I am watching Caitlyn Jenner’s reality show. I’m addicted to reality shows and I really am fascinated with this story. For a lot of reasons, the biggest being that this issue isn’t going away and I want to know how to deal with it as a Catholic evangelist. Pretending it’s not happening, that the world thinks this is good or turning our backs on people with transgender issues isn’t an option in my opinion. Neither is beating them over the head with our faith. That’s very hard, I understand that because I have a son who is now an adult living his own life on his own terms and even though it isn’t transgender issues, it’s still tempting for me to shove Jesus down his throat. Spoiler alert: it doesn’t work and only pushes people away, no matter what anyone thinks.
There is so much about Caitlyn’s story that reminds me of my conversion. I’m not really sure what to make of that, it’s just an observation that I find interesting and no, I’m not saying that it’s the same thing, just that I see similarities.
I do have some questions though.
I would really like to know exactly how wanting to wear a dress makes someone a woman. I’m not being snarky or rude at all, but for the longest time feminists have been saying the gender is a social construct because liking dresses and the color pink doesn’t make someone a girl. Now, I agree to a certain extent because those things don’t make someone a female, biology makes one female (and no matter what surgery a person has your biology as far as male or female, stays the same) or male. So now we have Caitlyn Jenner on TV with an expert saying that because Bruce wanted to wear dresses as a child, he has always been female.
Also, how is it that there are signs saying “I was born this way” and then those who feel they were “born this way” have to change HOW they were born to be who they were born as? Again, I’m not being snarky or rude and I am posting on my blog so everyone can read it so I don’t expect any rude or snarky comments because I have gay friends and family and I expect them to be respected. However, respect doesn’t mean not asking questions. I realize that it’s typical of our culture to say that not agreeing or asking for logical answers is considered “mean”, but I like to discuss things logically and that requires asking questions.
I hear Jenner speak a lot about fitting in. I know that feeling of not fitting in. But look, I don’t fit in with pagans or with Catholics. I fit in with drunks who pop pills on a regular basis. I can function like that the best. I’m productive, I am happy and I’m comfortable in my skin. But nobody would ever encourage me to go back to being a stoned drunk. So where do we draw the line and why? And “it’s not the same thing”, isn’t an argument. I want to know why one is fine and one isn’t. Maybe nobody reading this has the answer, maybe you’ll ask yourself my questions and wonder about the answers.
I really hope that there are other Catholics who wonder how we as a Church move forward on this issue in a way that is both truthful and loving and not in that bullshit way that people say “I am being loving by speaking the truth of how disgusting this is”. But truly loving. The love that all us sinners find in a confessional when we confess our own disordered behavior.