An Intersexed Person Changed My Mind

An Intersexed Person Changed My Mind August 26, 2013
There’s been a lot of debate online about trans people this week. Here’s how an intersexed person opened my mind.

Years ago, back when it still happened, I spoke at the Cornerstone Festival. I did a couple gigs there with Phyllis Tickle, and a couple on my own. Then I was on a panel discussion on gays and the church. On the panel with me were Rich Amesbury, a professor of ethics at Claremont School of TheologyAndrew Marin of the Marin Foundation, Christine Sneeringer from Worthy Creations Ministry, and Frank Carrasco of Exodus International. The panel was intriguing, but what happened after was really formative for me.

I met an intersexed person.

I’ve gotten to know that person fairly well, and we talk on the phone regularly. What getting to know an intersexed person has convinced me of is the deep complexity of gender.

As a theologian, it’s often the exceptions to the norm that I need to pay attention to. For example, if you think that the imago dei is rationality, I’ll ask you if a person whose rationality has been damaged — say the victim of a diving accident — is no longer a creature made in the image of God. That might make you rethink your definition of the imago dei.

There’s been a lot of talk on the internet over the last week after Southern Baptist spokesman Russell Moore wrote about how Christians should respond to the “transgender question.” Moore says that transgendered persons are not freaks, but then he goes on to write this:

But we don’t believe this alienation can be solved by pretending as though we have Pharaoh-like dominion over our maleness or femaleness. These categories we believe (along with every civilization before us) are about more than just self-construction, and they can’t be eradicated by a change of clothes or chemical tinkering or a surgeon’s knife, much less by an arbitrary announcement in the high school gym.

The transgender question means that conservative Christian congregations such as mine must teach what’s been handed down to us, that our maleness and femaleness points us to an even deeper reality, to the unity and complementarity of Christ and the church. A rejection of the goodness of those creational realities then is a revolt against God’s lordship, and against the picture of the gospel that God had embedded in the creation.

In other words, Moore says that “male” and “female” are not only the majority categories, they are reified, God-ordained categories. And anyone who does not unequivocally self-identify with one or the other is inherently disordered. Of course, this is not new thinking coming from conservative evangelicals, even if Moore tries to communicate it in more compassionate terms than others have.

Moore’s wrong in a number of ways. Firstly, not every society before us thought of human gender in these categories. In fact, nearly every society had and has other categories — albeit, minority categories — in which people whose gender isn’t specifically male nor female fit. When I lived on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, these individuals were called Winkte — that’s the Lakota word for a “two-souls person,” the Native American category for homosexual, trans, and intersexed people. Winktes are not marginalized or persecuted on Pine Ridge, but rather seen as persons with strong medicine. Virtually every ancient society has a similar classification for gay, trans, bi, and intersexed persons.

The supposed “goodness of those creational realities” is a fiction. There are no such categories. Here Moore sounds less like a biblical Christian and more like a Platonist or a Kantian. The Bible, as opposed to dualistic philosophies, is rife with sexual complexity, be it a eunuch or a daughter who has sex with her father. Some minority sexuality is condemned, some is not.

Of course, a conservative is going to try to conserve traditions. It’s just that Moore is dramatically overstating the historic reality.

For a progressive, like me, other inputs like science and human experience modify traditions. Science has shown, unequivocally, that sexuality and gender is far more complex than Moore makes it out to be.

And, for me personally, having a friendship with an intersexed person and hearing how that person experiences the world has done more than anything to convince me that sexuality and gender is irreducibly complex.

See also Andrew Sullivan’s coverage here and here.

How has your experience with GLBTI persons changed your theology of sexuality and gender?

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  • “Science has shown, unequivocally, that sexuality and gender is far more complex than Moore makes it out to be.”

    That, too, has been my problem with the conservative groups I have removed myself from within the last year (I was raised Southern Baptist and went to a Southern Baptist college/seminary). Conservatives want to simplify these issues because of their complexities. The complexities are difficult, perhaps overwhelmingly so to some, and so most conservatives find coping with such complexities too exacerbating. Hence their plea for simplification.

    Being gay has, no doubt, influenced the way I think about certain passages of the Bible; even though I was raised in a very conservative Southern Baptist tradition, I’ve come to view certain perceived “anti-gay” verses in a different vein; still, some other verses I find troubling. But “being” gay has not been the all-determinate influence of reading Scripture differently; not being ashamed of being gay has been a great determinate influence for reading passages differently. Living my life under guilt and shame for being gay caused all sorts of cognitive distortions. But that’s for another time. Great post!

  • Steven Kurtz

    So much of our conversation turns on our expressed or assumed bibliology. What do we make of Genesis? The issues are enormous. Does a traditional reading of the theological implications of one verse about gender set in stone forever a particular set of perspectives about human sexuality? Does not that kind of bibliology require a literalist reading of the text (i.e. all of Genesis)? Which would entail a literal reading of the flood story (genocide – as a response to a) human evil or b) the “watchers” copulations with mortal women, or some combination of the two) and the tower of Babel (- should we have a “theology of human language” taken from there?). But it’s worse than that. As some have said, there is no need to deconstruct the bible: it deconstructs itself. Taking Gen. 1:27 as a prime example, the text says “So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” This says two things at once: 1) that two distinct genders were created; 2) that both bear the singular “image” of God – who must be then trans-gendered. Why is statement 1 celebrated and not also statement 2? Presumably for reasons that go beyond the text.

    • Guest

      I find it funny that we don’t want to rely heavily on the Bible to define gender, but claim we can rely on science. I look at science (that which shows me the natural order of the universe and life all around me.) It seems to me if we have to go through some major efforts to overhaul someone’s physical body, we are going against nature. The average transgender has to go through at least a year of psychotherapy, hormone treatment, and THEN a major surgery. This tells me that what we are embracing actually goes AGAINST science. The thing is, we live in a world where we can sin (go against nature) and not reap the consequences. We can indulge whatever crazy, backwards scheme comes into our heads and not reap what we sow. Of course, nature abhors a vacuum. Eventually our technological infrastructure will collapse and in the future, our grandchildren will be stuck footing the bill.

      • Steven Kurtz

        I don’t know. I wish it were easier. I wish I felt like I lived in a world in which I could be confident about what nature teaches us. I hate it that you can say the two words that should never be said together, “pediatric oncology” but, we do. Nature alway seems to have a majority situation and then lots of minority alternatives. Which is the most “natural”? Genes mutate – they tell us that most of the mutations are unsuccessful, but the random minority help develop new survival abilities. I find it also interesting that when Paul reflects about what “nature” teaches, it looks very much like what a 1st century Hellenic moral philosopher would say about it than anything especially theistic – like about hair length for men and women, and head coverings. Add to that the awkward observation that if he had been looking across the Mediterranean towards Africa where women’s natural hair goes up and out, not down as a covering, he might have had other things to say. Nature just leaves me with more puzzles than answers. And the bible seems quite situated in times and cultures that it takes quite a bit of bridge work to bring its insights into our world. But let’s keep trying.

  • Mark Kirschieper

    I would argue, that even in the context of a plausible, and rather “literal” Christian reading of the Canon, the Bible would prove the Lakota “two souled person” concept, not far from the truth. The metaphysical personhood of all people, is both masculine and feminine. The gender identity of a person merely emerges, as they mature, eventually coming into puberty. A person’s metaphysical being, can be either pervasively masculine, or feminine, which will then determine the degree of their gender identity, and perhaps even their sexual orientation. Whether the person’s biological “container” is biologically, male, female, or unknown, would only have some minor influence, but is actually almost irrelevant. It’s tragic, that the conservative, Christian traditionalists, can’t look beyond the surface…They’re supposed to be spiritual people, when indeed, they’re actually just simple materialists.

  • Ransom Backus

    “For a progressive, like me, other inputs like science and human experience modify traditions.” That tells me right off the bat there is a problem. We keep the faith pure and free from the input of those still in bondage to sin. Many scientists don’t acknowledge God or His ways, and morality has no bearing in scientific conclusions. So of course if we incorporate secular science and philosophies we will get into something other than what God tells us.
    I cannot speak to complexity but I can speak of the basics. Masculine speaks of the active role. That which acts upon, penetrates, sows into…etc…. Feminine speaks of the passive role, receiving and reacting or responding to the action. So then, when the Bible speaks against the effeminate male, it speaks against the passive. So really it isn’t THAT complex. If you are masculine, you take the active role. On a more compassionate and tender note, masculinity has been destroyed and even been considered an enemy in our post modern, Western culture. We have lost all sight of what is truly masculine and feminine, as anything goes ever since the 60’s. We become confused and arbitrary creatures with no identity and no definition. People like this poor boy are a result of that. I am not going to go on and on about or against the evils of homosexuality or transgenderism. The Church has already COVERED that! LOL. But what I WILL say is that such things are mere symptoms of a much more serious problem. I could go after the pain and discomforts of cancer all day without solving the problem. Instead of taking an aspirin I would go after the cancer itself, which has nothing to do with transgenderism or homosexuality.

    • Mark Kirschieper

      A great MULTITUDE, of very Bible-oriented, hetero Christian traditionalists, engage in intimate sexual behavior, during which the biological male can assume the “passive” role/position; and/or inversely, the biological female can assume the “active” role/position. Active/passive, and penetrating/being penetrated, are TWO entirely different ontological CATEGORIES, of being. These two categories, can co-exist, at the same moment in time. The paradigm and definitions applied in your post, would condemn these fellow brothers and sisters, in Christ, as sexual deviants, and banish them to burn, in the fires of hell. Rather than being judgmental, and condemning, it may be better to just wonder if you might be kind of rather an unimaginative “missionary position”, kind of Christian guy? (Hypothetical, I don’t really want an answer, thanks.)

      • Ransom Backus

        If they are in Christ I encourage them not to indulge the carnal desires that lead to sin and destruction. I warn them and exhort them to identify with Christ and what He designed mankind to be. Here is something I have been thinking about. Since WHEN has God been someone who simply insists that we do more of the same, that doesn’t insist on real transformation, but kind of nods and smiles to whatever we wish to do as long as we don’t overtly hurt anyone? Such a god doesn’t have my respect. I found a God that has HIGH standards for mankind and insists on nothing less, especially from His children. The God I seek insists that I transcend my life here in a cruel, oppressive world filled with demanding, entitled narcissists, not go along with it for more of the same. The transcendent life is transcendent for a reason.

    • Neanderthal, meet Ransom Backus. Ransom Backus, meet Neanderthal. Welcome, both of you, to the twenty-first century — an age in which reality has corrected your errors.

      • Ransom Backus

        Reality…those who go through great lengths including hormone therapy and major surgery to change their gender are in reality? In the twentyfirst century we have left reality on so many levels. We have created a world where we can sin and scientifically alter the course of things so we don’t have to reap the natural consequences. That isn’t reality my friend. And if that makes me a neandrathal…so be it. Your world is the new kid on the block. It has barely scratched out an existence in the midst of the epochs of time. It has yet to prove itself as worthy of lasting. WE have been here since the beginning. We have endured the tests of time. YOUR world…well…..we will wait and see who is left standing when the tests come.

        • Your quasi-rapist mentality (your words: “That which acts upon, penetrates, sows into … etc.”) is not the reality which Jesus enacted. It may be the heathen reality of the Pagan neanderthal, or the misogynist culture of the Greeks and the Romans, but it is not Christian. So, yes, we will wait and see who is left standing when the tests come.

          • Ransom Backus

            Jesus acted upon the void with spoken word…it responded as it yielded life and the world was created. there is nothing rapist or misogynistic about that. The woman is penetrated (as an act of will and consent which is a beautiful thing) and she yields life. That happens all the time and MANY women love the idea (I know my wife does every time she holds our beautiful baby daughter.) A man penetrates the fertile soil with seed and it yields crops (life) That is the very basic ways of nature. I don’t call that rape OR misogynistic…unless you call the very fabric of the cycles of life and death rapist and misogynistic. See…everything I believe is based on the very basic and fundamental laws of nature, unadulterated and unchanged by human hands.

            • “See … everything I believe is based on the very basic and fundamental laws of nature, unadulterated and unchanged by human hands.”

              Leaving, of course, by necessity, that is, everything which does not abide by your perceived worldview outside of that which is “natural.” For you, everything is black or white, with no grey areas. What of homosexuality in nature? Oh, well, that must dismissed because it does not fit your worldview.

              • Ransom Backus

                Ok…homosexuality among animals. Think. Nature is based on survival of the species. Homosexual acts in nature are done as a means of asserting dominance by the alpha male (men aren’t supposed to be dominated in the human arena,. we live for freedom.) The other way it’s done is a social “handshake”. In either case there is no case of a monogamous homosexual relationship in nature that we call marriage. If one did exist, that goes directly against the very basic survival and propagation of the species that is found in ALL animals. If one did exist by anomaly, it ends in the death of an entire bloodline and that is not acceptable in nature. While deviant sexual behaviors of all kinds are found in the animal kingdom, they aren’t done in exchange for reproduction. That is what the humans are trying to do. Nothing in nature insists on living in one sexual scenario that forfeits reproduction. That goes contrary to the secular view of survival of the species according to evolution.
                Now, to address the other common argument from the LGBT community (which I KNOW is on the tip of your fingers as you read this.) what of those couples who can’t reproduce? Obviously they are ill physically and something is wrong. They don’t LIKE the idea and such couples usually prefer to find a way to have children. Those who simply do not want children are usually very selfish and narcissistic and have no business being married as they too go against the very basic construct of nature’s instinct of surviving and thriving.
                AND speaking to transgenderism as this was the topic of the thread. For obvious reasons, the transgender may be able to get hormone therapy and change genitalia, but their life choice will never bear more life. Nature does away with what doesn’t yield more life naturally.
                That being said, as humans we have a far more complex mind and unlike the animals we have the ability to override our slavery to instincts or emotional drives for moral and ethical behavior. This is why it is not acceptable to eat our babies or throw poop at each other (which is also found in the animal kingdom) therefore I don’t recommend using animal behavior as a tone for HUMAN moral reasoning. So when I speak of natural law, I speak of HUMAN natural law, that is, we have that one major ability that sets us apart from the rest of the beasts –making moral decisions based on complex rational thought. Applied to human natural law, mankind agrees unanimously, regardless of which side of the debate you hail from. Man is made to be free AND thrive (reproduce with increase in more life) in this world. Anything detrimental to either of those things is against human nature. I wrote an entire document that I posted on this thread as well. It will take a bit to read, but it contains my full sentiment.

                • You’ve framed the discussion in an entirely inaccurate mode — that of marriage and reproduction; therefore your conclusions with regard to that which is not normative are wrong.

                  “Those who simply do not want children are usually very selfish and narcissistic and have no business being married as they too go against the very basic construct of nature’s instinct of surviving and thriving.”

                  This is an extremely arrogant suggestion, and rather erroneously omniscient of you, as well. Are you God? Can you know this with absolute certainty? I’m astounded by your arrogance — though, really, I shouldn’t be. I read your other threads, as well.

                  Seriously, I realize how dismissive I’m about to be, but your response is so full of errors and holes logically (and biblically — I’m thinking of those called by God to celibacy), that responding in full would just be too tedious and, quite frankly, a waste of time.

                  It’s been … well, it’s been.

                  • Ransom Backus

                    Feel free to point out EXACTLY what those errors are. I checked and rechecked my logic. It can’t be shot down with logic. When one disagrees with me it is purely emotion based. That being said. We will NEVER agree here. And a lot of people won’t agree with YOUR political pundits and factions who are pushing this. The issue is, I don’t care what you do with your genitals or how you choose to live your private life. What bugs me is that your political factions are forcing it on the rest of us through legislation and lawsuits.

                • Dorfl

                  “Nature is based on survival of the species.”

                  Not really. Natural selection operates on individual genes, not on a species as a whole.

                  “Homosexual acts in nature are done as a means of asserting dominance by the alpha male. […] The other way it’s done is a social ‘handshake’.”

                  In some species, yes.

                  “In either case there is no case of a monogamous homosexual relationship in nature that we call marriage.”

                  There isn’t really anything in nature that we normally refer to as ‘marriage’.

                  “If one did exist, that goes directly against the very basic survival and propagation of the species that is found in ALL animals. If one did exist by anomaly, it ends in the death of an entire bloodline and that is not acceptable in nature. […] That goes contrary to the secular view of survival of the species according to evolution.”

                  Evolutionary biologists (religious or not) realised long ago that this kind of naïve adaptionism doesn’t actually describe how natural selection works. Not every trait is going to actively promote that particular individual passing on its genes. Sometimes the selection pressure is simply too weak to weed out the genes for a particular non-adaptive trait. Sometimes a trait is going to be adaptive in some situations but not in others.

                  I’d guess homosexuality is a case of the latter. Genes for attraction to males will be selected for, since the daughters of any individual without that trait will tend not to reproduce. Genes for attraction to females will be selected for, since the sons of any individual without that trait will tend not to reproduce. Every once in a while – just by happenstance – the genes for attraction to one sex will be expressed in an individual of that sex. That particular individual will tend not to reproduce, producing some amount of selection pressure against that happening. But you should not expect the selection pressure to be overwhelmingly strong, since genes switching off attraction to either sex will also – just by happenstance – sometimes end up making an individual completely asexual, which is equally maladaptive.

                  (Insert standard disclaimers about how the word ‘adaptive’ in this context has no moral or social implications whatsoever)

    • Jessica Boone

      In matriarchal cultures women, the feminine is described as the engulfer, the bearer- referring to pregnancy. The feminine is the active role. Men, the masculine, is described as the engulfed, thereby the masculine is the passive role. So, your basics are more rooted in cultural norms, not biological and whether they are biblical is up for debate.

      • Ransom Backus

        that says a lot. thank you for that information. It explains why I abhor this current culture. I get claustrophobic when I am engulfed. and I have been engulfed most of my life. It almost killed me.

      • Ransom Backus

        We live in a dynamic where a lot of men won’t put up with being engulfed (while many will for the sake of comfort and luxury) In the end, unless a mutual agreement can be reached, this is not going to end well. America, right now, is split about 50/50 give or take a couple. A lot of men want freedom to move and breathe without being restricted and engulfed (which is the feminine form of tyranny) and they don’t want a nanny republic. While a lot of effeminate men (gays, trannies, etc…) as well as many feminine want to restrict and engulf (Somehow I picture raw masculinity being in the clutches of a boa constrictor in this scenario.) In the end something has to yield or there is going to be a nasty explosion. Remember, the feminine cannot be the bearer (in pregnancy) unless she is penetrated or acted upon in the raw masculine sense.

  • So in other words, God’s way doesn’t matter, gender is a matter of free will.

    I no longer want to live in the same country as you.

    • Dorfl

      That’s pretty much the opposite of what we know about how transsexuality actually works:

      Some people have a gender opposite to what their anatomy would seem to indicate. They have no choice in the matter. Most of them would choose otherwise if they could. Because their gender is what it is, completely unaffected by free will, therapy, prayer and everything else that well-meaning fools have tried to change it with, we have to accept that the way we’ve tended to think about sex and gender isn’t consistent with reality.


        I know differently. I see how politics has corrupted the science on this subject- how political correctness has *destroyed* any hope of reasonable science on this subject. In other words, I am no longer willing to lie to stay your friend.

        The REALITY is what the physical is, not what you and your drug pushers claim to raise your sales of hormone therapy. And I just pray that my child, who has already been attacked by homosexuals in the 4th Grade, doesn’t buy into your poison.

        • Dorfl

          I read the article you linked, and I’ve no idea how you think it’s relevant to the subject.

          Anyway, a good rule of thumb is that whenever you find that you have blame ‘political correctness’, because the majority of people studying a subject have reached a different conclusion than you hoped for, you’re almost certainly wrong.

          • Tyranny is always wrong, regardless of the subject. If you need to terrorize people to convince them of your so-called evidence, then the conclusion you are defending is most certainly always wrong. The research methodology you’ve used is a form of terrorism, and has no connection to science at all.

            • “If you need to terrorize people to convince them of your so-called evidence, then the conclusion you are defending is most certainly always wrong.”

              Like the terrorizing of LGBTQ persons for the last two thousand years of Church history? That kind of terrorizing? So, then, you admit that your tyrannous methods are wrong? What a wonderful concession!

              “I no longer want to live in the same country as you.”

              You maintain the freedom to leave whenever you want; and I ain’t seen nobody here beggin’ you to stay.


                Yeah, right, LGBTQ people lie all the time. They are the terrorists, and people like you with your censorship just support them.

                And no, people in my economic class do NOT have the freedom to leave whenever we want.

                • “People like you” hahaha . . . There’s only one thing wrong that comment: You don’t know me well enough to make such a comment. Therefore, you are exposed as presumptuous, arrogant, and only showing your true colors. Please, continue the dialogue; you will only further make an ass of yourself.

                  • Thus you continue the derision, without bothering to listen to what I am saying.

                    Your fellow same sex advocates have burned, looted, and vandalized their way into forcing society to agree with them. That cannot, should not, be allowed to stand.

                    • They took their cues from the likes of you and the historical church — though, without question, your cognitive distortions of overgeneralizing and catastrophizing are hindering your objectivity. I’m sure, from the evidence displayed merely on this blog, that you and yours are completely passive and not in the least antagonistic toward your alleged gay opponents who “throw rocks” at you. In other words, I’m sure they do so just because they’re big, gay meanies, and has nothing at all to do with anything you’ve done or said.

                    • I completely agree with where they took their cues from. Of course, that’s only the Protestant Propaganda view of the historical Church, not the truth, but hey, once a liar always a liar.

                      Yep, there’s something I did: my wife and I choose to keep a developmentally disabled son and not abort him.

                      For that we are evil breeders, who apparently deserve to be stoned for our heterosexuality and pro-life views.

                      The fact we’re outspoken about the natural end result of love being procreation and total non-discrimination in procreation, is enough for the homosexuals and the hippies to be against us in their attempt to destroy procreative love.

                    • The apostles reacted much differently to their persecution and martyrdom, not ranting against those by whom they received such abuse (Acts 5:41). I wonder why yours is so very much different.

                    • Oh, I accept it. I just point out that it exists- a point which people like you want to deny. All hail the Holy Homosexuality, King over Christ!

                    • Oh, you do far more than merely point out that it exists — it becomes your pulpit to persecute homosexuals for whom Christ died — the very ones He’s trying to reach by grace; and He’ll never be able to do so through you, not that you actually care one iota. You see, I can mind-read, too!

                    • Is that the same homosexuals that between 1990 and 2004 I campaigned for civil unions for?

                      In March 2004, they proved that they don’t want grace, they want to take over government.

                    • “They”: there you go again nursing that cognitive distortion known as overgeneralizing: not every homosexual is as you perceive; and Christ wants to grace even the ones you so very much despise — those rejecting His grace this very moment; as He does with the same heterosexual political forces wanting their own way — you know, like the Tea Party.

                    • The ones Christ graces, are the ones to whom he grants the virtue of Chastity- and the ones who support heterosexual marriage, knowing that it is a special relationship that is the only way the species can continue.

                      The ones Christ doesn’t grace are the ones who are fighting *against* Christ- who have chosen instead to support Same Sex Marriage in an attempt to destroy the human family.

                      I understand full well why somebody who believes in post modern deconstructionism over Christ would choose the later, in the search and worship of the Holy Orgasm No Mater Who Is Harmed.

                    • Well, that is a very convenient orthodox theology you have adopted; and, golly gee, don’t you know, it just so happens to be the one to which YOU subscribe. Shocking.

                    • Has nothing to do with convenience- has to do with TRADITION and BIOLOGY.

                      And it isn’t the one which I subscribed to for 18 years of my life. It is the one I have become convinced is the truth, unalterable by the so-called “enlightenment” and “sexual revolution”, both of which were lies designed to replace Christian love with mere lust (and which succeeded, and your attitude is positive proof of that).

                    • [I could tell you what your attitude is proof positive of, but you’ve wasted enough of my time. Ta ta.]

                      Scratch that: I’m not through yet. You know absolutely nothing about me, and yet you made some of the most ludicrous assumptions about me on a personal level. Though I’m gay, I’m also celibate, because I have a private conviction about same-sex relationships (as Tony is aware, given our email exchanges). And then you want to pin me like your “sexual revolutionist” opponents? You do this to your utter disgust and shame.

                      Just in this brief dialogue with you, I want nothing to do with you, because you do not know how to argue your case with any semblance of objectivity. You incite me (and others) to anger with your fundamentalist rhetoric, and then judge us as Christ-denying liberals for sharing opposing views. Christ Himself will judge you for this despicable, demonic tactic. It’s conservative fundamentalists like you that make me run toward the liberals.

                      Do you know what I wish for you? In spite of your unChristlike attitude and heart, I still wish you the peace of the Holy Spirit in Christ Jesus the King, that He will bless you and keep you from all harm, both spiritual and physical. I pray you be blessed and not cursed, flourish and not lack. In short: I wish you an infinite better life in Christ than you could possibly imagine.

                    • Only you through Christ and His Spirit can change that.

                    • Why should I change what Christ made me to be? Isn’t that your argument for your sexuality being an intrinsic part of your being?

                    • Absolutely not! I have never, not once, ever argued that I was born gay, or that Christ made me gay. Again, you know NOTHING about me, yet you pridefully, arrogantly assume every negative aspect you can contrive about me in order to demean me. THIS, and so many other unfortunate sins, is what Christ needs to change in you.

                    • I said an intrinsic part of your being. Not necessarily that you were born that way.

                      If it isn’t an intrinsic part of your being, why stop at celibacy? Why not just get married to a woman?

                      I was not born a jerk on this issue. In fact, I was completely on the liberal side of this issue until March 2004, when the liberal side became the conservative side overnight.

                    • You asked, in your assumption, “Isn’t that your argument for your sexuality being an intrinsic part of your being?” I cannot change my attraction. I’ve prayed agonizingly over 17 years for God to change me — to suit people like you and your interpretation of the Bible — and no change. I’m not even vying for you to accept any of this. All I want is for you and people like you to treat others with respect. That, thus far displayed, seems to be asking far too much from you.

                      Whatever contributing factors to me being gay, I can’t change it, and can’t just be attracted to a woman and marry her. That wouldn’t be right to either one of us. Her, because she deserves someone who finds her beautiful, inside and out. Me, because I find women sexually repulsive.

                      So, you weren’t born a jerk on this issue. Then perhaps there’s hope for you yet. Perhaps.

            • Dorfl

              ‘Tyranny’, ‘terrorize’ and ‘terrorism’ are words that have a fairly well-defined meaning. That meaning is not “making me feel a bit uncomfortable”.

              • I don’t know how else to take being called a breeder and having rocks thrown at me and my son. I don’t know how else to take working hard for AIDS hospice and then having your church vandalized. I don’t know how else to take the hatred.

                • Dorfl

                  If you have been physically assaulted, then I am sorry. Initiating the use of physical force is something we should never do.

                • Guest

                  Then I suppose you feel sympathy with LGBTI people, who are called f****t and have rocks thrown at them and who are targets of hate crimes, vandalism, assaults, murders, etc. Many of them don’t know how to take the hatred, so then I suppose you would understand why anti-gay fights is then seen as tyranny and terrorism.

                  Ridiculously often throughout the history of the gay rights struggle, people have needed to terrorize gay and trans people to convince them of their so-called evidence – which does show really that the conclusion those anti-gays defend is most certainly wrong.

                  • Yes, I have always argued against gay bashing. Right up until March 2004, when it became heterosexual bashing. Now I argue against that.

                    • Guest

                      It didn’t transform into heterosexual bashing. Gay bashing has still existed past March 2004. And gay bashers still fight gays and people who are transgender while trying to convince people of evidence against their rights.

                    • “It didn’t transform into heterosexual bashing. ”

                      Then why is heterosexual bashing going on?

                    • Guest

                      Because heterosexual bashing is something NEW, something different than gay bashing, which continues to go on. Usually aimed towards people who are actually anti-gay, too – not those who are allies of the LGBT community.

                      And cisgender bashing isn’t happening, while transgender bashing is probably the strongest of all.

                    • Oswald Carnes

                      Breeder bashing, if it is in fact going on, is called reaping what you sow. You people have been treating people like me with violence and hatred for centuries; now it’s your turn. It’s downright biblical!

                    • And with it, comes the extinction of the human race- which is really the entire point.

                    • Guest

                      No, insults from a group who is commonly insulted doesn’t lead to the extinction of the human race. And no, it is not the point of the equality movement to eliminate the entire human race.

                      I find it perplexing that someone would claim that. What makes you think that LGBTQ people who have been struggling for equality want to bring about extinction of the human race?

                    • The end result of the spread of homosexuality, which is contagious, is a species that doesn’t breed.

                      I’m sure somebody who believes the lie that homosexuality is inborn, rather than created out of a broken and sinful world, would not understand what exactly those of us who do breed are fighting for.

                    • Guest

                      Wow, how silly! I think it’s very odd to say that gay people catch homosexuality from others, or that straight people are at risk of catching homosexuality from others.

                      But don’t worry – homosexuals are breeding through surrogacy and IVF and will continue to in the future.

                      But you claimed that the point is extinction, which still doesn’t mention why you think gay equality wants extinction. Are you just saying they want to stop everyone from breeding when people catch the homosexual contagion?

                      The good thing is you really have no evidence for any of this silliness, or no evidence that there’s a lie of homosexuality being inborn. And as a homosexual person who plans to breed, and with friends of many heterosexual people who breed and plan on it, we all know that there is no reason to fight against homosexuals… unless you don’t actually have any sympathy for LGBTI people and are one of those who perpetuates the tyranny and terrorism against them.

                      Breed away – and I will too. I have no reason to fight against that or for the extinction of the human race. I don’t know how you would convince ANYONE, whether supportive or against gay people, of that, though!

                    • “Wow, how silly! I think it’s very odd to say that gay people catch homosexuality from others, or that straight people are at risk of catching homosexuality from others.”

                      And yet the majority of homosexuals, have child abuse in their past.

                      IVF isn’t breeding, it is agriculture.

                      Gay equality is just a fake, a cover for the destruction of heterosexuals. If gay equality was the point, the obvious answer would be to get government out of the marriage business entirely and support civil unions without discrimination as to gender, age, number, or species of the partners. That would produce far more equality than this gay marriage business.

                    • Guest

                      Do they? Is that something that has been found by evidence? Because in all my research, it seems the best predictor of adult sexual orientation is toy preference at age 2-3, not sexual abuse. But of course, when you have to resort to gay bashing and saying they want to destroy humanity, in your own words your conclusions shouldn’t be trusted.

                      And then this seems really strange, because you call homosexuality contagious, but then relate it to child abuse, which are two separate things. If homosexuality were the effect to a cause of child abuse, that’s very different than being a contagion that is spread.

                      IVF is definitely breeding. It is a specific type, but it is breeding. And straight people and gay people who do it aren’t leading to the destruction of humanity, but are perpetuating the species. Because their goal isn’t to destroy humanity, or heterosexuality.

                      Heterosexual allies and gay people don’t care to destroy heterosexuals. My TONS of straight friends who support me don’t want to destroy heterosexuals. And they don’t want to bring about the destruction of humanity.

                      If gay equality was the point, the obvious answer would be to treat marriages equally for gay and straight couples, which is what is going on – I don’t see why changing from marriage to civil unions does anything but add a step. And changing from marriage to civil unions doesn’t prevent all the silly things you’re claiming, does it?

                      Why do you continue to cling to your anti-gay terrorism and tyranny?

                    • What *converted* me to being anti-gay, was the actions of the gay community. The bullying, the gay pride parades, the vandalism.

                      And yes, the child sex abuse. Read the John Jay report.

                      Your straight friends don’t know what they are supporting. YOU may not know what you are supporting.

                      But I know what you are supporting: Broken people being confirmed in their brokenness and left without any recourse but to continue to be broken.


                    • Guest

                      Then why are you anti-gay, when anti-gays bully, have anti-gay parades, and vandalize? Shouldn’t their actions have converted you away from being anti-gay? Should you be on neither side?

                      And what about my actions, me in particular? What about my actions are there that make you against me as a gay person? Or a lesbian as a gay woman?

                      And child sex abuse – you attribute some child molesters in the Catholic church to apply to all gay men and lesbians?

                      My straight friends know very well what they are supporting, because they know me, they know my fiance, and they know my step-son. I know what I’m supporting, I’m supporting equality for gay and lesbians and transgender people. I’m not supporting destruction of humanity, as you claimed, as I have no reason to!

                      You also haven’t explained your overall theory which seems fantastical, that gay people exist because of child abuse, which somehow becomes contagious, and then they want to stop breeding and destroy humanity while themselves breeding?

                      I know that many LGBT people are broken, which is why there are support groups to help them face the struggles with acceptance, the oppression and tyranny and terrorism from anti-gays.

                      What it seems is that you say you are against certain things done to straights, but ignore them when done to gays, and have a double standard where you’re allowed to partake in tyranny and terrorism much worse than any gay person ever wants to do.

                    • I’ve never seen a heterosexual pride parade- and would likely be against that too, since pride is the problem.

                      “I know that many LGBT people are broken, which is why there are support groups to help them face the struggles with acceptance, the oppression and tyranny and terrorism from anti-gays.”

                      Being gay is part of the broken. I don’t see the support groups changing that very often, in fact, it’s now against the law in several states for such support groups to operate at all.

                    • Guest

                      I don’t see a problem with pride – not when it’s proud to be American on the Fourth of July and their parades, not when it’s proud to be of Irish heritage on St. Patrick’s Day and their parades, and not on Mardi Gras, though that’s not so much about pride.

                      But if people being prideful is what makes you want to be against them, why do you think that is? Are you against Americans and Irish and blacks who are proud of themselves?

                      I think gay people should be proud to be themselves despite all the shame and anti-gay rhetoric out there and misinformation that people are about destroying families and destroying humanity. These people aren’t proud to be destroying anything, they are proud to be themselves in spite of that hate, misinformation, terror and tyranny.

                      Being gay is a sexual orientation. One which a lot of people put plenty of baggage onto, like you try now – you create the brokenness. Instead of any support, others and you decide instead to attack gays as child molesters, as victims of child abuse, carriers of a contagious disease, who are evil and want to bring about the destruction of humanity. Is there any wonder why gay people hearing this misinformation over and over sometimes have struggles and feel broken? It’s what these support groups are there to help – and that support is not at all illegal.

                      What you might mean are conversion groups, not support groups (like those formerly organized and run by Exodus) – who let their own prejudices against homosexuality get in the way of seeing people and helping them become healthy and happy.

                      And conversion groups don’t make sense if it’s a result of child abuse. Conversion groups don’t make sense if it’s contagious. Conversion groups don’t make sense if these people are in fact evil who want to destroy humanity, as they don’t address that. So all your statements really seem to conflict, and make no sense – while the side that is supportive and allied for equality is consistent and logical, and why the truth wins more and more people every day away from that tyranny and towards coexistence.

                    • Pride is a deadly sin, and needs to be eliminated. No matter what one is prideful of- pride causes one to destroy others.

                      Gays are broken because their sexual orientation is not in keeping with their physical reality; the cause of their sexual orientation is likely not their fault, but they can’t be whole until they grow up and accept what is instead of what they want it to be.

                      Only by abandoning the sexual orientation, and accepting physical gender, can healing begin at all.

                    • Guest

                      So why the focus on being anti-gay? Why not be anti-American, and anti-black, and anti-Irish, since a lot of these people feel pride? Are you eliminating it by trying to make people feel ashamed of who they are? That only seems to make the reason for pride to exist stronger.

                      So their sexual orientation is likely not their own fault – so you no longer believe it’s an option that people choose? It seems you think gay people are broken because you WANT them to be broken – and that anti-gay attitude is shameful. Gay people do grow up, and accept that gay is their sexual orientation, despite many wanting just to be straight. And that’s why when gay people accept their sexual orientation they become whole – not broken.

                      People can’t abandon sexual orientation, anymore than they can abandon physical gender. And the two are not in conflict.

                      Gay people who accept themselves are quite healed. Quite healthy. And on the road to support and happy lives, despite the despicable effects that people like you can have on their psyche. It’s amazing the things you ignore and the hypocrisy in your words. It’s a wonder you can’t see that most of the things you say apply more to yourself than to gay couples and families like mine.

                    • Americanism is a heresy- so is all nationalism outside of the Kingdom of God.

                      Humility and shame are gifts from God that teach.

                      I never believed homosexuality was “an option people choose”. It is something that is chosen for them, by the sin of the fallen world.

                      Anybody can abandon sexual orientation. It isn’t easy but it is possible. Sexual orientation is fantasy. Reality is physical gender.

                      It’s kind of like money. Money isn’t real, it’s a shared myth. It is possible to abandon the use of money, but I don’t see many usurers doing so.

                      I can’t change reality merely because YOU want it to change. I tried going that route, it’s a stupid route to take.

                      One doesn’t grow up by accepting one’s childish sexual fantasies. One grows up by abandoning one’s childish sexual fantasies.

                      And as long as your sexual orientation denies the reality of physical gender, you aren’t healed, not by any stretch of the imagination.

                    • Guest

                      Two hours ago you said that homosexuality was an optional life style – do you deny that, or were you unclear?

                      Why not be anti-Christian, then, if a lot of Christians are proud to be Christian? Why not be anti-black, and anti-Irish, since a lot of these people feel pride? Are you eliminating it by trying to make people feel ashamed of who they are? That only seems to make the reason for pride to exist stronger.

                      No, nobody can abandon sexual orientation. It’s not like money. People cannot choose to abandon their sexual attractions and become asexual beings. They can choose to ignore their attractions, but they cannot abandon them. Sexual orientation is real, not fantasy – it exists in every person, which is why people partner up. Not because of something each person made up, but because of something real. You have a heterosexual orientation, which is not fantasy. You can’t abandon it and no longer be attracted to the opposite sex. Your sexual orientation is real.

                      I never said anything about wanting reality to change, I love reality – I just wish you’d accept it.

                      I never said anything about “childish sexual fantasies,” so please stop lying and your hatred. I said sexual orientation, which is not childish – it’s something that people carry until their dying day while still thinking of their loving spouse. That’s not childish, that’s grown up beyond measure.

                      Sexual orientation doesn’t have to deny your physical gender, whether gay or straight. And for the vast majority of gay people, they know their gender and don’t deny it, and they know the gender of their partner and don’t deny it.

                      YOU may deny that, just like you deny the existence of people having a sexual orientation. But it’s real, it can be studied by reading brain signals, just as gay and straight people can figure out their gender AND their sexual orientation.

                    • I’m talking about how I felt 10 years ago vs what happened 9 years ago to change my opinion.

                      Homosexuality hasn’t been an alternate life style for 9 years now. It is now a required lifestyle, fed by lies like ” nobody can abandon sexual orientation” when I’ve known people who have done it. It’s a fantasy. It is entirely in the mind.

                      I choose my heterosexual orientation for the sole purpose of getting a wife and being able to procreate. It has no other purpose.

                      I’d still be attracted, but I can ignore that attraction for activities that are far more pleasurable and profitable.

                    • Guest

                      So you’re not anti-Christian, anti-black, or anti-Irish because nothing happened 9 years ago to make you spiteful? Then don’t pretend it’s logic or anything driving you to shame others, if it’s just spite for what someone did to you 9 years ago, and you decided to judge all gay, lesbian, transgender and intersex people for it.

                      I was still learning to understand my sexual orientation 9 years ago, and it would be a few years before I was honest with myself and others about who I was attracted to. And I didn’t do it so I had to put up with lies from you about how I’m bent on destruction of humanity, or how I require everyone to be homosexual now, or how I caught it from someone, or how I must have been molested, or that I’m broken. I did it so I could heal and accept myself for who I am in reality, not who homophobes want me to be.

                      And now your statements seem to make less sense – so you are agreeing with your previous statement, that it is an optional life style – and now saying it’s somehow an option that all must choose?

                      It’s true – nobody can abandon their sexual orientation and become asexual. You will still have attractions. You can’t cease them, that’s not under a heterosexual’s control or a homosexual’s control. Those attractions are REAL. It is in the mind, of course, just like all things brain controlled. And it is quite real.

                      You don’t choose your heterosexual orientation, unless you are bisexual and choosing to ignore heterosexuality. You are not an asexual being who chooses simply to marry a random woman and procreate.

                      You’d still be attracted, because you have a heterosexual orientation – that’s what it means! You can’t choose not to be attracted, because you can’t choose to abandon your sexual orientation. And you can ignore your attraction, too, as I said, but you can’t abandon your orientation. Your attraction is real, it’s not a myth.

                    • It isn’t logic. Shame is an emotion that can only come from the inside, nobody else “shames” you.

                      You choose to join the debate on the side of gay marriage, which has little to do with orientation and everything to do with forcing everybody else to accept your delusions.

                      If you were actually healing and accepting yourself for who you are in reality, you’d accept the reality that you can only have a child with a woman involved. You may pay her like a prostitute, which is what most gay couples do, but you need her eggs to have a child. You will never be equal because your orientation is inherently disordered.

                      “Attraction” is no more real than any other hallucination our subconscious minds come up with. And is under our willful control- it can be shaped, for instance, by pornography.

                    • Guest

                      Thanks for admitting your anti-gayness is not logical, and more spiteful that you don’t have against Christians and blacks and Irish people – you only personally hate gays, and you are letting that cloud your proper judgement.

                      People can and do shame you. Shame the verb means “to drive, force, etc through shame,” as in shaming a white girl to break up with her black boyfriend. Plenty of people try to shame others for dating outside their race – or outside what they think is the right gender.

                      I do choose to join the debate on the side of gay marriage. It has nothing to do with forcing people to accept any delusions. It has to do with talking about why I should be allowed to marry my fiance, and others should be allowed to marry theirs.

                      And you were the one who brought up orientation as something that is contagious and caught by transmission from others, as a result of molestation, as an option.

                      And guess what – I actually know I can only have a child with a woman involved. My step-son has his mother. My future children will have surrogates. Women will be involved, and I’m very knowledgeable about that. Why you think I’m not is beyond me. But I am healed, and I’ve accepted myself, and I realize that may be hard for you to get.

                      It is appalling that you call surrogate mothers prostitutes, and even more hateful that you ignore when straight infertile couples do it as well.

                      I am equal, because my worth is not tied to whether I can procreate or not. My orientation is fine, not disordered, and my worth is not in my orientation. My humanity cannot be reduced to that, nor can any person gay or straight be reduced to procreation.

                      Attraction is real. Just as hunger is real. Just as thirst is real. Just as exhaustion is real. These are all in our brains, and they are all real. And sexual orientation still cannot be abandoned – you admit yourself you still will feel attraction, because that is your sexual orientation. Just as we still feel hunger, and thirst, and tired. There’s aspects we can control, but we can’t abandon those feelings.

                    • “I do choose to join the debate on the side of gay marriage. It has nothing to do with forcing people to accept any delusions. It has to do with talking about why I should be allowed to marry my fiance, and others should be allowed to marry theirs.”

                      The only reason to get married is to have children. The only way two human beings can have children is heterosexually. Even IVF requires a woman. Your sexual orientation is against marriage, and that has NOTHING to do with what society allows and everything to do with biology.

                      Sexual orientation is a delusion. It is not reality. Our culture allows people to have their delusions. You have a right to yours. But you do not have a right to force me to accept your delusion.

                    • Guest

                      The only reason to get married is to have children? If you want children, you don’t have to get married – you can have children without marriage. So, that must mean there is NO reason to get married, right?

                      The ways that people can have children is through IVF, surrogacy, adoption, procreation – none of them require marriage, and none of them require heterosexuality. My surrogate is likely going to be a homosexual, and I might be a donor for her.

                      My sexual orientation is not against marriage, I am planning on marrying currently and it’s perfectly fine with my marriage. Marriage has nothing to do with biology.

                      Sexual orientation is real. Attraction is real. You even said yourself you have it, and you would still experience it. You’re not delusional. You’re just acknowledging your own attractions. Just as hunger and thirst are real, not delusions. And I cannot force you to accept that hunger is real, that thirst is real, or that attraction is real, or that sexual orientation is real. You’re free to your delusions that they are delusions themselves. I can’t force you to do anything – despite your delusion that somehow me typing these words is forcing you to do anything.

                    • “If you want children, you don’t have to get married – you can have children without marriage.”

                      But doing so harms the child.

                      “The ways that people can have children is through IVF, surrogacy, adoption, procreation – none of them require marriage, and none of them require heterosexuality”

                      All of them require heterosexuality- all of them require sperm to meet egg and the use of a womb. The fact that two of them require prostitution as well, is proof of that.

                    • Guest

                      “But doing so harms the child.”

                      Then restate your premise. The “only reason” for marriage is not to have children… but it is what?

                      “All of them require heterosexuality- all of them require sperm to meet egg and the use of a womb.”

                      All of them require sperm, egg, and womb, but they don’t all require heterosexuality. Heteroseuxality is someone being attracted to the opposite sex.

                      “The fact that two of them require prostitution as well, is proof of that.”

                      Prostitution is paying people for sex. I see you have a problem with definitions. Why is it that anti-gay people so often lie about definitions?

                    • Procreating means successfully raising an adult.

                      You can’t do that without a heterosexual relationship, because you can’t provide your child with a mother and a father.

                      IVF and surrogate motherhood require prostitution.


                    • Guest

                      No, actually, the definition of procreate means to beget or bring forth offspring. Please don’t continue to lie. A dictionary is easy to find.

                      But if we are talking about successfully raising an adult, I can do that. Single parents have done that, same sex couples have done that, adoptive couples have done that. Raising a child doesn’t have to do with fertility. And it is possible regardless of gender.

                      Prostitution is sex for pay, not surrogacy. Please stop lying about words.

                    • Prostitution is *renting one’s body for pay*. It need not be sex- it’s whatever the John wants to pay for.

                      It isn’t a lie to say that procreation takes 18-35 years, depending on the child. It is your culture that wants to lie about it and claim that they have no responsibility to provide a child with a mother and a father.

                      Single parents, same sex couples, and adoptive couples are the reason why psychiatrists get rich.

                    • Guest

                      No, prostitution is the act or practice of engaging in promiscuous sexual relations especially for money.

                      Again, a dictionary is easy to find. Please don’t continue to lie about words.

                      Procreation takes 9-10 months typically. Because procreation means to bring forth offspring. Which takes about 9 – 10 months.

                      This doesn’t say anything about “responsibility,” which is an entirely different matter.

                      All parents are the reason why psychiatrists get rich. Even opposite sex parents.

                    • Dictionaries are biased towards liberalism- have been ever since the first one called “Tory” “a stupid git”.

                      Procreation doesn’t stop until the offspring is an adult.

                      Good opposite sex parents raise kids without lying to them like your parents lied to you.

                    • Guest

                      Then I see you are deliberately making up your own definitions of words, and as such, it is not possible to carry on a conversation as you when you replace the meanings of words to suit your agenda.

                      I find it absurd that you think you know my parents, and judge my parents, and say that my parents lied to me. Thank you for showing how spiteful, hateful, and deliberately dishonest the anti-gay side is. What does that bring you? What do you hope to accomplish?

                    • Wake up.

                    • Guest

                      Let’s see, either I side with the dictionary, my parents, reality, and logic…

                      …or I side with the anti-gay who makes up his own definitions of words, judges my parents, attacks me as disordered and inequal and and says gays should be his slaves to protect his freedom, and laments about the loss of respect.

                      Who do you think needs to wake up?

                    • Pofarmer

                      You should really quit trolling other peoples blogs until your disingenuous Catholic Cohorts allow comments on theirs.

                    • Oswald Carnes

                      Too bad you people couldn’t work well with others. Ain’t karma a bitch?

                    • Ignorance of biology is the bitch

                • Dorfl

                  That, on the other hand, is neither tyranny, terrorizing nor terrorism.

                  “My right to discriminate against others is being infringed against, which is like meta-discrimination against me” remains a silly argument, no matter how many times and in how many forms it gets repeated.

                  • When you use and threaten violence, it doesn’t matter what the other side has done. Discrimination itself is a silly complaint.

                    • Dorfl

                      I agree that someone initiates the use of violence, it no longer matters what was done to provoke them. I said as much above.

                    • Then you agree that those who incite violence against those who discriminate- have taken the argument to an entirely new level, one in which the discrimination itself hardly matters at all.

                    • Dorfl

                      Those who begin to use violence are clearly in the wrong, yes.

      • K. C. Sunbeam

        Obviously the feelings of those with transgender ideation in society (I’m one) should be respected by everyone. Especially in the Computer Age; there’s no excuse for ignorance. However, that being said, why can’t we all be satisfied with what God has given us? Especially when many people throughout the world don’t even have adequate food, housing, or medical care. Besides, a physical transformation is no guarantee of happiness.
        My website:

    • Gary in FL

      “I no longer want to live in the same country as you.”

      Send us a postcard when you get to wherever the doctrine is purer!

      • My point isn’t that doctrine needs to be purer, but that the government needs to stop interfering in the churches.

        Every heresy contains a truth- and the truth behind same sex marriage is that the government shouldn’t be in charge of who can get married.

        • Ransom Backus

          It isn’t even the government interfering anymore. Private activist groups do a great job at it too. Ideally, I am all for a live and let live mentality in a fallen world. If men want to boink each other, change their gender, or shack up and arbitrarily call it a marriage, I really don’t care. My biggest beef is that they impose it on us. They won’t leave us alone about it and are intolerant of what WE believe. That is why I believe a Libertarian “live and let live” situation is now called for. They get to do whatever they please and we don’t have to be inconvenienced by it in any way (i.e. a cake shop being sued because they don’t want to make a gay wedding cake.)

          • I’ve been arguing *for* civil unions being universally available and non-discriminatory for 20 years now. Before 2004, that made me a liberal. Aver 2004, it made me an evil bigot. But it is still the right answer- leave marriage to religions, take the civil farce that used to be marriage and turn it into the contract to join property that it always was that has nothing to do with sex, love or even species.

          • Guest

            That doesn’t sound any more accurate for gays than it does for straights.

            Straights impose the same things on everyone. Straights – if they were denied anything – wouldn’t leave people who are intolerant of what they believe alone. Straights are protected, in every state and in all federal law.

            Straights can boink each other, or shack up and arbitrarily call it a marriage, and people TRULY don’t care – but when gays do it, they actually do care. Because when straights do it, people truly to live and let live and allow them have all the government protections. But gays have to be fought against government protections. And when gays want what straights get, it’s imposing, but not for straights.

            A cake shop being sued because they don’t want to make a straight wedding cake? You actually don’t hear about it because it doesn’t happen. Unless it was an interracial straight wedding cake, or a Jewish gay wedding cake, then you’d possibly consider it might happen and could be sued over. But in reality, cake shops are not inconvenienced by making cakes – it is what they do.

    • Oswald Carnes

      I hear Tehran is lovely this time of year. You’ll fit right in!

      • No, I don’t, because the Ayatollah believes in a random Allah who cannot be constrained to rationality.

    • Pofarmer

      See ya.

  • Eric Cepin

    . . . conservative christians are right regarding gender, and so are progressive christians. The problem is we just don’t like cognitive dissonance.

  • Two things that happened around the same time changed my views about gender. First, I watched this show where kids audition to get a role on Glee. One of the kids was an awkward gay young man. He was doing all right during the show, but not great. Then one day he decided to dress up as a woman to sing. It was AMAZING. He was more alive. More real. He seemed so awkward as a male and so…right…as a female. It was a transformative moment for me.
    About the same time I had been a follower of Melissa’s blog called Permission to Live. And she started telling the story about her wife Haley. I believe the series was called Unwrapping the Onion, or something like that. Her story convinced me that transgender issues are real and that Haley is not broken or lesser-than or someone I should be wary of. I would now happily invite any intersexed person into my life as a friend.
    I’m sad and sorry that I spent so many years of my life in fear.

  • I’ve realized homosexuality is quite in order, and I’ve given on my blog what I think to be strong theological grounds for endorsing it as the Church:

    I’m undecided about trans-sexuality.

    Greetings from continental Europe

    Lothars Sohn – Lothar’s son

  • R Vogel

    Of course the traditionalists can fit homosexual and trans-gendered into their bigoted framework, but how does one fit the intersexed? Your physical genitalia do not establish you decisively as male or female, so how does one decide? If you make a decision to surgically ‘correct’ the genitalia, how do you decide which way to go? Can you make a mistake (thus creating a trans-gendered person), or does the physical determine the gender assignment? If it does, then following that logic if I took any of the traditionalist males who commented on this blog, put them in a medication induced coma and did re-assignment surgery on them, they would the become female, correct?

    I love the term ‘two-souls person’ BTW – reminds me of an interesting story I heard about a woman who was determined to be a ‘chimera’ after they found she had two separate strands of DNA. One of the doctors who was there said to her “Do you think you have two souls?”

  • Ransom Backus
    While this doesn’t address transgenderism, it still ties in beautifully. I managed to create an effective argument for my stance without ever once using the Bible or my religion.

  • P. Sufenas Virius Lupus

    As a gender- and sexually-diverse person myself, I appreciate your attention to these matters very much indeed.

    The situation with the Winkte and other alternative gender identities in many indigenous and premodern cultures, though, is even more complex than you’ve said above. It tends to be a gender identity, and not necessarily (at least historically–it is increasingly so now, mostly under modern, American, and Christian influences) something pertaining to sexual orientation. Most Native American peoples were fine with anyone having sex with whomever they wished; gender identity is something else entirely.

    And, for that matter, trans individuals and other gender-variant individuals are another matter altogether, too. Trans individuals are gender-variant, but only in the view of the mainstream culture; in themselves, they are not a balance between the genders or anything of that nature, they are simply the binary gender that they were not assigned at birth. Individuals like myself are not binary gendered at all. And intersexed people can be any number of possibilities: some would like to be a binary gender, while others would like to be exactly what they were at birth without nonconsensual surgical interventions or the impositions of society’s or their parents’ gender preferences and constructions.

    The link between all of these things, though, which even some members of the various modern queer communities do not seem to want to acknowledge or understand, is that mainstream culture objects to gay, lesbian, bisexual, and trans people because they are perceived to be doing things inappropriate for their reified and essentialized genders: men shouldn’t be having sex with men because that’s not manly, etc., and men should not want to become women because that’s not manly, etc. There have been efforts on the part of some gay and lesbian individuals to marginalize or remove from their communities trans individuals; they rightly point out that the issues concerned are different, but they fail to realize that those separate issues and particular needs and desires are met with similar rejection by mainstream heteronormative (and heterosexist) cisgender-privileged societal structures.

    As I said, it’s great that you’re taking notice of these things and bringing this discussion forward within your own religious framework!

  • Sid_Collins

    Years ago I read an article about intersexed persons that changed my mind. I also used to think that transgender people were the victim of a culture that encouraged too rigid sex roles. I changed my mind and concluded, like the author, that sexuality and gender is irreducibly complex.

    Another person who read the same article said, somewhat pathetically, “But they have to CHOOSE male or female!”

    I realized, and said, “No, they DON’T have to choose. Why should they have to choose just to make the people around them comfortable?”

    Why would we assume that just because most life forms on earth reproduce sexually that the male/female biological distinction is the most basic fact about the entire universe and any supernatural realm beyond it? Maybe the most basic distinction in the universe is whether one turns water and sunlight and minerals into energy or whether one consumes other living beings to get energy? It is insanely parochial to me to make spirituality all about the sexual reproductive relationship.

  • Born Between

    I was doing research for our film when I ran across this blog essay. It’s important to differentiate between intersex, which is a natural condition of sex development, and all of the other descriptions of sexual diversity such as gay, transgender or transsexual. The fact is, some of the those in the LGBT community are intersex. But because you are intersex does not mean you are LGB or T.