Do our physical body parts determine gender or are they evidence of gender? What implications does that have on our ability to change our gender by altering the body?
In culture today, it is popular to believe that gender is what we perceive in the mind, yet the solution offered is to surgically change the genitalia (and/or other body parts) in order to bring the body and mind into harmony. Does that actually work? How effective is it? Does genitalia determine gender? If so, then perhaps it is possible – if you change the genitalia, you would change the gender. Right?
Let me illustrate this if I may. I like detective stories, so humor me for a minute and take a journey with me. Imagine for a moment you are Detective John Ryan and you have just arrived at 312 5th Street, the home of one Annabelle May. She is none other than Detective Ryan’s best friend’s wife. She has just been found dead in her home and we are going to discover who or what killed her. He is certain that his best friend David did not kill his wife – he has known him for over twenty years. He has come to a predetermined conclusion based on his feelings, but is it correct? David claims he found his wife when he arrived home from work about 5:30pm. As Detective Ryan begins to collect evidence, he stumbles on some disturbing finds. Annabelle’s wedding ring is not on her finger. Instead, it was found against the living room wall with a tiny crack in the glass of a painting hanging just above it. The crack could be unrelated but finding a wedding ring on the floor against a wall where no one sits or walks past seems odd. This seems to indicate that the ring was thrown across the room, striking the painting and cracking the glass… He also discovers that there is a blanket and a pillow on the couch. That could be signs that he had been sleeping on the couch, suggesting recent marital problems. It’s also possible that one of them had been sick and they were simply sleeping separately for a few days.
He takes the temperature of the body and determines she was killed between 1pm and 2pm that afternoon, before David would have arrived home. He calls David’s office to confirm his story. It turns out that although David did leave work at the normal time of 5pm, the parking lot security camera showed him leaving the lot at 1:30pm and returning about 2:30pm. A coworker confirms that he and David ate lunch together from 12-12:30pm in the break room. David claims he had to run to the store to pick up some flowers for Annabelle, but cannot produce a receipt. The store he claims to have run to is less than 2 miles from his office. But a toll road camera photographed his vehicle passing through a toll gate close to their home, nearly ten miles from his office at 1:45pm. He further finds that David purchased a gun that was the same caliber as the one that killed his wife just two weeks prior to the murder. Detective Ryan is sweating. He does not want to come to the conclusion that his best friend killed his wife. As he continues to sort through the evidence, he finds a scrap of paper in Annabelle’s tightly clinched fist. It reads, “Dear David”, but the rest is torn off. The remainder of the letter was found in the garbage can outside. The letter was a printed email from a lover – he was having an affair.
Detective Ryan is in a dilemma: deny the evidence he does not want to believe, or act according to the evidence in spite of his feelings and desires. He asks his friend for the truth, off the record. David breaks down and confesses his guilt and begs his friend to help. He claims she found out about the affair, confronted him and he killed her without thinking, in the heat of the moment. The detective knows that this is probably partly true, but the timing indicates he planned it since he left work in the middle of the afternoon without telling his boss or coworkers. If he had simply wanted to take flowers to his wife, he would have likely waited until after work. But his burning desire is overwhelming – he has to help his friend. He goes into action and burns the letter, moves the wedding ring to the bathroom sink as if taken off to wash her hands, and puts ice on her body enough to cool it down. He eventually cools it enough that time of death is officially recorded as being between 10am-11am when David was confirmed at work. He further kicks in the back door to make it look like a home invasion.
Did Detective Ryan change reality? By altering the evidence, has he changed the fact that David killed his wife?
You are probably asking, what in the world does this have to do with genitalia or gender? If you think about it (before sonograms that showed a baby’s gender prior to birth), the first proclamation over a child was “it’s a boy!” or “it’s a girl!”. Why? It is based on the evidence seen that is immediately apparent. If there was an accident during birth and they had to castrate the boy, does that all of a sudden make him a girl? Does genitalia really determine gender? I think this is a mistake that some have made in defending gender based on genitalia. Genitalia does not determine gender, it is the evidence of gender. Why is that an important distinction? Because if gender were truly determined by the genitalia, then changing it would change the gender. This, of course, doesn’t even take into account the fact that the genitalia gained through surgical means are made to look real but are not actually real. But if genitalia is simply the evidence and not the determining factor, then gender is deeper than genitalia. There is a reality outside of it an independent of it. It is merely showing and confirming what is already true. Therefore, changing it does not change the gender. Gender is something intangible, something ingrained in our DNA.
Now some might say, exactly! Gender is in the mind, not in the body. But if genitalia are the evidence, then we must believe the evidence and we must align our beliefs with the evidence. What if in our story Detective Ryan pretends he was never there at all and another detective is called to the scene? The new detective will come to a different conclusion. Does this mean that because the new detective found evidence that had been tampered with and altered, that the conclusion is correct or even real? No, he has come to a false conclusion because the evidence was tampered with. The truth and reality have never changed. The only course of action that will lead to truth, justice, and peace is to follow the real evidence.
To continue our story, another detective is indeed called to the scene. Detective Ryan pretends he was never there. Thankfully, he had forgotten to report in when he arrived. The new detective comes to the conclusion that a local thug who had been suspected of robbing two other houses on the same street must have done it. He was in possession of the same caliber pistol when questioned. He happened to have had a pair of shoes that were the same size and tread pattern as Detective Ryan. The new detective, of course, is not aware that Ryan kicked in the door, so he concludes the thug kicked it in, pointing to the shoe print as evidence. A neighbor saw the thug walking down that street around 10am, about the time that the altered time of death indicated (whereas he would have had an alibi during the real time of death). There were also a few drops of blood on the bottom of his shoe, but they were too degraded to get DNA from. The detective concludes, based on the planted evidence that the thug is guilty and arrests him. He is sentenced to death at trial a few months later.
David is now faced with the reality that he is living a lie. The evidence was changed to “set him free”, but it did not change the truth. He is still guilty. And now he is living a lie and it is eating away at him. He has to now cover his tracks when it is brought up. He has to live with the fact that an innocent man was executed. He had to end the affair with his lover and she is threatening to go to the police, even risking jail time herself since she knew about it. Does he kill her, too?
This may be an extreme example, but my point is this: altering the evidence does not change the reality. We may not like the evidence, it might not be what we want or what we feel, but it is a gift God gave us so that we would know the truth about who we are. Creating a look-alike version of the genitals or removing them all together does not change one’s gender. Rather, it simply alters the evidence, and that person is shackled to the burden of living a lie. I am living proof that the promise of freedom that transgenderism supposedly will bring turns out to be a prison cell. Not immediately, maybe not for years. It is fun for a time. But there will come a time when you have lived it for so long that you have to lie about your entire life, and the lie will become your tomb.
But there is a way out, there is freedom. Turn to Jesus Christ and by faith walk in obedience to God and in alignment with His creation of you. He will heal you and He will reconcile your desires. Dr. Everett Piper once told me over the airwaves, “We are not just made up of our instincts, our inclinations and our feelings. We are made in the image of God and we can choose our behavior despite how we feel.” There was a freedom in that. I was no longer a slave to my feelings. And there was a higher calling to live above my feelings. But once I was set free, God changed my heart and my desires and has reconciled me with my gender as a woman.e