Transgender 101 (for conservative Christians)

Transgender has come into the spotlight in recent days with the debut of Caitlyn Jenner on the cover of Vanity Fair. Since then Christians in my newsfeed are all over the map in their responses.

My work on intersex (biological evidence of mixed-sex characteristics) has made me more willing to lend a compassionate ear to the stories of transpersons. I have been asking others to do the same. Here are a few reasons why I have been reticent to pass judgement on Jenner and other trans folk:

Transgender 102: practical advice for conservative Christians (a dialogue with Mark Yarhouse)

Continuing the conversation on Transgender I will consider recommendations from Mark Yarhouse, the leading conservative Christian voice in this conversation. Yarhouse is chaired professor of psychology at Regent University, where he directs the Institute for the Study of Sexual Identity. His most recent book is Understanding Gender Dysphoria: Navigating Transgender Issues in a Changing Culture (IVP Academic) which he helpfully summarizes in this article in Christianity Today.


Let's consider the following recommendations he gives to in his article:

“Be a Man!” : Manliness as Christian Perfection

In these days when many are calling for a return to “biblical manhood” or “biblical womanhood” or hoping for a perfected masculinity or perfected femininity (as Stephen Holmes writes about as he interacts with my book), it’s helpful to have a little historical perspective…

So I thought I’d pass along my recently published article in Perspectives: A Journal of Reformed Thought, entitled “Gender is not a Virtue.”

Male and Female: the ONLY options or the MAJORITY story? Dialogue with Preston Sprinkle (pt. 2)

Thanks again, Preston, for another thoughtful post exploring the possibility of interpreting Adam and Eve not as a pattern into which all other humans must squeeze themselves, but as the beginning of the story of God’s redemption¸ a story that will bring many more kinds of humans into the conversation—different races, languages, tribes, nations, and, yes, even differently sexed and gendered human beings.

We know that Genesis is a theological text, not a science book