I know that the transgender topic is tough for many people to talk about. It seems as though most people take one of two possible stances:
They know little to nothing about it and they accept it.
They know little to nothing about it and they reject it.
This doesn’t mean that informed people don’t exist.
On the contrary, informed people most certainly exist. Informed people are vitally important in making this discussion move forward rather than just causing a stalemate between two uninformed positions. And my goal is always to move the conversation to a point where all sides come to a better understanding of what the other people believe.
No controversial issue is made less controversial when all sides remain ignorant.
That being said, I’d like to point you to this video.
I will have to admit that this is the first (and only) video by Fr. Mike that I’ve watched. I am also not Catholic, so we may disagree on other issues of theological or doctrinal importance. However, on this issue Fr. Mike does a great job.
A Quick Summary
To summarize Fr. Mike’s points (in my words) for those who are unable to watch it:
A loving parent will correct their children when their child has an inaccurate view of reality.
The transgender perception is an inaccurate understanding of reality.
We cannot know what it feels like to be a member of the opposite sex. All we have is arbitrary gender stereotypes.
When someone misunderstands reality, it is not reality that needs to change…it is our perspective that needs to change.
Body dysmorphia is not unique to transgenderism. Anorexia and BIID are examples of this.
It is loving to correct someone’s misunderstanding of reality and is not judgmental.
It is our job, as Christians, to walk with people in their brokenness. Walk with them in their hurt. In their misunderstandings. Listen to them. Hear what they’re saying. And ultimately, show them Christ through us.
And lastly, I have just a couple comments.
First, a criticism of Fr. Mike.
Given that we are to walk with people who are hurting and listen to what they’re really saying, I have a hard time when people don’t use the “preferred name” of the person in question.
Now before you freak out and think I’m getting all social-justice-warrior on you, let’s think about it. If you know someone who changes his name from Alfred to Christopher (for whatever reason), wouldn’t it be inconsiderate to call him Al, when he clearly wants to be called Chris? In the same way, I think we should call Caitlyn Jenner, Caitlyn. I think the situation gets a little different when we start to talk about the “preferred pronouns,” but if you want to avoid offending people unnecessarily, why not just use her “preferred pronoun?”
I don’t know, maybe I’m just being overly pragmatic in my analysis of this very emotionally charged situation. I think I probably just don’t feel like trying to dissect an emotional situation with logic and reason.
Second, I have to point out the interesting irony of the situation from a ‘worldview’ perspective.
Fr. Mike said that we cannot actually know what it’s like to be another sex. And that most people rely on gender stereotypes in order to suggest that they identify as the alternate gender. Boys like blue, dirty trucks, and jeans. Girls like pink, clean dolls, and skirts.
Now this is where the irony comes in. Given that “the left” (on the political spectrum, I mean) is always fighting so hard against these gender stereotypes, why is it that they’re fine with these stereotypes when it comes to people who claim to identify with the other gender, because of these (otherwise allegedly offensive) stereotypes?
Alright, that’s all I have to say about this issue.
At least…for the time being.
Let me know what you think about the video, my comments, or both!