The questions raised around transgenderism are many and no two trans* individuals are the same. Biblical scholar and author Dr. Preston Sprinkle says, “If you met one trans* person [long pause] you’ve met one trans* person.” There are many different kinds of trans experiences and expressions. So, the first thing Preston says we should say if someone says they’re trans is, “Thank you for sharing that with me. Help me understand what that means. What does it mean to you to identify as trans?”
One of the things you may learn is that the person is experiencing gender dysphoria but choosing to align their identity with their biology rather than their internal self-perception. That’s hard work and runs counter to the cultural trends. Ask how you can support them, encourage them, pray for them.
To the contrary, you may learn that the person is overruling the body with the mind and responding to the incongruence between their biology and sense of self by seeking to be seen and related to as the gender different from observable reality. This is hard work as well. It requires us to have conversations about pronouns and names and how we relate to one another. It requires conversations about expectations and family gatherings and grandma and grandpa and the church.
Dr. Preston Sprinkle is a biblical scholar, an international speaker, and a New York Times bestselling author who has written numerous books, including ‘People to Be Loved: Why Homosexuality Is Not Just an Issue’ (Zondervan) and ‘Living in a Gray World: A Christian Teen’s Guide to Homosexuality’ (Zondervan). He also served as the general editor for ‘Two Views on Homosexuality, the Bible, and the Church’ (Zondervan). In this conversation, he shares from his new book, Embodied: Transgender identities, the Church and what the Bible has to say (Cook). You can find additional equipping resources at CenterforFaith.com and Preston’s blog and multi episode Theology in the Raw podcast dealing with questions about complexities of trans identifying individuals at PrestonSprinkle.com. Preston and his wife, Chris, and their four children live in Boise, Idaho.Transgender identities, the church and what the Bible has to say