Recently my wife and I watched the finals of the Eurovision contest. It’s an annual musical competition in which the various European nations vie for the winning place in the finals. We’ve watched it for some years and have enjoyed many of the performances – although there are other performances that provide a good time to go and make a cup of coffee.
This year the winner of the competition was a bearded drag queen, Conchita from Austria. I’m not sure whether I should refer to Conchita as a she or a he or an it. This person certainly had a good voice – but in my opinion there were better – and as the votes came I couldn’t help wondering to what extent political correctness influenced the vote. After years of lobbying for acceptance the homosexual fraternity has certainly been given that in many areas of society today. But many are saying it is now time for the “transgender” people to have their turn for their rights to be recognised. Was the Eurovision vote really a vote for acceptance of transgender people?
It’s tempting to simply dismiss these folk as gender-benders who are confused about their sexuality. It’s not quite that simple. For starters, in our fallen world there are those who are of questionable sex. Unfortunately things go wrong and people are born with “bits and pieces” that make it difficult to determine a person’s gender. Sometimes a little surgery can solve the problem. In more complex situations folk must live their life with the implications of this problem.
The bigger concern is for those who are just not comfortable in the skin they were born with. These people are biologically distinctly male or female. It’s just that they don’t want to be the gender that God made them to be. Years ago this was recognised as a problem and people were counselled in order to help them deal with these matters. However last year the American Psychiatric Association removed it from its list of disorders to remove any stigma associated with it. So just as homosexuality has been “mainstreamed” to make it acceptable, some are now trying to “mainstream” transgender as well. They saw Conchita’s victory at the Eurovision contest as an important step in that direction.
Last year there was a case in Brisbane of the parents of a primary school student who wanted sex change surgery for their child. I find that deeply disturbing. I don’t want to minimise the psychological complexities of such situations. I’ve known boys who were more comfortable playing with teddy-bears and dolls than with toy cars and swords. I’ve also known girls who were tomboys and hated pretty dresses. But these kids grew up to be the men and women that God made them to be. I’ve also witnessed situations where these tendencies in the children were made worse by poorly defined male and female roles in their parents. However they never saw the solution in terms of hormone treatment and a sex-change operation. Despite some struggles they lived out their lives as the gender that the Lord God made them to be.
We live in a world of confused sexuality. And it’s not helped by actions such as that of the United States President who has declared June to be LGBT month (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Month). He informed the U.S. that his administration stands behind those who fight for LGBT rights.
It’s important for us to accept all people – regardless of race, gender or sexual orientation. All are made in God’s image and He reaches out to them in the love of Christ. But that doesn’t mean I have to accept behaviour that runs contrary to God’s Word.