Quick to Listen/Episode 11 | 28 min

Transgender Confusion Goes Beyond Elementary School Bathrooms

Researcher Mark Yarhouse on why mixing politics and gender identity has only left us more confused.
Transgender Confusion Goes Beyond Elementary School Bathrooms

This week, 11 states announced that they would sue the Obama administration following its executive order mandating that school districts allow transgender students to use the bathroom of their preferred gender. On Wednesday, the House of Representatives passed an amendment aimed at preventing the US government from withholding federal funds from North Carolina, after the state passed its controversial “bathroom bill” this March, requiring people to use the bathroom that matches their birth certificate. This comes on the heels of the Justice Department’s decision to sue the state for the law for “state-sponsored discrimination.”

Few of these political fights have helped anyone better understand the nuances of transgenderism, says Mark Yarhouse, the author of Understanding Gender Dysphoria and founder of the Institute for the Study of Sexual Identity.

“People experience legislation as an attack on the things that they believe in, and other people think that legislation is symbolic of the things that matter the most to them,” he said. “You could easily have two sides speaking past each other. I think that’s what we have today.”

CT believes that God created people with male and female identities and we would generally encourage integration and alignment of gender identity with biological sex, based on a creational account of male and female (Gen. 1–2) and the overall goodness of bodies and embodiment. (Here’s Yarhouse’s feature story on the issue.) But what does that belief mean for how Christians engage this topic in the world?

Yarhouse joined Morgan and Katelyn on Quick to Listen this week to discuss what’s behind the term cis-gender, what the Supreme Court’s ruling on same-sex marriage may mean about evangelicals’ response, and how one transgender Christian has handled the bathroom conversation in her church.

  • (5:30) What do bathrooms have to do with larger discussions about gender identity and the broader LGBTQ movement?
  • (8:45) Is it accurate to describe transgender people as an immutable class or is it more complicated than that?
  • (14:20) What are ways other than politics and reality shows that Americans can learn more about the transgender experience?

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Transgender Confusion Goes Beyond Elementary School Bathrooms