Intimate Clarity

Clarity On Gender Identity

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript



Series Code: IC

Program Code: IC180120A

00:01 The following program discusses sensitive issues
00:03 related to sexuality.
00:05 Parents are cautioned
00:06 this presentation may be too candid
00:08 for younger audiences.
00:29 Welcome to Intimate Clarity.
00:30 I'm Jason Bradley,
00:32 and I'm here with Jennifer Jill Schwirzer,
00:34 and she is a licensed professional counselor.
00:37 And today, we're going to be discussing
00:38 a very sensitive topic
00:40 but it's a conversation we need to have.
00:42 Jen, what is transgenderism and how is it developed?
00:47 Good question.
00:49 And I'm really, really feeling sensitive
00:52 about answering it
00:53 because I know that there are people out there
00:55 that are struggling with transgenderism,
00:57 and I know that there are people
00:59 that love people
01:00 that are struggling with transgenderism,
01:02 and I know there are a wide variety of views
01:04 on this issue,
01:06 and I'm going to try to explain it
01:08 in the most tactful and loving and yet,
01:12 biblically grounded way that I can
01:14 and scientifically rounded way that I can.
01:16 So transgenderism is essentially
01:19 when an individual identifies themselves
01:22 as the opposite sex.
01:24 So I as a woman would be transgender
01:26 if I thought I was a man
01:27 or if I intensely wanted to be a man
01:30 and then also identified as a man.
01:32 Okay.
01:33 Or you would be transgender
01:34 if you identified yourself as a woman.
01:37 So let me give a little history about the diagnosis.
01:40 The previous revision of the diagnostic manual
01:44 of the American Psychiatric Association
01:47 called it gender identity disorder.
01:51 Now the transgender people didn't really like that
01:55 because they felt that
01:57 it pathologized their condition.
02:00 The diagnosis of homosexuality
02:03 had been taken out of the diagnostic manual in 1973.
02:08 And the transgender people said,
02:09 "Well, we don't want to be in there either,
02:11 we don't want our condition to be pathologized."
02:14 They say, "We're just one more variant
02:18 on a rainbow of choices"
02:20 and homosexuals will say the same thing.
02:23 See, that's interesting to me because like before
02:27 it was identified as a disorder,
02:29 now it's being taught to kids in school.
02:32 That's right.
02:33 It's being totally normalized, and I would even say
02:36 a little glorified in some cases
02:38 as something very interesting.
02:39 So now recently the diagnostic manual
02:43 was revised in 2015.
02:45 And now it's called gender dysphoria.
02:49 See, the problem with taking it
02:50 completely out of the diagnostic manual
02:53 is that then transgender people
02:55 would not be able to get insurance coverage,
02:57 and their condition in their thinking
03:00 requires them to have hormone, medication,
03:04 and also to sometimes have surgery to transition
03:07 and they need insurance coverage
03:08 to be able do that.
03:10 So in order to get insurance coverage,
03:11 you need a diagnosis.
03:13 So they left it in the diagnostic manual,
03:15 but it is now called gender dysphoria.
03:18 So the thing that is pathological
03:20 is not the fact that I'm a woman,
03:21 I want to be a man or you're a man,
03:22 you want to be a woman,
03:24 it's the distress that you feel that accompanies that,
03:28 that leads to the diagnosis,
03:29 so that enabled them to stay in the manual,
03:32 get their insurance coverage and still not be pathologized
03:35 in their thinking.
03:36 So it's weird though that
03:39 every other type of misperception
03:42 of one's physical self
03:44 is still considered pathological.
03:46 So some examples of that would be anorexia,
03:49 and I've been through anorexia.
03:50 And I know when you are anorexic,
03:53 you think you're fat,
03:54 even though you're very, very thin,
03:56 even though you're underweight, you think you're overweight.
04:00 That's pathological. I've been through that.
04:03 It's a cognitive distortion, and it's a disorder
04:07 to think that way.
04:08 Another example is body dysmorphia.
04:12 Body dysmorphia is when a person
04:14 feels extremely self-conscious about the way they look,
04:17 but who it typically afflicts is very attractive people
04:20 that think they're atrociously ugly
04:21 or often it can afflict those people.
04:23 That's considered pathological
04:25 because your perception of yourself
04:27 is very far away from the physical reality.
04:30 Is that kind of along the lines
04:31 of that body shaming kind of thing?
04:33 Yeah. Okay.
04:34 It kind of comes along with that.
04:35 There is another condition that has never made it
04:37 into the diagnostic manual but it may someday,
04:40 and it's called body identity integrity disorder.
04:45 And what it is, is individuals who identify themselves
04:49 as not having for instance a limb,
04:52 maybe they see themselves as being without a leg,
04:56 and it will actually drive that person
04:58 to seek an amputation.
05:01 Now I think...
05:02 Yeah, I know.
05:03 Wait a minute, wait a minute, wait a minute.
05:05 It's a rare thing, but it's a real thing.
05:06 So somebody who will think that they don't have an extremity,
05:10 whether it's an arm or leg or whatever...
05:12 Right.
05:14 And it'll drive them to want to get it amputated
05:17 their functioning leg?
05:19 To get their identity,
05:21 their self-perception to line up
05:22 with the physical reality of who they are.
05:24 Wow.
05:26 And I think possibly the reason
05:27 it's never made it into the diagnostic manuals
05:29 because the implications are very clear.
05:32 They're taking off perfectly healthy appendages
05:36 in the same way people who transition are taking off
05:40 perfectly healthy organs.
05:43 And so I think that there's a little bit
05:45 too much crossover there possibly.
05:47 Yes.
05:49 But let's get some rest from this distressing stuff
05:51 and let's look at the Bible
05:52 and what it says about human nature.
05:55 1 Thessalonians 5:23 says,
05:58 "May your spirit, soul, and body
06:00 be preserved complete."
06:02 So you see this wholism,
06:03 it's what I called biblical wholism.
06:05 Okay.
06:07 The soul does not exist separate from the body.
06:12 That idea came into Christianity
06:15 through what we call the great compromise
06:17 about three centuries after Christ.
06:20 When the church wanted to include more people
06:24 from paganism and so it lowered the standards
06:26 in various areas doctrinally and lifestyle standards
06:30 to get more people to join the church,
06:31 it's not something we're totally foreign to.
06:34 And one of the things that came in,
06:35 one of the heresies that came in is this creek idea
06:39 that the body and the mind were separate or dichotomized.
06:43 It's called Greek dualism,
06:45 so the thinking was that the body is evil,
06:47 the soul has the spark of the divine,
06:49 and the soul will continue to live
06:51 throughout eternity apart from the body.
06:55 Once that got imported into Christianity,
06:57 then we started to develop a false doctrine,
07:00 such as the idea that people go immediately
07:02 to heaven or hell upon death
07:05 or the idea that there's an ever burning hell.
07:07 If the soul is eternal, it's got to live for eternity,
07:11 and so it has to go somewhere
07:13 and if it's not in heaven with God,
07:15 it's got to go somewhere and so this idea
07:17 of ever burning hell developed over time.
07:20 That's all the result of seeing the soul is something
07:23 that can live apart from the body,
07:26 that's all the result of a loss
07:28 of the biblical concept of wholism.
07:31 So you can see where this idea of transgenderism
07:34 would be a fruit of that,
07:35 my soul is something totally different from my body.
07:39 But biblical teaching says to anchor our identity
07:42 in who we are physically, who we are in reality.
07:47 So I mean there are lots of equivalents of this,
07:50 I'm sure being a young person, you can identify,
07:53 you wish you were,
07:54 you know, a famous basketball player,
07:56 or a rock star, or something.
08:01 You know, it's interesting
08:02 because when you're actually walking in,
08:04 your purpose like, you're so happy
08:06 and content in that because it's your purpose
08:09 is what God has given you to do.
08:12 So I'm happy being me because God is blessed.
08:15 So the million dollar question is,
08:17 has there been any science that has shown
08:20 that there is such a thing as a woman's brain
08:22 in a man's body or vice versa.
08:24 And in fact they have found that
08:26 there are some differences
08:27 in a brain of a transgender person,
08:29 but this is a quotation from a study
08:32 that was published in the journal,
08:35 The New Atlantis and it says,
08:37 "In short, the current studies on associations
08:40 between brain structure
08:42 and transgender identity are small,
08:45 methodologically limited, inconclusive,
08:49 and sometimes contradictory."
08:51 So they're not real strong
08:52 this idea of differences in brain structure.
08:55 But then it goes on to say,
08:57 "Even if they were more methodologically reliable,
09:00 they would be insufficient to demonstrate
09:02 that brain structure is a cause,
09:05 rather than an effect,
09:08 of the gender-identity behavior, "
09:09 because what happens
09:11 when people behave a certain way...
09:12 If I as a woman start behaving like a man,
09:15 it would change my brain.
09:16 So it's impossible to know whether those changes
09:19 which were not measured
09:20 before I started to transition is there
09:22 is just not enough research on it.
09:24 Happened, what came first, the chicken or the egg,
09:26 you know, the fact that I thought
09:28 I was transgender,
09:29 was that my brain different, led me to change
09:30 or the behaviors that I engaged
09:32 in actually changed my brain.
09:34 So we really don't know yet, we have not identified
09:36 female brain in male body or vice versa.
09:38 Okay.
09:40 So I want to say this though, it's very important
09:41 that I say that I am not denying the problem,
09:47 and I'm not belittling people that struggle with this,
09:49 I've been through it.
09:50 Not transgenderism,
09:52 but I've been through cognitive distortion
09:53 where I thought it was something that I wasn't.
09:56 And I would say, I still honestly struggle
09:58 with body dysmorphia.
10:00 I'm very self-conscious about the way that I look,
10:03 and sometimes I do dysfunctional things
10:05 to cope with that.
10:06 So I'm not putting myself
10:08 on a different plane than people,
10:10 I think people with transgenderism are,
10:12 they have a bigger struggle going on than I do.
10:16 I feel for them, I'm not denying the problem,
10:19 it happens, it happens in children,
10:22 it happens in teens, it happens in adults,
10:25 they believe that they are the other sex.
10:28 That's a very uncomfortable and distressing experience.
10:31 I'm not denying the problem,
10:32 what I'm denying is the solution
10:34 because I think
10:36 what's being put across to people
10:37 is just transition physically as if shazam,
10:41 you take these hormones, you get the surgery,
10:43 you're going to be the opposite sex,
10:45 but you're not
10:46 because you never change your DNA.
10:48 Yeah, and then you're introducing the issue,
10:50 it's almost like you're denying your very existence.
10:53 You know, you're denying who you actually are.
10:57 You know, so it's like you're denying
10:58 your very existence and so it's a confusion,
11:01 a very confusing thing.
11:03 It is. It is.
11:04 And working with people
11:06 that have this kind of confusion
11:09 is a delicate process.
11:10 You know, you can see how certain things could lead
11:13 into transgender tendencies.
11:16 For instance, if maybe the boy as a child
11:20 was a little more a feminine
11:21 than your average rough and tumble boy,
11:24 and he was part of a family system
11:25 that over stereotyped male behavior
11:28 and he was told, "Oh, you know,
11:30 you're acting like a girl, you're just...
11:32 That's the thing that girls do,"
11:33 you know, because he liked colors,
11:34 and he liked art, and he liked flowers,
11:36 you know, and he was told that that wasn't right for him.
11:38 You can see
11:39 where he would start to identify himself
11:42 as a girl locked in a boy's body.
11:44 And in fact, I've known people that have been through that.
11:47 Yeah, so there are certain things
11:48 that can lead up to it.
11:50 If the individual's parent
11:52 wanted a child of the other sex,
11:56 what's going to happen internally
11:58 to that child?
11:59 He's going to start to wish potentially anyway
12:01 that he was the other sex.
12:03 I've heard about that happening.
12:04 I've heard about parents putting dress on the boy
12:08 or boy clothes on the girl
12:10 because they wanted another child.
12:12 You know, they're introducing that confusion to the kid.
12:16 There are a lot of developmental factors
12:19 that can lead people down this avenue
12:22 and I think there could be even biological tendencies
12:25 that would set them up for it,
12:26 although we haven't been able to identify them clearly yet.
12:29 But there are definitely a confluence of factors
12:32 that come together to create the struggles
12:35 that people individually suffer through
12:37 and I don't want to minimize those struggles,
12:39 and I don't want to be little anybody,
12:41 no matter what they choose...
12:42 You know, if you've chosen to transition,
12:44 if you're choosing to transition,
12:45 God still loves you.
12:47 He will love you no matter
12:48 what you do for the rest of your life
12:50 because that's just how God is.
12:52 But I don't know
12:53 that transitioning is a solution to the problem.
12:56 I believe that this rush toward transitioning
12:59 is giving people an easy out of a problem
13:03 that is better addressed in counseling,
13:06 it's better addressed in doing the hard work
13:08 of sorting out our motives.
13:10 And of course, the Holy Spirit
13:12 and the presence of Jesus in your life
13:14 and that security you get from knowing
13:16 that you're accepted no matter
13:18 what can really help catalyze that process
13:21 and make it easier to face who we are
13:23 and also to have hope in who we can become in Him.
13:26 Amen. Yeah, yeah.
13:27 I mean, again, it goes back to the fact that
13:31 people can gain the victory by through Christ,
13:34 you know, people can gain that victory
13:36 so there's just so much on this subject.
13:38 So much here, yeah.
13:40 And we're going to have a couple of other programs
13:42 that address different facets of it
13:44 because it is too big of a topic
13:46 to cover in 15 minutes.
13:47 Yes, yes.
13:48 But it's a conversation we need to have.
13:51 Absolutely, I mean, it's a sensitive topic
13:53 but it's definitely one that we need to have.
13:56 And I'm so glad that we are here
13:59 having this conversation
14:00 or we had this conversation because we've got to go
14:03 but if people, if you want more resources,
14:08 then go to
14:10 See you next time.
14:11 God bless.


Revised 2018-10-29