Dear Parents, I know this is an incredibly difficult road to walk. There is so much fear surrounding the decisions you have to make regarding a transgender child. But that is what Satan wants: he wants you to live in fear. For the purposes of this letter I am referring more to adult children who are old enough to make their own decisions. The media, the culture, and everyone around you will tell you that your child might commit suicide if you do not affirm their decision, celebrate it, and use the name and pronouns they have chosen for themselves.
But that is not true. Studies have found many more are suicidal even with all the affirmation and even “gender confirming” therapies such as hormones and surgeries. What they really need is emotional healing, to face the pain and trauma they are running from, and to forgive those who have hurt them.
Your Compromise Is Never Enough
But as one who has come out of that deception, I can tell you this: the affirmation is like a drug, and it is never enough. Change the circumstance for a moment. If your child was a meth addict, would you ever give them meth? How about just a little bit? They would probably “love” you more if you did. They would be happy with you. They might even tell others how wonderful you are. But you know that is only going to help them destroy themselves. Why are LGBT issues the only ones we seem to question whether we should affirm or not? Because we have drunk the Kool-Aid that this is who they are and not a behavior they have chosen.
Affirmation of the transgender identity can mean a variety of things. At the most basic level it includes the person’s chosen name and pronouns, but may also include things such as buying them clothes of the opposite sex, makeup and jewelry (if they are male), chest binders (if they are female), etc… This affirms their choice and speaks this identity over them. It leads them further into the delusion, it thickens the scales over their eyes. It allows them to believe that the Bible is not really as important as they were taught. It makes your faith look weak and impotent. It gives the impression that your faith is just something you’ve chosen to believe but that it isn’t actually real. Like a child pushing the boundaries when you have said no, an adult child will push your boundaries to see if your faith is real.
What Does God Say?
If we study Romans 1 there is a clear progression that I have seen played out in the lives of many transgenders. It is just one more confirmation that the Word of God is true and that it has never changed. It begins with suppressing the truth because they don’t like it (v. 18), rejecting what they know of God (v. 20), being unthankful and bitter about circumstances (v. 21), making up their own version of God (v. 21), and their hearts become foolish and darkened (v. 21). They profess to have become wise and perhaps “enlightened”, but in reality, they have become fools (v. 22). They begin to believe in a God in their own image, rather than allowing God to humble them and conform them into the image of Jesus (v. 23).
So, God gives them over to their own lusts to dishonor their bodies between themselves because they rejected the truth and exchanged it for what they knew to be a lie (v. 24-25). They choose to worship the creature and not the Creator (v. 25). Then God gives them up to vile affections and they become enflamed with lusts for their same sex (v. 26-27). (Now some may have had those lusts and desires since childhood because of sexual abuse, exposure to pornography, or other factors, but now they have embraced it and willingly acted on it). Verse 27 tells us that they receive the due penalty for their error. Sexual disease is rampant among all that are sexually deviant, but especially among homosexual men. This is the penalty for their decision. They have knowingly acted on something they innately knew to be wrong and vile, but they loved their lusts more than God. There were many other things along my journey that were consequences for the actions I chose, and they were intended to be a warning and a reminder of the truth.
After two judgments that are intended to humble them and cause them to cry out to God, many embrace the lie even more and try to forget God (v. 28). As a result, they are given over to a reprobate mind that will reject all truth (v. 28). This is the point I see many of the LGBT come to where they no longer have any desire for the truth, and they love the lies. They heap lies to themselves and relish in them and eventually convince themselves they are true. The last verse says they who know “the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them. (v. 32)” This is why transgender children (or anyone else embracing and celebrating an LGBT lifestyle) often want nothing to do with a parent who will not affirm their choices. They want to pull you into their darkness, into their delusion. They want you to see the world the way they see it.
Why Your Love Is Perceived As Hate
The problem is, when one embraces a lie, it is as if a switch is flipped. When you reject the truth and knowingly exchange it to believe a lie, it is like putting on glasses that cause you to view everything upside down. Love becomes hate, hate becomes love. Good becomes evil, evil becomes good. This is why your kids are screaming at you, telling you that you are being hateful if you don’t affirm and celebrate their choices. They are seeing the world, and their relationship with you, the opposite of what is reality. So, if you affirm them and call them by their preferred pronoun, yes, they will see it as loving, but in fact, it is hating them.
Think of it this way: each affirmation to a transgender is like a piece that is building a body suit out of paper-mâché. This suit is the outward appearance of the identity they want to project to the world. Every reminder of the truth is like punching a hole in it, and they must quickly heap to themselves affirmation to cover the hole.
This is a phenomenon that a psychologist named Dr. Leon Festinger called “cognitive dissonance” many years ago. He discovered this when living among and studying a cult. I will summarize this below from a book called “When Prophecy Fails” that he co-authored with several others who studied this cult in the 1950s. The cult members believed that there was going to be a massive flood that would destroy much of the United States, but that an alien spaceship was going to rescue a select group who devoted their lives to serve them. When the big night that they were to be picked up on came and went without incident, they were faced with a decision: admit that what they had believed was a lie and abandon the cult or reembrace the lie and reinforce it.
Most chose to reinforce it. Why? Because they had invested too much to throw it all away. Many had quit their jobs and sold all of their possessions. They had put all of their proverbial eggs in one basket to believe they would be one of the chosen to be rescued. When faced with evidence to the contrary, they were too deep to admit they had been deceived.
They reinforced the lie in two ways: by justifying the contrary evidence and by proselyting. For example, they determined the aliens didn’t come that night because they were testing their loyalty. The leader of the group communicated with the aliens again (which she did by “free-writing” – it is clear in studying this cult that she was communicating with demonic spirits) and they gave her a new date they would come. Over and over this cycle would repeat, each time they had to find a new reason that the lie was still true. The “aliens” would give her more excuses such as weather conditions or interference from metal on their clothing. In addition, the cult members tried to gather as many people to believe with them as they possibly could. That is why the LGBT are so desperate to get you to affirm their lifestyle. If they can get you to abandon the truth with them and embrace the lie, it relieves the cognitive dissonance for a while. This gives them a false sense of peace and euphoria. They will likely love on you and sing your praises to others. That is, until the next time they are reminded of the truth and they will want you to compromise further because you were a source of relief before.
The Truth I Couldn’t Face
During the years I lived as transgender, there were many times I was reminded of the truth. But I hated the truth. As Romans 1 tells us, I held the truth in unrighteousness. I knowingly rejected the truth because the truth was painful. In order to do that, I had to do what I was describing above. For example, after I got my first prosthetic genital device that allowed me to use urinals, I realized how fake it was. I began to realize that even though I was looking like a man, I clearly wasn’t. But I shrugged it off, believing that it would be real once I had the surgeries. Then after my chest surgery I realized that I had still not become a man. I remember feeling so stupid for believing it and being tricked. I should have admitted it right then. Instead, I had too much invested. I still wanted it to be true so badly. I was willing to do anything. So, I thought it’s because I still have all of the female hormones. Maybe they’re competing with the male hormones. So, two years later, I had all of the female organs removed (via hysterectomy and oophorectomy).
It still wasn’t real. I was becoming desperate. These were just the major ones. I was having dreams many nights about being exposed or waking up with long hair again and my transition hadn’t started or showing up at work without pants. Once in a while I would be outed (often by children who tend be more perceptive and less concerned with political correctness). Every time I had to keep reinforcing the lie because I hated the truth. It didn’t matter to me anymore whether my family affirmed me or not. I had some family members that did, and some did not. I no longer wanted to be around them because just their very presence reminded me of the truth that I was trying so hard to forget.
Thankfully, by God’s grace, He never gave up on me. You can see my story on this website of how Jesus set me free. Jesus radically set me free of the lies I believed, and I have no desire to ever go back. I have fully embraced the truth. I am now thankful for my mother who never gave in to the delusion. She stood firm that she was not going to call me Jake or use male pronouns to refer to me. She and my dad both stood firm in their faith like a lighthouse, always willing to point me home, but never coming into the delusion with me. They weren’t perfect, they made mistakes. But God used it all.
Stop Listening to Culture
We must stop listening to the world and our children to figure out what love is. True love is sacrificial, even when it is not what the person wants. They may even believe that it is opposite of what they need. Proverbs 27:6 says, “Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.” Proverbs 29:5 “A man who flatters his neighbor is spreading a net for his steps.” True love often hurts feelings. Some of the most profound things said in my life were things I hated and didn’t want to hear. At the time I might have told you that person was being hateful. Looking back, however, I can see it is those people who truly loved me.
There were many times during those years that the relationship with my parents was very strained or even non-existent. I was angry with them and didn’t want a relationship with them. It was only by God’s grace I was in contact at all. They tried all kinds of things to win my love including taking me out to dinner, buying me clothes, including me in family vacations and more. None of that was what demonstrated true love to me.
Real Love Costs
But the night I felt the most loved by them was the night I was so angry with them I couldn’t see straight. The night I came out to them I knew they were not going to accept my transgender identity. I yelled and screamed and cried and tried everything I could think of to manipulate them into affirming my choice. Instead, they cried and poured out their hearts and I could see the love in their eyes as they begged me not to do this. Instead, they tried desperately to remind me of who I was. They offered to do anything they could to get me real help. But I didn’t want it. I recognized they loved me too much to allow me to destroy myself. That night I was angry, and I had wished that they didn’t love me. I had wished that they had just done whatever I wanted. I was astonished that they were willing to sacrifice the relationship in order to do what they believed was best for me.
I would have never admitted that then. Satan wants you to believe the lie that love is always going to make someone feel good about themselves and that you will always be loved in return. The truth is even Jesus confronted people, He called them out of their sin, and He never once embraced their sin as being good. Consider this: Jesus loved every single human that ever lived, and most of them hated him in return. While He encouraged people and commended them for their faith, He continually exhorted them and called them to repentance. We must love as He loves, and we can never love with lies.
What Does God Want From You?
Ultimately, this is also about you. God is testing you. He is trying your faith by fiery trials (1 Peter 4:12-13). “Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.” (Isaiah 48:10). You cannot save your child either way. You cannot affirm them enough or compromise your faith enough to love them back to Jesus. Only God can transform their hearts. He can use you, as He did my parents. But it was not through them telling me how wonderful I was—it was in their continual lifting up of Christ and how faithful and trustworthy He is. You must be like a lighthouse: unwavering and unmoving, steadfast in your faith. That way, when they are wearied by the darkness and the sea of sin that tosses them about, they can always find their way home.
I cannot guarantee anyone any particular outcome. I cannot guarantee your child will not commit suicide any more than I can guarantee they won’t take drugs, become an alcoholic, or die in a car accident. Your faith must be in the person of Jesus Christ and in Him alone. Surrender your child into His hands. Like Hannah, give them back to the Lord. They belong to Him. Seek Jesus with all your heart, mind and soul and allow God to grow your faith during this time. Get your eyes off of your child and the circumstances and onto Jesus. Do the same for your child when given the opportunity. Point their eyes away from themselves and onto Jesus. You must choose Him above all else, even if your child never comes to the truth. I believe they will. There are thousands detransitioning and many former LGBT that have been radically saved and set free.
“34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. 35 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. 36 And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. 37 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. 39 He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.” (Matthew 10:34-39).
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