Review: ‘TranZformed: Finding Peace with Your God-Given Gender’Latest Issue, Trans Progressive Thursday, September 28th, 2017
Commentary: Trans Progressive
This is my third column where I’m writing about things ex-transgender. In one column I explored a San Diego church’s mini-conference on transgender people (especially transgender family members), and in another column I reviewed a DVD of a reparative therapist talking about gender dysphoria. In this third column I’m reviewing the documentary TranZformed: Finding Your Peace With Your God-Given Gender. The film was produced by Mastering Life Ministries (aka Pure Passion Media), and is available on DVD.
TranZformed premiered at the Restored Hope Network annual convention here in San Diego this past June 16. It’s significant that the film premiered at the conference because the Restored Hope Network is the largest organization in the U.S. that promotes the idea that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people can effectively be treated for same-sex attraction and gender dysphoria by conversion (aka reparative) therapy and prayer.
The back DVD cover for TranZformed states it’s “a NEW documentary that tackles the thorny issue of transgender disorders from a biblical perspective.”
The documentary begins with a narrator explaining Hebrew intersex terms used in Rabbinic texts (Tumtum and Androgynos). Then, using theologian James Anderson and recently deceased psychologist Joseph Nicolosi to “explain” biology, the film’s producers look to draw a bright line between intersex and “transgendered” people. Intersex people are said in the film to have a physical and/or genetic condition that blurs their place in a gender binary while transgender people strictly have a psychological condition. The producers sought to stress that transgender people had a “non-medical” condition.
Nicolosi emphasized this early in the film. “So far they have not found like a biological or genetic foundation, or any prenatal factors, that determine this kind of condition,” he said. There are; however, over 150 studies, papers, dissertations and other peer reviewed sources (human and animal) that indicate there are biological, genetic and prenatal factors that can cause a misalignment between gender identity and physical sex characteristics, but I’ve often seen these studies ignored by Evangelical Christian leaders.
The film in its second chapter (the DVD of the documentary is divided into 14 chapters) forward delved into testimonies of 15 ex-transgender people that fit into a standard ex-gay/ex-transgender narrative.
Anderson supplies for the film the producers’ biblical point of view in the chapter entitled Turning to God. “Since the biblical view is that there are only two sexes, male and female, and biological sex is the primary indicator of ontological sex, any treatment for gender dysphoria should proceed on the assumption that person’s biological sex, rather than their gender identity, defines whether they are male or female.” The theologian further stated that the goal of treatment for gender dysphoric people should be to align one’s psychology with one’s physiology rather than the reverse.
The rest of the next nine chapters was literally a whole lot of ex-transgender people telling the film’s audience about their “come to Jesus” moments when they began to “tranzform” back to their physiological sex.
In the midst of the testimonials, Nicolosi informed that audience how he conducted himself toward “transgender people: “How do I as a Christian respond to this disturbed person? … I have a commitment to not to collude with your illusion. I’m not going to call you Mary. OK, your name was Tony, it was Tony a month ago, and you’re still Tony, OK?”
“It’s not accurate to say ‘God made me this way, therefore it needs to be affirmed,’” added Anderson toward the end of the film.
This is what Nicolosi’s and Anderson’s idea of compassion looks like in practice.
The arrogance of the film’s producers and participants is that they believe their perspective is the one true perspective. They don’t seriously entertain the thought for a moment that as human beings, they could actually be wrong about their truth being the universal truth.
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