The word “Transgender” has acquired an importance to me that I never could have predicted. I now recognize its meaning, its true meaning, as the key to Gay identity. Transgender refers to people who transcend biological gender. It has nothing to do with the idea of being “born in the wrong body”, although people who feel that way do fall under its definition. So do I, a Gay man who has never strongly identified as male.
Ironically, had I been thinking about it back then, I could have gleaned the truth about gender from my high school Spanish books. In Spanish, nouns have gender. Those nouns with the prefix of “la” and that end in “a” are feminine. Those with the prefix of “el” and that end in “o” are masculine. However, there are exceptions to that rule. Some words have blended gender: la mano (the hand), el día(the day), el alma (the soul). Therefore, there are three genders in the Spanish language: Masculine, feminine and neutral. These three genders also exist in nature; LGBT existence is proof of that. It’s time for people of binary gender (heterosexual men and women) to stop denying reality. We need to stop denying it, too!
Science has no definitive answer to the question of why some people are homosexual, bisexual and transsexual. However, Scripture does provide an answer. Care to join me for some Bible study? I promise you’ll be surprised. What I have to say might even rock your world.
Correctly translated, the Book of Genesis tells us that God created humankind in His own image/In the image of God He created him/Male and female He created him. This passage establishes that God is a transgender entity. The lower case “him” refers to Adam, whose male and female elements were split into separate bodies so that procreation could start. Men and women are two parts of a whole that long to be united; that’s the reason for heterosexual attraction. So this teaching doesn’t explain homosexual attraction … or does it? Jesus Christ revisits the creation story in the Gospel According to Matthew:
MATTHEW 19: 4-6 (Jesus Christ said) “Have you not read that the One who made them at the beginning made them male and female and said, ‘for this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh?’ So they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, let no one separate.
Incorrect translation (“them” substituted for “him”) has resulted in a failure of most readers, even Bible scholars, to fully grasp what this Scripture means. Mandated heterosexual marriage isn’t the objective here! Men marrying women is the means to reach the objective. The goal is to “become one flesh” as they were “at the beginning”. In other words, men and women must become like Adam was in the beginning. Through marriage, they approximate the blended gender that Adam possessed before Eve was created. At that time, he was modeled precisely in God’s transgender image; so the ultimate goal of marriage is to make men and women more like God.
That same chapter in the Gospel of Matthew identifies a special group of people for whom teachings on heterosexual marriage are irrelevant. Jesus Christ calls these people “eunuchs who have been so from birth” (Matthew 19:12). He also mentions eunuchs created by man-made means (castration), but born eunuchs are the ones important to this particular discussion. The word “eunuch” means “castrated man” today, but that was not so in the ancient world! Individuals believed to be of a third gender, a unisex gender, were accorded eunuch status. They also had a reputation for same-gender sexuality (one last time, let me direct readers to Faris Malik’s excellent Born Eunuchs web pages for more info). Significantly, the Savior implies that eunuchs have a connection to Heaven.
Now, let’s tie all these loose strands together. Science and religion agree that humanity evolved from a single life form. Christianity calls that life form Adam. In order for binary gender to exist today, wouldn’t that life form had to have combined male and female gender within itself? Scripture says that it did. Here is the point where evolution and creationism converge! Adam is the common denominator; and what do born eunuchs have in common with Adam? The blend of male and female in one body. So what modern day group of people fits the description of born eunuchs? Isn’t it obvious?
Here, then, is Scripture’s solution to the mystery of LGBT humanity: Lesbians, Gay men, bisexual and transsexual persons are genetic echoes of Adam in his original, undivided state. We are to humanity what the Model T was to automobiles: The original template! Didn’t I say you were in for a surprise? Has your world been rocked yet? If not, then try some of this:
Transgender status, which Scripture calls Fullness, lies at the very heart of Christian faith. God’s transgender creations are the blood that courses through that pulsing heart! Contrary to common wisdom, we are not heterosexual folk who stray from their natural inclinations. We are not freaks “born in the wrong body.” We aren’t perversions of nature by any stretch of the imagination. We are a snapshot of nature as it once was! We are direct descendants of the first life form, whose gender was blended like ours. (A Gnostic Christian text known as The Egyptian Gospel makes just such a claim.)
Same-gender attraction is nothing but an expression of Fullness. People tend to focus obsessively on homosexuality, but Fullness has never only been about that! Blended gender influences behavior that isn’t sexual. Rigid gender roles don’t work well for LGBT folk; we chafe under binary gender conventions, and why wouldn’t we? We are as different from ordinary men and women as ordinary men and women are different from each other.
I have come to believe that transgender/unisex people are linked to God’s Covenant with humankind. We’re the human counterpart of those brilliant lights in the sky which signify God’s promise not to destroy the Earth. So long as that rainbow of light and the human rainbow both appear, the Covenant will be kept. And you thought our adoption of the rainbow flag was just a coincidence, didn’t you? Of course, it may well be coincidence; this theory of mine is based on an admittedly hazy understanding of Gnostic scripture. When I enter the afterlife, I’ll learn whether or not I’m right!
Upon my death, I hope God will also reveal to me the names of all the prominent people in my lifetime who were Gay. If He does, I have no doubt that another theory I hold will be conclusively proven: That civilization could not exist without us! When I see the vast numbers of politicians, scientists, theologians, journalists, philosophers, business tycoons, visual and performing artists, national leaders, war heroes, doctors, lawyers, teachers, social workers, public servants and pioneers of all kinds who were and are secretly homosexual, and I take stock of their many contributions to society, I know they will dwarf those of every other minority group! There won’t be a single social class, discipline or movement that we haven’t penetrated and distinguished ourselves in.
“Queer” is so inaccurate a description of who and what we are, the word would be insulting even if it weren’t derogatory. Our presence, our influence, and even our sexuality is normal and essential to the flow of life. Just imagine how much more productive we could be if there was no pressure to hide and deny our true natures. What a curious thing, to be at once so widely disseminated and so widely despised! Curious and tragic, but surely no more tragic than what civilization did to a Man from Galilee ages ago. To me, indeed, to anyone who understands that Man’s Gospel, there’s no difference whatsoever between the kind of hatred directed at Him and the kind directed at us.
We haven’t always been hated, though! Some cultures like the Hebrews did despise and persecute born eunuchs, but much of the ancient world revered us. Because of our gender neutrality, we were actually regarded as superior to other men and women. We were granted important roles in society, like judge, spiritual healer or chamberlain (the original connotation of the word “eunuch”). Don’t get me wrong: I’m not suggesting that we adopt a Master Race theory! All I’m saying is it makes no sense for us to stagger around with crushing inferiority complexes on our backs.
We who identify as Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transsexual are a blessed people! We must reclaim blessed status from the ancient world. Those of us who, for whatever reason, insist that we choose our sexuality must let go of that fantasy. The truth can set us free, so we must begin believing the truth: That there’s nothing unnatural about masculine women, effeminate men, transgender bodies or same-gender love. We are not perverts! We are not predators! We are not pedophiles! We are not mistakes. We are an integral part of both nature and religion, and the world needs to know it. We must conquer shame and take our rightful place in the mainstream of society.
Conquering shame requires cutting off the source of shame. For most LesBiGay folk, that source is the Christian Bible. It’s safe to say that the Bible is the most hated of documents among Lesbians and Gay men. Nobody hated it more than me; but just a little bit of research exposed the perverse nature of Fundamentalist religion and brought me back to Christianity. Is it necessary, then, for all LGBT folk to claim Christian faith? No, but it is crucial that we all learn how to expose the “faith-based” lies that feed our oppression. Anybody who presumes to lead our equality movement must recognize the importance of doing this! They’re not worthy of leadership if they don’t.
Boston cartoonist, composer, journalist, social commentator and graphic novel writer DC (Don Charles) Hampton Jacobs is the author of three graphic novels, two cartoon novelettes, a mock screenplay in graphic novel form, four cartoon short stories, an illustrated Great American Rock ‘n’ Roll Songbook and a stage musical treatment in cartoon form. He blogs at https://popculturecantina.blogspot.com.