Intersex birth certificate

Stop me if you’ve heard this one:

  • At birth, you are identified as a male. Your birth certificate is recorded accordingly.
  • After three weeks, a closer examination of your genitals prompts you to be identified as a female. Your birth certificate is consequently changed.
  • In actuality, you possess both sets of genitals and mixed reproductive organs.
  • As an infant, genital surgery might have been performed on you. In infants, this always means that any male-looking body parts are fashioned to look female, regardless of your genetics or how you might come to identify.
  • In your teen years, you are told that you cannot make your own hormones. You are placed on hormone replacement therapy appropriate to a female.
  • You will eventually have your genetics mapped. Your genes identify you as male.
  • In adulthood, your father confesses that doctors had suggested they remake your genitals, providing you with a penis, so that your genitals match your male chromosomes.
  • You were brought up as a female, have a feminine name, and your sense of yourself is female, so you go on to identify this way, and will want female pronouns used for you.
  • Ultimately, you are not a female. But you are not a male. You are both. You are intersex.

This is no joke. It describes a real person. And as 2016 was coming to a close, this real person was recently given the first intersex birth certificate issued in the USA. The news arrived on December 29.
http://www.nbcnews.com/feature/nbc-out/nation-s-first-known-intersex-birth-certificate-issued-nyc-n701186

The intersex birth certificate belongs to one Sara Kelly Keenan. The nine bullet points describe her life. Keenan recognizes that not all intersex people will desire to be classified as such. “But,” she concludes, “for those who do, the option must exist.”

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Sara Kelly Keenan

Since Sara Keenan is intersex, and she identifies as such, how could anyone have the authority to designate her as male or female? Who would choose? How would they choose?

Would her name seal the deal? Her preference for female pronouns? That she appears more female than male?

Would her genetics determine her birth certificate’s fate and the sex designation on her drivers license?

Which bathroom would you recommend she use? Would you want a law which would demand where she goes? Would you rather she use her own common sense to decide, and that her decision would not only work best for her but for those she might bump into in the restroom?

Sara Keenan could be an excellent example for us, if we only would let her. Taking her physical nature, then mixing in the path of her life, provides a wonderful way for any person to ask him- or herself, “If this were my life, would I not want some say in it?”

For me, “intersex” is the no-brainer designation for Sara’s birth certificate and drivers license. Does it jostle our simple M and F system and cause countless computer programs and forms to have to be updated? Yup, easy turns messy. Get used to it; life is messy.

I confess that I have some envy for Sara. Though I’ve not had my genes mapped, I am confident they would show me to be male. That I fathered five children sure points to it. Yet, I have this confounding condition which, from my study, and going on hormone replacement therapy and what I have experienced, informs me that I, too, am intersex.

Am I intersex to a lesser degree than Sara. Yes. If I had a small yet cancerous tumor, it would still be cancer and demand proper treatment. If I had a slight leg fracture, it would need to be addressed so that I might be at full strength.

But, I am told by my detractors—especially my former brother pastors in the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS)—because my genes are male, I am male, and that is that. Yet, Sara has male genes. Doesn’t that make her male? Shouldn’t she be identifying as a he?

Ah, these pastors might say, but she has the mixed genitals which prove she is intersex, so she may decide for herself what works best for her. And that is exactly what the LCMS’s Commission on Theology and Church Relations decided, as you may find here beginning at the bottom of page seven:
file:///C:/Users/DOPT380/Downloads/CTCR_GenderIdentityDisorderinChristianPerspective%20(1).pdf

In other words, if I can see something it is real, but if I cannot see it then it is not real. Is that how Christians operate?

Is that how Lutherans operate with their doctrine of forgiveness as pronounced by the pastor in the stead of Christ? Is that how they operate with their doctrine of Baptism and the conveyance of the Holy Spirit and all of His gifts of eternal life when water is sprinkled upon a person in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit? Is that how they operate with their doctrine of the Lord’s Supper and the giving of Jesus Christ’s actual body in, with, and under the bread and His blood in, with, and under the wine when His testament is spoken over these items?

Since they can see and touch the reality of these spiritual gifts, that’s what makes them real?

No.

It’s called faith. It’s called trusting the Word of God and that, when He promises these things, in the name of Christ and for His sake they come to pass. Real forgiveness. Genuine eternal life. Actual salvation. All of them attached to the words and water and wafers and wine of the Means of Grace, even when you can’t see forgiveness, eternal life, and salvation with your eye.

While physical science does not operate on faith, but on seeing and testing and answering questions and arriving at verifiable proofs, might there not be a dash of faith allowed by Christians in listening to those who suffer from gender dysphoria, that they are not suffering a mental illness or a temptation to sin, and who are gathering an ever-increasing amount of evidence to indeed show that their condition is in the same family as that of the visibly-intersex folks—that, ultimately, no matter the level of intersex, it’s still intersex—that it’s real, and that it really needs to be addressed?

And, no, not by a pastor’s telling his member, “You have to repent your desire to be the opposite sex. It arises from your sinful nature. Male and female God created us.”

So, pastor, if I have a really, really, really bad intersex condition, like Sara, I can physically and socially treat it, but if it is just a small intersex condition—and who gets to decide how small is small—then I have to just suck it up and behave myself?

Do you really know enough about these matters to stand in the seat of judgment over them?

I am thankful for Sara Keenan, that she petitioned for her correct birth certificate and also allowed for her story to be made public. She puts a real face on the struggle that thousands of us have.

Regardless of one’s situation in life—family, work, religion, and the like—this is a fight to be respected.

And doesn’t everyone long to be respected?

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2016: Year of new horizons

2016: Year of new horizons

Magazine article

2016 opened with my polishing the article which would be published in the March issue of Indianapolis Monthly (IM) magazine, the first writing for which I have been paid. It would be both IM’s first article on the topic of transgender, and their first by a transgender author.

I was happy with the final product—good editors are a huge blessing!—and even more pleased with the reception it received. IM also put the article on their website. Something quickly happened in large numbers. Folks were sharing the article via the many social media, especially on Facebook. To date, it has been shared 1,740 times. For me, this is important because a person wants her writing to be read and education to happen.

You may find the article here: http://www.indianapolismonthly.com/features/the-real-me/

Reintegrating with family

February brought me needing to make two big decisions regarding my extended family on the Eilers side. I longed to attend my uncle’s funeral. Family gatherings were among the hardest things for me to miss during my years as a minister. That was my first hurdle, to decide whether I would go. The second was to determine how I would go, as Greg or Gina.

I was positive I would attend as Greg, needing to gently reintroduce myself to my family, some of whom I had not seen in two decades. After a few days, it felt lousy to think about going as Greg.

I sought opinions. Julie and my sister, Sue, felt strongly that I go as Gina, so I asked two Eilers cousins. They agreed. Finally, I decided to talk to an aunt. She pleasantly surprised me not only by agreeing that I should go as Gina, but really encouraging me to go.

I sat in the back corner. I allowed folks to come to me and approached no one unless I already knew where they stood. I was way more pleased with the number of people who talked with me than those who stayed away.

With that victory, the next month I went to a family birthday party, and then in July a family reunion, both on the Eilers side of my family, but both having a different mix of attendees. Again, way more folks treated me as they have all my life than kept their distance.

Because it is against my nature for people to be uneasy, this was a huge hurdle for me to jump, and to leap cleanly. From here, I could keep on running forward.

Making Gina legal

May 2 saw me before a judge. In the days leading up to getting my name changed, I was in turmoil—the way I have reacted with every step of transitioning. I had to reflect on all I had accomplished, recognize how I had jumped each hurdle, recall how every time I had tried de-transitioning I once again became a wreck, and apply those experiences to this new, huge vault.

Leaving court, I was relieved. It wasn’t until three days later, when I departed the bureau of motor vehicles, that I felt good—wonderful, actually—to have reached this step in my transition. In the nearly eight months since, I have never doubted or regretted this step. Now, it is vital that I properly reflect on my name change as I get ready for . . .

Surgeries early in 2017

In March, Julie and I saw Indianapolis’s new sex reassignment surgery (SRS) doctor. I learned what I had to do to be qualified and prepared for surgery. I went to work on those things.

I was ready to see her again in early December. She pronounced me ready for surgery. Initially, I was scheduled for January 24, but a conflict pushed me back to February 14. That’s okay, because in the mean time, another surgery slipped in to fill the gap.

In the autumn, I had learned that we have a doctor in town who performs surgery on the vocal cords, to increase the pitch of a genetic male’s voice so that it is feminine. Julie and I visited him in early December. He found my vocal cords to be healthy and me a candidate for surgery.

I was shocked at how quickly the woman in charge of insurance got my approval. She called me the week before Christmas with the good news. I could set my surgery date.

The day is January 5. After surgery, I will not be able to talk for two weeks—Hush! I know what you are thinking!—as my vocal cords mend. Hopefully, when I return to the doctor I will have a speaking voice which is appropriate to my living as a female.

I continue to await word from the plastic surgeon who will feminize my face. I was hoping to have my face and voice done close together. That remains a possibility.

Influential podcast

In May, I was interviewed a second time for a podcast. It was good preparation for Dan and Jeff’s late September flying to Indianapolis from Southern California to interview Julie and me for two-and-a-half hours for their program, Virtue in the Wasteland. With a quarter-of-a-million listeners, this would have the potential of really opening the transgender topic to my fellow Christians.

Sadly, some of the feedback was terribly negative, especially against the two magnanimous hosts for doing the interview. Thankfully, the majority of the feedback has been good, with pastors and Christians pleased that they explored the topic.

I am tremendously thankful to Jeff and Dan for taking a chance on us. I hope for more to come from this. If you’ve not heard the podcast, you may find it here, episodes 196 and 197: http://virtueinthewasteland.squarespace.com/episodes/

Church matters

In the spring, I longed to return to the church body in which I had been a minister, the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS), because I am in agreement with the doctrine of the LCMS and correct doctrine is vital to me. The LCMS, being doctrinally traditional and culturally conservative, and my being a former pastor who is transgender, do not go together.

Knowing of churches where we were not welcome, Julie suggested a large congregation, known to be a bit more progressive for the LCMS, where we might find a fit.

And fitting we were, with little concern expressed by the membership, until we became members in September. A firestorm swept from the congregation and into the entire LCMS. I became the talk off many websites frequented by ministers and lay people. The talk was not good.

For the first time in my life, I was spoken about in terms which are reserved for people who are despised and reviled. I learned what it means to be on the wrong end of xenophobia, with many casting disparagements and making judgments without knowing the first thing about my condition or about me. The Golden Rule, which is a precious law for Christians, was thrown to the side.

The outcry went to the top of the LCMS. Our congregation’s pastors were in hot water. It didn’t matter how many hours they had talked with Julie and me, or the Scriptures we searched, or the answers I had, or the confession of faith Julie and I made, but strictly their offense they won the day. Because the problem was not our congregation’s or our pastor’s, Julie and I immediately offered our resignation.

In October, I met with several LCMS pastors, my first attempt to have a conversation to promote understanding. They were kind. They listened. They reckoned me still to be a Christian. Yet, despite their lack of learning about the topic, I was judged a person who is giving into a sinful temptation, and not one who is striving to be healed from a physical malady.

I fear that the LCMS will close the door on learning about gender dysphoria, intersex conditions, and transitioning as possible for a Christian. I have written this to the president of the LCMS.

I am at my wit’s end as to how to proceed, yet proceed I must. If I do not speak up I will not be able to live with myself. It is my Christian duty to use my gifts in the service of my neighbor, and I continue to be convinced that transgender education is a worthy and God-pleasing endeavor.

As 2017 unfolds, I will strive to do as I always have, to love the Lord my God with all my heart and soul and mind, and love my neighbor as I love myself, trusting in the Father’s grace and mercy to me for the sake of His Son, Jesus Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit who faithfully abides with me.

Q & A #10

The questions in this post are placed in an orderly progression of thought, from the question of sinning, to being intersex, to the experience of gender dysphoria, to the need to live as a female.

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Q: Are you not giving in to your sinful desires? If you find it okay to transition, isn’t that the same as telling an alcoholic to cure himself by continuing to drink?

A: The first question is an important one, while I find the second a distortion.

Where one begins determines how this is viewed. I view myself as having an intersex condition, which means I am not purely male but have a female aspect to me, my endocrine system having been disrupted so that I have always felt that I should be female. From this starting point, my transitioning is not giving in to a sinful desire, but treating a malady the way any person longs to resolve a physical problem and enjoy wholeness.

If one sees transitioning as flowing from a mental illness, perhaps it is not proper treatment. Indeed, I have known those who suffered gender dysphoria because of a mental illness, but their gender dysphoria was a mask for the deeper malady and an inaccurate diagnosis.

If one sees transitioning as serving a sexual desire, a fetish, or the like then, yes, it would be giving in to one’s sinful desire.

Therefore, to the second question, clearly my answer is “no.”

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Q: Has your intersex condition been diagnosed by a doctor?

A: It has, as much as a condition of this sort is able to be diagnosed at this time.

I see an endocrinologist. That my being on hormone replacement therapy has provided me with peace is recognized as the proof we can have at this time that my endocrine system was maligned in such a way that when I had regular testosterone and estrogen levels for a male I was in turmoil, and now that they reflect that of a female I have physical peace.

My doctor said, “The only way we have at this time, where we might see definitively how you are wired, would be to do an autopsy.” You can imagine that I took a pass on that.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Q: Would you distinguish between a person who has transgender feelings and a person who suffers from the intersex condition you talk about?

A: There is a wide range of possibilities inside of this conversation. If I did not have two things to which I can point that my endocrine system had been disrupted—my mom being on estrogen when pregnant with me and that she was under extreme stress because of my brother (stress is more and more being recognized as an endocrine disruptor)—and if I did not have other signs in my body which could be signs of it—I went through puberty extremely late, I have no Adam’s apple, and I am lefthanded (research is suggesting lefthandedness, which is found in only 10% of people, could be the result of endocrine system disruption)—I would be stumped as to my having gender dysphoria, with no other thing in my past to account for it.

We know from specific people—Walt Heyer is the poster child for this because he is widely known—that gender dysphoria, which can lead to a person transitioning, can arise from something other than an intersex condition. Heyer experienced extreme trauma when a young boy, including sexual abuse. I personally know two genetic males, who now have transitioned, who tell of heinous sexual abuse to them in their youth. Yes, I wonder if they have been correctly diagnosed, whether they could have resolved the gender identity issue if therapy were directed another way and would not have had to transition. For one of these folks—both male to female—transitioning meant the loss of marriage, the inability to get a job, and many difficult situations in the world; a complete disruption of life which any person would prefer to avoid.

Knowing that transgender feelings do not arise from only one source, it is vital that a proper diagnosis is made. Sufferers need to be honest with themselves, and with their doctors and therapists, so that these professionals are able to do their best in correctly serving them.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Q: How is it that the female side has overwhelmed the male side such that you desire to dress as a female and be called by a female name?

A: The answer is very simple: the brain is the quarterback of the body. I wrote about that here:
https://eilerspizza.wordpress.com/2015/09/02/brain-and-body/

Though I remain logically able to recognize that I am a genetic male, my entire sense is that I am a female. Therefore, of course, I desire to dress and live as a female. Here is where I ask men: How would it go for you if you were forced to dress and live as a female, to be seen as a female, to be socialized as one? Surely, this would be horrible, even torturous to you. Indeed, that is the answer I always receive. That is what living as a male was for me.

We know the sex hormones are tremendously powerful. Women with distorted hormones can become very emotional. Men with elevated testosterone can become very aggressive, and some studies suggest some violent criminals were experiencing too-high of this hormone. And men with testosterone which is too low complain about being sapped of energy.

This informs me, that a messed up endocrine system would have the impact which it had in me, and now that the two sex hormone levels have been reversed that I am enjoying physical peace. And, naturally, now feeling fully female, comes the need to dress and live as a female.

“Transgender Identity—Wishing Away God’s Design,” a reply

Owen Strachan is the president of the Council on Biblical Manhood & Womanhood, a professor of theology and church history at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and Boyce College, the author of Risky Gospel, and coeditor of Designed for Joy (Crossway).

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Dear Dr. Strachan~

I am writing regarding your essay, https://answersingenesis.org/family/gender/transgender-identity-wishing-away-gods-design/, which was published on the Answers in Genesis website on July 24, 2016.

I am a traditional Christian, a long-time reader who deeply appreciates AiG, a transgender person, and a former minister of eighteen years in the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS). That I am no longer in the ministry is only due to my inability to continue to serve and is not a reflection on my doctrine. I continue to espouse the doctrine as believed, taught, and confessed in the LCMS, to which I vowed on the day of my ordination, June 23, 1996.

Several concerns arose as I read your piece. I will begin at your fourth point as to how Christians should proceed. You wrote, “It will involve the recognition that sin has corrupted us in every fiber of our being (Isaiah 64:6).”

I agree with the statement. Indeed, I agree with much of your essay regarding the differences in the sexes, how God originally created us, and how the non-Christian world-view sees things, along with its rebellion against God’s Word.

Regarding our corruption, however, you did not take this far enough. You ignored that the corruption of our being includes conditions of the body, maladies of every sort, which include a variety of intersex conditions.

Because you did not include a discussion of intersex conditions, do you see them to be as real as cancerous tumors and Alzheimer’s and broken bones? Are you familiar with them, which exist in each essential aspect of our being—in our flesh, in our chromosomes, and in our hormones?

There are several intersex conditions of the genitals. At times, the male genitals are up inside the body, making it appear that mother has given birth to a female and the child is reared that way. And, at times, females are born with their genitals external and penis-looking, causing them to be identified and reared as males.

These situations might go undiagnosed until the age of puberty. Sometimes, when the individuals are young, he or she will protest being reared as the sex in which they were identified at birth. Regardless of when the intersex condition is discovered, these people had not been correctly identified at birth.

If, at any age—before the teen years, during the years of puberty, or later in life—these people find it would be better for them to outwardly change how they live—to the world, it would appear that they are transitioning from one sex to the other but, truly, they would only be “changing” to how they in fact are—would you agree or disagree with their outwardly changing? To their remaining in the wrongly identified sex? If this is a Christian person, is the answer different?

There are a number of intersex conditions of the chromosomes. In one, Swyer Syndrome, people who are externally female have XY chromosomes, instead of the appropriate XX. Sometimes, these women do not know of the condition until puberty or when desiring to get pregnant and are unable.

I have been told, especially by my former brother pastors in the LCMS, that because I am a genetic male—clearly I am; I fathered five children—it means I am a male, period. If DNA and chromosomes are the ultimate determiners of our being, would not a woman with Swyer Syndrome have to begin living as a male in order to align with God’s design?

That, of course, sounds preposterous. She has a female body and had built a life as a woman. But, this situation begs the question: Are we going to play by a consistent rule? Or, because of the fall into sin and the corruption of our being, which includes many variations of intersex conditions, can there be a consistent rule when an intersex condition exists?

This brings me to intersex conditions of the hormones or, properly speaking, the endocrine system. Where genitals can be spied with the eye, and chromosomes identified with a test, the endocrine system is more mysterious. Yes, hormone levels are easy to read from a blood test, but how the various hormones affect a person is not a black-and-white proposition.

There have been identified more than two dozen specific disorders of the endocrine system, which affect us in many and various ways. We know of chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and plasticisers which are endocrine disruptors, the culprits behind the maladies which have been identified.

That there are endocrine disruptors is undeniable. In the LCMS, and among many church bodies, that endocrine disruption can result in a true, physical intersex condition is largely denied. Since vast numbers of people with gender dysphoria do not have intersex conditions of the genitals or chromosomes, those who deny endocrine disruption as the cause of gender dysphoria have no where else to go with gender dysphoria than to label it a mental illness—one which is akin to anorexia nervosa, but not one of the many forms of depression, since anorexia has not been found to have a physical origin and many depressions have.

When a Christian lands here, transitioning will not be an acceptable course of action and, in the end, will be sinful. But, if a Christian can recognize gender dysphoria as having a root physical cause—the person whose endocrine system has been disrupted truly has a physical, male/female internal competition—then transitioning can be an acceptable remedy.

I will not make this letter so long as to be unreadable, so I will direct you to my blog for some of the many ways in which I have addressed my situation: eilerspizza.wordpress.com. For now, it is pertinent to discuss how going on hormone replacement therapy (HRT) eased my dysphoria. Because I continually worked hard not to transition, I removed myself from HRT three times. Each time, after about a month off HRT, I returned to terrible gender dysphoria. And, each time I resumed taking it, after a number of weeks my dysphoria disappeared. This, finally, allowed me to reckon that I did, in fact, have a physical malady, and I was not simply mentally ill or a despicable sinner.

Moving on, you wrote, “‘Transgender’ ideology is grounded in the idea that the body isn’t an essential part of our being (a viewpoint known as essentialism). Our ‘gender identity’ is fluid, a social construct that can change.” You are correct in that this view is widely held. You are incorrect to include all of us in espousing it. I do not. Please, do not dump all of us into the same heap.

I hold a traditional biblical world-view. I believe God created the world in six, regular-length days, that Jonah was swallowed by a fish, and every last thing I could mention which jibes with a traditional reading of Scripture.

My ultimate concern with essays such as yours is the proclamation of the Gospel. Specific to this, my concern is the proclamation of the Gospel to people like me, whether or not we transition, who confess that we are completely fallen and fractured people, and that we rely solely on the completed work of Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.

If I were not a theologian, your essay—and the essays and sermons of many of my former brother pastors in the LCMS and across much of Christendom—would leave me finding that I am unsavable. Too big of a sinner. So offensive to the Lord that He would never bestow His gracious favor upon me. In need of cleaning up my act before I could have a chance with God.

Yet, Dr. Strachan, you know that every human is in the same cemetery before the Holy Spirit begins His work in us, freely giving us faith in Christ that we might be cleansed of our sins, saved from death, devil, and damnation, and enlivened with eternal life and on our way to a resurrection just as Christ was raised never to die again. I am the chief of sinners. You are the chief of sinners. Neither of us was saved by righteous acts we performed, but by God’s grace as a gift.

Regarding the resurrection, I know that I will be raised in glory as a male, finally shed of my intersex malady and of everything which now afflicts me because of the sinful nature I inherited from Adam, just as every Christian does who hates the effects of sin which plague us during this pilgrimage.

I worked so hard not to be transgender, taking advantage of deep pastoral care and therapy. Since I found that transitioning eased my dysphoria and I am successfully and happily living as a female, I am determined to glorify my Lord Jesus, shining my little light so that others might see my good deeds and praise my Father who is in heaven. If you scan the titles on my blog, you will see that I am striving to do that in my writing, just as it is my joy to do for the sake of my family and my slice of the world to be a little Christ during this pilgrimage.

I hope this proved helpful. I am always available and open to discussion.

The Lord be with you.

Gina Eilers

A sex change-of-heart

I’m back to being who God wanted me to be. I’ve been reading my Bible every day, and all I could hear was God saying, ‘Well, you really need to go back to who I made you.’ I was a phony. I was a fraud. I always thought I needed to be important. I thought, ‘I’m going to be somebody, someday. I want to be famous, you know.’ Now, I do want to be famous; I want to be famous for God. Please, listen to this because without the Lord you have nothing. He’s the vine and we’re the branches. Without Him we can do nothing. I was too embarrassed. But, you have to stop. You have to stop and get help. This is the worst thing I think that anybody could do, is get involved in the sex industry or business. It destroyed me, but praise God I’m set free now.

Those words do not belong to me, but to the man in this video:

The comment introducing the video reads: “Transgender realizes he made a mistake. Here is his message to the world.” The video is 2:59 in length. I encourage you to watch it, but my comments will make sense if you do not. I present seven quotes from the video, which I pledge to keep in the context of his speech.

“I’m back to being who God wanted me to be.”

I truly hope he is correct, that the Lord wanted him to de-transition. I hope he is not merely putting up a good front while continuing to struggle.

I was told by many whom God wanted me to be. I regularly asked them to tell me how I am supposed to know whom God wanted me to be. If He so badly wanted me to live as a male, why was He silent to my pleas? He promises to answer our prayers when we pray according to His will, yet my cries for help, for mercy, for the strength to remain male, to stop hating myself, went unanswered. If it were His will, then why didn’t He help me so it would happen?

In that silence, I never prayed, “Well, it looks like you want me to transition. Thank you!” Rather, every step of the way, I have continually begged Him, “What do you want from me? I am your servant; please use me according to your good and gracious will.” And here I am, one step from being fully transitioned.

I did not decide to be this way. I did not choose to be transgender. I have a real, physical intersex condition. I was not created male. I was not created female. I was created a vexing combination of both. As with any person dealing with a chronic situation, I would gladly dispose of it. Since I cannot, I am doing my best with it.

“I’ve been reading my Bible every day, and all could hear was God saying, ‘Well, you really need to go back to who I made you.”

I also read my Bible every day. It is the first thing I do every morning—well, after I get the coffee going. Reading God’s Word and tying it with my ongoing, fervent prayers, I constantly ask Him to show me His good and gracious will and then help me to follow it. I often pray Psalm 25:5: “Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior and my hope is in you all day long.”

“I was a phony. I was a fraud.”

I have read of others, who de-transitioned, who report having felt like a fraud. I can report that there have been zero occasions when I felt like I was a phony, never a moment that I have felt that I am a fraud by living as a female. While I would never call Greg a phony or fraud, I, Gina, finally enjoy peace of mind, the lifelong fire in my brain having been doused. Indeed, I feel so fully female that I have to work to remember how I felt all my life, struggling with my gender identity.

“I always thought I needed to be important. I thought, ‘I’m going to be somebody, someday. I want to be famous, you know.’”

Whenever I listen to a person who has de-transitioned, I pay close attention. Walt Heyer is a vocal former transsexual and the subject of a blog post, and the key reason he did not find peace in transitioning is because he was misdiagnosed.
https://eilerspizza.wordpress.com/2016/03/23/sex-change-regret/

No matter a person’s situation, a correct diagnosis is vital lest improper treatment be prescribed. My own mother was once diagnosed with cancer. After an operation, her surgeon informed her that she did not have cancer. It was diverticulitis. Totally not life-threatening. Totally different treatment. As with anything, it is important to determine the cause of gender dysphoria.

The unnamed person of this video—and, because he is unnamed, and I cannot find a whit of information about him, makes me wonder if he is genuine—does not supply a lot of information about himself or what led to his diagnosis, but one wonders about this desire to be famous. Many people have done a lot of extreme things in their desire to be famous. That he was able to de-transition is serious grounds for questioning whether his motivation for transitioning had been bona fide.

“Now, I do want to be famous; I want to be famous for God.”

One continues to be concerned about this desire to be famous. Even if it’s for God.

“Please, listen to this because without the Lord you have nothing. He’s the vine and we’re the branches. Without Him we can do nothing.”

Agreed. Indeed, I have written, and will continue to write similar things, because Jesus Christ is everything and I am nothing without Him.

“I was too embarrassed. But, you have to stop. You have to stop and get help. This is the worst thing I think that anybody could do, is get involved in the sex industry or business. It destroyed me, but praise God I’m set free now.”

He doesn’t explain “too embarrassed,” but the sense is that he was too embarrassed to admit he had made a mistake by transitioning.

Though I am now finding success in transitioning, I did not get to this without trying to stop dozens of times. Most of the stops were small ones as I changed my mind every few days during 2013 and 2014, working so hard to remain male.

Three times, I stopped taking hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Each time I stopped, the anguish returned worse than each previous time. This helped me grasp the physical nature of my condition, the reason I had gender dysphoria, because my endocrine system had been disrupted when I was in the womb. The HRT proved it to me. It was not a decision to feel better or to feel worse; I felt better on HRT and I crashed when I went off it. I now have been on it for fifteen consecutive months and I no longer have gender dysphoria.

Now, for his revelation. He had been in the sex industry? I am very curious what this man did—what the transsexual woman did—in the sex industry. I certainly agree that being involved in the sex industry is a dangerous thing, a destructive thing. I praise God with him that he is set free from that.

Whoever made this video chose a poor subject. My ultimate assessment is that this is nothing more than a propaganda piece. The three minutes were spent in a poorly constructed argument, with a curious conclusion.

Finally, about the innocent people like the person who sent this to me, who are watching these videos, who are being tricked into believing they are watching something genuine, something worthwhile, something both to educate them and to enlighten me. I can only continue to demonstrate where things are being explained well and where they are exploitative.

People are being fed a lot of misinformation. That is why I will not sit quietly when folks send me things like this video.

Happy to be transgender?

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No, I am not happy that I am transgender.

I know folks who are okay with their being trans. The following strictly belongs to me, though almost all trans folks share some or a lot of it.

I continually get the impression that people like Matt Walsh, the blogger with whom I took exception last week, think that all of us trans women and men are happy to be this way. To quote him, we are fulfilling sexual proclivities or fetishes (or are mentally ill), the driving forces behind our living in a gender with which we were not identified at birth, which does not correspond with our DNA.

I was foolish enough to post my blog link to Walsh’s column, one among over 300 comments. Did anyone ask a question, to learn more? Did anyone demonstrate concern that this is a terrible burden? Did anyone recognize what a horrible thing it has been never to be able to escape this a single day of my life?

No, of those who commented—all of which appear to be Christians—all I got was condemnation.

There is a mindset that people get when confronted with people of whom they know nothing, and the proclivity (!) for hardening their hearts and digging in bigoted heals rears its ugly head.
• For them, all inner city African American males only care to cultivate criminal behavior.
• For them, all Muslims are terrorists.
• For them, all people out of work or on disability are lazy and only want to suck off the system.
• For them, all gays and lesbians are immoral, unethical people seeking to wickedly influence young people.
• For them, all transgender people love getting their jollies by masquerading as, to use Walsh’s term, people they are not.

Because trans-haters harden their hearts, they do not have a clue how hard people like me worked not to transition, how desperate we were to remain in the sex with which we were identified at birth, how suicide was a very real and present danger, and the many reasons we fought not to transition.
• For Christians like me, having serious concern that transitioning might be sinning, and not wanting to offend fellow Christians.
• Not wanting to upset or possibly lose a marriage.
• Fearing how bad you will freak out your children and siblings and parents and others, and losing them from your life.
• Losing a job. (I had to retire from the job of my life, and it crushed me.)
• Losing income.
• Losing housing.
• Losing your good name.
• Adding discrimination.
• Adding the serious possibility of being physically harmed.
• Adding the absolute possibility of being ridiculed, mocked, and hated.
• Adding many doctors and specialists to your life.
• Adding huge expenses.

I said to Julie last week, as I have said to her so many times, “I hate being transgender.”

If I hate being this way, then why am I transitioning? Ask a cancer patient why she undergoes chemotherapy. Our answers will sounds strikingly similar.

I am transitioning because I want to feel better, and I am feeling better. I finally do not have two people battling for my brain. For the first time in my life, the dis-ease aspect of my gender dysphoria is gone and my mind is at peace.

But the cost!

If I could just be a regular guy, how easy my life would be. If I could just be a regular gal, how easy my life would be. If I could just be regular . . .

If I had a pizza for every time, the past three years, that I said, “I don’t want to hurt anyone. I don’t want anyone to hate me.” I always spoke those two sentences together. Always in that order. Always with bitter tears. Always followed by, “But I need to be only one person. Being two people doesn’t work. I don’t care which I am—a man or a woman—just let me be only one person.”

I have never been a trouble-maker. I always was the happy-go-lucky one, the one who got along with everyone, the one who was the life of the party, the one with a quick joke, the one with a big smile for everyone.

I’m still that person, but now I can’t be that person for everyone because of the ones I’ve hurt and the ones who hate me—well, perhaps they don’t hate me, but they don’t know how to deal with me so they no longer are in my life. And I wonder how many feel the way Matt Walsh speaks, considering the likes of me a non-person, a sexual fetishist, a nut case.

I hate being transgender. I did not choose this. This is not a “lifestyle,” as detractors love to throw at us trans folks. Because of the disruption to my endocrine system, which I experienced in the womb, I am an intersex person. As I cannot alter my being Caucasian, or of German heritage, or an American, or left handed, or an Eilers, I cannot alter that I am intersex.

And, now I have to admit, I wouldn’t.

I know, that sounds like a non sequitur. It doesn’t follow that I hate being transgender but I would not change it. Here is why I would not change it.

With all of the other things of which I am made that I cannot change, I cannot arbitrarily decide to change one of them without upsetting the entire cart of my life.

To quote that great philosopher, Popeye, I yam what I yam. To change one thing would squash what I yam. And, do you want to know the neatest thing? I am tremendously, marvelously pleased with what I yam.

I cannot locate another person on earth, not in the history of the world, who can claim a more rich, more blessed life than I have experienced in my first nearly fifty-nine years. Every good thing that life has to offer, I have enjoyed. Some of the unique, challenging, wonderful things in life, which few get to enjoy, or by which they have the opportunity to grow as a person, I have enjoyed.

I sit here, often troubled at my being transgender, and ponder my life, and I am dazzled.

I am dazzled at what the Lord Jesus has done for me, has given me, through which He has blessed and strengthened me. The things He has put into my hands that I might have use of them, to mold and shape them, and utilize them to show my love for Him and to serve my neighbor in His name.

If I were not the sum total of these parts, I would not be what I yam, and I don’t know what yam that different person would be.

So, I will continue to hate that I am transgender, just as I hate that I sin daily and fall short of the mark the Lord has set for me, and I will continue to use the many gifts with which He has blessed me so that I might enjoy this marvelous gift of life, serve my family and community, and work for good in this world.

To Matt Walsh

Dear Matt~

A few years ago, a conservative Christian friend of mine recommended a column on your blog. I am a conservative Christian—indeed, I am a recently-retired Missouri Synod Lutheran minister—so I read it. I found myself agreeing with what I read, you educated me on the topic, and I thought you reasoned things out well. I made your blog a regular stop on my daily Internet route.

It wasn’t too long before you wrote about transgender people. Ouch! Not only did you find transgender folks mentally ill, you belittled them. Wait, not “them.” “Us.” I am a transgender person, a genetic male who is transitioning to be as female as possible so that I have relief from as dreadful a condition as there is on earth, gender dysphoria.

Despite your offending me with your wisecracking ways, I kept reading your blog. On many issues, we are in agreement. On some, we are not. Because you are so widely followed, I find your blog one I need to read in my ongoing effort to be an informed person, across the board.

We arrive at your piece which was published on April 6, entitled, “No, Gays and ‘Transgenders’ Are Not Being Bullied. They Are The Bullies.” I have extracted several quotes, with my reactions to them.

You wrote “For the most part, these people are free to do what they want and be who they are—or, in the case of “transgenders,” (sic, here and in each usage) who they aren’t.”

You regularly use rude comments—“who they aren’t”—to show where you are in sharp disagreement with others, needlessly causing offense. You make yourself look bad both as a writer and a Christian. You put up walls which hinder peaceful, productive discussion, unless you are happy preaching to the choir, saying things which will get your core readers calling out, “Yeah, Matt! You tell them!” and ensuring the tens of thousands of shares on Facebook that I know if my blog posts were that popular surely would stroke my ego.

When you say that we “transgenders” live as who we are not, you make me curious whether you know what intersex conditions are. There are people born with malformed-, ambiguous-, and both male and female genitals. Even the very traditional church body in which I was a pastor recognizes these as folks who may choose in which gender they will find comfort living.

Then there are chromosomal intersex conditions. To use but one as an example, there is an androgen insensitivity syndrome in which females have male chromosomes. Well, no, I suppose you would say, they must be males. But, wait. They have the anatomy of a female. So, they are females, right? Yes, they are. But, truly, they are intersex. They didn’t choose to be this way. It happened to them in the womb.

Androgen is a hormone. Part of the endocrine system. It’s real stuff. The way blood is real stuff. And flesh.

You need hormones to be a living, breathing human. When, in the mid ‘50s, my mom was pregnant with me, doctors prescribed an artificial estrogen, diethylstilbestrol, to women who were prone to miscarry, and my mom had two miscarriages right before carrying me. Let me ask you, Matt: Does it make sense that, to introduce extra estrogen into the system of a woman who was pregnant with a male, that his endocrine system might be affected? In fact, I have several signs in my body that I’m not mentally ill, but have a real, physical intersex condition, such as how long it took me to finally go through puberty and that I never developed an Adam’s apple. I’m even left handed, and studies are finding that lefthandedness is caused by, you guessed it, disruption to the endocrine system as the fetus is forming (which helps understand why only 10% of people are left handed and not closer to a 50/50 split).

By being on hormone replacement therapy (HRT), I no longer feel wrong about myself. You know, Matt, it’s as if I actually have a physical malady. That I’m not crazy. Not confused. HRT has worked as medicine in me, as aspirin does for a person with a body ache or depression medication for one who is bipolar. (Perhaps, I shouldn’t use bipolar as an example. You might reject that as a real thing, as you showed that time in your column on ADHD, which you ridiculed on a par with us “transgenders.”)

Back to you: “Whether they like it or not, many women are not comfortable unchanging or using the toilet in the same room as penis-bearing males.”

Let’s keep locker rooms and bathrooms separate. I have written about both, and you can read on my blog that I am sensitive to locker room situations. But, in bathrooms, unless there is some highly unusual situation, no one in a women’s restroom removes clothes outside of the stall. I used men’s restrooms the first fifty-seven years of my life and never once saw a penis. Maybe I just wasn’t trying. Or, maybe, it’s because people don’t expose their genitals in restrooms.

I now use women’s restrooms. Without incidence. I behave in the restroom, as do all of my trans friends.

Matt, how about if we not be guilty of setting up straw men which we can easily knock down? Write about real concerns. Don’t incite the masses with stuff that never happens in bathrooms.

Let’s hear from you again: “The ‘transgenders’ are being told merely to respect the privacy of females who only feel comfortable changing and using the bathroom around other females, and males who only feel comfortable using the facilities in a room set aside specifically for males.”

Hey, Matt, check out my profile picture. Can you imagine me using the men’s room? How comfortable would males be with me in their bathrooms? And are you going to defend me when I do and I get the snot beat out of me for being in the wrong bathroom?

Back to you: “Yes, it might make a ‘transgender’ uncomfortable to use the bathroom around other members of his sex, just as it makes him uncomfortable to be in his own skin and in possession of his own organs. But either gays and ‘transgenders’—a small minority of people who share a common sexual proclivity, fetish, or mental illness—must be made slightly uncomfortable for a few moments, or a vast majority of their fellow citizens must be deprived of something that is theirs, has been theirs, and should reasonably continue to be theirs.”

By writing “sexual proclivity, fetish, or mental illness,” you demonstrate that you have no idea what you are talking about. Since you are so widely read, and thousands share your essays across the Internet, should you not be responsible and learn the subjects on which you write?

More thoughts from you: “No matter where you stand on homosexuality or ‘transgenderism’ it’s entirely clear which group should be told to suck it up, buttercup, and go along with the program. Indeed, it demonstrates the fantastic selfishness rampant in this community that they think the majority ought to be forced to bend and contort and submit and bow and sacrifice their First Amendment rights just so that they, the homosexuals and ‘transgenders,’ might avoid a minor inconvenience.”

The Americans With Disabilities Act impacted virtually every American. Business owners had to put in special bathroom stalls, ramps, and the like. Towns and businesses had to alter sidewalks and change parking lots and add signs. Drivers had to concede the best parking spots. What a bunch of selfish people those “handicaps” are! They are a small minority, yet they make us, the majority, bow to their “needs.” Bunchajerks.

Of course, I do not feel that way. Folks with disabilities need appropriate help and protection. Lots of people do, when they are in situations which many find burdensome. You know, like being transgender through no fault of your own.

One final thought from you: “[C]onsidering how Christians and conservatives are constantly lectured for their alleged lack of ‘compassion’ and ‘tolerance’ and so on, I think it must be noted that these laws would not be needed if compassion and tolerance, along with humility and prudence, were traits commonly found in the ‘LGBT community.’ It is the seemingly total lack of kindness, magnanimity, and rationality displayed by many in their camp that necessitates this sort of legislation.”

I agree, Matt, that we LGBT folks sometimes make things worse by the way in which we go about things; the very way we do not like people acting out and speaking against us, we are guilty of doing.

I have grown to understand it and have sympathy for it, even as I do not agree with it. When people are not recognized or respected, when they are put down and oppressed, if they do not get vocal they will not be heard. And, because when they get vocal they get shouted down, they shout louder in order to be heard. It happens in friendships. It happens in marriages. It happens in the civil rights arena.

Because all of the LGBT+ are legal ways to live, each deserves the same protections as any American, regardless of creed, culture, or color. I get it—there are growing pains involved, just as we experienced in the 1960s and the civil rights of African Americans. That should be our teacher: This challenging thing can be accomplished, and done properly, when people speak peacefully and respectfully, and strive together for the good of the entire USA.

Matt, when I read your pieces in which you crack wise and disrespect people (I noticed that “transgenders” was always in quotes, signaling that you believe we are not “real”), I recall 1 Peter 3:15: “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” You have shown me, on many occasions, that you know how to “give the reason for the hope that you have.” Now, how about if you remember this equally important exhortation from the Lord: “But do this with gentleness and respect.”

How about if you humble yourself, my brother in Christ. Work to win people over, instead of running them over. Learn about the topics which you excoriate. Treat people the way you want to be treated (Matthew 7:12).

We have to do better, to shine the light of Christ in the world. Please, Matt, shed light, don’t light fires. No unbeliever will ever desire Christ by your beating him or her over the head with your Bible, and isn’t that our ultimate goal, to work with the Holy Spirit that people might know Christ by faith and enjoy the gifts of forgiveness, life, and salvation, and not to condemn them to hell?

Please, tell me it is. Please, Matthew, fight the good fight of the faith in a manner befitting a child of God.

The Lord be with you.
Gina Eilers