(This post originally appeared on the Texas Baptists web site.)
The picture of a new person, Caitlyn Jenner, has intruded itself into our world. Bruce Jenner, the amazing male athlete of a few decades ago, has changed his gender, and the results are supposedly revealed in a Vanity Fair cover story.
Some people are talking about the courage it took for Bruce to become Caitlyn. Courage did not come to my mind when I saw the picture and story. Sadness came. I hurt for this person.
Bruce/Caitlyn has become the great exemplar of a movement to push transgender into the mainstream of society. Transgender is, of course, the “T” in LGBT and LGBTQ and LGBTQIA and a growing string of letters.
Jenner saddens me because his sex change seems to be the latest representation of a deep dissatisfaction with himself. Long before this, Jenner had mutilated his face with plastic surgery in order to appear more youthful. Now, he has dived even deeper to alter his appearance, but I stress appearance and I use the masculine pronoun because it just seems the more natural, the more real.
Blogger Matt Walsh captured my own thoughts in these words:
There is more to being a woman than “feminized” facial features and frilly underwear. Bruce Jenner in drag is not beautiful. Women are beautiful because they are women. Womanhood is itself beautiful. Women bring something distinct and special to the world. They fill a void and play a role that no man can.
A woman is a woman not merely because of whatever cosmetic feature a man might vaguely emulate. A woman is a woman because of her biology, which Bruce does not share and never will.
We live in a new world; it becomes more apparent with each passing day. It is not, however, a time to despair.
My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus Christ, my righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.
That great old song proclaims truth for a new day of life in a fallen world.