So, I have this really good friend who I have been close with for many years. I have known him since I was 14 and he was 18. Now we are 23 and 27. Last week, he announced to me that he highly suspects he is transgender. A day later, another friend and I were at his apartment and he already had all these feminine things including makeup, perfume, and nail polish. He is also a devout Catholic and we have attended church events together. At this point, I do not see how our friendship is going to work since it contrasts what I believe. I do not think I would ever be able to fully accept his situation and him “being a girl.” It would be too weird for me. It’s sad, because he has been a great friend. I do really feel sorry for his condition, but I just do not agree with that lifestyle. God made him a male for a reason, He does not make mistakes. If you were me, what would you do? Any spiritual advice?
I would advise my friend to seek counseling from a holy priest.
I had a family member with this issue. I would explain to them the science and testimonies of people who had left that life behind.
Regarding being a friend, we are called to be a witness to those that are lost and I’m sure praying about this will lead you in the right direction.
I think you need to sit down and talk to him. You can’t encourage this, but maybe you can help set him on the right path.
I don’t think outright ending your friendship will necessarily help
If we keep isolating people they are going to become friends with those who will blindly accept whatever behavior “makes them happy.” The results aren’t always great.
Pray for him.
If this friendship is important to you then what you have written here needs to be shared with him. Then you need to advise him to talk this over with a priest. Praying for you and him.
“God made him a male for a reason, He does not make mistakes. If you were me, what would you do? Any spiritual advice?”
Have you considered that God made him transgender for a reason? Gender variant people have been around since the beginning of time and exist in every culture. Every scientific and medical discovery we make about this points to the causes starting before birth. Increasing numbers of very young children are able to communicate that their gender identity does not match their bodies. Does any of that point to a lifestyle choice to you?
Spiritually, regardless of what any of your beliefs are you are called to be a friend to not just your friend but to anyone who is marginalized. The bible calls you to love without judgment so maybe this is your opportunity to grow beyond what you believe (or understand) and trust that God has something very special in mind here.
Every blessing to you and your friend as you both go on this spiritual journey.
I would tell him I love him and I will do what I can to support him.
If he hasn’t yet psychiatric assistance, then that is what I would encourage. There are some mental illnesses that cause identity confusion and that can result in some people mistakingly believing they’re transgender, not really understanding what it means. These people also often jump from one identity to another. A good psychiatrist can work with the patient to ensure that what they’re suffering is genuine gender-dysphoria and not something else. Most countries (certainly my own) require this before even hormones are prescribed.
I’d then do my all to support them with whatever the psychiatrist says. If it is gender dysphoria and they choose to change their gender, either as they present themselves or going so far as surgery, then they’d have my support. I see nothing morally wrong with fixing a medical problem.
I can’t imagine the hell that people with gender dysphoria must go through. I am grateful that we now have the medical ability to help them as much as we do.
The great thing you have going for you is that he considers himself a devout Catholic. I think you should say to him that you would like to talk to him about his gender confusion and when would be a good time. Then you could tell him how much you care about him and ask him more about why he thinks he might be transgender. Is he struggling with same sex attraction?
The more you find out, the better you can approach it and know what you are dealing with.
You could tell him that as a friend you are concerned about his spiritual well being because God made him male for a reason and him trying to live as a female goes against God’s plan and is like telling God he made a mistake. Living a lifestyle like that would take him away from the church. Maybe admit to some of your own struggles (that we all have) that we need to turn against to grow closer to God.
Him dealing with this is a cross he is carrying that he will have to learn to overcome to go to heaven. We all have these weaknesses whether it’s struggles with alcohol, astrology, pornography, etc.
Since you are a close friend I would suggest that you research the subject yourself first, talk to a few priests to find out if in fact the church has taken a stand on this.
I have spoken with four priests one of whom is a practicing psychologist, all of them confirmed that the church has not taken a stand on this subject. Please do not assume you know what God has planned for your friend.
Your friend needs to talk to a qualified psychologist to determine if he has gender dysphoria or any other contributing condition.
He needs to pray for help to discern what God wants of him. Encourage him to pray and don’t judge him. You do not want to contribute to him leaving the church, no matter what the outcome of his journey takes him. God loves him as much as he does you and He will save him.
This has no relationship to being gay, I have nothing against gay people but wanted to clarify this. If he is truly transgender, this not a fetish.
If you are inclined to send me a personal message and I will share with you what I know. This is a serious condition, the wrong advice can result in a suicide attempt.
God bless you and your friend.
I think you should stand by your friend. It must have taken a lot for him to confide in you. This is not something that can be changed overnight and maybe cannot be changed at all. My niece has felt this way since she could clearly express herself at age 2-1/2. I think this is not something the rest of us can judge.
Here is a link that hopefully will give you some perspective of the risk of giving advice that can have dangerous consequences.
Transitioning can in fact be theologically acceptable. Gender dysphoria is profoundly distressing and there is no way to “cure” it as such transitioning and HRT are morally acceptable due to the principle of double effect. If people knew what severe gender dysphoria felt like they’d probably prefer death over it.
That is what dysphoria feels like.
I would treat them as they act.
In other words with kindness and love.
Ours is not to judge i would say.
And if you believe him to be in error pray for him.
But never talk down to him.
That usually only leads them astray. (Further)
This! But also, God may have created him male, but God didn’t create the rules that only women are supposed to wear makeup, nail polish, perfume, etc. That’s entirely a societal thing. I know guys who are straight and don’t consider themselves trans who enjoy wearing cosmetics. (Not a lot of them, of course, but a few.)
as a devout Catholic, he should already understand that celibacy is his only option at this point. no if’s or but’s as Church teaching is very clear about this point.
Why is celibacy his only option? He could still marry a woman if he’s attracted to women
No, no she can’t. If she is serious about being a she then she cannot marry a woman as same sex marriages are not permitted, at the same time she cannot consummate a relationship with a man therefore no marriage and no sex.
That’s ridiculous. There are two options for how one determines sex, but I don’t know which the church prefers, so I’ll lay it out both ways.
IF SEX IS BASED ON DNA:
In this case, he is a he regardless of physical appearance. If he is pre-operative, there is absolutely no reason he couldn’t marry a woman as he is both technically male and still able to consummate a marriage.
If he is post-operative, then yes, I guess he would technically be an impotent male and therefore not eligible for marriage.
IF SEX IS BASED ON GENITALIA:
In this case, if he is pre-operative, he’s still a he and still able to consummate. See above.
If he’s post-operative, he’s now a she. She is in fact able to engage in sex with a man thanks to the invention of vaginoplasty surgery. She can’t get pregnant of course, but infertility isn’t a block to marriage, only impotency.
So, you see, of the four possible conditions created by considering two ways of determining sex and two transition state options, only one (sex based on DNA, post-operative) would rule out marriage entirely.
Problem is that the Church uses neither.
If a transgender person is a devout Catholic then they should view marrying someone of the same gender as a no go.