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Balancing religion and being transgender. How?

Discussion in 'Gender Identity and Expression' started by anonym, Mar 8, 2015.

  1. anonym

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    Does anybody here follow a religion who is transgender? If so, how do you accommodate the two? Do you think your religion will affect your decision to transition, both socially and physically?
     
  2. randomly me

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    I'm religional questioning but my parents and family are very religious so i grew up with it.I had a lot of struggle with the "god made them as man and woman thing" and it caused and sometimes still causes me doubt about my gender identity.It won't stop me from transitioning though it's something i wanted for too long to let something like this stop me.
     
  3. Zane7

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    Hey Anonym,

    I am not transgender, so I can't relate with that. But I am gay, and my Christian faith certainly is at odds with that. Reconciling these two sides of our personalities cannot be easy, but here's how I have coped. I acknowledge that I am gay in that I am attracted to members of the same sex. I accept that logic with a mind at peace. I also accept what the Bible teaches concerning homosexuality, that it is a sin. So while I acknowledge the urges, I have chosen to remain celibate and leave them unfulfilled.
     
  4. PatrickUK

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    It may interest you to know that some clergymen and women have transitioned, so it clearly is possible to reconcile matters of gender identity and religion. Im sure it's not easy, but in a welcoming and inclusive church it should be possible.
     
  5. WillowRose

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    I could say I've wrestled with this a bit, but the truth is that my church friends are some of my strongest supporters and allies. My particular congregation is a very open and affirming one, and belongs to a relatively open and accepting denomination. (The denomination ordains gay people as clergy, and has ordained several trans people in recent years.)

    I also have some theological studies in my background, and I've tried to take a close look at the "clobber verses" that get thrown at trans people. What I've started to conclude is that they tend to put most of their argument on that "male and female He created them," and that the primary importance that seems to have is to support and maintain the ideology of male-over-female superiority. That is, I think that much of "Bible-based" anti-trans belief is rooted in traditionalist misogyny. (Listen to me sounding all academic and everything!)

    But for myself, since I don't believe that God established institutionalized misogyny, I read the "male and female He created them" as DEscribing what is true for most people, but not as PREscribing the way it is supposed to be for all people. In other words, I think it leaves plenty of room for the small fraction of humanity that is gender-disphoric and gender-nonconforming. And I just happen to belong to a congregation where I'm accepted and celebrated.
     
  6. CJliving

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    My spiritual beliefs are...odd? I believe in God and Heaven, but I put so very little stock in the Bible. Everything I read in the Bible I take with a grain of salt; who wrote this book? when was it written? how dead was the original language it was written in? If God only made Adam and Eve, how did the 2 of them populate the Earth without being ridiculously incest? And what about intersex people? They are just as naturally made as male and female, God made them too (they're even mentioned in the Talmud).

    And as other's mentioned, there's a tradition of misogyny in the church that (we believe) isn't what God wanted. I don't think God wanted the separation of the sexes at all, at the very least not to the extent humans have taken it. If it was the natural, God-intended way, why did society have to go to such an extent as male and female shirts/jackets/pants needing to have buttons on opposing sides?

    I think the best thing to do, is to find an accepting church, and to think critically about what people tell you or you read in the Bible, and ask your pastor/priest when you have questions or concerns.
     
  7. Hats

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    Not to derail the thread, but I've always taken the evolution presented in the bible as the writer's best guess at the time and not strict scientific fact because, well, it's not. The point of Genesis isn't a rigourous academic study of how the world came into existence, but rather a story of how humanity came to be flawed and broken. I don't think the writer intended it to be anything other than that.
     
  8. CJliving

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    Lol that was kinda my point, that Adam and Eve weren't the only ones, and that man/woman weren't the only people created. :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:
     
  9. PatrickUK

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  10. Just Jess

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    There is a difference between making hard choices and being an evil person. I can't advise you, but personally, my being in the closet about being trans caused a lot of harm to a lot of people, including the woman I loved. My coming out and transitioning makes my own life harder, but it has been the beginning of making things better for a lot of people in my life and new friends I met along the way, and it is enabling me to accomplish my life goals.

    Maybe some of us are put at odds with other people and even the beliefs we grew up with because we have to do hard things they can't? That's how I try to look at things. Transitning has given me a lot of the skills I needed to go into business for myself. Maybe everything happens for a reason.

    Maybe I'm wrong, but I think the harder path is usually the correct one.
     
  11. Zane7

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    I agree, Just Jess. The harder path is sometimes the correct one. For me personally, the harder path is denying my sexual impulses so that I can honor the God I serve. It's a lonely path at times, and it would be easy to just give in and go have lots of sex with guys. But I'm trying to do what I believe is the right thing by following the more difficult path. Usually, the easier choice is seldom the best one.
     
  12. Covalent

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    I head from a Catholic transman once, "Being trans was a burden He chose for me to bear. He knew that when I cam out of the ordeal, I would be a better person."

    I'm personally not religious, but I think that that is a good way of thinking, for someone who is having trouble reconciling ones transgender identity with their religion.
     
  13. anonym

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    Thanks for the replies. I had completely forgotten I made this thread!

    The thing is for me, I feel it is important for me to do the right thing according to my religion but at the same time I feel I could not go on living as female, or even without medically transitioning. If I wasn't transgender but was bi/gay/pan I think I would choose not to indulge in my sexuality and I kind of feel that way about it anyway because I am biologically female and so if I were to act on my feelings for women, to me, that would be no different. I can do something about my sexual orientation (i.e. choose to not act out) and I suppose I could do something about my gender (i.e. choose not to transition) but...but...I really can't go on at all if I have to live out the rest of my days as female. Does that make me a bad person?
     
  14. Covalent

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    No, it does not. God says he loves everyone equally, yes? If He does, why would he hate you for transitioning or acting on your sexuality? There's a documentary on Netflix called "The Bible Made Me Do It", or something along those lines, and it interviews many people who are religious and LGB. I think hearing their stories would benefit you. Be warned, it also discusses homophobia and homophobic acts, so definite trigger warning there.
     
  15. anonym

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    Thanks Covalent. I might check it out when I'm feeling more robust.

    I had quite a religious upbringing, at least until I was about 11 and that was around the time I realized my sexual orientation. I felt sure then that I was going to hell. My family were also very homophobic, my mum in particular. I kind of lost and rejected my faith back then, thinking that God would hate me but now I've come to realize it still matters to me.
     
  16. DoriaN

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    I don't like the term religious, but I am Christian.

    I do believe being transgender coincides with Biblical teaching, and personally believe Jesus made me trans as a testimony to others.

    Do not believe all the lies and propaganda of the corrupt modern churches, sadly most professing Christians are not even saved but enjoy wearing the label.


    Isaiah 56:3-5

    "Neither let the son of the stranger, that hath joined himself to the Lord, speak, saying,
    The Lord hath utterly separated me from his people:
    neither let the eunuch say, Behold, I am a dry tree.
    For thus saith the Lord unto the eunuchs that keep my sabbaths,
    and choose the things that please me,
    and take hold of my covenant;
    even unto them will I give in mine house and within my walls
    a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters:
    I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off."



    Matthew 19:1-12

    "And it came to pass, that when Jesus had finished these sayings, he departed from Galilee, and came into the coasts of Judaea beyond Jordan; 2And great multitudes followed him; and he healed them there.

    The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away? He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so. And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.

    His disciples say unto him, If the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry. But he said unto them, All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given. For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother's womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it."





    Acts 8:26-39

    "And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert. And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship, was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Esaias the prophet. Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot. And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him.

    The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth: in his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth. And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man? Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing."





    These are just a few out of the hundreds, but in short, do not let those who are not Christian oppress you with only a few of the 613 Levitical laws of which we do not follow, but rather the new covenant in Christ.

    For all men are guilty of sin, equally condemned, but the beauty of Jesus is that through Him we are all equally redeemed.

    The drunkard cannot say to the adulterer "I am better than you", for both have sinned and are worthy of death. Neither can the thief say to the murderer "I will be spared and you will be condemned", for both have committed evil.


    John 3:16-21

    "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God."
     
  17. Ronin

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    I'm a Christian and do not believe being transgender is at odds with that. The Bible doesn't really talk about being trans. People have interpreted scripture to say being trans is wrong, but it's definitely interpretation. And then Eunuchs - you could say the closest thing to being trans - were blessed.
    Having said all that, something can be OK scripturally but not be okay. What matters is your heart as well as what God's plan is for you. So I had to pray about it before doing anything. Even then, I felt it prudent to wait. I'm on HRT now and I really feel I'm doing the right thing. The problem now isn't whether it's okay between God and I - it's the church that's going to be tricky. That's a whoooooole different issue and one that will vary a lot between groups.