cancer? God’s will? Chemo therapy; no need for that; God makes no mistakes. You can not know God’s plan for this person. Maybe His plan includes this boy having an intimate knowledge of what it means to be a young girl in this society, or to be ridiculed and rejected, or maybe to have experienced absolute love from another human being (thank you to his mother). Love thy neighbor as thyself. Would you pass up medical treatment if there was something wrong with you? I doubt it. Yet you expect this “neighbor” to pass it up so that you’re not offended. How does that exemplify the love of Christ?

      • Melody

        Very well said, Carlotta.

    • Katherine B.

      The American Medical Association, American Psychological Association, American Psychiatric Association – the three primary associations charged with performing and disseminating research regarding issues of health disagree strongly with you. They specifically agree that (1) no sexual orientation (defined as sexual attraction to age-appropriate persons of male or female sex, before we get into unnecessary slanders about pedophilia supposedly being a sexual orientation) is inherently unhealthy and therefore therapies aimed at changing sexual orientation are unnecessary, and (2) therapies aimed at changing one’s sexual orientation are ineffective and hazardous.

      There is even LESS evidence that gender variance can be “cured.” You can emotionally scar someone into accepting lies – that they will never be able to successfully transition, that they will always be seen as a freak, that after transition they will only be able to make money by prostitution, that after transition they will feel that they are mutilated and want to commit suicide are the four big lies of anti-transgender “therapy” efforts – but you can’t change who they are.

      The fact is that the only known effective treatment for transsexuality is early social and hormonal transition supported by proper surgical intervention to construct gender-appropriate genitalia.

  • http://ihopetomorrowisbetter.blogspot.com/ Molly Bandit

    That is beautiful. And three cheers for correct pronouns!

    Two of my very dear friends are trans men, and one is going through a very rough time with his family. It just puts my stomach in knots how hard he has it right now. I guess sometimes the people that take the best care of us aren’t biologically related and vice versa.

  • DR

    Wow. This brought tears to my eyes. Thank you.

  • http://lorisrevival.blogspot.com Lori D

    Why are we as a group of Christians always so quick to push our “science” on others? Isn’t the commandment to love? Every time you hear someone bring up “irrefutable science” and words like that, you can prepare for Christians to be mocked. We bring it upon ourselves when we try to explain something through the eyes of science. Sure, faith and science do not have to be at odds with each other obviously, but as my pastor once told me:

    You don’t go into a hospital looking for spiritual guidance.

    You also don’t go to church looking for a doctor to perform surgery.

    Our job isn’t to understand as much as it is to empathize and love. Jesus did this perfectly. He knows our pain and suffering because he bled and died. But just as he wept when Lazarus was in the tomb (which is a long topic in and of itself). We can trust one thing if we choose to love unconditionally: if the Holy Spirit brings forth repentance in someone, it’s done because “Mercy triumphs overjudgement.” Also, if God uses us to be a love vessel for Him by our love toward others, we can rest assured that He will cause that seed to be watered and grow in His power, not ours.

    So the reaction to LGBT people should never be trying to “figure them out,” instead we should really focus on doing the ONE thing that we’ve been commanded to do: LOVE.

    If we have not love…

  • http://www.facebook.com/theBOC Stephen Duplantis

    Mom said “We are all children of God, and for me to say that my child will not get into heaven because he cannot live with the body assigned to him is ludicrous.” God assigned HIM that body! Are you saying God made a mistake? God doesn’t make mistakes, Mom! Your SON needs help and a real man in HIS life to teach HIM manhood. Your SON needs the truth. 

    • Lori D

      Thank you for using the proper pronouns.  The mother’s child is a FtoM trans person.  Sounds like the mother IS giving him the truth. God’s truth AND love.

    • DR

      Conservative Christians who don’t want to face that this kind of person actually exists in our ranks?  Stephen is your mess to clean up – or rather, the mom who wrote this letter’s exhaustion, misery and crushed spirit after having to contend with the Stephen Duplantiss of the world are YOUR mess to clean up. Not that you even care about her at all, like Stephen your #1 priority is to make sure she knows how “ludicrous” she is in “the name of Jesus”, right?   So go find him, shut him up and then go take care of this mom. Let’s see what you really are in the name of Jesus. 

    • John Shore

      I think God made a mistake when he made YOU, you dipshit.

      • Lisa Peterson

        John, you are wonderful and your reply to Stephen right on!

    • The Mom

      Stephen, I replied to someone else regarding this. Please read it. Thanks.
      As the mother who wrote this, I am going to just say that, as a person who has been on the “Christian swing” as I would call it, both being conservative at times in my life, and also being what I consider what Jesus wants me to be. If you think that I just layed down and said “whatever makes you happy”, you really need to get a hold of my son and the people that I talked to about this. This was a battle that was being fought long before my son ever came out. It was what I saw. I tried to pray it away. I had very faithful people who prayed with me. I encouraged feminity. We’ve gotten nails done, went shoe shopping, and I’ve surrounded my son with lots and lots of daughters (other people’s). I’m taking this more personal than I probably should, but understand that I have questioned my parenting and if I raised “her” right. I did. I can’t question anymore. Is he always going to be happy? Are any of us? That is a battle that is no longer mine. It’s his now, and all I get to do is care, and pray that he stays a Godly man. As for Galatians 3-yes, I’ve read the whole thing.

    • Dirk

      Stephen,
      Your comments are those of a hateful conservative Christian.
      People like you are the reason life for gays, lesbians and the transgender in the United States is, quite literally, a living hell.
      Which is exactly where your hatred comes from and exactly to where you should take it back.

      • Stephen Duplantis

        How is my comment hateful? By telling the truth I am hateful–then call me a hater!!! The truth is the truth, Dirk–believe it or not.

        • Katherine B.

          Your comment is hateful because you are not telling the truth – you are substituting centuries-old mythology for proper medical research which shows that trans people are the actual genders that we present and not the sex assigned at birth by someone who looks at external anatomy only.

          As the Christian church eventually submitted to the understanding that science is a valid way to see the physical world, so too will it eventually submit to the understanding that science is a valid way to look at our inner worlds.

        • Roger Smith

          Stephen, your remarks are embarrassingly ignorant first, which is what makes one oblivious to whether one is driving down a road or running someone over (kind of like Mr Magoo). If you apply your test question, “Does God make mistakes?” to any of the dreadful, sometimes deadly, disabilities or diseases that people are often born with, then your logic would imply that no one should try to heal or save this children, but let them suffer or die. For whatever reasons, God creates us each in a package that is a mixed bag of blessings and challenges, both for us and those around us — and our opportunities are to make the best of that and rise above (and help others rise above) whatever limitations life seems to have dealt us. If one of those limitations is that someone is born with a different gender in heart and mind than the body appears to be, it does no good simply to say, “Well, the body you’re wrapped in is THIS gender, so just suck it up and BE that gender” — especially because there’s nowhere in the Bible that could even remotely support an approach like that, which is in effect what you’re advocating.

          “But God created them male and female — not ‘and some with gender dysphoria’!” some might object. Really? The proof that the Bible’s shorthand descriptor, “male and female”, is just that, shorthand and a generalization, is first found in the wide range of conditions called intersex (which used to be called hermaphroditism), in which gender distinctions are not so neatly arrived at, at all. (Anyone interested can read a lot more about that at isna.org.) And in some cases, individuals may have no gender at all. I myself am physically male, except that at puberty, I also sprouted female breasts (a condition called gynecomastia). Male or female? Not quite so simple. (In my case, because in gender I identify as male, long afterward I finally had that condition surgically altered.) And yet again, some individuals’ gender is so ambiguous, or may even have complete characteristics of both male and female, that medical determination of gender may be impossible; sometimes, parents and doctors have made fateful decisions to “choose a gender” for the child, in some cases with disastrous consequences when the child grew up and was inwardly the opposite gender from that which had been surgically chosen.

          So how embarrassingly ignorant and foolish to suppose that a simplistic, “Well, if it looks male, it’s male; if it looks female, it’s female”, based only on the Bible’s shorthand terms of “male and female”, should be how you approach someone’s gender identity — and worse, should dictate how you dictate what that person should be.

          Does God make mistakes? Of course not; but his creative imagination is as far above ours as the heavens are higher than the earth. Some are clearly the “standard” male or female; some, like me, aren’t quite so easily defined; and others appear outwardly to be one gender, yet inwardly God created them another gender. No, no mistakes there at all. Why do you ask?

          The mistake is on our part, when our ignorance leads us to have narrow or simplistic views, then leading us to dictate what others should be — which really is also us, as clay, dictating to the Potter what he should or shouldn’t do. (“NO, God, you do NOT create some people to be mixed on gender, or of one gender in the other gender’s body. WE’RE telling you that you do NOT do that.”)

          But God does NOT make mistakes: male, female, mixed gender, one gender in a different gender’s body, attracted to the opposite sex, attracted to the same sex, or (also like me) attracted to both. Make no mistake about it; he hath done all things well.

  • jean

    very uplifting to read about other experiences. My boy is 6 years old and since the age of two has loved dressing up. We thought it a phase but it hasn’t yet passed. He asks questions like ‘If I grow my hair will I become a girl?’ My eldest son was into football in a big way and my older daughter isn’t overly feminine and is what I would call feisty. I do think that my youngest has some issues with his gender identity and wonder what the future holds. I love him dearly but am anxious that he has to face prejudices such as those written above. It’s encouraging to see that other Mums out there love the personality in their children and sad to see that others with no experience of these situations feel they have the right to issue judgement. Only God is our judge.

    • Matt

      Jean–you’re right, it’s uncertain what the future holds for your child. I think of it this way: Even if it’s “just a phase,” allowing it to come and go naturally will tell your child that he is fine as he is. And I think that that will produce a very secure, well-adjusted and healthy man. If it’s not a phase, you’re going to get a wonderful daughter. You can’t go wrong!

    • Elizabeth

      I don’t have my own kids. I am a bad influence and ‘aunt’ to two strong-willed little girls. At eight, one is a tomboy, all softball and fists. The four-year-old is all pink and glitter. They named a dragon I gave them Drag Queen. Polly Pocket and Barbie got married. It comes naturally from them, not from me or their mom. I am so excited to see what this next generation does. The village is finally getting it right.

      • Jill

        Oh goodie! I LOVE hearing stories like this, how kids just understand it as second nature and somehow we lose sight of it along our conformist development into civilized, seething adulthood.

        Here’s to the bad-ass aunties!


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