Gender Identity Wrap Up

The objective of this Gender Identity Screen Shot 2017-04-24 at 1.36.43 PMControversy blog was to bring awareness to the issues those in the LGBTQ community face. Many people feel uncomfortable discussing these topics because they are likely to lead to public disagreement. It is important to bring attention to this topic so that everyone is informed. We believe that people in the LBGT community should be welcomed in any situation. Transgender people should have the same rights as those who identify with the gender they were assigned at birth.  We believe that transgender people deserve equality in schools, the workplace and religion. We also think that the Federal Government should control laws regarding gender identity because then they will be the same everywhere, as opposed to being different based off what state you reside in.

Throughout our research, we have found some scholars who disagree with our views. These scholars have often held conservative beliefs such as government members of the Republican party and church officials.  However, in our evolving society is important that all individuals are given the same rights and freedoms, even if the individual is a part of the LGBT community. No one should be discriminated against based on their gender identity. At the end of the day, people are people. Someone’s gender identity or sexual preference should not influence how they are treated by society.

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We also interacted with the public regarding gender identity through our Twitter account. We created a handle and followed numerous other accounts that spoke about LGBT rights. Engaging with other users on Twitter helped us to learn what the public opinion was on our issue. It also let us see what people on both sides of the spectrum thought about gender identity.

We hope that by reading our blog you were able to learn about gender identity as an issue. If you or anyone you know is questioning their identity or need help coming out to friends and family, direct them here for guidance.

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Transgender Murders In El Salvador

Many transgender people in El Salvador are living in fear of murder. According to the article below, three transgender people were killed this past February. There is speculation that these killings have come as a result of the country’s Roman Catholic Church that does not believe in the legitimacy of the LGBTQ community.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/el-salvador-transgender-murders_us_58dac266e4b01ca7b4278e8a

We think that it is absolutely awful that Salvadorans are living in fear. In order for Salvadorans to make progress towards LGBTQ equality, we believe that they need to separate the idea of gender identity and sexual orientation from the Church. Regardless of religious beliefs, we are all humans at the end of the day.

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The Christian Religion and Gender Identity: A Refutation

According to the Gospel Coalition, the Christian religion views people who do not associate with their gender identity assigned at birth as people who are experiencing gender dysphoria. The Church holds these beliefs because according to the bible, God made men and women different so it is philosophically impossible for a man to become a physical woman and vice versa. The article called “The Christian Response to Gender Dysphoria” defines this condition as the experiences of distress associated with the incongruence when one’s psychological and emotional gender identity does not match one’s biological sex.

By calling people who don’t identify with their biological sex “gender dysphoric” the Church is basically refusing to acknowledge these individual’s inner feelings and thoughts about their gender. Instead, the Church believes these people just falsely perceive their gender identity, making it seem as if they are deranged. The article goes on to say, “biblical counsel would begin by helping a person embrace that their birth sex is a testimony to their true birth sex.”

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I feel that the ideals that the Christian religion holds about gender identity are completely wrong. Many people turn to religion when they are in times of struggling, and it is unjust that transgender people do not have the same freedom. Religious buildings are supposed to be safe spaces and transgender people should feel comfortable going to these places. If they were to seek help with their identity changes from the Church, their struggles would just become worse because the Church would not be able to validate or affirm the feelings that the transperson is struggling with. The church would tell these people that their feelings are a false perception and would try to persuade them to embrace the true gender they were born as. Instead, the Church should accept these people with compassion and sympathy because the transition for these individuals is difficult enough.

Gender Identity and the Christian Church: An Affirmative View

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As today’s society continues to progress in terms of understanding and accepting those of the LGBTQ community, it is safe to say that there are still a number of steps to be taken until equality is reached. Among the many groups that remain passionate in their arguments against transgender people is the Christian Church, which preaches that such individuals have a psychological disorder and should be either changed or rejected. As a group, we feel that these ideals are not only wrong but also unjust. Just as religion is a freedom in America, gender identity should be one within that as well.

Not all Christians, however, are in agreement with such values. There are even a number of transgender people who themselves identify as Christian. Caitlyn Jenner, a well known television personality who recently transitioned from male to female, is both a follower of the Christian religion as well as a frequent church goer.

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In his online blogging site, John Pavlovitz uses Christianity as a prominent theme in his posts. As a heterosexual Christian male, he argues against members of the Church who oppose transgender people. The writer addresses that the Bible does not at all mention gender identity, and that those who refuse to be accepting are essentially going against the real, underlying focus of the religion, which is love, acceptance, and kindness.

We believe that no one should feel unsafe entering any religious temple or church at all, let alone one of their one religion. Religion and the members of the community should be there in times of struggle and difficulty. People who do not identify with their biological sex should be able to find comfort in the arms of their religious peers, leaders, and God. It is a shame that many are unable to distinguish between the difference of “sex” and “gender,” and that they use the Bible as an excuse to openly shame people who are just trying to be themselves.

Hopefully time will allow for the Christian Church, and all religions for that matter, to participate in equality of all people, gender, etc. In the meantime, it is important that people such as Caitlyn Jenner and John Pavlovitz continue to speak their truths and impact the lives of others.

The Bible and Gender Identity

 

The following is a video of Michael Coogan, editor of the New Oxford Annotated Bible, explaining the view on LGBT based on the Bible.

He explains how gender identity started off as somewhat fluid, since the first human had no gender, and then was split into Adam and Eve.

In the New Testament, Paul explained the concept of equality. He said that there is neither Jew nor Gentile, slave nor free, male nor female. This could be interpreted as Christians recognizing equality. Paul could be referring to the unity that we once had at the beginning of time, when Adam and Eve were created.

This is one of many interpretations of the Bible.

Christian Views on Gender Identity

The following article and video is about Pope Francis’ views on gender identity.  He believes that teaching about gender identity in schools is wrong since it gives children the impression that they can choose whatever gender they want to be.  He further explains that he voluntarily spends time with transgender people in order to try to “lead them closer to God.”

Many people within the Christian community believe that it is unnatural for anyone to identify as a different gender than the one assigned at birth.  The following link needs to be made well aware so that people understand the difficulties that many individuals face due to their religion and gender identity.

http://www.cnn.com/2016/10/02/world/pope-transgender-comments/

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Transgender man has private audience with Pope Francis

 

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The article attached talks about a transgender man named Diego Neria Lejárraga who had been denied access to his local church in Spain after his transition. After leaving a letter for Pope Francis describing the situation, Pope Francis welcomed him by meeting with him and his fiancée. Although Pope Francis has had mixed views regarding gender identity in the past, we believe that the Pope has come to recognize the importance of this issue and is taking the steps to bring equality for all identities in the Catholic church. We are hopeful that churches will see the Pope’s actions as an example, and that they will be more accepting in the future.

http://www.washingtonblade.com/2015/01/25/transgender-man-private-audience-pope-francis/