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Transgender persons and transsexuals

Part 1 of 2:
Beliefs by religious conservatives,
religious liberals, researchers, etc.
about the cause of transsexuality.

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  1

A You Tube video:
ABC News program of the photo shoot of Caitlyn Jenner -- formerly Bruce
Jenner -- for Vanity Fair's 2015-JUN magazine cover. She is an American
television personality, a former Olympic champion track and field athlete.

As of mid-2015, she is the most recent high profile person to reveal herself as
transgender.

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Review of definitions:

  • Gender identity, according to the American Psychological Association, is defined as "one’s sense of oneself as male, female, or transgender."

  • Contrary to many reports, transgender individuals do not invent new genders beyond the conventional female and male. Many reports refer to 51 to 71 gender options as listed in Facebook. But these are options about how the two genders are perceived by the individual; they do not involve additional genders.

  • A transgender person or transsexual is an individual who identifies their current gender as being different from the gender with which they were identified at birth:
    • Most currently identify themselves as female. However, they were born with a male body and were registered as male on their birth certificate. They are often referred to by the acronym "MTF," which refers to their "Male To Female" transition. They will often describe themselves as having a female brain trapped in a male body.

    • A slightly smaller group often describes themselves as having a male brain trapped in a female body. They were registered shortly after birth as female. They are often referred to by the acronym "FTM," for "Female To Male."

    • Some feel that they do not fit into this binary -- female/male -- gender identification system at all. That is, they do not identify themselves as either female or male.

    • Some switch between identifying as female and male at different times during their lifetime.

    • To sum up: there are two genders: female and male. Transgender persons identify their current gender identity as being female, male, neither, or both genders.

    • That said, discussions of transgender persons and transsexuals involve human perceptions by about 0.6% of humans. There are bound to be some that do not fit into the above descriptions.

  • A cisgender person identify their gender as being the same as the gender that they were labeled at birth. They lead vastly simplified lives compared to transgender persons. In excess of 99.4% of adults are cisgender.

  • There is no universal agreement on the use of the terms "transgender" and ""transsexual." One common usage is that:
    • "Transgender"is an adjective. It refers to an individual whose gender identity is different from the gender with which they were identified at birth.

    • A transsexual is a transgender person who presents themselves as the gender with which they identify. Many have modified their appearance through gender reassignment surgery and/or hormones to more closely resemble their identified gender.

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In brief:

There are two radically contradictory and mutually exclusive beliefs about transsexual persons and transsexuals:

  • Many religious and social conservatives believe that transgender persons and transsexuals are simply "gender confused." They only need prayer and therapy to straighten out their thinking processes and accept their birth-identified gender. Many conservatives believe that males and females should be treated differently, and that females should be prevented from holding certain jobs, like pastor, or soldier in combat. Many find the concept of a person switching gender identity as profoundly disturbing, and a rejection of what they feel is God's intent, as expressed in the biblical book of Genesis and elsewhere, to create different sexes.

  • Many religious and social liberals, transgender individuals and transsexuals, human sexuality and neurological researchers, therapists and others believe that transgender persons and transsexuals are literally accurate when they explain that they have a female brain in a male body, or vice-versa. No amount of prayer or therapy will change various structures in their brain and make them cisgender.

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Selecting personal pronouns to refer to transgender persons:

When we write or talk about other people, we often use personal pronouns like she, he, her, or his. It avoids having to repeat their name endlessly. These pronouns automatically identify the person by their gender. The English language has no generally accepted gender-neutral personal pronoun, although many have been proposed. 2 Most transgender person have had different genders during their lifetime: the one they were identified with at birth and the opposite gender with which they now identify themselves.

As in so many other areas related to human sexuality, religious and social conservatives generally use different terms and language from the rest of the population:

  • Religious and social conservatives typically refer to a MTF transgender individual as a male and use the personal pronouns he and him.

  • Transgender persons themselves, as well as religious and social liberals, human sexuality researchers, therapists, etc. typically refer to a MTF transgender individual as a female and use the personal pronouns she and her.

  • This web site refers to cisgender and transgender persons by the gender that they currently use to identify themselves.

Needless to say, this conflict causes immense confusion.

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What do most conservative Christians believe is the reason why transgender persons identify their gender as different from their birth-identified gender?

They generally believe that:

God originally created a single woman and man, called Eve and Adam. Having infinite powers and abilities, God could have created millions of humans in an instant. However, God chose instead to create a single heterosexual pair. As expected, they would conceived children and formed a family. The human race was initially built up through incestuous pairings, starting with brothers and sisters. At the present time, various geneticists have estimated that every human on Earth is related to every other person as a 30th or closer cousin. 3 It can be said that every new marriage involves two cousins.

However, Adam and Eve disobeyed God's orders and ate the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. This is traditionally assumed to have been an apple. However, apples are not indigenous to the Middle East. A pomegranate would have been more likely. For the first time, sin entered the world, along with death. This is referred to as "The Fall" of humanity. Conservative Christians generally believe that Eve and Adam's sin caused each successive human generation down to the present-day -- and continuing -- to inherit "Original Sin." This is the first of many examples in the Bible of scapegoating: the transfer of blame and punishment from the guilty to the innocent.

Satan, often referred to as the "Father of Lies," is believed as having been continually spreading confusion throughout the world. One example of his work is to confuse some men into thinking that they are actually women and vice versa. Religious conservatives generally look upon women and men as having very different assigned roles in the family. the church, business, government, etc. Therefore, confusion involving gender identity is seen as generating massive cultural disruption. It is one way in which they view Satan as attempting to destroy civilization.

"Mario," a.k.a. "The Vigilant Christian," posted the following video on You Tube titled: "100% Proof Caitlyn Jenner is NOT a Woman !!! DO NOT BE DECEIVED !!!" It represents one conservative Christian belief system concerning transgender individuals:

  4

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This topic continues in the next essay

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References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. "Caitlyn Jenner Reveals New Identity in Vanity Fair Photo Shoot," ABC News - Good Morning America, You tube, 2015-JUN-02, at: https://www.youtube.com/
  2. "Gender-specific and gender-neutral pronouns," Wikipedia, as on 2015-JUN-07, at: https://en.wikipedia.org/
  3. You can find a range of articles on this topic by doing a Google search for: people related 30th cousins
  4. "Mario,The Vigilant Christian,"100% Proof Caitlyn Jenner is NOT a Woman !!! DO NOT BE DECEIVED !!!," You Tube, 2015-JUN-02, at: https://youtu.be/

Site navigation:

 Home > Transsexual > here

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 Home > Christianity > Christian history, belief... > Beliefs > Transsexual > here

Home > Christianity > History, practices... > Christian practices > Transsexual > here

Home > Religious Information > Basic data > Transsexual > here

Home > Human rights > Transsexual > here

Home > Morality and ethics > Transsexual > here

Copyright © 2014 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally published: 2015-JUN-14
Last updated 2015-JUN-14
Author: Bruce A Robinson
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