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LGBTQ+ Question

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1 hour ago, CV75 said:

I suppose the couple can do things to make it happen.

I think the attitude of the Church is that the couple wait until their sexual identity is mutually confirmed to the parties involved (both the couple and the recommend issuers) by the Holy Ghost, whether that confirmation occur in this life or the next. Some mysterious of life remain unveiled, but our policies allow involvement by the First Presidency to resolve whatever might be.

So, is what you’re saying: they have to have spiritual confirmation, to the satisfaction of priesthood leaders, that they are the gender correspondent to their bodies in order to move forward?

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52 minutes ago, clarkgoble said:

Again that wasn't me, although I think increased suicide after surgery is indicative of a problem. But I wouldn't blame the suicide on the surgery. Suicide is almost certainly a complex issue. It could just as easily be tied to expectations that surgery would solve the problem and it doesn't (for a wide variety of reasons not the least of which it doesn't solve all the biological issues and thus isn't the silver bullet some see it as).

I realized during your discussion with lightparticle that I had misread your stance. I think you’re skirting it a bit, so it was hard to tell.

Carry on.

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12 hours ago, lightparticle said:

Where to start with this one...

A forming baby is still a mortal body. Stuff happens. The entire body is imperfect, including the genital bits. God doesn’t just reach down a celestial hand and cover everyone’s gonads. Lots of things happen that cause malformations. All developing bodies start as female — all of them! It requires a complex set of hormones and proteins that sets development on the path to male. Stuff goes wrong all the time. Go up the thread and find the non-exhaustive list of developmental issues that we’ve discovered. I wrote a bunch of them. How many others aren’t we aware of?

Do you honestly and seriously believe that I’m transgender because I WANT to be?! I don’t “identify” myself as female just for the thrills. Your claim completely ignores everything I’ve been through — every spiritual struggle, every bit of prayers, temple visits, blessings, and most importantly - my personal revelation. I should just stop now because clearly you know my story better than I, and my situation better than Elder Oaks (see the link in the thread where he says that they have a lot of learning to do).

Lastly, your inability to respect people for who they are is precisely what drives transgender people away from the church rather than bringing them to it. That sounds like someone’s spiritual plan, but not the plan of the one whose name is on the church building. But, it’s up to you. How you treat others different from you speaks volumes about your character.

Since I can't give you rep points for your posts, I just want to thank you for taking the time to post here on this board and give a unique perspective on your life's journey.  Many years ago, I watched a movie called Normal.  It is about a man transitioning to a woman.  It opened up the raw suffering, prejudices, rejection, struggles, and reality of what a person goes through.  To just assume some person wakes up one morning and decides to change genders is an insult to the path that decision requires.  I walked away from that movie thanking God that I was only gay and didn't have to bear the burden that you and so many others bear.  Transgender people are the most courageous people I know.  

I offer to you all the love and support I can to in some small way ease your burden you have been asked to bear. I only wish the church could offer the same.  It is interesting to me that with so many other situations where heterosexual issues are unclear, the church tries to do the best in supporting the individual,,  Such issues as allowing women to marry multiple men and let God sort things out in the next life is a practice evidently only reserved for heterosexual issues.  When it comes to gay or transgender issues, no such approach is taken.  The church solution is to just kick them out of the church and be done with them.  There is no reserving judging and let God sort things out in the next life if you are not straight.  Too bad.  There is such potential to reaching out to everyone and try to bring them closer to Christ as the main objective of the church, and leave the judging to God.

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17 hours ago, bluebell said:

My idea of pretending in this situation (where someone is transgender but has had no surgery and taken no hormones to alter the body) is if you are physically and genetically male, for example, but live your life as if you are female, you are living under the pretense of being physically female. 

Thank you for your reply.

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54 minutes ago, CA Steve said:

Pogi,

Always the voice of reason.

Now we are getting into issues for which the church is ill prepared. If, as it appears you and I agree, there are cases where it gender is unclear (I don't like the word disorder as it has a negative connotation) does this mean in order to participate in the temple, for example, such a person would have to have medical file in hand when they went into a temple interview? I hardly think that bishops and stake presidents are qualified to make such evaluations nor should they be asked to do so. Frankly I don't even think a qualified medical person should be the one to look at such a person and tell them what gender they are. 

And here's an interesting question:

If a person had gender assignment surgery as a new born that assigned them the wrong gender, is homosexual behavior later on in life still a sin?

Frankly as a Church we really don't understand this whole gender identity question and yet we have absolute rules governing the actions of people who are dealing with those very same questions.

I agree that there are many difficult questions that the church doesn't have answers for right now.  One thing I would like to comment on however, is that I strongly disagree that use of the word "disorder" should be avoided.  It is a fact of life that people have medical disorders.  If there are any negative connotations with that, then that is a negative comment on society and we need to repent and change.  My son has a disorder called albinism and I think it would be more psychologically damaging to pretend like "disorder" is a bad or derogatory/negative term.  It isn't.  My son has a disorder and society needs to deal with it and not pretend like he is not different.  We need to start embracing differences - disorders - etc. instead of pretending like everybody is the same. We are not all made the same, and that is ok. 

In fact, many "intersex" people feel that calling it a disorder is less stigmatizing -

Quote

"Intersex" was originally a medical term that was later embraced by some intersex persons. Many experts and persons with intersex conditions have recently recommended adopting the term "disorders of sex development" (DSD). They feel that this term is more accurate and less stigmatizing than the term intersex.

https://www.apa.org/topics/lgbt/intersex.aspx

I think it is imperative to distinguish between disorders of sex development and those who have no disorder. 

     

Edited by pogi
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20 minutes ago, FunOnlineMan said:

So, is what you’re saying: they have to have spiritual confirmation, to the satisfaction of priesthood leaders, that they are the gender correspondent to their bodies in order to move forward?

I'm saying that it is preferable that all involved in the recommend approval process obtain a confirmation from the Holy Ghost in order to proceed with the marriage, which applies for every couple seeking temple marriage. Where gender issues create a uniquely complicating circumstance, this confirmation may take some time or into the next life, as do other issues affecting the opportunity, timing or appropriateness for marriage in this life. Hopefully my subsequent posts get into some of the unique issues you brought up in your other comments.

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23 minutes ago, california boy said:

It is interesting to me that with so many other situations where heterosexual issues are unclear, the church tries to do the best in supporting the individual,,  Such issues as allowing women to marry multiple men and let God sort things out in the next life is a practice evidently only reserved for heterosexual issues.

This is not an issue of sexuality, and the orientation of the women and men involved is irrelevant. The marriage covenant is sexuality-neutral but reliant upon gender for reasons I mentioned in earlier posts.

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1 hour ago, CA Steve said:

Frankly as a Church we really don't understand this whole gender identity question and yet we have absolute rules governing the actions of people who are dealing with those very same questions.

I'd agree we don't have good answers (partially because science doesn't really have answers). I'm not sure I'd agree there are absolute rules though, again given the cases of hermaphrodite babies.

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47 minutes ago, pogi said:

 

In fact, many "intersex" people feel that calling it a disorder is less stigmatizing -

I think it is imperative to distinguish between disorders of sex development and those who have no disorder. 

     

I personally prefer the term “condition”. 

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47 minutes ago, CV75 said:

This is not an issue of sexuality, and the orientation of the women and men involved is irrelevant. The marriage covenant is sexuality-neutral but reliant upon gender for reasons I mentioned in earlier posts.

Exactly my point.

Clearly allowing women to marry multiple husbands goes completely against church doctrine.  Allowing that seems pretty close to polygamy adultery since they are having sex with someone other than their husband.  Even though that husband has passed, it will never be possible for the woman to stay married to both husbands in the next life.  Yet this kind of relationship is allowed because the church figured out a way to accommodate straight situations.  Yet, gender being eternal is not accommodate even when there are actually millions born with both sexes which pretty much affirms that gender is not eternally set to one sex or the other. And the excuse for not allowing gay marriage is that it will not be allowed in the next life.   Instead of trying to find a way to accommodate these differences, they are kicked out of the church.

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34 minutes ago, katherine the great said:

I personally prefer the term “condition”. 

That works too.  However it is not as specific and clear as to what someone might mean if they call it a “condition of sex development”.  Is that an acute or chronic condition or a developmental disorder?

I think intentionally using condition in place of disorder to avoid any negative connotations only reinforces those connotations in my opinion.  

The term “disorder” is not going away in the medical field, so it would be best for the rest of us to embrace it and not shy away from using it, so that those who are diagnosed with a disorder don’t have to feel any shame about it.

Edited by pogi

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How does the church deal with this when gender is so binary?

The astonishing village where little girls turn into boys aged 12

 

Quote

 

In every way, Johnny is physically and biologically male. But, astonishingly he did not grow a penis until he hit puberty.

He is one of many children who live in Salinas, an isolated village in the southwestern Dominican Republic, who are seemingly born female, only to become men in their teenage years.

Although Johnny’s story may seem extraordinary, cases of little girls turning into boys are so prevalent in the village that it is no longer considered abnormal. The children are simply referred to as the ‘guevedoces’ – which literally translates as ‘penis at 12’

 

 

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18 hours ago, lightparticle said:

Yes, it does indeed.

I read through your posts up to this point and am hoping it is helpful for me to respond.

It is tragic when anyone is driven to suicide for any reason. Societal issues can depress, isolate and anger people to that extent. The more complex the isolating issue, the more difficult it is for society and individuals within it to address it in life-affirming ways, or even constructively. Charity and enlightenment can resolve all society’s ills and reach out to attempt to prevent the suicides of those who are so inclined, notwithstanding how far from the Zion ideal that society may be. Charity and enlightenment can also bear up the burdened who might somehow develop and possess them in such an environment while faced with extreme challenge.

A female spirit deciding to change her male body to reflect her true female identity is complicated. As a thought experiment, I’m a female spirit acculturated into thinking I’m a male spirit because of my body and how I’ve been treated all my life. I confess that I can be so unenlightened and prone to denial as to believe I am male. If i was less codependent on my environment, I would know that I was female.

But all I can trust is my personal experience. That is so for us all, i believe. Whatever we do is an expression of that, no matter how little we may trust it. We trust our personal revelation at all costs (“I knew it, and I knew that God knew it, and I could not deny it, neither dared I do it; at least I knew that by so doing I would offend God, and come under condemnation.”). Sharing such a revelation with others, others receiving the same revelation about you, and the priesthood key-holders having the same revelation as to what to do about it would be miraculous. But our Church policies do allow for it.

The man who baptized me in college, after my mission, revealed to me he was “transsexual” (his term back in 1980 for a woman in a man’s body). He said he felt that way all his life. As an adult, he lived outwardly as a man but on weekends would adopt his female persona. He was tormented by the isolation and doctrinal (as he perceived them) implications. He shared with me that a friend of his, a stake president who had died of cancer, and who had a wife and children, was also transsexual. I was too young in the head back then to interpret their efforts to deal with their situation as anything but sheer grit, and he did not share the kind of struggle you are describing for yourself, but I think the same principles about charity, enlightenment and revelation apply. They need to be in place for the sufferer, for those around him, and in relation to the ordinances and worthiness, his priesthood leaders.

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1 hour ago, CV75 said:

I'm saying that it is preferable that all involved in the recommend approval process obtain a confirmation from the Holy Ghost in order to proceed with the marriage, which applies for every couple seeking temple marriage. Where gender issues create a uniquely complicating circumstance, this confirmation may take some time or into the next life, as do other issues affecting the opportunity, timing or appropriateness for marriage in this life. Hopefully my subsequent posts get into some of the unique issues you brought up in your other comments.

Yeah. I sussed it out. That’s a the fairest answer I can recall. 

From another perspective, though, I think the odds of getting a bishop and stake president that are up-to-speed on gender issues might not be the best bet. 

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33 minutes ago, FunOnlineMan said:

From another perspective, though, I think the odds of getting a bishop and stake president that are up-to-speed on gender issues might not be the best bet. 

Unfortunately, these people will not encounter many people in their lives who are up-to-speed on gender issues.  The government doesn't recognize them in any form they will ever fill out, or on any license they will receive - most doctors have no clue either.

 https://everydayfeminism.com/2017/11/doctor-gender-non-binary-person/

It is those who are closest to this person that will learn more about it.  That includes the bishop and stake president who will likely do their homework and be educated by the family in a situation like this. 

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6 minutes ago, pogi said:

It is those who are closest to this person that will learn more about it.  That includes the bishop and stake president who will likely do their homework and be educated by the family in a situation like this. 

Is what I hope would happen. 

On the other hand, humans would have to be involved at some point. 

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4 hours ago, bluebell said:

As far as pretense goes, I was talking about someone being genetically one gender but living as if they are genetically a different gender.  That is the pretense I was talking about.

Perhaps "simulate" would be a better word if there is not a technical one for it (partial transition perhaps?) something that doesn't have the emotional baggage/nuances of deception or trivial.  Been too long since I read up on this to come up with the technical term assuming it exists (I remember one very good article discussing trans who were living as trans without surgery due to health, job, lack of money, didn't feel the need, etc, will try and find it later).  Perhaps light particle knows it.

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Do you know how it feels to watch and read these posts as a large group of you sit in judgment of transgender people, publicly debating about what should be done with people like me, as if I'm a THING to be dealt with?

Do you know how it feels to read as total strangers declare, in self-proclaimed mighty exalted wisdom and scriptural knowledge, that transgender people like me are a threat and an abomination? Do you think you will ever know how it feels to be repeatedly told by those same self-proclaimed experts that because I am transgender, I am therefore mentally ill, apostate, and evil?

I don't suppose you'll ever know the fear I've felt as total strangers told me that I should be killed and "thrown into a mass grave with all the other freaks".

Do you think you can ever know how I've felt to have my young children, physically standing with me in fear and uncertainty, as "Christians" say and do these things? Maybe then you can understand why my wife and children have left the church and refuse to return because no true followers of Christ would ever treat people the way I've been treated.

Yet, here we are, grown adults -- followers of Christ -- discussing what is wrong with transgender people and how they don't deserve to be called by their preferred name or pronouns, but they are somehow deserving of disrespect, punishment, ecclesiastical sanction, denial of blessings, and destined for eternal destruction. If you met me in person, you'd never know I was transgender. I would be just another woman in the ward. I speak up because there are so many other transgender people that need support and have a much more difficult time navigating the social war zone created by the general membership.

I'm not transgender because I have a mental illness or any other perverted fixation that anyone can dream up. I'm not transgender because of a desire to wear frilly clothes, the color pink, or any other idiotic theory. I'm not transgender because I wanted to be a woman. I just am, and always have been. I just want to be me, and be happy.

I can't explain what happened or why. God isn't explaining what happened or why. Knowing those things wouldn't magically change anything. I'm doing my best to abide by the words he gave me when he finally told me that I was a loved daughter of God: to give people a chance to love me.

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10 minutes ago, lightparticle said:

I can't explain what happened or why. God isn't explaining what happened or why. Knowing those things wouldn't magically change anything. I'm doing my best to abide by the words he gave me when he finally told me that I was a loved daughter of God: to give people a chance to love me.

I’m admittedly baffled by your decision to stay in the church, and I wish I could catch a glimpse of whatever it is that convinced you to do so. Keep your head up. 

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1 hour ago, FunOnlineMan said:

 

Is what I hope would happen. 

On the other hand, humans would have to be involved at some point. 

Yep, such is life. 

Every interaction with God inevitably filters down through us imperfect humans. 

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52 minutes ago, lightparticle said:

Do you know how it feels to watch and read these posts as a large group of you sit in judgment of transgender people, publicly debating about what should be done with people like me, as if I'm a THING to be dealt with?

Do you know how it feels to read as total strangers declare, in self-proclaimed mighty exalted wisdom and scriptural knowledge, that transgender people like me are a threat and an abomination? Do you think you will ever know how it feels to be repeatedly told by those same self-proclaimed experts that because I am transgender, I am therefore mentally ill, apostate, and evil?

I don't suppose you'll ever know the fear I've felt as total strangers told me that I should be killed and "thrown into a mass grave with all the other freaks".

Do you think you can ever know how I've felt to have my young children, physically standing with me in fear and uncertainty, as "Christians" say and do these things? Maybe then you can understand why my wife and children have left the church and refuse to return because no true followers of Christ would ever treat people the way I've been treated.

Yet, here we are, grown adults -- followers of Christ -- discussing what is wrong with transgender people and how they don't deserve to be called by their preferred name or pronouns, but they are somehow deserving of disrespect, punishment, ecclesiastical sanction, denial of blessings, and destined for eternal destruction. If you met me in person, you'd never know I was transgender. I would be just another woman in the ward. I speak up because there are so many other transgender people that need support and have a much more difficult time navigating the social war zone created by the general membership.

I'm not transgender because I have a mental illness or any other perverted fixation that anyone can dream up. I'm not transgender because of a desire to wear frilly clothes, the color pink, or any other idiotic theory. I'm not transgender because I wanted to be a woman. I just am, and always have been. I just want to be me, and be happy.

I can't explain what happened or why. God isn't explaining what happened or why. Knowing those things wouldn't magically change anything. I'm doing my best to abide by the words he gave me when he finally told me that I was a loved daughter of God: to give people a chance to love me.

God bless you lightparticle.  You are an inspiration to me. 

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2 hours ago, california boy said:

Exactly my point.

Clearly allowing women to marry multiple husbands goes completely against church doctrine.  Allowing that seems pretty close to polygamy adultery since they are having sex with someone other than their husband.  Even though that husband has passed, it will never be possible for the woman to stay married to both husbands in the next life.  Yet this kind of relationship is allowed because the church figured out a way to accommodate straight situations.  Yet, gender being eternal is not accommodate even when there are actually millions born with both sexes which pretty much affirms that gender is not eternally set to one sex or the other. And the excuse for not allowing gay marriage is that it will not be allowed in the next life.   Instead of trying to find a way to accommodate these differences, they are kicked out of the church.

This is too full of exaggeration and rhetoric for me to understand and respond to properly. Please rephrase.

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2 hours ago, FunOnlineMan said:

Yeah. I sussed it out. That’s a the fairest answer I can recall. 

From another perspective, though, I think the odds of getting a bishop and stake president that are up-to-speed on gender issues might not be the best bet. 

Who knows... but I wouldn't underestimate them or the power of the Spirit and the keys they hold. Often times those principle which are common to everyone provide or lead to the best solutions for perceived exceptions.

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4 hours ago, CA Steve said:

The Church does not have to change it's teaching on gender as an eternal component, it could simply acknowledge that there are times here in this earthly life where the distinction between male and female gender has not yet been decided and that the Church is fine with leaving that decision here in this life up to the person in question.

What does the church actually say about the transgender issue? The main area of concern that I can see is an advisement against gender reassignment surgery. As far as I can determine, the biological equipment is the defining line that is used. I can find no information on a stance on intersex problems. The church does advise it members to treat all those with same sex attraction and transgender feelings with dignity and respect.

Personally I have no issues with how a person identifies. I am not going to protest against then, demonstrate against them, or make fun of them. There are some practical problems that need to be looked at but I do not think anyone should be mocked or ridiculed for any problems they might have. Those without those problems can never really understand them because there are some thing that have to be experienced to understand just waht such an one is going through. We can accept individuals with problems diferent from our own. There may be problems when a person or group of people define acceptance as agreement.

Glenn

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4 minutes ago, CV75 said:

Who knows... but I wouldn't underestimate them or the power of the Spirit and the keys they hold. Often times those principle which are common to everyone provide or lead to the best solutions for perceived exceptions.

There is a bit of a track record in this particular church, though. I see similarities between the priesthood ban and an issue like this. 

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