The Transsexual Dilemma

Article ID: JAT106 | By: Joe Dallas

This article first appeared in the Christian Research Journal, volume 31, number 1 (2008). For further information or to subscribe to the Christian Research Journal go to: http://www.equip.org

SYNOPSIS

Transsexual advocates follow the course mapped out by their gay predecessors, advancing transsexualism through various media, the American Psychiatric Association, anti-discrimination laws, and the educational system. The predictable outcome is increased acceptance of transsexualism and intense pressure on those who dissent. The momentum of the transsexual movement challenges the church to articulate a biblical response to pro-transsexual arguments. The innateness argument states that transsexualism is inborn and unchangeable, and therefore God ordained. Christians can respond that, as likely inborn tendencies toward addiction or violence demonstrate, what is “inborn” is not necessarily “God ordained,” because human nature is tainted by original sin; further, they can respond that what one feels does not justify altering what one is. The irrelevance argument states that changing sexes is acceptable because one’s sex is only secondary, even to God. Christians can respond that humans are physical as well as spiritual beings, and that because God specifically determines one’s inward parts, one’s assigned sex reflects God’s intent, which makes it hardly irrelevant. The inevitability argument states that the only viable option for transsexuals in resolving the conflict between their bodies and their feelings is to default to their feelings and proceed with sex reassignment surgery. Christians can respond that internal conflicts often remain after surgery, lessening the efficacy of reassignment surgery to improve quality of life. Also, living in accord with one’s assigned sex and recognizing one’s feelings, rather than one’s sex, as the problem is another viable option, and the correct choice.

Kim was the most handsome client ever to step into my office. As a pastoral counselor, I work with men wanting to overcome sexual sins, many who, as a first impression, present themselves as self-absorbed, male model types, so an attractive man asking for help wasn’t unusual. But tall, muscular, and square jawed Kim immediately stood apart.

“Since this is your first appointment,” I said, while Kim completed an intake form, “let’s talk about the problem that brought you here.”

My new counselee signed the form, fixed a steady gaze on me and dropped the bomb.

“The problem is my chromosomes. I was born female.”

I was astonished, and after two decades of counseling porn addicts, homosexuals, prostitutes, and an occasional sex offender, I don’t shock easily.

“I’ve lived most of my life as a man,” she continued, “and it’s worked! I finally had sex change surgery three years ago, and I’ve been living with a woman since then. But two weeks ago I got saved at a Harvest Crusade. I’m a new Christian, so…”

My heart sank, because now I knew what Kim had come to ask and that, ultimately, my answer would hurt deeply.

“…so now what? Did I sin when I had the surgery? If I did, it can’t be undone, so how can I repent of it? Can’t I just go on living as a Christian man? If God wants me living as a woman, I don’t know how I’ll pull it off. Everyone at work knows me as a guy, so what do I do? Suddenly show up in high heels? And what about my girlfriend? Does God reject us because He considers us lesbians? What am I supposed to do?”

AN UNEXPECTED CONVERSATION

Kim’s questions caught me unprepared, and I fear “unprepared” describes many believers who may find themselves in the precarious position of explaining and defending the biblical position on transsexualism.1 It’s a subject as unavoidable as homosexuality, as transsexual advocates follow the course mapped out by their gay predecessors. From the 1970s onward, the gay rights movement advanced itself through films, television characters, sympathetic journalists, the American Psychiatric Association, anti-discrimination laws, and the educational system. The national debate shifted accordingly, the question eventually morphing from “Is homosexuality normal?” to “Are objections to homosexuality normal?” Those who hold such objections now find themselves (and their churches) subject to intense pressure and scorn.

The gay rights movement’s success is emulated by its transsexual cousin, undoubtedly the next wave of sexual revolution.2 Consider the following:

· Popular films such as the Oscar-winning Boys Don’t Cry, The Crying Game, and Normal (starring Jessica Lange as a wife who comes to terms with her husband’s need to live as a woman) portray transsexuals not as unnatural, but as victims of prejudice and circumstance.


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· Television characters such as the transsexual in the highly popular Ugly Betty use the likeability factor to educate the public on the inherent “normality” of transsexualism and the ignorance of those who disapprove of it.

· Sympathetic journalism doesn’t get any better than Barbara Walters 20/20 piece, first aired in the spring of 2007, and titled “My Secret Self,” in which Ms. Walters invited viewers to “open [their] hearts and minds” to “courageous and loving parents” who allowed their transsexual children to live as the opposite sex, promising, “most of you will be moved” by their stories.3

· As gay activists did in 1973, transsexual advocates are pressuring the American Psychiatric Association to revise its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual to eliminate transsexualism (or gender identity disorder) as a classifiable disorder.4

· Anti-discrimination laws and educational reforms that cite transsexuals as a protected class have swept through high school and college campuses, as well as corporations and small businesses.5

The predictable outcome—increased acceptance of transsexualism and increased pressure on those who dissent—forces us to articulate a biblical response. This article will attempt to do so by answering three of the most commonly used pro-transsexual arguments: (1) the innateness argument: “Transsexualism is inborn and unchangeable,” (2) the irrelevance argument: “One’s biological sex is secondary, so changing it is acceptable,” and, (3) the inevitability argument: “Transsexuals’ only viable option is to default to their feelings.”

Before discussing these arguments, some preliminary clarifications are necessary. The transsexual should be distinguished from the transvestite, who enjoys wearing clothing of the opposite sex without a wish to become the opposite sex. Female impersonators (commonly called “drag queens”) likewise rarely qualify as transsexuals, since they live as men, assuming their female persona episodically, not permanently. Since most homosexuals have no desire to change their sex, they, too, are distinct from transsexuals. Complicating matters further is the trend towards lumping transsexuals, transvestites, and drag queens together under the all-inclusive term “transgendered.”

Although the transsexual population is hard to quantify its visibility grows, however, as it becomes more closely aligned with the goals and strategies of the gay rights movement, most noticeably through its inclusion in the movement’s oft used title The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered Community (GLBT), and through the similarities between common pro-transsexual and gay rights arguments.

THE INNATENESS ARGUMENT:“TRANSSEXUALISM IS INBORN AND UNCHANGEABLE”

Kim was weeping while I scrambled for an answer to the questions she’d just poured out. “Let’s start with this premise, OK?” I began. “We’re born male or female by design, not accident. So we have to assume your assigned sex is your intended sex.”

“Intended?” she gasped. “That’s like saying God intended me to be a frog, so I should hop and croak! From day one, everything in me has said I’m a man, and you’re saying God made me a woman? Either you’re wrong, or God messed up.”

Trapped!

Most transsexuals feel, from early in life, “trapped” in the wrong body, hence the American Psychiatric Association’s definition of transsexualism as “strong and persistent cross-gender identification… and… persistent discomfort about one’s assigned sex.”6 With time, it is common for transsexuals to develop a form of depression called gender dysphoria.7 “I’m so mad at God,” a seven-year old laments in the Barbara Walters special, “He made a mistake.”8 The torment of gender dysphoria expresses itself in the question, “How can I be one way yet feel another?” Lest anyone dismiss the seriousness of this depression, it should be noted that suicide attempts, drug abuse, and horrendous efforts at self-mutilation are commonly reported among young transsexuals.9

Those Stubborn Chromosomes

The solution, many conclude, is a process called sex reassignment, through which the transsexual’s body is altered to conform to his or her self-perception. The sex a transsexual wants to be is the target gender, as opposed to the assigned gender with which he or she was born. Reassignment can include injections of hormones, facial reconstruction, breast implants or removal, and reconstruction of genitals. This process is widely available, although most states require a person to live (dress, work, and self identify) as a member of the opposite sex for a prescribed period before undergoing surgery, accompanied by extensive psychological counseling to determine suitability for the procedure.

The impossibility of truly becoming the opposite sex seems obvious, but so does the desperation a person such as Kim must feel to make such an attempt. Surely, castration, implants, and hormones still leave a man unable to ovulate; penile implants and breast reduction likewise won’t delete a woman’s womanhood. Chromosomes stubbornly remain unchanged, immune to surgical intervention.

Knowing all this and more, thousands still attempt reassignment, believing, as did Kim, that they were born not for the body they inhabit, but for the one they’re trying to create. At one time such a belief held little sway, the testimony of the body overriding the mind. But as we move further from the influences of Scripture and Judeo-Christian tradition, embracing a more subjective grid for decision making, however, feelings often trump facts.

Traditionally, if a man felt like a woman yet inhabited a male body, his feelings, not his body, were viewed as the problem. They were considered something to be resisted, modified if possible, and contrary to what was. Currently, what one is is being determined by what one feels – an ominous trend when one considers its implications. It is, in essence, an attempt to define reality by desire, knowledge by intuition. “I know I’m a man because I feel like one!” Kim screamed at me as our session continued, leaving me stunned that an intelligent, educated woman subordinated a verifiable truth—her born, inalterable state—to subjective (though strongly held) perceptions.

Transsexualism’s increased acceptance, combined with its early developmental appearance, leaves many professionals and laity convinced that it is an inborn trait. The jury, after all, is still out on the question of homosexuality’s origins—inborn, acquired, or a combination of the two?—and compelling arguments are made on all sides. Biological or genetic factors thus may create, or at least contribute to, this mystery as well. (As of this writing, there is no single, universally accepted theory on the origins of transsexualism.)10

Does “Inborn” also Mean “God Ordained”?

Whether inborn or acquired, however, the transsexual dilemma is more agonizing than anyone untouched by it can appreciate. If from early childhood one feels like a member of the opposite sex, and if that feeling only grows with time, doesn’t the feeling’s innate status normalize it? Kim’s “I feel this way, so I’m meant to be this way” argument has to be considered. Does “inborn” or “innate” also mean “normal” or “God ordained?”

“I can’t say it does,” I answered when Kim asked that very question. “There’s such a thing as birth defects, right?”

“I’m a defect?” she retorted.

“Unfair, Kim. I said a person can have an inborn defect. That doesn’t make the person a defect. Think about it. Aren’t some people born without limbs, or with chronic conditions?”

“Not in their heads! They’re not born feeling something they can’t stop feeling.”

“Some would disagree,” I countered. “Plenty of studies have shown addictive tendencies may be inborn. Depression seems to run in families, so it could be in the genes. Ditto for violence—did you know there are attorneys basing their client’s defense on a genetic tendency to violence? All of those are problems of the ‘head,’ as you say, but they’re not normal just because they’re inborn, are they?”11

I couldn’t blame Kim for glaring at me. I was, in essence, saying that her lifelong, deeply held feelings were an error. “All I know,” she sighed, “is that God made me. Doesn’t that count for something?”

“You bet,” I nodded, “We’re all created by God, but we’re not all He created us to be. We’re a fallen race. Adam sinned, remember? Then everything about him changed, body and soul, and he passed on his corrupted nature to the rest of us. We’re all struggling with conflicts and tendencies we’ve had from day one.” (See Gen. 3:17–19, Ps. 51:5, and Rom. 5:12–19.)

“This isn’t the same as your average tendency,” Kim protested.

“No, it’s not. Some people, including you, have to deal with tendencies that are huge, and make life awfully hard. I appreciate that. But it doesn’t give you a divine permit to alter what God fashioned. In the long run, Kim, it matters less what we feel and more what He intends.”

THE IRRELEVANCE ARGUMENT:“ONE’S BIOLOGICAL SEX IS SECONDARY, SO CHANGING IT IS ACCEPTABLE”

“You talk about sex reassignment as though God’s against it, but does it really matter to Him what sex we are?” Kim pointed to the Bible on my desk. “I’ve read in the New Testament that in Christ, we’re neither male nor female. If that’s true, then God’s not even looking at my gender!”

I reached for the Bible and nodded. “You’re quoting from Galatians 3:28. Let me read it. ‘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.’”

“Seems pretty clear to me,” Kim declared.

“But remember the context,” I argued. “Paul’s talking about justification, and he begins the paragraph by saying ‘For you are all sons through faith in Christ Jesus’ [Gal. 3: 26]. He means whatever our race, sex, or status, we’re all one in Christ. But he didn’t say race and sex have disappeared; he simply said they don’t affect our standing before God.”

Kim shook her head. “I don’t know about that. I think God cares more about my character than my sex. I’m a decent person, I’m not hurting anyone, and I’m living a responsible life, so I can’t see God caring about something as irrelevant as my body parts.”

Beyond Skin Deep

The irrelevance argument borrows from the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s, famous speech in which he envisioned a world where children are judged, not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. Stretching the point further than King intended (surely he wasn’t implying that African Americans should change their skin color!), some transsexuals argue that, since the importance of one’s sex pales in comparison to one’s character, sex is a trait one can change at will. One’s assigned sex of male or female thus is relegated (philosophically, not practically) to a secondary, optional status, alongside hair color or body weight, both of which can be changed at our discretion, and neither of which is primary to God.

Separating sex from character requires a dualism of body versus soul, rather than the value of body, soul, and spirit described in scripture. The first assignments of sex in history were divinely commanded and commended. In Genesis 1:27, humanity is created in God’s image, and defined by sex (“…in the image of God He created them male and female.”). Further, God applauds His handiwork when He pronounces it “very good” (Gen. 1:29). The male/female complement is thereby God ordained, expressive of both human need and divine nature. That alone tells us that one’s biological sex is hardly secondary.

One’s sex also is designated individually and specifically with God’s foreknowledge. Examples abound of instances when God or His messengers foretold the sex of a forthcoming child (Gen. 18:10; Judg. 13: 3; Luke 1:31), and His foreordination in shaping individual traits, gender included, is confirmed to Jeremiah, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you (Jeremiah 1: 5),” and by David, “For you formed my inward parts; you covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made (Ps. 139: 13–14).”

No Accident

Our sex, then, is no accident, nor is it irrelevant. It is a critical distinctive, endowed on each of us with God’s full knowledge and by His plan, since our bodies are in part our selves, and we, in our entirety, are foreknown and foreordained. Perhaps the broader and greater error of transsexual advocates is a denigration of the body as being subject to the whims of its owner. In this sense, transsexualism hearkens to the ancient heresy of Gnosticism, which dates back to the first century and was so despised by John in his epistles and still, under different names and guises, plagues us today.

Gnostic belief dictates that humanity’s imperfection is the fault of an imperfect creator, referred to as the demiurge, who was himself an inferior emanation of God crudely comparable to the Devil.12 The body, to the Gnostic, is but one of the demiurge’s many flawed creations, and its inhabitants the “divine souls trapped in a material world created by an imperfect spirit.”13 Whereas the Bible views the body as good and preordained, Gnosticism views it as inherently bad; hence the Gnostic belief that Jesus was only a spirit who wouldn’t have inhabited an evil body, countered by John’s statement that “every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God” (I John 4: 3).

If the body is essentially evil, created by a being that got it wrong, then it is up to the individual to determine the use and purpose of the body. Gnostics, in fact, encourage reliance on intuition (what one feels) in contrast to what is physically clear, describing their practice as “the knowledge of transcendence arrived at by way of internal, intuitive means” (emphasis added).14 The created, not the creator, has the final say based on his/her sense of right and wrong, rather than an objective standard, so the “basis of action is the moral inclination of the individual.”15

Consider the pro-transsexual therapist on the Barbara Walters special who described a male child as female, admitting “I can’t say biologically, chromosomally” that the boy is female, but insisting that according to the boy’s own intuitions, he is female, and that that is enough.16 Consider, likewise, Kim’s vehement, confident assertion, “I know I’m a man because I feel like one!” and compare it to the Gnostic belief that “the true God did not fashion anything”17 and “the world is flawed because it was created in a flawed manner,”18 leaving us, autonomously and intuitively, to decide who and what we are. Biology—what obviously is—becomes irrelevant, the “inclination of the individual” being the final arbiter.

“But you’re forgetting your own argument,” Kim interrupted when I pointed this out to her. “You said we’re a fallen race. So we may have inborn traits God never meant us to have, right?”

“If those traits contradict what He intended, yes.”

“So who’s to say my sex isn’t a birth defect? You said we’re born imperfect because of the sin nature. What if God intended me to be a man, but because of fallen nature – birth defect, as you say – I was born a woman? If that’s the case, shouldn’t I correct what was wrong to begin with?”

“If the thing is wrong in and of itself, I could see that,” I agreed. “So if you’re born without a leg, a prosthetic device makes sense. If you have an inborn chemical imbalance, there’s no reason you shouldn’t correct it through medication. In fact, some of the sinful tendencies I mentioned earlier, such as violence or addictive leanings, could also be classified as defects.”

“And so could my body parts.”

“Not the same thing, Kim. If something is inherently wrong, it’s a flaw. But being male or female isn’t a handicap or a sinful tendency. We can only call something a flaw if it’s defective in and of itself. Otherwise, if something inherently natural about our body is at odds with our desires, then our desires are the problem, not vice versa.”

Transsexualism in Light of Created Intent

I couldn’t challenge Kim’s description of herself as a decent person. She struck me as kind and good-natured, in many ways living responsibly and meaning no harm. She described her love for her partner of the past three years, and while we could have debated the nature of that love—godly versus ungodly, affectionate versus erotic—I wouldn’t deny its existence. The ethical question of transsexualism, however, isn’t answered by how deeply a person loves, or by whatever good qualities a transsexual possesses; rather, it’s answered by examining transsexualism itself in the light of created intent.

We have a Creator whose will is revealed in an inspired document (2 Tim. 3:16). That document testifies to gender’s relevance by describing:

· the foreordained assignment of each person’s sex (see references above);

· the interdependence between the sexes (Gen. 2:18, 21–24);

· distinct gender roles, attributes, and responsibilities (Prov.14:1, 1Cor.11: 3–15, 1Tim.2: 9‑15,5:8, Eph.5:22–33), and

· prohibitions against blurring gender identity (Deut. 22:5).

Common sense testifies to created intent as well. People are born male or female, a distinction marking the first words referring to them as “It’s a boy!” or “It’s a girl!” Saying that one feels like something else doesn’t make it so; reassignment surgery, likewise, changes the body but not the sex, constituting, as apologist Greg Bahnsen says, “a bizarre biological masquerade.”19

Character and gender are indeed separate, but they are both critical. Our manhood or womanhood is not a suggestion to be accepted or discarded. It is an unalterable assignment, mandated by a Creator who both intended and designed it for the individual to whom He entrusted it. Oliver O’Donovan, professor of moral and pastoral theology at the University of Oxnard, emphasizes this when he asserts: “If I claim to have a ‘real sex’ which may be at war with the sex of my body and is at least in a rather uncertain relationship to it, I am shrinking from the glad acceptance of myself as a physical as well as a spiritual being, and seeking self-knowledge in a kind of Gnostic withdrawal from material creation.”20

THE INEVITABILITY ARGUMENT:“TRANSSEXUALS SHOULD DEFAULT TO THEIR FEELINGS”

Our fifty-minute session stretched into two hours of arguing, listening, and, at times, weeping. Kim conceded some of my points, rejected others, and promised to consider all of them. “But,” she said, “I’ve had the surgery. What else could I have done? And what else can I do now but live with it, and with myself, just as I am?”

The Emergence of ”Transphobia”

Homosexuality used to be considered an unnatural tendency that was to be resisted, not expressed. Today, it’s widely viewed as something the homosexual should default to, lest he deny his true feelings and do himself damage. “Homophobia” is the word now applied to traditional disapproval, making the disapproval, not the sexual preference, the problem.

Transsexualism is in a similar metamorphosis. Barbara Walters, for example, commended the parents of young transsexuals for granting their children’s desire to live as the opposite sex, thus “sparing them a lifetime of misery.”21 The new word for disapproval of transsexualism—“transphobia”—takes an obvious cue from the oft-used term “homophobia.”22

Defaulting to the conviction that one is trapped in the wrong body is touted as the answer to the conflicts inherent in transsexualism. Recent studies indicate that this may be a premature assumption, however. “There is no conclusive evidence that sex change operations improve the lives of transsexuals,” one such study reports, “with many people remaining severely distressed and even suicidal after the operation.”23 As for the growing belief in reassignment surgery’s efficacy, Chris Hyde, director of the University of Birmingham’s Aggressive Research Intelligence Facility (ARIF), found that “most of the medical research on gender reassignment was poorly designed, which skewed the results to suggest that sex change operations are beneficial.”24

An even blunter assessment appearing in the UK Daily Telegraph leaves one wondering what price a transsexual ultimately might pay for defaulting to her/his condition: “What many patients find is that they are left with a mutilated body, but the internal conflicts remain.”25

In this light, Paul’s writings to Corinth regarding one’s calling seem both a commandment and a caution: “But as God has distributed [in Greek, apportioned, dealt, or divided] to each one, as the Lord has called each one, so let him walk. Let each one remain in the calling in which he was called” (1Cor.7:17,20).

What Else Could Kim Do?

One wonders what misery might be avoided if this advice is applied to gender. One, conversely, wonders how to answer Kim’s question: What else could she do? Succumbing to one’s own inclinations is not the only alternative in dealing with transsexualism. When I pointed this out to Kim, her reaction was understandable. “You’ve got some pretty clear answers, Joe. But tell me honestly: if I go home and break up with my girlfriend, then put on a skirt and try to live as a woman, leaving behind everything about my life as I know it, will the church be there for me? Will they welcome me, even though I’ll look like a man wearing a dress? Can I be honest with fellow Christians about the surgery I had? Will I really be a sister in Christ, or will I be the resident freak?”

I thought of my own return to the church after years of public involvement in sexual sin, and my terror that the past would color everyone’s impression of me. Kim’s apprehension had to have been greater and deeper. It was, indeed, a bleak road I was advising her to walk, but hadn’t Saul of Tarsus walked the same one, carrying with him the weight of his past persecution of Christians when he tried joining himself to the church? Hadn’t he faced skepticism as well?

It’s a rare believer who is asked to fill Paul’s sandals, yet Kim was required to do just that. I could only hope, should she say yes to her inborn gender and begin walking in it again, that believers would come alongside her, extending the right hand of fellowship to her as the friendly Barnabas did to Paul when he began his own journey. I told Kim as much; she remained unconvinced and undecided. Our session ended with her promising to prayerfully consider all we’d discussed, and to call me for a follow up appointment. She never did.

CARING FOR MANDY

Recently I came across the testimony of a pastor who discipled a transsexual who had had reassignment surgery. “Mandy” originally presented himself as a woman, was converted and baptized, then disclosed his secret to the pastor. The pastor, while making it clear that the assigned sex was the one to strive for, nonetheless continued to care for Mandy, encouraging him to disclose the truth to others gradually and pursue God’s will. As he did so, his masculine characteristics became more apparent, surgery notwithstanding. His church gathered around him, supportive and accepting, until Mandy decided to live openly as a man. As the pastor describes it: “Mandy became ‘James.’ Great was the rejoicing when a fine, be-suited young James walked to the front on the first Sunday of the year to be ‘introduced’ to the church. Fifteen months later, James announced his engagement to a girl in the church, but that’s another story.”26

Mandy was blessed; his church was Christ-like. Other churches should take a cue, and respond likewise to those with this struggle who will no doubt be joining other congregations as well. As the transsexual movement picks up steam, the church as a whole must be prepared to articulate and defend the biblical position, while offering support and discipleship to repentant transsexuals. The transsexual dilemma demands a response, as the culture and the church wrestle with its many ramifications. And somewhere, amid the debate, my friend Kim—and thousands like her—face a decision of indescribable consequence.

notes

1. The American Psychiatric Association replaced the term transsexualism with the term gender identity disorder of adulthood, using the broader term gender identity disorder (GID) to describe the condition in children and people of all ages. This article uses transsexualism, however, since most of its discussion involves the adult form of the disorder. See Stuart C. Yudofsky and Robert E. Hales, The American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Clinical Psychiatry (Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Publishing, 2003), 745.

2. The pro-transsexual public health Web site “Public Health Seattle and King County,” located at http://www.metrokc.gov/health/glbt/transgender.htm#mh, for example, makes assertions about acceptance of transsexualism that parallel those that homosexuals made thirty years earlier when it reports: “Although societal acceptance of transsexual and transgendered people is far from complete, there is a growing and active community of transgendered people—particularly in the coastal areas of the United States. There are also increasing numbers of books and online information and support for people transgendered people [sic].”

3. Barbara Walters, “My Secret Self,” 20/20, April 27, 2007, ABC.

4. Kelley Winters, “Issues of GID Diagnosis for Transsexual Women and Men,” GID Reform Advocates, http://www.gidreform.org/gid30285.html.

5. See, for example, a listing of such reforms and proposals in Francisco Forrest Martin, “Breaking New Ground in International Law Protecting Transsexual Rights: Rights International’s Amicus Curiae Brief in X.Y. and Z. v. United Kingdom,” The National Journal of Sexual Orientation Law 3, 1 (1997), http://www.ibiblio.org/gaylaw/issue5/transbre.html.

6. Ibid., 576. See also “DSM IV: Gender Identity Disorder,” Diagnostic Features, Gender Identity Disorder Today, MH Today, http://www.mental-health-today.com/gender/ dsm.htm.

7. “Gender Dysphoria,” Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transsexual.

8. “My Secret Self.”

9. George J. Wilkerson, “What We Don’t Know: The Unaddressed Health Concerns of the Transgendered, ”Trans-Health.com, http://www.trans-health.com/displayarticle.php?aid=7.

10. “Causes of Transsexualism,” Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transsexual.

11. Joe Dallas, Desires in Conflict (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishing, 1991), 206-7.

12. Douglas Groothuis, “Ancient and Modern Gnosticism (Part One): Gnosticism and the Gnostic Jesus,” Christian Research Journal, 13, 2 (Fall 1990): 8, http://www.equip.org/dg040-1.

13. “Gnosticism,” Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gnosticism.

14. Stephan A. Hoeller, “The Gnostic World View: A Brief Summary of Gnosticism,” Gnosis, http://www.gnosis.org/gnintro.htm.

15. “Gnosticism,” Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gnosticism.

16. “My Secret Self.”

17. Stephan A. Hoeller, http://www.gnosis.org/gnintro.htm.

18. Ibid.

19. Greg Bahnsen “The Ethical Issue of Homosexuality,” Penpoint 6, 6 (June 1995); cited at http://www.geocities.com/WestHollywood/Village/8295/bahnsen.html.

20. The Christian Institute, “Transsexualism,” Apologetics, The Christian Institute, http://www.christian.org.uk/briefingpapers/transsexualism.htm.

21. “My Secret Self.”

22. “Transphobia,” Answers.com, Wikipedia, http://www.answers.com/topic/transphobia.

23. David Batty, “Sex Changes Are Not Effective, Say Researchers,” Society Guardian, July 30, 2004; cited at http://society.guardian.co.uk/print/0,,4982009-105965,00.html.

24. Ibid.

25. Daily Telegraph, July 15, 2002, cited in The Christian Institute, “Transsexualism,” Apologetics, The Christian Institute, http://www.christian.org.uk/briefingpapers/transsexualism.htm.

26. “Transsexualism in the Church: A Pastor Responds,” Proverbs 27:7 Issues, New Hope Outreach, http://www.newhopeoutreachtoronto.org/A_pastor_responds.html.