About Gender Dysphoria
For those of you who are interested in learning more about “gender dysphoria” which is the condition of feeling one’s emotional and psychological identity as male or female to be opposite to one’s biological sex, there is a very informative video available from the talk show host Charlie Rose. This video called The Brain Series: Gender Identity, contains comments from various scientists who explain the biological underpinnings to gender dysphoria. One of the scientists who himself is a transgender person explains what it was like to be born feeling at odds with his biological sex. I believe that it is important for the general population to understand that this condition is not a moral one but should be seen as a medical condition no different from being born with Down’s Syndrome or being born with blond hair versus brown. This video explains that there are physiological and biological factors in utero that can explain why some people are born with gender dysphoria.
Another helpful article called Can God Surprise Us? by Augustinian Fr. Paul F. Morrissey, addresses the issue of whether God intends for certain people to be born LGBTQ. This is a very important article in helping us understand that all people no matter what their sexual orientation and gender identity are created in God’s image and have value in the eyes of God. Fr. Morrissey speaks of the important gifts that LGBTQ members of our society bring which reminds me of some of the teachings of Jean Vanier, the founder of L’Arche Communities. He writes in his book Becoming Human:
“Every child, every person needs to know that they are a source of joy; every child, every person, needs to be celebrated. Only when all of our weaknesses are accepted as part of our humanity can our negative, broken self-images be transformed.”
Anyone who condemns the most vulnerable of our society, is only condemning the most vulnerable parts of themselves. In accepting others in all their differences, we can accept all parts of ourselves. We have a lot to learn from those whom we find “different”.