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Transgender Identity, Dating, and the Church


Preston Sprinkle

You wrote a book called “Emobodied: Transgender identities and what the church body has to say". Why did you want to start the conversation on this very nuanced topic in then first place?

  • As a college professor, he received questions on the LGBTQ topic frequently by students and from there he started hearing peoples stories.
  • He saw shame be a common theme and wanted to dive deep into them as people first.
  • As far as the trans conversation, he wanted to dive deep into the transgender conversation. He focused a lot on sexual ethics with the “LGB” part of “LGBTQ” conversation but realized that that “T” was a whole new ballgame and he wanted to honor it by tackling it in the book.

Why do you think Christians don’t discuss this topic in the church and where do we start this conversation?

  • There’s a lot of complicated conceptual questions that can be unearthed in the trans conversations and we need to acknowledge these. 
  • As Christians we need to understand that we’re dealing with people’s stories and hearts and we need to lead in empathy, humility, and open hearts.
  • Some key terms we need to understand are sex and gender, which are not synonymous. 
  • Sex has to do with our biological sex (Male, Female, or Intersex) while gender has to do with psychological or sociological aspects of being male or female. (Gender Identity)
  • Whether you believe in separating sex and gender as terms or not, you have to recognize that there are aspects of femininity and masculinity that are not just the byproducts of our biological sex
  • For Example: Pink is considered a feminine color in our society today, however 100 years ago, pink was actually a masculine color. This is an example of cultural constructs of femininity and masculinity

What kind of posture should Christians have in approaching this conversation?

  • Because the conversation of transgender identities has become so politicized and so polarized, it has created fear and strong opinions that aren’t actually based on a lot of knowledge.
  • We have to have the humility to hear people and hear stories.
  • Preston and Kait discuss a story of a woman named Kat who faced gender dysphoria the psychological term for the incongruence some people feel between their biological sex and their gender identity
  • Kat believes she’s female, she does not desire to transition, and she has an incredible faith in God, however she does identity as trans to describe the fact that she faces gender dysphoria

How do we actually create change as Christians in how we approach these conversations?

  • We should create habits of rhythms to gravitate to those who have been marginalized or have a minority experience.
  • We have to move out of sameness and reach out to otherness

Should we as Christians, refer to people as the pronouns a person chooses?

  • Language is shared social space. Relationship can’t exist unless they come to a common ground
  • We have to meet people where they’re at
  • Pronouns are very personal and can make or break a relationship right from the beginning

Preston Sprinkle

Preston Sprinkle

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Preston Sprinkle (Ph.D.) is an international speaker and a New York Times bestselling author, who’s written a dozen books including Embodied: Transgender Identities, the Church  & What the Bible has to say, and People to Be Loved: Why Homosexuality Is not just an Issue. Preston currently serves as the president of The Center for Faith, Sexuality & Gender, an organization that equips Christians to engage questions about faith, sexually & gender with theological faithfulness and courageous love. Preston also hosts the popular podcast “Theology in the Raw” and posts regularly on his YouTube channel “Preston Sprinkle.”

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