Start At A Different Place
This week’s reading of Transgender Children and Young People falls in line with the last few weeks, as it is just as thick and thought-provoking as Pinker’s work. While Pinker does with stats and philosophical stances, Brunskell-Evans and Moore seek to provide another viewpoint to the conversation/debate about Transgenderism. Dr. Bird, in his review of this work, says it is “a critical and scientific critique of the transgendering of children as part of a discursive sociological project There is much that could be said about this work, but the limitations of this space do not provide ample room to dive deep. Instead, I will say it was thought-provoking, and like many great books leaves you with more questions than answers. With the space I do have I will explore one encounter with the LGBTQ that shaped me the most.
While attending Bible school, there was a movement/activist group of LGBTQ college students that were showing up to Christian campuses and holding court. A few well-known Christian schools had “closed” the door to them and caused the news to bring even more attention to what was happening. As their movement grow, it became apparent that they might come to our school, and the leadership began having meetings as to if they were allowed to stop and hold court at our school. At the same time, student-lead debates were happening, and it felt worse than the political climate in America today. Finally, the administration decided that we would not “close” the door to the group if they showed up. However, they also designated spots around campus where conversations could and could not happen (mainly so that classes where not stop). I think much to the administrations regret our school was named shortly after for one of the stops on this LGBTQ tour.
I have to admit; I had grown up with close family members who were in the LGBTQ lifestyle. I did not become a Christian until attending this school, so many of the issues that somewhere hung up own, I was not. As a believer, everyone in my family knew where I stood, but that did not stop me from being in a relationship with them. Here then, is the shift that I experienced from the visit. Somehow, I find myself in a circle with a few students from the LGBTQ bus and some from our college. For almost twenty mins the conversation/debate went around in circles, and as I sat there quietly listening, I thought to myself, the reason this is going nowhere is that neither side is trying to see the other person but prove a point. What I had learned, before coming to faith, was that we are all human and need to start there and not start by trying to prove a point.
This conversation is not going away. Gen Z is the most sexual fluid generation to date, with one-third stating, gender is how a person feels inside, not their birth. How the church and how we, as leaders, approach this conversation will only continue to carry more weight in the years to come. Not matter what “side” of the conversation we find ourselves on, we need to treat each other with human dignity and not as points to make.
.” Bird, Michael F. “A Must-Read Feminist, Queer, Disability & Psychoanalytic Critique of Transgenderism.” Euangelion. Patheos Explore the world’s faith through different perspectives on religion and spirituality! Patheos has the views of the prevalent religions and spiritualities of the world., May 11, 2019. https://www.patheos.com/blogs/euangelion/2019/05/a-must-read-feminist-queer-disability-psychoanalytic-critique-of-transgenderism/?fbclid=IwAR0zENlIymyQ5PgA9KIW85JHD2-PtXrc3q6U4yco9D34CNA31N64TRDPTy8.
 Barna Research, Gen Z: The Culture, Beliefs, and Motivations Shaping the Next Generation (Ventura, CA: Barna Group, 2018), 11.
6 responses to “Start At A Different Place”
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.
Thanks so much for sharing and reminding us of the obvious. I asked my son who is an assistant principal for Houston ISD his experiences in dealing with trans students. He said the key issue was to deal with each student individually with compassion and kindness. He said, “Don’t make a big deal out of it or otherwise it simply devolves into talking points.” Mario, thanks so much for reminding us these are not talking points but individuals! That must be our starting point.
Great wisdom from your Son!
Powerful personal story and great tie in with Gen Z. Thank you Mario!
Thanks for sharing Mario! I am picturing the circle of discussion you described. Completely because of my own research, how do you think this conservation would have been different if you’d sat down for a meal together? What about a meal at your house? What about if you’d done something fun together first? Or if you’d just finished serving a meal to people experiencing homelessness before talking about the issues/ideas?
I def think it could have help put down the “arms”. I also remember the group asking people to join them for communion at a certain time (I was in class) and a lot of people didn’t.