Comprehending roots of animosity toward transgenderism: Building a bridge based on mutual understanding
I have long been curious about a segment of society that views the transgendered lifestyle with utter disdain. I have often wondered why we appear so threatening to some people and why they feel the need to impose their views on our community.
In reading the Old Testament of the Bible at the suggestion of my former therapist, I came across the following quote from Deuteronomy 22:5 the New International Version: “A woman must not wear men's clothing, nor a man wear women's clothing, for the Lord your God detests anyone who does this.”
In searching for interpretations of this passage, I have come across a number of eye-opening statements on the web that have shed light on the connections that some people make from transgenderism to: 1) mixing of the genders 2) buying into Satan’s plan 3) attracting males to perform sodomy, and 4) and to attracting boys to sodomites. Some of the quotes I have reviewed include:
“Even the European Union, the supreme democracy, has stated that pants are man dressing whilst gown and skirts is garment pertaining to women.”
“We would have never even considered this 20 years ago, but now we are eliminating the difference in the sexes that God made. In fact, I believe that it is all part of Satan's plan to further defile mankind by mixing the genders. But God is the God of order, not of confusion.”
“We should first see that there is a need to keep a clear distinction between the two genders (male and female). God made two sexes. There is no third category as people are suggesting nowadays (such as transsexuals). God has made no such category. God made male and female. He stopped there and so should we!”
“It is well known that men wear earrings to look attractive to other men. These are the effeminate. Cross gender clothing and styles, therefore, are prohibited because they foster sodomy. The two are connected.”
“We need to remember even though our boys are free from problems with homosexuality, if they are wearing an earring, a sodomite will single him out with a special eye…….. And certainly we do not want men attracted to our boys or our own selves (if we as men wear earrings).”
It appears that much of the disdain we perceive comes from fear of the transgendered lifestyle with roots stemming from interpretations of Old Testament Biblical citations. In short, people fear the effects of transgenderism in their lives because they believe that the Bible tells them it is against God’s plan and will be a corrupting force to society.
Is the aforementioned quote from Deuteronomy 22:5 to be taken literally, or more constructively considered within the context of the society in which it was written? Are there alternative interpretations to this verse that are not condemning to the transgendered community? Perhaps an understanding of the philosophical and cultural schism will allow the process of healing and acceptance to begin. I hope that through understanding the basis of this conflict, that the transgendered community can strive to form a bridge with this segment of society.Felicia Conti