Through The Cracks Ministries!

The Gender Spectrum
Written by Randy Constan, Mar. 2001, last revised Nov. 2008

All that the Father gives me will come to me,
and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. -- Jesus
(John 6:37)

'...But what about us???'

This article is here to demonstrate once again, that anyone struggling with a notion of being condemned by God for who they are has some good news coming: God loves you too! Do the myriad of issues and variations in human sexuality and gender present some special line that when crossed puts those affected under special condemnation? According to Jesus' words quoted above, the answer is: absolutely not! In fact, if you are among those affected by such issues the good news goes even further. Not only does God love you as much as any of His children, but you are actually far better off in God's sight than those who have oppressed you, especially when people bring such condemnation in the very name of God!

It is my intent to identify and challenge such condemnation and oppression, and in doing so accomplish two parallel goals. First and foremost, to help those who have personally struggled with various sexual or gender identity issues to see the full truth of their equality in the eyes of the Lord, and shake loose the bonds of guilt and shame placed upon them by ignorance. Second, to educate the unfamiliar and help them to set aside prejudices they have learned, have been taught, or simply feel without really knowing why. Aversion to people involved with these issues may come from religion, upbringing, fear of the unknown, or a combination of these. But those who aspire to know the mind of God must dare to lay all these aside, to seek the higher calling God has set before us as believers. As I write this, I count myself directly among those who have experienced some of this oppression first hand, and have been privileged to share close bonds with many individuals on many variations of these paths. So as a challenge to both categories, those involved, and those not, it is fitting to begin the discussion by considering this bible verse, from 1-Cor.1:27-29:

"...God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong; He chose the lowly things of this world, and the despised things -- and the things that are not, to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him".

As I write this, It has been more than 30 years since my journey through life with the Lord began. In that time I have observed few more glaring controversies in the United States than the collective issues dividing mainstream Christianity from the wide range of people who's sexual or gender diversity goes outside the popular notions of what is "normal". While racial, ethnic, and women's rights issues have seen much positive dialog and progressive action, the issues I speak of have remained in a seemingly permanent stalemate. Certainly, few issues have caused such universal, unproductive, and perhaps worst of all unnecessary intolerance between people in this day and age, both in and out of church. Many people have mistaken this controversy as limited to the moral questions surrounding homosexuality, and in doing so lump all sexual and gender variation into one category. But that observation is both narrow and inaccurate. The fact is that within the panorama of humanity, there exists an enormously diverse spectrum of people who have been affected by these combined issues, many of whom are not homosexual, but have equally felt the wrath of an intolerant society. Consistent with history, such intolerance and even outright bigotry and hatred are too often both justified in the eye of the oppressor, and given the stamp of approval by their religion.

 

What Spectrum?

For the lay person unfamiliar with the span of such variations, here are some basics, some of which are obvious and others that may not be, depending on your background. It is obvious for example that in the area of physical sex characteristics, there is a huge array of differences between males, and similarly between females. Some women simply have more (or less) traditionally feminine traits then others and conversely, there is quite a range of masculine traits, or the lack thereof, in males. To complete that statement, one must also include the small number of those born with both male and female physical attributes that are usually exclusive of one another. Now let's add to the mix that in addition to this wide range of physical differences, there is an even wider range of male and female emotional and psychological makeup within people of either gender. There are females that mentally have many more masculine attributes then much of the female population, and again the converse is true for males. Unlike physical sex however, there are no mental boundaries beyond which a male cannot be more like a female, and visa-versa. And there are also those that are near neutral or androgynous in their mental and/or emotional male/female makeup, almost to the point of defining a new gender, for which neither male or female alone accurately applies.

Of course there is also the complex element of attraction. Though the majority of the population is at least primarily attracted to the opposite sex, we all know that this is not universally true. Even if you are a firm believer that opposites attract, the fact that so much variation exists certainly makes it apparent that 'opposites' can take many forms. And here again we see situations where individuals may be attracted to both sexes, depending on the respective physical or mental variations in the person they are attracted to. If any of this seems surprising or overly complex, it does not get easier, because the physical, emotional, mental, and attraction components in all the above do not go hand in hand. A female who is more emotionally or mentally masculine then usual is not necessarily attracted to more feminine males, nor is she necessarily even attracted to males at all. The "maleness" or "effeminacy" of a either sex is also no reliable indicator of whether such a person is attracted to their own or the opposite sex, or even the gender related personality of one he/she is attracted to. It surprises many to learn, for example, that the majority of men who cross-dress prefer female partners, as evidenced by years of case studies by professional therapists. The number of variations that actually exist would likely require a three or four-dimensional table to illustrate, and would probably still be lacking.

All these combinations would be readily apparent to everyone, if those affected did not have to hide from a society that oppresses these variations. And let me hasten to point out that the information in the last paragraph is vastly oversimplifying the matter for the sake of brevity. The internet and bookstores are full of professional references for those interested in understanding these matters from the studies and experience of learned professionals. It is amazing just how wide and manifold these variations are.

Nature or Nurture?

When discussing all these issues of cross gender behavior, homosexual attraction, androgyny, etc., it is both common and appropriate to raise questions as to how much of these tendencies are inborn and how much are simply a matter of upbringing. In times past it was natural to assume the latter. All such variations were seen as the result of the social and moral environments under which a child is raised, subject to the teaching of right and wrong by parents and society. But more recently scientists are finding that beyond environment, there are definite differences in both the chemical makeup and structure of the human brains of males and females. These same observable differences, along with other recent studies pointing to unexplained hormonal shifts in the womb, are shedding new light on the cases of individuals who come to realize that their mental and emotional gender are out of sync, to varying degrees, with their physical gender. Hence the reason many seek sexual reassignment surgery, even at the risk of their own lives!

Similar brain differences are also becoming apparent in case studies of homosexuality, and as the science of recognizing these brain patterns advances, it would not be surprising if many other personality traits and tendencies were also found to be inborn. Case studies of personality differences in identical twins represent a more familiar extension of this same theme.

What is interesting but simultaneously very disturbing is that when it comes to gender and sexual issues, the voices most loudly asserting that such matters have nothing to do with nature are usually the ones claiming to represent God's point of view. Setting science and all that the world of psychiatry has to offer aside, many in positions of religious leadership and authority assert that such gender and sexual variations have less to do with "nature or nurture", and more to do with the "choices" that those involved simply decided to make. Such assertions are often made by those with neither the benefit of any formal training in sex therapy or related studies, nor any first hand experience with the issues at hand. Why is there so much determination to ignore scientific evidence in favor of such assertions? Because without the notion of choice, they can no longer justify the view that such individuals are personally responsible for their condition! This in turn would mean confronting their inner tendency and desire to find fault and assign blame, and subjecting such motives to examination. A loaded topic, for sure, which I'll revisit further on in this writing.

Common Ground

One unfortunate effect of the rejection experienced by these various gender and/or sexual sub groups we're discussing is that among themselves, they often fall victim to the same spirit of separation that has divided them from much of society. Now the term "transgender" has become an "umbrella" encompassing cross-dressers and cross-gender behavior of all kinds. But too often those who identify as part of this transgender category loudly proclaim that they are not gay, and even shun gay friendships in order to avoid "guilt by association". Even within the transgender community there are ongoing struggles to clarify the difference between those who exhibit cross gender behavior en route to gender re-assignment (through surgical means), from those who do so as a sexual fantasy, and again from those who see themselves as 'multi-gendered' or gender-enhanced. Sadly it should come as little surprise that these are often condemned with the most vigor, and ignorantly accused of all manor of perversion. It makes one wonder whether both believers and atheists alike see gender itself as a de-facto almighty God, whose 'rules' and 'boundaries' no one may transgress! This in turn results in some gay people avoiding association with those in the transgender categories, seeing them as being more visibly objectionable, and thus drawing negative attention to their own group. All this division, and yet as we'll see, there is some very important common ground among these people, in fact among all people in and out of these categories, which must be brought into focus.

Before I get to that more important common ground, let me state that it certainly is not my intent to blur the differences between the many variations being discussed. If anything, I'd rather provide at least a layman's education as to how complex these issues are. Transsexuals, or those often seeking physical gender re-assignment surgery, are very different from Transvestites or cross dressers, and neither condition is any reliable indicator as to whether or not an individual is homosexual or heterosexual. However, it is no accident that more and more organizations are joining under the banner of "Gay- Lesbian- Bisexual-Transgender" (GLBT), because of the simple notion of there being strength in numbers. If such words sound like a battle plan being drawn, you are correct in that observation. Oppression is indeed one huge common ground that historically draws differing people to fight together against a common enemy. But what is most distressing, at least to this writer, is that the battle lines are too often being drawn between this GLBT movement, and organizations claiming to come in the name of Jesus Christ.

Now let's begin to consider this whole matter from God's perspective. Is there such a far more important common ground from God's point of view? Absolutely! Now I realize that God speaks to many people in many ways, but as so many believers regard the bible as the only authority they will recognize, let's start with some scripture references. The bible asserts in a passage familiar to many that we all have sinned and fall short of His glory (Rom.3:21-24). Do you have any idea why the bible seems to make such a big deal about "sin"? Is it because God is some vindictive force looking to beat us over the head at every miss-step we make in life? Not at all! On the contrary, it is to make everyone, from the greatest to the least, realize that in his sight none of us is any better or worse off than any other. So why do we need to be reminded of that? Is it so we can all gravel before God like ants begging not to be crushed? No! No! No! What God really wants us to see is that before we go and try to remove the 'speck' in someone else's eye, we'd really better first pay attention to the huge plank in our own! (Matt.7:1-5). In truth, anyone that sees another as being more in need for God's mercy then themselves is the one that is truly deceived in God's view! (Luk.18:9-14).

Let's keep this chain of "Whys" going a little longer. As a 'plank' in ones eye is a much bigger problem than a 'speck', It becomes obvious that Jesus must have seen the one offering "correction" as a much bigger problem than the one being corrected! Why? The answer this time is sharp and strong because God says that if we judge, then we will be judged! (Rom.2:1). God further emphasizes that we have no business judging "another master's servant" (Rom.14:4). Since God is the master of us all who seek Him, it is his business alone (and not ours) to make most of the judgments and corrections we seem so eager to make. A prime example Christ spoke of concerns the one referenced earlier in Luke 18 vs. 9. One man prayed saying "I thank You that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, etc." (in other words, sinners), while the other person simply prayed "God, be merciful to me, the sinner !" Guess which one Jesus said was justified in God's sight. The latter one of course! So the answer here is that the problem in the eye of the one judging is greater, because his/her decision to do such judging could result in losing God's mercy in their own life! A 'speck of sawdust' in your eye can impair your vision. A 'plank' in your eye could literally kill you!

To be sure, common sense (always an excellent starting point) dictates that there must be some recognition of "degree" here. Surely the man who "sins" by stealing a loaf of bread to feed his family is not the same as the sin of the one who vindictively shoots and kills someone out of mindless hatred. And yet God puts us all on equal footing saying that if someone fails in one point of the law, he is guilty of transgressing them all (James.2:10)! How can we reconcile this apparent contradiction? Well here's a common sense answer: It is not that there are no "degrees" of severity when it comes to right and wrong, it is that it simply is not our job as humans to make those determinations, especially when it comes to judging how GOD sees an individual. It is an issue that has roots all the way back to Genesis, where man decided to take on the "knowledge of good and evil". But here is where Christ's work and teachings have bridged the gap, as it is through Christ that the far reaching mercy of God has been revealed. Through Christ words, we are taught that our righteousness comes as a free gift we receive by faith, rather than by living up to written standards of good and evil (Rom.1:17). The bible says that whoever comes to the Father in his name will be saved (Rom.10:9). There is no stipulation or differentiation between the "greater" or "lesser" sinner. We all have one and only one path to God. That path is the grace and mercy, available to all, which is made manifest in the life and death of Christ, and the free gift of God's grace. And most important, refraining from the "good and evil" judgments of other believers and loving them regardless of their condition is both a primary requirement and a condition for continuing in His grace!

The real common ground then is that we are all sinners. I can almost imagine him saying "you're all sinners... get over it!" God repeatedly points this out to make all of us reach the same point of humility, where we finally get our eyes off what we perceive as the flaws in our brothers and sisters. God offers us all the same merciful solution. If you are a person affected by any of the gender or sexually related issues mentioned, or any I've missed, God loves you the same as anyone. Period!

Two terrible roads, and a third less traveled!

In consideration of all the religious judgment surrounding these issues, it is important to note that the bible points to the devil as the one who is judged in the end, for the crime of standing before the Lord accusing God's children, day and night.(Rev.12:9-10). It should be a sobering realization that such finger pointing puts you in league with the worst possible company if that has been your tendency! You see, there are two obvious roads along that path of accusation, blame, and non stop correction, and "both" of them lead to destruction! On the one hand, a person can focus on all the ways in which they don't measure up to the expectations of others, and come to believe they are little more than a disappointment or even an embarrassment to family, friends, and God himself. In the end they experience so much personal condemnation that they live defeated lives, or leave the faith entirely. "Why bother?," they sensibly ask. At least they may as well enjoy the short life they have, even if they are not accepted in the church environment, or any after-life to come. Sadly this often makes church leaders happy, as their "problems" have gone away. But on the other hand, and much worse according to the bible, what about the people who do survive such scrutiny and feel that they themselves have done pretty well? They, after all, have kept all the "important" commandments. So they begin to see themselves more favored by God in comparison to those they see as failing to fully repent and clean up their lives as they themselves have. But it is to such individuals that Christ had to say, "go sell all your possessions and give it all to the poor", to humble them and make them realize their own limitations! (Matt.19:20-22) Once, he nearly insulted those who saw themselves as righteous, saying it was their very claim to see so clearly that caused them to remain guilty!(John.9:41).

It is noteworthy here that compelling biblical studies have been done, presenting solid evidence that some things we assume the bible is against, are in reality more the product of translation errors than fact. Some of these will be listed as references at the end of this writing. But I must hasten to add that this is only a secondary way of looking at the issue and should not be the first priority. Far too many fall into the trap of endlessly debating what is and is not lawful, when in fact the New testament teaching brought about by Christ supercedes the written law entirely! (Col.2:14). Almost all such discussions lead to the same forked road of self-justification or condemnation, both of which end in the ruin of the individual. Sure it is of great value to understand the true intent behind scripture. But it is of greater importance to understand first that even if one particular issue were taken out of the picture, you would still have other issues and still be less than perfect. We will always be on the same level field in the eyes of God, and thankfully, His love covers everything. By his grace, He looks only upon our hearts! (Sam.16:7). Take any issue away, or add six more new ones, and each of us would still be entitled to the same grace and unconditional love of God, as long as we seek him in humility. And that my friends is the third road… This is the narrow path you can only see when you've tasted the fullness of God's love for yourself as an individual, in spite of everything there is to know about you, and make a decision to stay rooted and grounded in that love (Eph.3:17-18).

You mean God will take me just as I am?
    It's too wonderful to be true!

Yes he will, and you don't have to "change" or try to "fix" yourself to be in the same place or standing as any of God's children. All anyone must do is receive the mercy of God as a free gift, as Christ taught us, which comes with a glorious promise of Eternal life for whosoever may come (1-John.5:13). Sure, self-improvement is important, as is removing destructive things from your life. It is a wise and often repeated statement that the unexamined life is not worth living. But especially with regard to the many gender and related issues we've discussed, no one should ever labor in attempting to "fix" themselves. Sure we all can relate to trying to fit into a particular group for the sake of acceptance, comfort, or safety. But regarding these matters, professional therapists almost universally agree that these things simply are not subject to change. And when you consider that changing things like this in oneself is so near to impossible, it makes one wonder why on earth anyone would try to change someone else!

The better choice for everyone is to simply to allow God full and free access to our lives, trusting Him alone to be the one to make any changes necessary. If this sounds like a difficult thing, let me point out by personal testimony that most often, the assumptions we make about what God will change or "take" from us are completely wrong! Sure, if you have a desire to kill people or inflict violence on others for selfish gain, the Lord will intervene and you will be glad he did! But more often, things we think are a problem are only so because religion, upbringing or society has taught us to view all variations in the sex and gender areas as evil. In truth, it is more often that someone with such issues will find that God is much more concerned with other totally unrelated things in their life. A homosexual may find the Lord ministering love and encouragement to them, and teaching them to be a more giving or caring person, while not even addressing the sexual issue the one praying had originally raised. A person praying to God for a "fix" because their mental and emotional gender is the opposite of their physical one is often subsequently led to seek a surgical correction to their physical condition, rather than God changing their mental gender. Yet the lord may deal with the same person about being too greedy, or too self centered, or some other seemingly unrelated issue. The Lord does promise such individual and personal guidance to each of us (Heb.8:10-12), and this writer testifies that he does do so with gentleness and compassion beyond what you'd dare to believe. Would you dare to believe God just might love you just as you are?

It is actually quite typical for people of all kinds to seek the Lord with their whole hearts, and subsequently be led in ways they never expected. We are taught by a very dysfunctional religious upbringing to fear God as one who wants to take everything we enjoy from us. It is true that over time, the Lord does teach us to be more Christ-like, especially in the area of willingness to give more of one's self, and ultimately even the capacity to lay one's life down for another. But again, my testimony is that quite often, the things we fear losing are not even on God's agenda. This kind of fear is actually a deception from the enemy, which is why I've often repeated that if anything is the devils greatest tool, it is religion. If you have any of the kind of gender or sex related issues we've discussed, please consider my words. Even if you never darken the door of a church in your life, and can not bring yourself to deal with the typical intolerance found in religious institutions, do not deny yourself the manifold blessing of which I speak. The free gift of eternal life (John.3:16), the promise of peace, joy (Ps.16:11), and a more abundant life in the 'here and now' (John.10:10) that is yours for the asking, by simply trusting the Lord with your life. "O Taste and see that the Lord is Good (Ps34:8)" declares the bible, and this writer concurs wholeheartedly.

So are you, sir, condoning sin???!!!

Now let me turn the attention back to those that are not in any of these gender or sexually variant categories, but who feel compelled to remain solid in their decision to judge such people. In light of the Lords declaration about the eye of the one judging as being the one with the greater issue, let us give pause and not take this issue of judging lightly. Do you see a homosexual, transgendered person, or other variation as an unrepentant sinner? Even if you see such people as 'sick', do you have any more right to exclude them from the feast of God's table then you would a person with any other "sickness" or "defect"? If you do, you my friend are on very shaky ground according to your bible! (James.2:13)

But they Chose this sinful lifestyle!

Those words have been repeated many times and in so many ways, and yet it is an assertion that has absolutely no basis in common sense. Think about it! With all the hate, rejection, violence, discrimination, and general horror a person with gender or sexual differences must face in this world and in this life, anyone with any degree of compassion should realize that these are not things anyone would choose. It is so obvious as to make words to the contrary very suspicious indeed. Could it be that this way of thinking is rooted in an ulterior motive? After all, it is only by believing such things to be "choices" that the believer can self-justify his/her own personal "choice", to refuse to accept such people as they are. Remember?

We touched on this subject earlier. The mounting body of scientific evidence reputing the notion of "choice" in light of observable brain differences is completely ignored. Instead, religious leaders point to the minority of cases of homosexuals that later enjoyed an exclusively heterosexual relationship, or the transsexual who later had a change of heart, or the cross dresser that stopped doing so. These then become their models for all humanity, so that the accuser can once again feel confident reverting to his/her decision to assign blame. Yet if you truly feel these things to be in the category of sickness, than consider who among you would ever lambaste a person for being born with 6 fingers on one hand. As science progressively gains understanding of how sexual orientation and mental and emotional gender makeup are more inborn and involuntary than a product of environment, you who do not accept must begin to acknowledge the real truth: you simply don’t want to accept.

Note very carefully that in all the above I still am not asserting whether any such sexual or gender variations are or are not some kind of disorder. I'm purposely avoiding that issue entirely because it is completely and fully irrelevant. The issue here is not about sickness or health, sinfulness or purity, good or evil. It is about reaching the common sense outlook that people of all these variations simply do exist, are not likely to change by human effort (yours or theirs), and you have the sole responsibility for your decision to exclude or include each of them from a place at your table. If you are speaking to someone outside the faith, you have the same responsibility to invite them to the Lord's table as you would any other unbeliever, without insisting on their measuring up to your expectations as a pre-requisite. But if you are speaking about a believer who has already entrusted his/her life to God, the same God that extended you mercy, and you deny them such a place at God's table? Well in that case I would very much like to see your explanation to the face of God on the day of judgment. And I say that totally without regard to the name of the "sin" you perceive in that individual.

Let me develop that point some more, even though I've likely already lost many readers that do not wish to be challenged. Nearly 50% of marriages among both Christians in the USA end in divorce, and many of those involved eventually re-marry other people. But do you recall that Christ said that doing so is adultery (Mat.5:32)? Why? Was he opposed to someone trying to have a second chance at happiness after a failure? No! It was yet another instance of Christ "elevating" the requirements of the written law, in hopes that the self righteous religious people listening would see themselves as less than perfect for a change! Does God give grace to those who re-marry? Of course he does, and many that have remarried and committed their marriage to the Lord have wonderful testimonies. But do you know what the decision to remarry is? It is a choice!

Yes… there's that word again! But this time there is no arguing over nature or nurture!. Marriage or re-marriage is always a choice, made by a couple in love, and yet a choice that is vividly and unquestionably against What Christ taught! Thank God that Christ died to set us free from the "law" (Rom.3:28), so that we all could live under this much better covenant of grace. ( For an in depth study on just how and why all that "law" came about to begin with, I'd recommend reading my Grace Vs. Law. article, elsewhere on this website). Not only do most Christians pardon themselves for such a decision to remarry, but they usually pardon their friends as well. This would seem to indicate that even if Gender or sexual orientation variations were a choice, that something is terribly wrong and out of balance in the decision to tolerate one and not the other.

So while science begins to reveal that gender and sexual feelings are not chosen, anyone who has fallen in love already knows that they did not "decide" to be attracted to their partner. It was not a choice, and no one needs a test tube experiment to prove it. But remarriage after a divorce? That is always a choice. Should one get grace and not the other? Should we pardon the ones we feel more comfortable with? Tough questions. Hypocrisy is difficult to confront!

The bible says that is time for judgment to start with the house of God! (1Pet.4:17). It is high time for everyone who has a special bias against people with gender and sexual variations to reexamine their thinking. I tell you again, it does not matter one bit whether or not some, all, or none of these represent a disorder or not. We have all fallen short of God's glory and perfection (Rom.3:21-24), and it is time to see everyone that seeks the lord as equals. "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved", says the bible(Acts2:21). And further, that "God is Love" (1-John.4:7-8). I therefore make this plea and challenge to every individual believer, regardless of what your religion teaches, that anyone who calls upon YOU as a representative of God, shall receive love and respect at your hand! And if you commit before the Lord to do that, and ask him to help you to do so by his spirit, then the words of Christ will be proven in this land: "And I, If I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me" (John.12:32). Are people everywhere beating a path to the door of the church? Sadly the answer is no. But you can make a difference!

Now let me up the ante one more time, and increase the challenge even more. This is not meant to lambaste anyone but rather to demonstrate the extreme urgency here! The day will come when the decision will not simply involve whether to extend such love and respect to some stranger, but to your own family! Maybe even your own son or daughter. Your decision to love or reject may mean life or death to someone. Your rejection could result in a suicide! As I write, I recall an e-mail I recently received from a woman telling me of a friend's son going through such sexual issues, and being totally rejected by the father. This she used as a case in point to justify her belief that the son was guilty of "choosing" this horrible thing, asking "can you really expect the father to ever accept his son"? Though I attempted some constructive dialog, I ultimately had to cut my response short, having realized this was not someone my words could reach. She boldly and angrily claimed to know so much more than I, and lambasted me for inferring to the contrary. God save us all from those who "know" a "good reason" to withhold God's love, or a father's love from his own son. God help us!

Understand too that survival instinct, fear of the unknown, and judgment are not the same things. If someone has caused you harm or threatened you it is wise to both avoid and defend against such threats, until you see evidence that more trust is warranted. So if you don't understand someone and are wary of interacting with them, the Lord understands and does not condemn you for it. The proper reaction, as with all things, is to sincerely ask the Lord for the understanding, and do your best to open your heart and extend a hand wherever possible. It is equally the responsibility of those who have been oppressed but that have experienced the love and mercy of God not to assume the worst about all their brothers and sisters in the faith, and extend your own hand of peace. For those inside and out of these issues, the bible admonishes us to do our best to be at peace with each other (Rom.12:18)!

Dwell on these things ( Phil.4:8 )

I have just few more words of encouragement for those affected by the issues we've discussed. First and foremost, seek the Lord in all things. Whether you believe your situation is a problem or simply a difference, you still need the Lord,. He will bless you with his loving kindness and accept you as you are. If things need fixing, he will do that or he will help you along in the process. He will also give you the grace to bear up under whatever situations are present in your life, and will send others along to help as well. Now recall and consider that child I spoke of who was pitied and considered deformed having been born with 6 fingers on each hand. I can guarantee that it would no longer be considered a deformity if that child took up the piano! Therefore, thank the lord for your life. You do not know what a blessing the very things you've fretted over can become, in the hands of the Lord! Enjoy what he has given you with all the individuality you possess. Yet do not fall into the trap of self-justification, because we all fall short when we measure ourselves against perfection. Rather, accept and put your faith in God's grace, the more excellent covenant spoken of in the bible (Heb.8:7-13). Rather than justify, explain to religious oppressors that are willing to listen, that you and they both depend on the same God, who is rich in mercy because of his great love (Eph.2:4-6). Invite them to do their best to love and accept, and forgive those whose "best" leaves much to be desired. And know that God loves and values you so much, that he would do anything, indeed everything, to bring YOU into his Kingdom, and give you eternal life. That is the lesson and the reason Jesus came!

I conclude this writing with some testimonies of others. Two of these are the writings of people who have transitioned from male to female, and relate their experiences in dealing with church and family. I place these here by permission of the authors so that those not involved may get a glimpse at the emotional turmoil and rejection that such ones must suffer. As you read, even if the subject matter still disturbs you, consider the pulling at your heart, the inner knowing. Recognize that despite all other things, God's people have too often NOT been bearers of God's love and that this, unfortunately, is the norm rather than the exception. Also, for those interested in word studies, I've placed a link to an article written by another believer. The author shows the strong likelihood of some bible passages being translated poorly, and thus bringing about a lot of confusion with regard to some cross gender issues. I still caution against justification through the "law". But the bible itself encourages us to "Test Everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil." (1-Thes.5:21). It that spirit, it is always healthy to delve into word studies, while depending on God's spirit to clarify what is or is not of value. I sincerely hope all of this has both challenged and blessed you.

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Deut 22:5 Explained
By: Sandra Stewart

This one scripture seems to make a serious offense of people wearing clothes intended for the opposite gender, in apparent conflict with the principal of God focusing on the heart rather than appearance (Sam.16:7). Author Sandra Stewart breaks down the entire passage into the original Hebrew text on a word by word basis, and a very obviously different message arises! In this article, Sandra also discusses the confusion caused by a poor choice of words in the King James translation of 1 Cor 6:9




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