Last night there was a really interesting doco on Transgender children, It told the story of three kids who all suffer from gender identity disorder. These are kids who believe they were 'born in the wrong body', and who have all gone through a process of dare I use the term being born again, into what they believe is there psychological gender. I have heard of adults who have done this and read the articles in the women's mags (purely for research...and gossip), and scene some of the scary photo's too, but never encountered it with Children. My first instinct then was to dismiss it as parents making the boy into the girl they always wanted, but to see the anguish on the faces of the parents of one six year old boy/girl and the mourning of their lost little boy, who finds themselves wanting and feeling that they are a girl certainly changed my opinion.
Though cases like this are rare they do exist and in Samoan culture they seem to be recognised in people referred to as fafafine. But what about the Church?
If ever there were families that need the love of God, a large dose of his grace and the transforming/accepting power of redemption in Christ it is these families but I suspect that if there peers reject them, then the Church would probably reject them more - I hope not. Why? because we seem to have an obsession with sex, and it's a reflection I think of our society's obsession with sex too. I would suggest that a major reason that this disorder made the doc because of society's sexual obsession, the same obsession labels people like this as outcasts and freaks.
It brings me back to Genesis, and the words of Moses, that when they had eaten of the tree of knowledge of they realised they were naked and were ashamed. I wonder if we could strip back and overcome this shame whether it would alter our understanding of sex and sexual identity, I suspect it won't happen this side of eternity, but in the mean time we need to be praying for kids like this, not that they come right, but rather that they become whole, and that people can whole heartedly accept them for who they are.
As a youth worker who works with kids who are forming and understanding who they are, I cannot be too quick to judge, but need to be able to demonstrate compassion, and stickability, that what ever strange, unsual or even normal behaviour a young person goes through they may or may not decide that is who they are, but in eternity we will be whole, we will be transformed, we will loose our obsession.