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Transgender Man Here! Ask Me Anything! :)


CuriositasEtFidem

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For anyone interested in some well reasoned guidance on such issues, the Congregation for Catholic Education's 2019 document Male and Female He Created Them has some very nice guidance, which I will a

You say "double effect", but I hear "the end justifies the means". What the surgeon does in these circumstance is permanent mutilation to allow someone to tell a lie with their own body. I heard

There was no need to prematurely assume the worst of all of us in this regard before letting the thread take its course. I remain faithful to every teaching of the Catholic Church, felt that a warm we

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       humans are divine creatures created by God in his image.  
       At the core of our being, each one of us has the identity of being a child of God, made in his image and likeness, redeemed by the precious blood of his Son, Jesus, and destined to enjoy eternity with him in heaven.  That's who we are.

      It takes two humans of the opposite sex to procreate.  Any deviation it’s not the way to salvation and eternal happiness.  

This is the way

 this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful. They were submissive to their own husbands, like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her master. 
 

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16 minutes ago, little2add said:

       humans are divine creatures created by God in his image.  
       At the core of our being, each one of us has the identity of being a child of God, made in his image and likeness, redeemed by the precious blood of his Son, Jesus, and destined to enjoy eternity with him in heaven.  That's who we are.

      It takes two humans of the opposite sex to procreate.  Any deviation it’s not the way to salvation and eternal happiness.  

This is the way

 this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful. They were submissive to their own husbands, like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her master. 
 

still not a doctrine on this matter

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1 hour ago, little2add said:

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it 

That's fine but when Phatmassers bring up subjects that you aren't comfortable with, it does no one any good to state things to be clear doctrine when you have no idea what you're talking about. 

The Church has doctrines on chastity.  It does not have anything down about transgenderism, gender fluidity etc. except to say to respect the dignity of all people when we interact with them.  There is nothing about attire except it warns against wearing things that can be sexually distracting to others (as in try not to turn other people on in church) But as far as I know, that's about it.  

If the author of this thread is practicing chastity, I don't see any reason for fraternal correction.  Since that isn't the subject of the thread, I will assume the best.

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On 2/10/2021 at 7:28 PM, Jaime said:

I’m a practicing Catholic with a degree in Theology.  

Good for you


So anyone who acknowledges biological reality or believes marriage is the union of male and female have no idea what you're talking about. 

9 hours ago, Jaime said:

have no idea what you're talking about. 

These truths are accepted 

Truth is objective and unchanging, not decided by man. Human beings are either male or female from the moment of conception. A person’s sex is imprinted in every cell of his or her body and cannot change. Authentic sexual union, open to the possibility of new life, is only possible between a man and a woman. These are the facts of human existence.
Our faith further illuminates the truth, as Scripture reveals God’s plan — “male and female he created them” (Gn 1:27) — and Church teaching exhorts “everyone, man and woman,” to “acknowledge and accept his sexual identity” as a gift from God. A person’s sexual identity has purpose: “Physical, moral, and spiritual  difference and complementarity are oriented towards the goods of marriage and the flourishing of family life” 

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4 hours ago, little2add said:

Good for you


So anyone who acknowledges biological reality or believes marriage is the union of male and female have no idea what you're talking about. 

These truths are accepted 

Truth is objective and unchanging, not decided by man. Human beings are either male or female from the moment of conception. A person’s sex is imprinted in every cell of his or her body and cannot change. Authentic sexual union, open to the possibility of new life, is only possible between a man and a woman. These are the facts of human existence.
Our faith further illuminates the truth, as Scripture reveals God’s plan — “male and female he created them” (Gn 1:27) — and Church teaching exhorts “everyone, man and woman,” to “acknowledge and accept his sexual identity” as a gift from God. A person’s sexual identity has purpose: “Physical, moral, and spiritual  difference and complementarity are oriented towards the goods of marriage and the flourishing of family life” 

You got called out and now you're trying to deflect by quoting scripture.  No one is arguing against scripture my friend.  Everything I've said is fact. I'm just asking you to either offer the doctrine you're referring to (which doesn't exist) or just admit that this is your opinion.  

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17 hours ago, Jaime said:

If the author of this thread is practicing chastity, I don't see any reason for fraternal correction.  Since that isn't the subject of the thread, I will assume the best.

This is a serious moral error.  The author of this thread is making the statement that she is claiming to be male when she is actually biologically female.  That is against the natural order, and hence against natural law.  It doesn't take a specific doctrinal statement about transgenderism to understand this, and you are leading people away from the truth and away from the Church by not condemning it.  You risk causing scandal, yourself.

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2 hours ago, fides' Jack said:

This is a serious moral error.  The author of this thread is making the statement that she is claiming to be male when she is actually biologically female.  That is against the natural order, and hence against natural law.  It doesn't take a specific doctrinal statement about transgenderism to understand this, and you are leading people away from the truth and away from the Church by not condemning it.  You risk causing scandal, yourself.

You're hoping you're right but you're not. (three you'res in one line). 

Thinking you're a man when you have the body of a woman is not against natural law.  Just as the Church doesn't say having same sex attraction is against natural law.  To go against natural law requires one to perform an unnatural action.

People's feelings are not condemnable.  People's actions are.  When my godson says he's a dinosaur.  He's not doing anything harmful. I don't feel the need to call a psychologist or throw holy water on him.  If however, because he feels like a dinosaur, he tears his mother's head off and eats her entrails, well then yes that action would be against natural law.

To use a more clear example (since we have no real writings on transgenderism) we can look at what the Church teaches about same sex attraction (note I'm not saying that transgenders necessarily have same sex attraction but it's an apt example for the Church's teaching on natural law)

 

"The Church seeks to enable every person to live out the universal call to holiness. Persons with a homosexual inclination ought to receive every aid and encouragement to embrace this call personally and fully. This will unavoidably involve much struggle and self-mastery, for following Jesus always means following the way of the Cross...The Sacraments of the Eucharist and of Penance are essential sources of consolation and aid on this path."
     - USCCB, Ministry to Persons with a Homosexual Inclination (2006), p. 13

I'm not saying it.  The bishop's are saying it.  There are lots of actions that go against natural law but no inclinations or psychological states. To quote someone here "doctrine is clear on this matter". 

The author hasn't offered any actions that they have done.  The author has simply stated that they feel like a man and are more comfortable with that.  You, Jack aren't offering aid or encouragement.  Your condemnation (based on no actions) doesn't enable this person to live out a universal call to holiness.  

Espousing something as Church teaching when it is not risks causing scandal,  ot sharing what the Church actually says.

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54 minutes ago, Jaime said:

You're hoping you're right but you're not. (three you'res in one line). 

Thinking you're a man when you have the body of a woman is not against natural law.  Just as the Church doesn't say having same sex attraction is against natural law.  To go against natural law requires one to perform an unnatural action.

People's feelings are not condemnable.  People's actions are.  When my godson says he's a dinosaur.  He's not doing anything harmful. I don't feel the need to call a psychologist or throw holy water on him.  If however, because he feels like a dinosaur, he tears his mother's head off and eats her entrails, well then yes that action would be against natural law.

To use a more clear example (since we have no real writings on transgenderism) we can look at what the Church teaches about same sex attraction (note I'm not saying that transgenders necessarily have same sex attraction but it's an apt example for the Church's teaching on natural law)

 

"The Church seeks to enable every person to live out the universal call to holiness. Persons with a homosexual inclination ought to receive every aid and encouragement to embrace this call personally and fully. This will unavoidably involve much struggle and self-mastery, for following Jesus always means following the way of the Cross...The Sacraments of the Eucharist and of Penance are essential sources of consolation and aid on this path."
     - USCCB, Ministry to Persons with a Homosexual Inclination (2006), p. 13

I'm not saying it.  The bishop's are saying it.  There are lots of actions that go against natural law but no inclinations or psychological states. To quote someone here "doctrine is clear on this matter". 

The author hasn't offered any actions that they have done.  The author has simply stated that they feel like a man and are more comfortable with that.  You, Jack aren't offering aid or encouragement.  Your condemnation (based on no actions) doesn't enable this person to live out a universal call to holiness.  

Espousing something as Church teaching when it is not risks causing scandal,  ot sharing what the Church actually says.

Yeah I don't know if you are correct here.

The Catechism states:

2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God's will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.

So at the very least we can say that the inclination itself (as opposed to homosexual acts) is objectively disordered. I think we can also say that the inclination is against intended nature, being disordered.

Now, I tend to agree with you that an action must be performed in order to violate natural law. If a man is born such that when he ages he has sexual attraction to other men (despite his prayer and earnest desire that this were not the case) - I don't think he can be held morally culpable for his inclination.

But let's not pretend that there is also an aspect of desire that is not also controlled by the will. I could twist my own mind and force myself to be attracted to men, even though I am naturally attracted to women, just like I can twist my mind and force myself to desire all sorts of other bad things.

So me, being a person who is naturally attracted to women, if I were just to just allow myself to head down a path of mental debauchery, liberal lifestyle, or what have you, where I get to the point wherein one day I find myself wanting to have sex with men, or change my identity so that I no-longer identify as a man but as a woman, I think that I am culpable for that. It's not like Christians are willy nilly free to have whatever mental thoughts that they want, and as long as they don't kill someone or stick their penis in the rectum of a man, they  are free to think about themselves and desire whatever they want, and so forth. The man may not do harm to others, but he harms himself.

Now as for where our transgender friend in this thread finds himself (herself? I I don't even know), and whether he (she?) is culpable or not, I think that is up to him (her?) and the Lord I think. Maybe he (she) was really born with a disorder that causes him(her) a severe identity crisis. Maybe he(she) has made a series of willful mental choices that caused this identity crises. That's up to him (her) and God I think but I don't think there is the sort of blanket free-pass that you seem to be suggesting here.

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1 hour ago, Jaime said:

Just as the Church doesn't say having same sex attraction is against natural law.  To go against natural law requires one to perform an unnatural action.

As an Orthodox, I find it a bit strange if being considered from ascetic's point of view. One can sin in his thoughts (see the Gospel). Feeling --> thought --> action is a natural chain. Hence, if one cannot stand someone, he has to work with his feelings and thoughts as well with actions. His thoughts of hatred, if he does not willfully reject them but enjoys them are sin to be confessed. A person is also supposed to watch out for the thoughts offered by the devil. My point is that Eastern Orthodoxy considers feeling - thinking - doing as a process which must be stopped as earlier as possible if it goes towards a sin (you can check Evagrius Ponticus if you wish on that topic). 

(I forgot who among the early Church Fathers wrote that some virgins corrupted themselves with their thoughts while being physically virgins - another proof of the recognition of the "sinful thoughts" by the Church.)

Hence, from an Orthodox point of view, a woman who is thinking she is man and convinced "God made her this way" (a well-formed conviction) and stating it publicly (an action) is sinning.  As I wrote earlier to dress deliberately as someone of the opposite sex and trying to look like someone of the opposite sex is also a sin (see the OT). Most importantly, there is a fundamental spiritual difference between someone who thinks "God made me this way hence no sin to dress like the opposite sex" and another who thinks "God did not make me this way, I must resists it". The first one made the God's law fit himself. The second subjected himself to God's law. This is the first step towards the right direction so to speak.

This is the Eastern Orthodox ascetic practice which considers a person as a whole.

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1 hour ago, Anastasia said:

As an Orthodox, I find it a bit strange if being considered from ascetic's point of view. One can sin in his thoughts (see the Gospel). Feeling --> thought --> action is a natural chain. 

There are feelings and then there are mental acts of the will. The nature of sin is that it is chosen.

I think what Church teaching is extant on gender ideology doesn't make things look too good for trans identity. When healthy people buy into "gender ideology" you could say they are committing a "mental" sin. 

But I think there is decent evidence that the Church suspects transgender identity is a manifestation of pathology. This is, for example,  the basis on which trans people are excluded from being godparents. If true, then one thinking one is trans is no more sinful than a schizophrenic thinking they are the Queen of England. Having a developmental disorder is not sinful. 

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I also think we need to make a distinction between belief and feeling. Feeling is something that sort of just happens. Especially sexual feelings. We are to try to gain mastery over our passions, but a lot of it is involuntary.

I consider a belief to be something different. Like the belief you are a homosexual, or you are trans. It is an assent of the will. There may be mitigating circumstances and I'm in no position to judge. Part of our human brokenness is dealing with our own fragmentation and duplicity. Thinking we are something we are not. Thinking we can find our identity and happiness outside of Christ.

These are all things we deal with. As someone who dealt with a fair amount of thsexual confusion coming of age, I understand not putting more of a burden on someone who is young and feels helpless against their own desires, but there is an issue with normalizing things too much.

The only time I really gained any amount of freedom is when I understood that my sexual feelings did not have to define me, or be a core part of me. And (in my case this is not true of everyone) after I stopped wringing my hands over this deep-seated, visceral, actual thing . . . and realized it wasn't actually the cornerstone to my psyche . . . that's when it became less threatening and for the most part just went away.

I also wanted to be a boy when I was younger but that's another story. I'm just glad I'm not coming up nowadays or else I might have a shaved head and a prosthetic penis.

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I researched some things (mostly clinical) and there are several facts which I think are very important.  

Very many of transgender people suffered psychological trauma, often sexual abuse (for example, some boy has been sexually abused for years by his own mother so during psychological work he himself realized that he hated his manhood as a result).
Many are on Asperger spectrum and we know that they often feel that “they do not fit” (so as many people with cPTSD).
Many grew up in unhealthy families, with strong negative feeling towards one of the parents.
Many have bulimia/anorexia disorder and hate their bodies.
Many have Borderline Personality Disorder; people with BPD often do not have a solid identity, they fluctuate wildly. It is extremely painful disorder to have; those people probably have the highest suicide rate.

On the other hand, during my research it became clear to me that nowadays people do not have to go through rally lengthy and difficult psychological assessment for the surgery. Nobody makes them to undertake their disorder via the means of clinical psychology.

I see the trans-surgery as somewhat akin to plastic surgery and even bariatric surgery, among those who do that in a hope of obtaining “a new life” or "a solution". I know personally a man with BPD who went for the most horrendous bariatric surgery (the most extreme) after his conflict with his narcissist mother escalated to the top. He used to tell me he is empty and does not know who he is. Unfortunately, my and many others' attempts to convince him not to mutilate himself (he was a bit fattish but a very strong man) failed because he was literally seduced into “all your problems will be solved”.

I also saw a video of a woman who decided to become a man and she said that now she knows that she wanted to create a new persona and hide behind it. Alas, she realized it after she underwent a surgery for breasts removal after which she went back to her sex. She also found Christ. She said now she understands she wanted to be reborn via the surgery but without Christ.

Hence, I am absolutely convinced that the lengthy work with a good clinical  psychologist (preferably cognitive-analytic) is absolutely necessary together with finding God and a new identity in Christ.

Edited by Anastasia
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