I live in Spain, as most of you know. Since March 2007, anyone in Spain can self-identify however he wishes. One doesn’t need to change a thing. If a man decides he is female, he can change his national identification card to female. If a woman decides she is male, the same thing. If a person is transgender, it is accepted. Public school children are encouraged to experiment in order to figure out their sexual preferences and identities. They’re encouraged to be open-minded and tolerant.
I have, on occasion, been in public bathrooms washing my hands and observed a man coming in or out of the same bathroom. Though I was surprised, I honestly just thought he must have turned into the wrong doorway. In those cases, the man didn’t look like he felt out of place or that he noticed he was the only man in the public restroom.
Even though transgender is accepted in Europe, I could probably count on one hand the men I’ve noticed were cross dressing. It is certainly not typical to see men in women’s clothes. We do often see women in menswear and with men’s hairstyles.
Recently, I’ve watched some short videos and read some of the comments about what someone would do if a man walked into a women’s bathroom. One was a social experiment where a man dressed like a woman and walked into a public restroom. Most of the women said unkind, nasty things to him, and some even cursed. I’ve seen threats about what someone would do if a man walked into the bathroom where their relative was. (It’s strange that no one has mentioned women who self-identify as men walking into men’s rooms. Just an observation.)
Do you realize that:
- Most cross dressers, gays, lesbians, and transgendered people are victims of childhood sexual abuse, and much of their gender confusion began with that abuse?
- Men who cross dress are some of the most abused people in the gay community?
- Most LBGT people are not sexual predators?
As a Christian, what should our attitude be towards a person who identifies as a different gender from his birth? How should we act when we see a cross dressing man or woman? Is it possible to condemn the sin and truly love the sinner?
I think so. Remember Jesus’ example.
How did He treat the woman caught in adultery, the Samaritan woman at the well, Mary Magdalene (who had seven demons), and the harlot who washed His feet with her tears? He loved them, forgave them, and told them to go and sin no more. Jesus didn’t condone their sins. He didn’t tolerate their sin. He offered each of them forgiveness out of a heart of infinite love.
He still does.
In 1 Corinthians 6:11, the Apostle Paul reminds the Corinthian church members, And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. Look what goes before that verse: Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God (verses 9-10).
Maybe you aren’t homosexual. Maybe you don’t cross dress. Maybe you have never thought one time about changing your gender. But, if you are a born again person, you were a rotten sinner. What Jesus did for you when He died for your sins opened the way for you to repent and accept His great gift of salvation.
The next time you see a person with gender identity issues:
- Have compassion. Remember that when he (Jesus) saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd (Matthew 9:36). This person needs the Shepherd!
- Be kind. The Virtuous Woman openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness (Proverbs 31:26).
- When you have the opportunity, point people to Jesus.
Back to the bathroom controversy: I believe the problem is more about doors than about people. In Europe, most bathroom doors extend to the floor. There isn’t open space between the stalls at ceiling or floor level. There is no open space around the door. Each person is in a small, private room. If perchance a person of the opposite sex happened to use the same facility, it would actually not pose a problem, as each cubicle is completely private with a door that closes and locks.
Even in the States, there are bathrooms that are larger for wheelchair users and parents with small children. Many times they are unisex, and I never heard an outcry.
Don’t get me wrong. I really understand people’s concerns. No one wants sexual predators in public restrooms. I get it.
But, maybe it would make more sense to change the stalls.
I also think we might be forgetting to have the mind of Christ when we see troubled people. Let’s be less hateful and nasty and actually ask the Lord to make us soul conscious. How would you like to be treated? The Golden Rule says, Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them (Matthew 7:12a). That’s the way we’re to treat others.
Charity . . . is kind.
(from 1 Corinthians 13:4)