Doctor of Leadership in Global Perspectives: Crafting Ministry in an Interconnected World

Getting Pass the Loud Noise

Written by: on March 9, 2020

One of my first encounters with the world of transgenderism was through the 1999 Oscar-winning performance of Hilary Swank portraying Brandon Teena in Boys Don’t Cry. It was a heart wrenching true story of the 21-year old Nebraskan trans man brutally raped and murdered in 1993 by several male acquaintances after his transgender identity was revealed. [1]

The troubling reality of inhumanity troubled me to my core and began to fear for those around me later in life who walking through their identity crisis. Yes, I say identity crisis because it’s a period of psychological distress for them. The distress they experienced was the mental struggle between what they felt inside of whom they are supposed to be and their biological framework. They were in search to find a more definite sense of themselves and an acceptable role within society.

Therefore, in high school, in the quest to understand this notion of transgender, I decided to do my investigative research on if this issue of identity was something that was created through external experiences or if it was determined scientifically at birth. Back in the 1990s, there limited scientific findings for my research, but through the lens of psychology, identity crisis on even level was said to be acquired through learned behavior and experiences. I further conducted interviews with doctors and transgender persons, and the outcome was mutual. Whatever the case, I had people around me in my high school, in my community, and the hairdresser at my hair salon all screaming from within,” I am in the wrong body.” Later, I would discover the correct term of this identity crisis was gender dysphoria, a condition where a person experiences discomfort or distress because there is a mismatch between their biological sex and gender identity.[2]

Now looking back on those years, I was pretty naïve in my approach to understanding their world. However, me being the person that I am, my only aim was to love them, understand them, and protect them from harm, as I did with most people in my life. Even as a Christian, I never quite looked upon this community for anything else other than their humanity. Which brings me to my current state of being confused and disconcerted. While the emergence of the negative relationship between LGBTQQIAPP+  and Christianity is prominent today, the Church’s identity has always been rooted in the Scriptures. Therefore based on the Church’s biblical conviction, the rejection of a person’s lifestyle should not be viewed as a rejection of the person.

Our culture has accepted two huge lies. The first is that if you disagree with someone’s lifestyle, you must fear or hate them. The second is that to love someone means you agree with everything they believe or do. Both are nonsense. You don’t have to compromise convictions to be compassionate. [3]

Why Is It So Loud Out Here?

Not quite sure how we got to this point, but both sides of the spectrum are at odds, the Christian community, and the LGBTQQIAPP+ community. Their signs are raised high, and there is a screaming match taking place across the room. No one seems to understand what the other is saying. Sometimes aliases are found, and some cross the battles line, however somewhere in the middle lies the reality that the future of our children is forever altered.

Alternative views are expressed to the idea of gender identity as an inherent and unchangeable fact, and they feel that transgenderism in children is a relatively new occurrence that is being co‐created by adults. Holding and expressing this view has been enough to attract vicious attacks on social media and media censure, and in the case of one contributor, suspension from a post in a political party.[4]

Earlier in the blog, I spoke about the identity crisis. Identity crisis usually transpires in adolescence though it can also occur in adulthood. Most children experience this crisis in their teenage years. During this period, teens are full of growing pains.[5] They are trying to determine who they are, whom they want to be, where they fit in, and where they don’t. Finding their identity is easier said than done. It can be an emotional and exhausting journey.[6] It can be challenging to recognize the obstacle he or she is facing, even without the impending influences of the culture of transgenderism.

However, in our current culture, children as young a five years old are asked to identify which gender they feel they are while not understanding the concept or definition of gender. In my resident state of California, the Department of Education does not allow parents to opt-out on instructions, materials or programming that discusses gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, discrimination, harassment, bully, intimidation, relationships or family, and does not discuss human reproductive organs. Even at a doctor’s visits, teens are separated from their parents to complete a questionnaire in which the parent has no access to the information acquired. The questionnaire includes questions of drug use, sexual orientation, any mental health issue such as suicide and depression. (I know because my teen shared the questions with me). I remember there was a time in which parents could make the decision to teach and guide their children through these topics. How are we to train, care, nature, and guide our children with so many outside influences?

Here’s Where I Stand

As a Christian, I have vowed to live my life and hold my convictions within the doctrine outline in the Bible and raising my children with those same convictions. I am determined to love the Lord my God with all my heart, all my soul, and with all my mind. Secondly, I vowed to push pass the loud noise of our culture and love my neighbor as myself expressing truth in love and compassion for the hurting.


[1] Guy Lodge, “Boys Don’t Cry at 20: in Praise of the Divisive Transgender Drama,” The Guardian (Guardian News and Media, October 22, 2019), https://www.theguardian.com/film/2019/oct/22/boys-dont-cry-at-20-in-praise-of-the-divisive-transgender-drama.

[2] Dr. Wenn Lawson, “Gender Dysphoria and Autism,” Network Autism, May 28, 2015, https://network.autism.org.uk/sites/default/files/ckfinder/files/gender%20dysphoria%20article%20for%20pdf%20reviewed%2018%20June%202018.pdf.

[3] Mark Gregston, Raising Teens in a Contrary Culture (Apopka, FL: Certa Publishing, 2018).

[4] James Caspian, “Brunskell-Evans, H. & Moore, M. (Eds). Transgender Children and Young People: Born in Your Own Body. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2018. Pp. 224. Hbk. £61.99.,” Journal of Analytical Psychology 63, no. 4 (2018): pp. 536-538, https://doi.org/10.1111/1468-5922.12433, 537.

[5] se_admin, “Calming the Identity Crisis: Tips for Parents of Teens with Identity Issues,” Solstice East (se_admin https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/f7004e6724979d6a4296e9f6b2a6b1a0?s=96&d=mm&r=g, July 20, 2018), https://solsticeeast.com/blog/calming-the-identity-crisis-tips-for-parents-of-teens-with-identity-issues/.

[6] Ibid.

About the Author

Shermika Harvey

3 responses to “Getting Pass the Loud Noise”

  1. Great post Shermika, thank you for recounting your encounter with Transgenderism and the research that you undertook while in high school, this is not an easy thing for our children and young people, to navigate through it at their age. As parents and caregivers, we’ve to arm ourselves to help as much as possible, those that are close to us and within our reach. I agree with you that the best we can do is to extend grace and Love to all without discrimination, in obedience to our Lord and Savior Jesus.

  2. Nancy VanderRoest says:

    Thank you for sharing your blog, Shermika. I agree with you that that the transgender world spells an identity crisis because it’s a period of psychological distress for those who are struggling with confusion issues. I also appreciated that you noted one of my favorite quotes from the book we read: “Our culture has accepted two huge lies. The first is that if you disagree with someone’s lifestyle, you must fear or hate them. The second is that to love someone means you agree with everything they believe or do. Both are nonsense. You don’t have to compromise convictions to be compassionate.” Such a powerful statement for everyone to hear and absorb! Thank you for sharing, Mimi.

  3. John Muhanji says:

    Thanks, Shermika for your great sharing reflecting on transgenderism that is creeping strongly on our society and changing the game of our faith and belief. The question I have is, what role do parents have in nurturing their children as they grow? Are we not responsible for raising the children the way they should be? I was disturbed to realize that doctors would take your child and ask her/him questions they do not need a parent to participate and they leave the child in your hands with confusing ideas you are not allowed to help them. This is absurd and evil in my cultural view. This cannot and we do not see it coming to Africa in the near future. Thanks for your personal conviction as a true Christian committed to loving all as commanded by our Lord Jesus.

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