Becky's Home Page
"The Real Life Test" -
A True Autobiography
A List of Therapists Who Treat
State - By - State Instructions
For Changing Name And Sex
On Birth Certificate
Topics Related to
Lefty: A Short Story
Parallel Lines: A Tribute
1998: Christmas Remembered
1999: What's In A Date?
2000: Peace On Earth
2001: Dark Days
2002: The Little Things
2003: Shop Till You Drop
2005: What Are You Waiting For?
2006: Peace In Our Heart
2007: The Greatest Of These
Five Years Later
The Grace Letters
One Day At A Time
Strength Through Weakness
Play It As It Lays
The Way We Weren't
Share It Or Bear It
I'm Not One Of Them
What Have We To Fear?
God Don't Make No Junk
Work It Out!
What's In A Date?
Life In The Leper Colony
I Love You IF...
One Thing I Know
The Least Of These
Believing The Lie
The Greatest Of These
Facial Plastic Surgeons
"Feminization of the Transsexual"
Douglas K. Ousterhout,
M.D., D. D. S.
Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart.
I know I'm somebody
'Cause God don't make no junk.
Is biology destiny?
Transsexual Christians often hear the argument raised against changing their bodies: "God created you to be a man [or a woman] and that is how you will always be; how you should remain."
Prior to my transition, I was in counseling with a Christian psychologist. He had known me for years; we had taught classes together, and he knew I was sincere in my faith and my desire to follow God's will. But here I was, telling him how I had the mind and identity of a woman. It was difficult for him to accept.
"I just can't believe," he told me, "that God would make such a mistake."
I was ready for this. It was a concept I had struggled with already. "What would you say," I answered him, "if I told you I don't think it is a mistake."
He was speechless for a moment as this idea sank in. He had never considered that God would create a person with the body of one sex and the mind of the other. The understanding of this idea allowed him to accept the reality of my transsexualism.
God does not make mistakes, but people have always tried to explain those persons who are different from the norm. Sometimes the explanations involve punishment for sin.
His disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?"
"Neither this man nor his parents sinned," Jesus said, "but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life."
John 9: 2-3
"Birth defects" are very familiar to me as a physician. I see persons who were born with abnormal openings between the chambers of the heart. Other persons have clefts in the upper lip and palate, or other severe facial deformities. They are not due to sin, and neither are the group of abnormalities seen in persons who are physically intersexed.
We live in a time when surgical correction is possible for all these defects. No one who examines the facts in a loving spirit would prohibit any of these persons from obtaining surgery. Modern medical knowledge is one of God's gifts to our age.
Why is transsexualism not regarded in the same way? I suspect it is because the defect with which we are born is not visible, and because it involves the greatest subject of taboo in Western civilization - the subject of sex.
There is strong evidence from current research which indicates differences in male and female brain structure, and some studies are showing that transsexual persons often have brain structure resembling the sex with which they identify. This physical evidence confirms what we have known all our lives - that our transsexualism is not a choice, it is a biologic trait we cannot "cure."
Since the structure of the brain cannot be changed, the only way to achieve congruity is to change the body. In our age these changes are possible with medical and surgical advances.
But as Christians, are we free to pursue these changes? Or must we remain as we were born?
I can find nothing to indicate that we must remain so - neither in Scripture (Jesus did heal the blind man, after all) or in the parallel experiences of other medical conditions.
A Christian transsexual person who has made life decisions which involve other persons - marriage and children - faces the decision whether to pursue change or to remain in the family relationship. Perhaps God will give this person the strength to remain in the relationship. Many persons have done so during the years their children are young.
But this choice is made for the sake of one's family, not because God wills us to remain forever unfulfilled. For most of us there comes a time, years later, when the decision must be faced again.
The "work of God can be displayed" (John 9:3) in our lives as we deal with this decision. We can trust God and rely on His grace to sustain us through the difficulties of a transition few people ever have to face. God has not promised to remove the difficulties, but to be with us through them.
When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
He is with us. But we will pass through the waters; we will walk through the fire.
Jeremiah knew that God had created him and had a plan for his life. It must have been hard to see sometimes. Jeremiah preached God's message to Judah for forty years, and no one paid any attention to him. He was rejected by the prosperous, "religious" ruling class. He was imprisoned and placed in solitary confinement. Despite despair and depression, he maintained his faith in God to deliver him.
By today's standards, Jeremiah would have been a nuisance and a failure. We may feel the same way about our lives. I believe that by accepting our transsexualism as God's plan for our lives, and acting appropriately to resolve the dilemma, we can show the work of God in our lives and receive His blessings and grace.