More than a Sunday school answer
“None of the Above” shows the need to become better educated on sensitive subject matters. | iwgregorio.com
When I was in high school a “hot topic” the Church fought against was the legalization of same-sex marriage. More recently, and largely due to Caitlyn Jenner’s cover story for “Vanity Fair,” the topic has expanded to all of the LGBTQ community, namely those who identify as transgender. Based off discussions I had over the summer as a result of Bruce Jenner’s transition, I think the next logical place for the conversation to go is to individuals who have been diagnosed as intersex.
Drawn to the Book
First, let it be known I make no claim to be well-versed in issues the LGBTQ community faces or the terminology associated within each group. Because of this, I was drawn to “None of the Above” and its author, I.W. Gregorio, who is a practicing surgeon as well as a writer.
Kristin Lattimer is a high school senior and just voted her school’s homecoming queen when she and her boyfriend attempt to have sex for their first time. It goes poorly, to say the least. Kristin winds up scheduling an appointment with her doctor who informs her she has no womb and what female anatomy she does have, is unusual. Further testing is performed and the results reveal Kristin has XY chromosomes as well as some male anatomy contained in hemorrhoids in her stomach area. Genetically, Kristin is a male.
Aching in Sympathy
While dealing with news that has changed everything she knows, her AIS diagnosis is leaked to the entire school and Kristin has no choice but to confront her new reality. Here I found myself investing in this character I could not relate to, yet still ached for in sympathy. I cried during the chapters chronicling the day her diagnosis was revealed to her school, where she was called derogatory and ignorant names like “man whore,” “tranny faggot,” and “hermaphrodite.” In the eyes of her peers and within the span of a week, Kristin had gone from the most popular girl at school to a guy who was a lying freak.
The popular argument against transgenders in the western evangelical church cannot really be applied to those who are intersex. It cannot simply be stated those in the intersex community are acting in an affront to biblically created gender and their respective roles. These individuals were born physically male or female in a way that, at times, can be so convincing and natural, it may take years for a person to realize or be diagnosed as intersexual. They cannot quickly be given the answer to find their identity in Christ when that answer seems to ignore the fact that they do not fit into society’s identity expectations.
Yes, the answer should ultimately end at the same gracious truth — Christ is your identity. However, there is so much more needing to be said and done before they are told that answer. I am not sure what those steps are, but I am willing and eager to figure it out and share the unfathomable love of Christ with other image-bearers of God.