Rev Christina Beardsley is a transgender priest in the Church of England and author of numerous resources on trans experience in the church. She engages with Preston Sprinkle, author of ‘Embodied: Transgender Identities, the Church, and What the Bible Has to Say’ who takes a grace-filled but traditional Christian approach to sexuality. They discuss how churches should engage with trans people, theological questions of ‘bodily’ and ‘gender’ identity, and the issue of Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria.
Contrary to what Beardsley stated, we don’t have enough data to recommend puberty blockers, hormone therapy or the surgical removal of normal body parts. Physicians are not engineers, they are repair men and women. Medicine needs to be very careful when it gets into the business of treating desires and not diseases. When humans try to create better living through chemicals they all too often fail to read the warning label.
Beardsley tried to make the case that there was a medical consensus concerning the role of transitioning in the treatment of gender dysphoria and pointed to several multidisciplinary transgender medical societies. The problem with these organizations is that dissenting voices are not allowed to be part of the discussion. Multidisciplinary should mean different perspectives on a problem and not the same perspective expressed in academically different languages.
Sex-reassignment surgery and hormone therapy are experimental medical measures that potentially cross a therapeutic line and need to be rigorously studied before they are embraced as the “treatment of choice” for gender dysphoria. I fear that entering into such a grand social experiment will leave behind many medical casualties.
It was unsettling for me to watch this video but it was valuable to do so to learn of Beardsley’s journey and the decisions he made along the way to now present as a woman. I concluded that Preston Sprinkle had done a credible job of presenting the Biblical viewpoint.