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An evangelical therapist on parents’ ‘transgendered children’

Commentary: Trans Progressive

What Do You Do When Your Child Tells You They Are Transgendered was the name of the keynote address at the Hope Gathering, 2012, given by Dr. Marc Dillworth. He’s a marriage and family counselor and self-identified Christian who specializes in reparative (also known as conversion) therapy for gender dysphoria; his keynote address was given mostly to parents “struggling” with having children who came out to them as “transgendered.” The talk is sold in DVD format by Hope 4 Families.

In the first portion of the talk, Dillworth defines terminology as used by the community. He was up to date on transgender culture and terms as used in 2012.

Dillworth stated his belief that there are only two types of transgender people, in accordance with the Ray Blanchard/Michael Bailey model of transsexuality. That is, there are homosexual transsexuals who are essentially gay men who need to be women to be comfortable being with gay men, and super-crossdressers who transition for the sexual thrill of living as women.

Transgender preadolescents, according to Dillworth, are being led into crossgender identities by one or both parents who consciously or unconsciously want their children to be the opposite sex than they were born as.

Dillworth cited eight scriptures on the sin of “homosexual behavior” in scripture. Since Dillworth believes in the Blanchard/Bailey model for why people are transgender, he applies it to transgender people. Having “homosexual desire” or gender dysphoria (also “gender confusion”) is not a sin, but acting on those desires is a sin.

So in Dillworth’s worldview, transitioning is sexual sin because it’s acting on gender dysphoria, a sin against the body.

Dillworth said there were three options for a parent when a child came out to a parent: 1) be gay/trans affirming {which he considers “heresy”}, 2) tough love {which he states doesn’t work due to a) the “high suicide rate of the transgender community”} or b) driving the child into the support network of the transgender community}, or 3) “Winning over the Prodigal.” The last refers to a parable of Jesus Christ’s where the goals of redemption and reconciliation are possible. “When the gay lifestyle breaks down,” Dillworth says, “you’re looking for opportunities to welcome them back.”

A child being gay or transgender is a spiritual problem, Dillworth said, a matter to turn over to God, and leave it to God to “call them out of homosexuality.” Do whatever you can to keep them connected to church, such as drawing the boundary that school age teens must continue going to church.

The next things Dillworth said to do was show unconditional love and allow for free will. Love, and allowing one’s children to make even wrong decisions, creates opportunities to welcome out these children of the “gay lifestyle.”

Dillworth said this is the gay (transgender) script: same sex attraction (SSA) and “transgender” (meaning transgender experience) is naturally occurring and is as God intended. SSA is how you know who you really are and is an extension of your core. Denial of the behavior is a denial of your core and harmful.

Dillworth says this is the Christian script: “SSA or transgender is the result of some type of problem or condition. SSA or gender confusion is part of your experience – yes, but it does not have to define who you are … your identity. You have a choice to make about your same sex attraction: you can make it just a part of your identity, a weakness – we all have weaknesses – or your whole identity. We as Christians don’t believe that your feelings should dictate your identity, do we? What do we form our identity in? Our identity is in Christ. You can choose to form your identity around other experiences too.”

For the LGBT community, what any evangelical, reparative therapist is telling parents what to do when confronted with a transgender child coming out to them is important considering a 2015 Pew Research Center poll indicated 25.4 percent of the U.S. population identified themselves as evangelical.

Short URL: http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=82701

Posted by on Sep 14, 2017. Filed under Bottom Highlights, Latest Issue, Trans Progressive. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

2 Comments for “An evangelical therapist on parents’ ‘transgendered children’”

  1. conversion therapy is the worst thing anyone could do to a child and thus why its being banned accrossed the country
    a trans girl is a girl in many ways genitalia is not a defining facter

    for the best information of wht to do when your kid says there trans look up american academy of pediatrics or american medical association aap has 64000 licensed pediatrics whos been doing this kind of stuff for well over 50 years

    always a girl always myself

  2. Not ome thing he claims is true, he’s just aas ignorant, as any “redneck”.

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