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

Why did we get Here? How did we get Here? Which is The More Legitimate Question?

Written by: on March 8, 2020

As to How we got where we are on the current Transgender ideology and political debate, history may shed some light. While Wikipedia may not be a very credible scholarly source to quote, I have opted to gather some historical data on the transgender legislation that helps in informing how this issue has evolved. The Gender Recognition Act 2004 was passed in the UK parliament to allow people to apply to change their Gender. This was after a 2002 ruling by the European court of Justice ruling the United Kingdom (UK) government[1]. Before then, most of the people that were seeking medical treatment to change their Gender were mainly middle-aged men who, were changing their gender to be identified women. This has changed over time and now seems to be more prevalent among the teenagers and young people who are seeking transgender social role change and medical treatment to change their gender.

While anti-discrimination measures have existed since 1999, they were strengthened in the 2000s, to include anti-harassment wording. In 2010, gender reassignment was included as a protected characteristic in the Equality Act and a New Equality Act (that brings together 116 separate pieces of legislation into a single Act) was enacted on October 1, 2010 (in the US, the Equality Act was passed on May 17, 2019 as an amendment to the Civil Rights Act). In 2013, Same-sex marriage was introduced, making it possible for a spouse to change their gender without requiring divorce[2]. These legislative legitimization of transgender rights in the UK has been replicated by other European countries and in different States in the US, and is fast spreading to other parts of the world like Australia and in India (enacted in 2014)[3]. It’s good to note that though it’s not as pronounced in Africa, the issue is catching on with human rights activist fighting for the ‘rights’ of transgender people to come out in the open and their stories being serialized in the media. I’m aware of a transgender case of a child who changed the gender through surgery that is facing challenges of identity and the human rights groups would not allow other people to help the teenager, as they would ‘violate her rights’ .

It is important to ask why the situation is what it is today which, prompted Heather Brunskell-Evans and Michelle Moore to bring together the essays from different authors in their book, Transgender Children and Young People: Born in your own Body[4]. Heather Brunskell-Evans is a philosopher and social theorist, with expertise in politics of medicine, the sexed body, and gender. She is currently involved in the research analysis of the relationship between surrogacy, pornography, prostitution and transgenderism, and is a co-founder of the Women’s Human Rights campaign. Michele Moore is Professor and Head of Centre For Social Justice and Global Responsibility at London South Bank University, Honorary Professor in the School of Health and Social care at the University of Essex, UK, and editor of World-Leading journal Disability and Society. Theirs is a radical and courageous book that raises uncomfortable questions about transgenderism and how society has responded to it, specifically as relates to children and young people. They have put their careers and reputation at risk in opening for discussion, the points of view and experience of people who insist on thinking critically and voicing views and experiences that are challenging to people who promote a “one size fit all” approach to transgenderism[5]. This “one size fits all” approach is an affirmative model which asserts that gender is a self-identified feeling unrelated to biological sex[6], and the child who suddenly claims that he belongs to a different gender from the biological sex, should not be questioned but should be supported towards her or his choice of gender. While this approach is justified by its proponents with such arguments that a contrary approach may lead to depression and other relation conditions and may even lead to suicide, the authors highlight different views as expressed by people with different views and experiences for discussion. There has been a dramatic increase in the number of people presenting as transgender, but more alarming is the number of teenagers and young adults which brings to the fore many questions as to why this is so.

The affirmative model can only be seen from an assumption that all transgender children and young adults are naturally ‘trans’ born in the ‘wrong body’ and should therefore be given the freedom and right to change their social identity and role and seek medical treatment to change their biological sex. There are several issues that have been raised in the 11 chapters of book which are essays written by clinicians, psychologists, sociologists, educators, parents and de-transitioners[7]. Among the concerns raised is that some of these transgender children and young people are not natural ‘trans’ but are inventions of different medical, social and political contexts; lobby groups; school resources; gender guides and workbooks; YouTube vloggers; consulting rooms of psychiatrists; pharmaceutical industry and television documentaries.  These issue raise ethical issues as to whether there could be people or groups that are exploiting this issue to benefit from the increase in the number of transgender cases, either financially through medical procedures or prescriptions; for political or ideological mileage or otherwise which would be very unfortunate. Ultimately the book makes the case for concern for the negative ramifications on the children and young people that needs attention. As Christian leaders, I pose the challenge to us as we think through this discourse, of what should be of our concern? One of the strategies that is used by minority groups like LGBT is systemic in legislating their agenda like enacting of laws and amendments that entrench their agendas or through court cases, as is the case in this LGBT agenda. It seems to me that the aim is to legitimize their agenda legally and to suppress any opposition for their ulterior motives which makes it necessary for us to be concerned about the how and why these groups front their agenda. My concern is the implication for these transgender children and young people for their mental health but ultimately in their relationship with God, the best we can do is to love on them and pray to He that loves them and rightfully created them and determined their gender, more for their well-being and salvation.

[1] Wikipedia.

[2] Ibid..

[3] Ibid.

[4] Heather Brunskell-Evans and Michele Moore, Eds., Transgender Children and Young People: Born In Your Own Body. ( UK. Cambridge Scholars Publishing. 2018).

[5] Melissa Midgen, Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist.,  http://www.heather-brunskell-evans.co.uk/body-politics/review-of-transgender-children-and-young-people-born-in-your-own-body/.

[6] Ibid.

[7] Goodreads Review, https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/47321720-inventing-transgender-children-and-young-people.

About the Author

Wallace Kamau

Wallace is a believer in Christ, Married to Mary Kamau (Founder and Executive Director of Missions of Hope International) and father to 3 Wonderful children, Imani Kamau (Graduate student at London School of Economics, UK), Victory Kamau (Undergraduate student at Portland state University, Oregon, USA) and David Kamau ( Grade student at Rosslyn Academy). Founder and Director, Missions of Hope International (www.mohiafrica.org), CPA, BAchelor of Commerce (Accounting) from University of Nairobi, Masters of Arts (Leadership) from Pan African Christian University.

6 responses to “Why did we get Here? How did we get Here? Which is The More Legitimate Question?”

  1. Good stuff Wallace. Yes, prayer for sure is something we, as Christian leaders ought to routinely practice in interceding on behalf of trans to open their hearts and minds to the fact that God created each of them either male or female. There is no more absurd a fact than for a person to think they are not biologically either male or female. We can’t rule out the fact that evil spiritual forces are behind this.

    You also mention the strategy of the LGBT community of enacting legislation to push through their agenda. I know that’s one way to get things done. While this is happening and seems effective, we also have to consider how such a very tiny minority (3%) can have such an outsized impact on culture. Up until the 1990s, 84% of Americans were theists, attending church at least once a month and regular givers to causes and yet we have seen continued moral decay. What can we learn from minority groups such as the LGBT that appears successful in promoting their agenda and making it a part of our social fabric today?

    • Thank you Harry, it’s true the LGBT community is so small but manage to push their agenda so forcefully. While it’s important it’s important to emphasize our Christian witness by living our faith, I believe that’s it’s also important to be strategic in ensuring that we’re also as effective in impacting on the culture. I have read about the strategy of taking over the seven mountains that influences culture that was initiated In 1975, by Bill Bright, founder of Campus Crusade and Loren Cunningham, founder of Youth With A Mission (YWAM). “They concluded that in order to truly transform a nation with the gospel of Jesus Christ, these seven facets of society must be reached: Religion, Family, Government, Media, Arts & Entertainment, and Business.” What is your take on the seven Mountains strategy?

  2. Mary Mims says:

    Thank you, Wallace, for your going through this issue in a systematic way, looking at how this came to be. I guess I was shocked at how deep this issue is. I think very few are looking at how people are gender-confused because of abuse. This is the spirit of the world that we are working against.

    • Thank you Mary, you’re right, this seems to be a well planned and executed strategy to entrench the transgender and other related agendas for the selfish interests of the executors. As the church, we need to awake to the reality that we’re in warfare and we have to save our young ones.

  3. Nancy VanderRoest says:

    Thanks for sharing your blog, Wallace. I agree with you when you noted that ‘the authors wrote a radical and courageous book that raises uncomfortable questions about transgenderism and how society has responded to it, specifically as relates to children and young people.’ You continued that ‘these issue raise ethical issues as to whether there could be people or groups that are exploiting this issue to benefit from the increase in the number of transgender cases.’ I have my concerns also that there may be a benefit from exploitation of youth and their transgender issues, Wallace. Very solid post, Wallace. Thank you for your philosophy and your honesty about your beliefs.

  4. John Muhanji says:

    Thank you, Wallace, for raising these concerns that seriously impact our faith. It pauses a challenge to us as a Christian faith community and one would ask, What is morally right and wrong as far as sexual orientation is concerned? The other confusion is when God looks at a transgender person, who does He see from creation? A male or female? Do Transgender people believe in God and that they were created by God? Do they blame God for creating them in the wrong body?

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