Transgender questions

I have two questions about transgenders:

  1. What does it mean if someone is a “transgender woman”? Does that mean that they were born a man but underwent transgender surgery to become a woman? Or does it mean that they were born a woman but “became” a man? And same for a transgender man? Were they born women who became men or men who became women?

  2. If someone underwent transgender surgery to become the opposite sex, in order to repent for their wrongdoing, would they be obligated to go back to becoming their original gender that they were born as? Is that even possible? Just a hypothetical question is all. I just figured that it would only make sense for them to go back to what God created them as. Or am I wrong?

  1. I believe your first answer is correct.

  2. One may debate whether the surgery was in the first place sinful. Assume it was. There would be no obligation to reverse the surgery (IMHO) in seeking forgiveness for the (assumed) mutilation.

I tend to agree with this response.

I think once someone has gone through (assumed) mutilation, to reverse the process would be more mutilation…for myself, I can’t imagine what horrendous changes one would be putting their God given body through.

I think one needs to have a deep discussion with perhaps a priest or look in to the Canon Law of the Roman Catholic Church.

I firmly believe, with all my heart, soul, mind and within the depth of my being that God Almighty the Holy Trinity does not make mistakes when He formed each person as a baby girl or a baby boy.

I believe we were each meant to be the gender we were born as. One changing their God given gender is telling Him that He made a mistake and that is very wrong teaching, IMHO.

Just my :twocents:

I reject the line of argument that posits “God does not make mistakes”. Do we call every birth defect “God’s mistake”? No we don’t. Then why should an affliction such as gender dysphoria be thought of in those terms, rather than in the category of a defect?

I think there is a big difference between a birth defect - such as being born without a left arm - and a purely subjective “feeling” that “I should be the other gender.” One can be measured objectively; the other is just a feeling.

When the “feeling” dominates the ordinary sense of self - be that such as to convince the physical male that he is female “inside”, to the point of accepting surgery as a “remedy”, or to draw the physically male to sexual acts with another male, it is evident that these “feelings” reflect a defect of some kind in the person. A defect (however arising) because the acts of the person contradict, and are dissonant with, the very body of the person.

It may be that there is something in the makeup of the person suffering gender dysphoria that typically belongs in the other sex - something about the brain perhaps, in structure or chemistry. Or there may be some other form of mental condition. Either way, something is amiss.

Actually Rau maybe I misunderstood earlier. Are you suggesting that these “feelings” are in error or otherwise can’t be properly relied on?

Error is present when the mind and the body disagree on the sex of the person.

It is impossible for someone born a male to become a female or vice versa. It does not matter what that person thinks, feels, says, how they dress, what hormones they take or what surgery they undergo, if they are born male they remain male and if born female they remain female.
You can only end up with an effeminized male or a masculinized female.

  1. A transgender woman is a woman who was assigned male at birth, mutatis mutandis for a transgender man

  2. Even if SRS was inherently sinful, which it isn’t, one would not be required to try to reverse the surgery.

I know that they don’t “become” the opposite gender in the sense that they change the letters on their chromosomes. What I meant is that they “change genders” by changing their reproductive structures, hormones, etc. and they are now viewed as “male” or “female” by society in this way.

  1. “Transgender” and “transsexual” are different. If you’re a transgender woman, you can be born male and physically have male sex characteristics, but you take on the gender characteristics of a female, such as pronouns, clothing style, ect.
    Transsexual is when you actually undergo, or would undergo, surgery to change your physical sex.
    Gender is social/mental, sex is biological/physical
    Transgender is a broader term, since if you’re transsexual you’re generally also transgender - you feel the physical disconnect along with the mental disconnect. But you can be transgender and take on the identity of the other gender for all social intents and purposes without physically changing yourself at all.
    Transgender also isn’t so black-and-white. Sex is biological, there’s only two sexes so generally you’re either a transsexual male or transsexual female. But since gender is mental/social, it’s a spectrum, and you can be gender-fluid, agender, partially transgender - these are referred to as non-binary genders, and due to their unique nature they don’t involve surgery almost by definition
    So there you go.

As for your second question, I’m no expert but I really don’t think so. I’ve heard people make it very clear that forgiveness and absolution is dependent on true repentance in the confessional, and nothing more. Besides, surgery is always risky and a second surgery has the potential to cause even more physical damage; personally I think a priest would be out of line to even suggest/recommend it.

This reply is for the OP and those who may be reading this thread.

  1. Babies presenting with unambiguous genitalia (especially with confirming karyotyping, XX or XY), are correctly assigned as male or female. This does not apply to the rare intersex condition. You could insist that the mind dictates the sex of people, even when the mind is not in consonance with unambiguous genitalia and chromosome makeup. But that is not widely accepted, even in the medical profession.

  2. That SRS is not inherently sinful is arguable. Culpability factors in the mental condition. If someone regrets, reversal to one’s natal sex would be impossible or nearly so and therefore would not be required by the Church. It would be enough to truly repent and be back in the state of grace.

According to the Vatican, sex-change procedures do not change a person’s gender in the eyes of the Church. If a person was naturally born a male, he remains a male; if a person was naturally born a female, she remains a female. Catholics who have undergone “sex-change” procedures are not eligible to marry. To undergo a sex change is viewed as sinful in marriage because it goes against the law of nature that calls the married couple to procreate.

The Morality of ‘Sex Change’ Operations,1997

  1. I never argued that it was problematic to assign babies as male or female at birth. There is a reason that the transgender community uses the words gender and sex which are different.

  2. Gender dysphoria is usually severe enough that even if SRS was sinful it’d almost never be a mortal sin.

  3. The document you refer to is a holding pattern that changes nothing theologically and reinforces no teaching. Historically procreation was seen as the prime directive of marriage, the primary purpose of it.

  1. Your argument, correct me if I am wrong, is that when / where one presents with body - mind incongruence of transgenderism, the condition manifesting years in development after birth, sex / gender is based on what the mind dictates. Mine is that sex as assigned at birth in such cases is correctly based on unambiguous genitalia and definitive chromosome make up, not the mind.

  2. “Almost never,” per your statement. You leave wiggle room, with which I am not in disagreement. We can agree that where one fully appreciates the grave wrongfulness of SRS and its consequence on one’s body and soul, he or she will have to be accountable on the day of judgment. Transgenderism may be different from homosexuality but acting on the desire to surgically alter one’s body by the transgender person, and a man / woman engaging in sexual acts with a member of the same sex, without repentance, are violations in natural and divine law.

  3. Reinforces no teaching? There is no explicit, no spelled out teaching by the Church or in the bible on clear immoral actions, like arson, as an example, but you and I know arson is morally wrong. I doubt that your opinion holds more authority or sway over the guidance of theologians and church leaders who have spoken on the morality of SRS.


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