Author Topic: Gender Non-Conformity - Your Responses  (Read 700 times)

Brian Stoffregen

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Gender Non-Conformity - Your Responses
« on: May 03, 2022, 12:47:27 PM »
A mother's post (a friend of mine)

Yes, our daughter [Name] is proud to be a part of the LGBTQ community.
 
[Name] is gender non-conforming. What does this mean? One day [Name] may wake up feeling connected to a fem side but the next day feeling connected more to a masc side. But does it change who [Name] really is? NO! Not in our eyes and heart! [Name] is and will always be our baby, our child, our pride and joy!
 
[Name] has struggled for the past 2 years trying to find a place in this world. [Name] has been bullied, judged and shunned, has lost friends & been pushed away by others.   It was all from the support of amazing family & true friends  to finally be true to  the heart.
That is all [Name] & I ever wanted for all our kids is for them to be happy & true to their hearts.

If after seeing the beautiful pictures and reading this post you feel you need to unfriend me then please do so, but nothing will EVER come between me and my kids! I hope [Name] is an inspiration & role model to anyone that has ever struggled with finding their true self.


Her daughter's follow up.

Thank you everybody for the wonderful support and kind words, I am, as my mom said, Gender non-conforming, she did a wonderful job of explaining what that means but I'd like to add to it. Another part of Gender non-conforming is that I don't identify as one gender, I don't conform to one specific gender. I have never felt like just a girl, at one point I used she/her/they/them pronouns to kind of experiment, then one day on social media I heard about gender-fluid, where someone will one day wake up feeling like a man and have a specific name they go by that day, and the next a female and a name for them that day. For a while I wondered if that was me, but then I realized I have no desire to fully identify as a man, then I learned about Gender non-conforming in a Health class ruing our Sex Ed course and it was like sudden clarity, I knew who I was, I now know my name, I am LJ, I am the child of [Name] and [Name], I am the middle sibling of [Name] and [Name], and I am the grandchild of [Name]. Thank you to everybody who helped me get to where I am now, to love myself like I do now, but I want to give a special thanks to my wonderful significant other, [Name] and her lovely family who helped me understand more about Gender non-conformity and how it fits who I am. (A little psa after this long message, I use all pronouns, but I have a slight preference to they/them/theirs.) If you read all of this, thank you so much.

This family is active in a Lutheran congregation. As pastors what would your response be should a member make such a public announcement?
"The church ... had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

peter_speckhard

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Re: Gender Non-Conformity - Your Responses
« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2022, 01:02:22 PM »
Everybody is gender non-conforming in some ways if by that we mean manifesting a certain set of attributes that relate more to one gender than another. If this woman (and she is a woman) wants to wear a dress some days and a men's shirt other days, well, good for her, I guess. If she starts undermining our teaching that God created us male and female, those are the only categories, and they are determined biologically, not chose or changeable, then we would have a talk.   

RDPreus

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Re: Gender Non-Conformity - Your Responses
« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2022, 01:03:33 PM »
Clearly, this woman and her daughter are confused and misled.  They need pastoral care.  Their pastor should visit with them and take them through the first chapter of Genesis, focusing in on verse 27.  The pastor should explain that what God did and said in creation cannot be overturned by what we feel.  Feelings are fickle and misleading, but God's Word is true.

peterm

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Re: Gender Non-Conformity - Your Responses
« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2022, 01:10:43 PM »
In another topic, I posted a response that is similar to this issue and was by and large dismissed.  I will simply say, again, that this issue is more complicated than it may seem, and though gender non conformity may seem that way, there is more going on than simple choice.  I would HOPE that the pastoral care offered would reflect that complexity.  I have walked this road with several and it is not easy, nor is it as simple as saying "Well God created Male and Female so that's the end of it."
Rev. Peter Morlock- ELCA pastor serving two congregations in WIS

peter_speckhard

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Re: Gender Non-Conformity - Your Responses
« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2022, 01:32:23 PM »
In another topic, I posted a response that is similar to this issue and was by and large dismissed.  I will simply say, again, that this issue is more complicated than it may seem, and though gender non conformity may seem that way, there is more going on than simple choice.  I would HOPE that the pastoral care offered would reflect that complexity.  I have walked this road with several and it is not easy, nor is it as simple as saying "Well God created Male and Female so that's the end of it."
Of course. I’m assuming all or most pastors are, like me, dealing with these issues in real situations and in a pastoral way. Where we differ is in whether changing the teaching on male and female is a pastorally responsible thing to do. I say it isn’t.

Dave Likeness

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Re: Gender Non-Conformity - Your Responses
« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2022, 01:49:39 PM »
Psalm 139 reminds us that God created us and gave us our gender.

"For you formed my inward parts, you knitted me together in my
mother's womb.  I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully
made.  Wonderful are your works, my soul knows it very well."

Donald_Kirchner

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Re: Gender Non-Conformity - Your Responses
« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2022, 03:13:14 PM »
Psalm 139 reminds us that God created us and gave us our gender.

"For you formed my inward parts, you knitted me together in my
mother's womb.  I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully
made.  Wonderful are your works, my soul knows it very well."

God created us and gave us our sex. Our gender? Perhaps.
Don Kirchner

"Heaven's OK, but it’s not the end of the world." Jeff Gibbs

RDPreus

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Re: Gender Non-Conformity - Your Responses
« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2022, 04:48:32 PM »
In another topic, I posted a response that is similar to this issue and was by and large dismissed.  I will simply say, again, that this issue is more complicated than it may seem, and though gender non conformity may seem that way, there is more going on than simple choice.  I would HOPE that the pastoral care offered would reflect that complexity.  I have walked this road with several and it is not easy, nor is it as simple as saying "Well God created Male and Female so that's the end of it."

Do you think the pastor should not direct them to what God's Word says in Genesis 1:27?  Does the complexity of this issue render unclear what Moses wrote in Genesis 1:27?

D. Engebretson

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Re: Gender Non-Conformity - Your Responses
« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2022, 05:38:52 PM »
There is obviously a move in some quarters toward a gender-free society/culture.  The Scientific American in 2019 declared: "It is time to get rid of the gender binary. It is time to start treating people according to their unique mosaics of characteristics rather than according to the form of their genitals. It is time for a world with no gender."  At one level they simply mean that people's gifts and accomplishments are acknowledged without reference to gender. Yet as we have seen, there are also very practical ramifications, even to the issue of a public bathroom, once you erase the idea of gender as determinative.  Or so-called women's sports. Some places will attempt to create such a 'non binary world'.  But it won't work generally.  It will end up being more divisive than uniting, especially if enforced by governmental regulation.  They will create virtual ghettos where people will create living and working space that accommodates their vision of what the world should look like - one without gender and non-binary, and one with the traditional distinction of male and female.
Pastor Don Engebretson
St. Peter Lutheran Church of Polar (Antigo) WI

David Garner

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Re: Gender Non-Conformity - Your Responses
« Reply #9 on: May 03, 2022, 05:47:15 PM »
It seems that by "non-binary," what is really meant is "binary, but I don't want to be bound to biology."

Once biological reality enters the picture (for example, someone wants to have natural children), the entire facade breaks down.

As Pastor Speckhard said, everyone has traits or habits formed over time and through nurture (or perhaps abuse) that are "non-conforming" in a specific sense.  But you can't really be "a woman trapped in a man's body" or whatever without acknowledging that men and women are different, and also that men and women are inclusive of "gender."  Men and women are different, biologically, from birth.  Yes there are exceptions, though they are not as stark as the purveyors of gender theory would have one believe.  The real issue is they are the vast, vast minority.  Most men naturally want to be fathers, most women naturally want to be mothers.  That is innate, not something that can be papered away by society.
Orthodox Reader and former Lutheran (LCMS and WELS).

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Gender Non-Conformity - Your Responses
« Reply #10 on: May 03, 2022, 06:25:56 PM »
Once when one accepts, as I do, that sexual orientation is in the brain where sexual fantasies, dreams, and desires take place; even if no actions are taken on those thoughts; it isn't hard to conclude that one's gender identity also takes place in the brain, not the genitals.


Science has also revealed that what causes gender identity is much more complicated than just the XX or XY chromosome. Studies indicate that genes, hormones, and neuroanatomy can be factors in what happens in the brain.
"The church ... had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Charles Austin

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Re: Gender Non-Conformity - Your Responses
« Reply #11 on: May 03, 2022, 06:29:34 PM »
Psalm 139:
For you formed my inward parts, you knitted me together in my
mother's womb.  I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully
made.  Wonderful are your works, my soul knows it very well.

Me:
Doesn’t actually describe those “inward parts,” does it?
And since when is pious poetry science or biology?
Retired ELCA Pastor. Parishes in Iowa, New York and New Jersey. LCA/LWF staff. Former journalist  Writer for many church publications.

peter_speckhard

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Re: Gender Non-Conformity - Your Responses
« Reply #12 on: May 03, 2022, 06:36:30 PM »
Once when one accepts, as I do, that sexual orientation is in the brain where sexual fantasies, dreams, and desires take place; even if no actions are taken on those thoughts; it isn't hard to conclude that one's gender identity also takes place in the brain, not the genitals.


Science has also revealed that what causes gender identity is much more complicated than just the XX or XY chromosome. Studies indicate that genes, hormones, and neuroanatomy can be factors in what happens in the brain.
Really? Genes, hormones, and neuroanatomy can affect what happens in the brain? Are you sure? 😉

That is the point. One’s genitalia simply are what they are. One’s thoughts can relate to reality or not relate to reality based on all kinds of factors. Therefore, when one’s thoughts do not correspond with reality, it is a mental problem, not a problem with reality.

The reason these sexuality issues seem to you to be treated differently by conservatives is that you insist on defining the issue as what a person simply is rather as what a person thinks or feels.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2022, 01:33:10 PM by peter_speckhard »

peterm

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Re: Gender Non-Conformity - Your Responses
« Reply #13 on: May 04, 2022, 11:43:54 AM »
In another topic, I posted a response that is similar to this issue and was by and large dismissed.  I will simply say, again, that this issue is more complicated than it may seem, and though gender non conformity may seem that way, there is more going on than simple choice.  I would HOPE that the pastoral care offered would reflect that complexity.  I have walked this road with several and it is not easy, nor is it as simple as saying "Well God created Male and Female so that's the end of it."

Do you think the pastor should not direct them to what God's Word says in Genesis 1:27?  Does the complexity of this issue render unclear what Moses wrote in Genesis 1:27?

Of course I think we should direct them to God's word, but I also think we should be open to listening when they say things like, "When I look in the mirror I don't see the person that I was made to be."  Again, none of this is a matter of simple choice...there is a raft of testing and counseling that one must go through as part of the determining process before you can even begin to switch.  Delving into the Scripture and theological understanding of what it means to be created by God as we confess in the Creeds is part of that process.
Rev. Peter Morlock- ELCA pastor serving two congregations in WIS

peter_speckhard

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Re: Gender Non-Conformity - Your Responses
« Reply #14 on: May 04, 2022, 01:45:40 PM »
In another topic, I posted a response that is similar to this issue and was by and large dismissed.  I will simply say, again, that this issue is more complicated than it may seem, and though gender non conformity may seem that way, there is more going on than simple choice.  I would HOPE that the pastoral care offered would reflect that complexity.  I have walked this road with several and it is not easy, nor is it as simple as saying "Well God created Male and Female so that's the end of it."

Do you think the pastor should not direct them to what God's Word says in Genesis 1:27?  Does the complexity of this issue render unclear what Moses wrote in Genesis 1:27?

Of course I think we should direct them to God's word, but I also think we should be open to listening when they say things like, "When I look in the mirror I don't see the person that I was made to be."  Again, none of this is a matter of simple choice...there is a raft of testing and counseling that one must go through as part of the determining process before you can even begin to switch.  Delving into the Scripture and theological understanding of what it means to be created by God as we confess in the Creeds is part of that process.
Pastorally, the hurdle between the reality and the acceptance of it is generally one of the highest and most difficult. "I know God loves me, but I don't feel loved." "You say I am forgiven, but I still feel guilty." "God's will for me is good, but I've suffered one disaster after another with no end in sight ad I can't help but feel abandoned."

If someone looks in the mirror and doesn't see the person he/she was made to be, I think the pastor should assure that person that the pastor sees the person God made that person to be, first of all. Then focus it back on the Creator. "Was made to be" hides the agent in the passive. But in any event, "switching" is not even a possibility to be entertained. There is no such thing as a man becoming a woman or vice versa. Once you open up to the idea that "switching" is even on the table as one possible outcome of the process, you undermine the whole discussion. It would be like approaching those other questions with a genuinely open mind as to whether God had abandoned the person or still loved them. That leaves people with nothing to trust but their feelings as their window into reality.