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:

Transgender 103: Sex Stamped on the Body (continuing the dialogue with M. Yarhouse)

Continuing the series on Transgender.

In this post, I want to begin to address the theological concerns Yarhouse raises. The the first is summarized in these excerpts:

Cross-gender identification is a concern because it threatens to dishonor the creational order of male and female—“the sacred integrity of maleness or femaleness stamped on one’s body.” It is a “denial of the integrity of one’s own sex and an overt attempt at marring the sacred image of maleness or femaleness formed by God.”