If you have been on the internet at all over the past few days, you know about Caitlyn Jenner’s cover photo and the resulting social media backlash from both sides: “I’m so happy that she can be herself.” “That *insert bigoted slur here* is so creepy.” “Mutilation doesn’t make you a man…still calling you, Bruce.” Are just a few examples of things I’ve seen and, unfortunately, witnessed.
Most shocking/not shocking are first hand accounts of other Christians deliberately mocking and shaming her. If that’s you, then this post is for you.
You should know I know very little about trans culture and the people who struggle with it. I am trying to learn. Also, if by some chance Caitlyn reads this, I want you to know I do not think you’re disgusting or repulsive. I don’t think Jesus thinks you are either.
1. Caitlyn is a human being
It’s really sad that a lot of Christians need to remember or even hear that. A pillar of our faith is that humans…all humans, are created in the Image of God, making us have intrinsic value, meaning, and purpose. That stands true regardless of actions or choices of any individual, including pursuing a sex transition. I’m so glad God doesn’t define us by our past, present or future, but rather He defines us by His love for us.
2. You’re not being like Jesus
Making comments like the aforementioned has no place in the Kingdom of God. Remember how Jesus hung out with lepers and even touched them? In Jesus’ time, lepers were considered some of the most disgusting humans on Earth. Lepers were generally excommunicated from their city and certainly not allowed to enter the temple. If anyone touched a leper, that person would also become unclean and had to undergo a cleaning process before being reinstated to the community. But here we have Jesus…touching one. Jesus didn’t mock someone because they were different – he invited them to commune with him.
3. Take some time to understand
There is increasing and convincing evidence that Gender Dysphoria is a medical condition that affects trans people. Which means, they are stuck with it. How many times did Jesus ever mock or bully a person because of the biological hand they were dealt? Not once. In fact, he actually stood up for them. Every person, no matter what circumstances have happened in their life, have developed struggles. For some it might be an addiction. For others it might be self-harm or depression. For Caitlyn, it’s her identity. A staggering 41% of all transgender people have attempted suicide at least once in their life. Before you post something on social media, take a moment to get over your political agenda and remember – every life matters to God.
4. Understanding is not condoning
So much of our culture as Americans is about standing up for what we believe in and doing it almost to the point of ad nauseam, but here’s my opinion. Is what Caitlyn doing right now God’s best? I don’t think so. Do I think God desires anyone to pursue a sex change? No. Do I think God understands though? Yes.
Jesus became a human 2,000 years ago and because he was human, he can identify with our struggles:
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. – Hebrews 4.15
Notice how the author of Hebrews said Jesus was tempted in every way. That means whatever life throws our way Jesus understands. That goes for transgender people too.