I was raised Catholic. I no longer subscribe to that faith because I think they’re wrong about some things. Also they want me dead.
I don’t let that last part over-worry me. It’s not really a personal thing. They don’t want me dead like they’re taking out a contract with the Mob to have it done. They want me dead passively and for my own good, you see.
I’m not exaggerating.
As evidence I present this interesting explanation about the Church’s position on transsexual Catholics from Catholic blogger Mary Kochan (as cited from the Edge, as I really don’t want to link to Catholic Exchange. you can get the source links from the cited article if you really feel the need):
“The Church does not accept that you have ’become a woman’ regardless of your ability to pass as one, either by demeanor, dress, physique, or external anatomy,” Kochan continued. “If you ever were really a man, then you still are, regardless of what you have done to yourself. It is not my ’absolute views on your status as a male’–it is the Church that says it.”
Added Kochan, “I understand that you were in distress even to the point of your health being wrecked and I’m not in any way making light of that. But objectively speaking, what you proposed and carried out as a remedy to your distress was the breaking of God’s law that says that you may not mutilate your body.” Continued Kochan, “It is better to die than to offend God. It would have been better for you to have given your life to stay in obedience to God, than to break His law and to drag along into sin your poor spouse.” Kochan continued, “That is hard, but really everyone of us should feel that way about every serious sin we have committed. We should prefer the death of our bodies to the death of our souls, shouldn’t we?
All emphasis above mine. All Catholicism above… well let’s talk about that.
A few of you reading this blog will recall I went through a period in my life in which I tried to “cure” myself of my nasty transsexual temptations by devoting myself to a very strict Catholic life. If the Church was for it, I was for it. If they were against it, I was against it. You’ve heard of people “more Catholic than the pope”? That was me for a period of about five years.
A result of that devotion, along with my particular cross-gender temptations, was that I investigated in depth where the Church stood on issues like homosexuality and transsexuality. I’m confident that my understanding of the Church’s positions on these matters surpasses that of the average Catholic and generally surpasses that of typical clergy. I know the Church’s teachings on this stuff quite well, and therefore I feel qualified to say…
Mary Kochran is absolutely correct – at least as far as she’s explaining the implications of Catholic teaching. It may be divorced from reality, but her explanation is sympatico with the Church’s teachings on transsexuality. This might surprise some of you who have heard far more diplomatic statements coming from a Catholic priest here or there. Trust me… this stuff may be candy-coated or watered down by your local Father Feelgood, but underlying it all what Kochran says is where the Church stands. Death is preferable to transition for us.
Transsexuals are even less compatible with Catholic teaching than homosexuals. Homosexuals are simply told to practice chastity. Transsexuals are told we don’t actually exist at all. Once again, I’m not exaggerating.
Specifically, Catholic teaching does not acknowledge the possibility that someone could have an external body of one sex but a mind and gender identity of the other. They don’t say they’ve never considered it. They say it’s impossible.
And this is not an issue open to revision based upon new evidence. There are fundamental issues of ontology involved here. The Church says human beings are either male or female. Period. End of story. This is essential because that fundamental duality is considered a central truth explaining God, the Church, the nature of Christ, the Priesthood… even Love itself. If they acknowledge that transsexuals – people born with a physical body opposite of their gender identity – actually exist, it would shake the foundations of Church teaching a heck of a lot more than that business with Galileo ever did.
The only way Catholicism can explain the appearance of transsexuals in the real world is to consider them to be bizarrely depraved sinners with nonsensical motivations. That’s what Ms. Kochan is attempting to do in her windy multi-part treatise. Her leaden advice won’t help any actual transsexuals who may be looking to the Church for guidance. But it’s really the best she can do while accounting for what the Church actually teaches (besides, she seems to be speaking mostly to her non-trans audience rather than trying to help transsexuals with her advice).
Shorter version: “The Church says everyone is either a boy or a girl. You say you’re a girl even though you were born a boy. Therefore you’re either lying or you’re a very deluded person. Simply acknowledge your delusion and we’ll grudgingly accept you as a very sick and mutilated sinner. But if that sounds too hard for you, have you ever considered an early death? That option might make all of us breathe a little more easily.”
Anyway, like I said before, I was raised Catholic. I was also born transsexual.
I can choose whether or not to belong to the former. The latter is just a fact. So they’ve got it exactly backward.