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Trans-mockery in the House of God? Get educated…

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Mockery should never come from the House of God. Never.

As the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender communities find more acceptance in churches and in society, still left in the shadows and in the back corners hidden from our kind considerations are the transgender people. I am witnessing them become the next target of religious leaders.

Kathy Baldock

It can be no surprise to those who read my blog or hear me speak that I have an unusual burden for the transgender community. I admit, that just five years ago, I could not have verbalized an intelligent definition of the word “transgender.”

Now, I weep over the abuse and ignorance towards them.

The technical term is “gender dysphoria” and the simplest way to understand it is the brain imprint of gender (male or female) does not match the body biology/sex. What’s in the brain does not match what is in the underpants.

What pushed my button recently is reading the completely uninformed, mean spirited comments on, oh here we go again, Pastor Mark Driscoll’s Facebook page. He has taken a new tact since his comment about “most effeminate anatomically male worship leader” blew up the internet. Rachel Held Evans called him out on that stupid and insensitive comment. Now, only he posts and often links to controversial stories and lets his followers tear up the victims for him. And, they do. Point made, and hands clean.

Driscoll linked a story about trans kids in Seattle getting guidance for their condition as early as 5 or 6. When the teachings from the pulpit are not warm and fuzzy towards GLBT Christians, even I know this was not going to be a “whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is good, now think on these things” love fest for transgender people.

Driscoll knowingly puts this stuff out there and lets the attack and ignorant statements begin. Driscoll is not accountable for what his commenters say, but, come on, I know what they will say. It is intensely irresponsible to dangle the irresistible magnet for derision. Right on cue, the Pavlovians posted:

“parents push their children towards the gender they wish they were.”

“God would not accidentally give us a gender that we don’t fit in. The thought of a transgender teaching little kids to become transgender themselves just turns my stomache.”

“if I don’t feel happy with my left arm can I have that lopped off too?”

“it is sad that this is being taught and promoted in kindergarten.”

“transgender is a choice that is made, not a birth defect.”

All of this ignorant scorn is invited. If I know what the resultant commentary will be, surely the pastor knew that when he posted the story, mockery, rampant mockery would ensue. No one deserves to be mocked. To think of a pastor specifically holding out the sacrificial lamb to be torn apart is intensely negligent of his office. Theological differences are expected, but, I would hope the godly treatment of others is the supreme dictate we would encourage and model.

Driscoll is not the only leader dangling the misunderstood transgender person over the heads of the jeering crowds. I recently read and reviewed “A Queer Thing Happened to America” by Michael Brown. His references to transgendered people actually made me scream out loud while I was reading. I was appalled by the many comments about transgender people in his 691 page book that he insists is a compassionate Christian view. Please, read my review.

Sentences akin to: “We [speaking about transgender people] would do better to concentrate on trying to fix their minds and not their genitalia.” And, “No doubt there are many beautiful people among them, but that hardly means that each of their sexual orientations and identities and proclivities must be recognized, endorsed and celebrated by society or that their sexual orientations or identities or proclivities are what make them beautiful. Really now, it is beautiful for a grown man to surgically mutilate his penis and wear a dress?”

No one is asking for a party for them; they just want the dignity to be the humans. Transgender people want the same things we heterosexuals want: love, acceptance and dignity. If you do not take issue with the offense of these comments by Brown and others, you do not understand the complexity of brain stamping versus body biology.

Transgendered people are about .25% to 1% of the population. They are the most discriminated groups in housing, jobs and in churches. Although they are only 1% of the population, they are a disproportionate quantity of the homeless and unemployed.

I understand that most of us know very little or nothing of the “T” community. But mockery and ignorance is not the way to deal with it. Get educated and meet some personally. And, listen to them, don’t tell them, listen. Hey, maybe even chat with a doctor at a clinic since this is a medical condition. And while you are doing your homework on the statistically “very least of these”, keep you poison to yourself. Don’t even post bait that will bring nasty and stupid comments. It is offensive.

Lisa Salazar

God in His cleverness used a sexually-other person to spread the Gospel outside of Judea and
Samaria. The Ethopian eunuch was rejected at the temple by man, but GOD, saw him, and used him, and blessed
him, and wrote him down in history.

If the world is only comfortable for you
in pink and blue, start with my blogpost “Can Sized 14 Heels Keep You Out of Heaven?” Then check into a wonderful book by Lisa Salazar “Transparently”. Lisa is on the board of my organization and a beautiful Christian transwoman.
As you read , you will be deeply affected by the struggle for life as she decided to transition. And God is in every step of this process with her.

This crazy targeting of others that are not like us must stop coming from the House of God. I get daily mail from the outcasts that do not fit strictly heterosexual model.

People are born gay, bisexual and transgender and other beautiful variations and carry a piece of God’s image.
This may scare some of us. We don’t like the differences we do not understand. But, this is not a validation for mockery.

God cares about hearts. Not genitalia. Not sized 14 heels. Not shaved Adam’s apples or additions or subtractions of the flesh. Hearts.

People of God, and in particularly leaders, stop it. Get educated, get in relationship with transfolks and, until then, stop the ridicule and ignorant slander against the transgender community. It is not godly, it is destructive and it is pushing yet another group from the mercy seat of God.

I hope the people of God start speaking up loudly on issues of injustice against any targeted group. The transgender group is the next one on the church’s radar to “seek and destroy”. I am not overstating this. My faith drives me to not be passive while others are oppressed. When I witness pastors and religious leaders intentionally shaming and bringing ridicule upon transgender people, I will not be silent. If you need education, get it; ignorance is not a validation.

Today I am speaking up for the many transgender people I love.

I honor you: Lisa, Lance, Sarah, Izak, Bren, Karen, Cindy, Dix, Antonia, Sissy, Deborah, Cecilia, Elisabeth, Cindi . . . and many, many more.

These are my some of my Christian fellow brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus that you mock. They are some of the most grace filled people I know. Their path to God is strewn with struggles the rest of us will never understand, so yes, I honor them.

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23 more reader comments:

  1. i love and support Kathy Verbiest Baldock!

    Posted on Sunday, August 7, 2011 at 11:32am
  2. Targetting transgendered people is even more ridiculous than targetting gay, lesbian and bisexual people =/ There’s MEDICAL evidence for transgenderism — take a look at this page and pass it on to any haters or confused people you butt intellects with, lol:

    Posted on Sunday, August 7, 2011 at 11:35am
  3. I am TS myself(pre-everything)Ive been out about it for almost two months. i am lucky that my preacher and most of the kids in my church accept me as i am.

    Posted on Sunday, August 7, 2011 at 11:48am
  4. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I remember back in the early ’80s fight for the two transgendered women that were attending the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre in Vancouver, BC. The centre decided that they should no longer be allowed in the centre since the still had their “penises”. I was appalled as no one stood up for them. I have no idea what has happened since althouhg I supect one may be dead as she was listed under her male birth name on the Missing Women’s Poster for Vancouver.

    It was sad really that the “progressive” feminists and the do-gooder christians couldn’t help these women. It was so frustrating!

    Posted on Sunday, August 7, 2011 at 11:59am
  5. It upsets me when people that have no idea what transgendered people go through feel like they can form an opinion on them and judge them. I certainly didn’t choose to feel uncomfortable with my birth sex, any other transgendered people here make the choice to be uncomfortable with who they are? No? Didn’t think so.

    Posted on Sunday, August 7, 2011 at 12:46pm
  6. There is no reason for this kind of discrimination.

    Posted on Sunday, August 7, 2011 at 2:04pm
  7. minorities are perceived there is no such thing as a human sub species.

    Posted on Sunday, August 7, 2011 at 7:53pm
  8. Your words have me wanting to try and regain my faith in the human race. People like you give me the hope that not everyone is ignorant and hateful of people like me. I was almost in tears with your mention of “God cares about hearts”. Thank you for being a voice of reason among all the insanity facing us.

    Posted on Sunday, August 7, 2011 at 9:03pm
  9. Congrats to you on the courage and bravery to stand up and be who you are. I applaud you for this, and I hope that you are met with acceptance, appreciation, kindness and friendship for the PERSON that you are, in whatever gender makes you feel whole and alive! Peace + blessings, Dave G.

    Posted on Sunday, August 7, 2011 at 11:52pm
  10. Thank you. I hope and pray this is shared all over the country.

    Posted on Monday, August 8, 2011 at 5:13am
  11. I do think this is ridiculous. Absolutely. Nothing sucked more than wanting to be the other gender. I don’t long for it anymore, but I did for about four years, and ever since I was little, that subconcioius picture I have of myself is usually male, and very few times is it female. I’ve settled with the fact that it’s just downright fun to be a girl (make-up, knowing my body is awesome, being able to say what I want to people–even guys– without being called a faggot whatever–seriously guys have some major issues between each other with that, etc)

    The only issue I have with the article is the thing about five-year-old getting treatment for this. You really don’t have or even need a gender identity at that point (without society’s help, children would be quite androgynous until about 10-13 or so when puberty happens), and before you argue “tom-boy,” don’t even bother. Tom-boys are perfectly girly by today’s standards: they just like sports. Perhaps there is something other than the “tom-boy” thing that I’m missing?

    Posted on Monday, August 8, 2011 at 5:32am
  12. Very good to know these attacks are coming from a Local pastor

    Posted on Monday, August 8, 2011 at 10:57am
  13. why is that? what’s their problem now? i mean what excuse are they giving for targeting them?

    Posted on Monday, August 8, 2011 at 5:38pm
  14. because targeting everyone else up to this point has backfired…they’re always going to go after someone. next it they’ll go after toy companies saying dolls make boys gay or something stupid.

    Posted on Monday, August 8, 2011 at 6:01pm
  15. but dolls did not may me gay i was bisexual befor that and walways wanted to be a girl as a little boy all i can say is non of the bashing that others have cundimed me to i have ever let stop me maybe slow me down but never stop me and i know the hole lgbt camunidy wont be stoped no matter what bashing comsd are way we are all loved in gods eyes even thoe are own brothers and sisters wont accept us

    Posted on Monday, August 8, 2011 at 6:43pm
  16. “Transgender people want the same things we heterosexuals want”
    This is interesting.. seeing as I am both transgender and heterosexual… :/

    Posted on Monday, August 8, 2011 at 6:45pm
  17. Your message is wonderful, though you were using the term ‘heterosexual’ inappropriately. Someone who is heterosexual is attracted to someone on the opposite end of the gender binary (male or female). I believe the word that you were looking for was ‘cisgender’. Someone who is cisgender is not gender dysphoric. They are people whose bodies match their gender. Someone who is trans* is gender dysphoric, on the other hand.

    Posted on Monday, August 8, 2011 at 9:24pm
  18. THANK YOU for posting this–it is ME!!! And I appreciate your getting my words out.

    Posted on Monday, August 8, 2011 at 10:03pm
  19. after reading this i went onto Driscoll’s page and liked it to post this message ” i say that a preacher of any religion countering/opposing an other religion is a hypocrite especially when they get upset that the other retaliates. why the hel (and yes i mean with one l just to get the point across) do you care if someone is atheist. atheism is no matter and the same goes for LGBT stay out of there business. if you want to talk about something that is your problem then go ahead and say it.”

    then i unliked it

    Posted on Tuesday, August 9, 2011 at 1:18am
  20. Thank you for this beautiful piece. It left me in tears. Our own beautiful daughter is transgender and has been completely rejected by her three Christian siblings. She continues to reach out to them, but two of them refuse to even acknowledge her existence, while the third will not use her chosen (legal) name; instead calling her “he” or “him”. It rips my heart out. But on the plus side, most of our extended family (mostly Catholic) embrace her for who she is. We are involved in PFLAG and continue to work for equality for her and all LGBTQ people (there is much work to be done here in Kansas).

    Posted on Tuesday, August 9, 2011 at 12:09pm
  21. After reading this article I am reminded that there is so much ignorance, and hate about anyone that is different in this society. As a transgender woman and public speaker about transgenderism I have run into these same kind of people. Amazingly enough when they are challenged to debate their uneducated views of the trans community I have witnessed them start to change their view. Some do walk away, I have one case where the person wanted to start getting belligerant.
    The fact remains that through my lectures, public speeches that I have been able to lift the fog and veil of ignorance. I have also been able to reach out and touch lives, help others gain confidence, and others make choices appropriate to them.
    Last as far as God is concerned; no God did not make a mistake with me, I was made the way I was so that when it came to be my time to be able to reach out to others I would have the strength and courage to do so and for those who mock me a thick enough skin to take the abuse and still be standing!

    Posted on Wednesday, August 10, 2011 at 7:29pm
  22. What a sad shame that many Christians are using God as a reason to hate anyone that is LGB or T, or for that matter, anyone at all. God created all, and He created all equally as important, beautiful, and necessary. All are welcome to His love and Grace.

    Shame on churches and Pastors for continuing to foster these un-Biblical lies.

    Reverend G.

    Galatians 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

    John 13:34 A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.

    Matthew 7: 1-3
    1 Do not judge, or you too will be judged.
    2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
    3 Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?

    Posted on Wednesday, August 10, 2011 at 8:06pm
  23. There seems to be a lot of talk of “ignorance and hate”. A couple such ignorances are what constitutes sin and the fact that we should hate any and all sin… not just the ones that the other guy is doing.

    Posted on Thursday, August 25, 2011 at 2:46pm