Caitlyn Jenner. That Vanity Fair cover, and now making the Woman’s Hour “Most Powerful” List.
It seems like everyone has an opinion to voice. And even those that don’t know what to think know that they feel some sort of response. Because we are living in a society which is struggling to get to grips with issues of transgenderism. And it seems to me that there are a lot of Christians who are struggling even more.
It would be simple to pretend like there are easy answers as to what to think about those who experience trouble with their gender: It’s genetic! It’s a biological error! They are mentally ill! Spiritually attacked! Living in sin!
Of course, the reality is we just don’t know. Medics don’t know what causes gender issues. Church leaders don’t know. No more than we know why any other person ever experiences struggles with their physical bodies, their mental health, their spiritual health, their sexual identity.
What we do know is that those who are gender non-conforming are 9 times more likely to kill themselves. We know that there are many people prepared - through misinformation, poor judgment, and what can only be described as flat out hate - to make a living nightmare even worse. Well I don’t want those people to speak for me.
I think most of us feel that it is almost impossible to unlink our identity from our gender, and I’m not suggesting we should try. After all, we believe that God created gender for a good purpose (and so no wonder it is often devastating for people who experience struggles because of the gender they identify as). But I would like us to consider the point that as Christians, our primary identity is in Christ, and we are all inheritors of God’s kingdom together - irrespective of our gender.
We know that no matter what people face in their lives, Jesus died for them because he loves them. We know that to be true in our lives and it’s about time we started telling people that Jesus is for everyone. It’s about time that we start welcoming and loving the most vulnerable people in society. And a group of people who are 9 times more likely to commit suicide seems like a good place to start to me.