Transracial, Transgender, And Me
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Politics and Activism

Transracial, Transgender, And Me

The peace that accompanies an identity in Christ.

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Transracial, Transgender, And Me

Rachel Dolezal, 37, president of the NAACP chapter in Spokane, Washington, academic expert on African American culture, and professor in related topics at Eastern Washington University, recently made national news for a rarely committed offense. While Dolezal has been advocating for African American rights and speaking on their behalf in multiple avenues, she has also been claiming to be black herself. On the contrary, her two Caucasian American parents continue to confirm that Rachel was in fact born white, and has been denying her racial identity and lying to her friends and coworkers for years now. In a piece put together by CNN, an interview was conducted with her father, Lawrence Dolezal, who even presented her birth certificate made in Montana that identifies her race in accordance with suspicions. The response to Dolezal’s fake identity was mixed. While the NAACP continued to stand behind her with their President Gerald Hankerson stating, “We represent all civil rights issues, regardless of a person's ethnicity. The quality of the work that she has done to elevate the issues of civil rights in that region is what we applaud." However, a majority of the social media response was resoundingly negative. Many were outraged at her claim to oppression that she truly never had to experience, and they jokingly coined and hashtagged the term “transracial.”

Caitlyn Jenner, 65, gold medal winner in track at the 1976 Summer Olympics, world record setter in the Olympic decathlon, reality television star, and transgender advocate, recently made national news for a rarely publicized life change. While Caitlyn was born unarguably male, she claims that from an early age, she identified herself as female. In the infamous interview with Diane Sawyer, she speaks about her sexual identity, the gender transition process, the response of family and friends, and the new outlook on life she has. The response to Caitlyn’s Vanity Fair cover shoot was overall positive. Most of the world applauded Jenner for her bravery and leadership in this affair, and for the few that spoke up against Jenner’s transformation, much of the discussion has centered around the love that God has for Caitlyn and the hurt we should feel in our hearts that this has been a lifetime of struggle for her.

Elise Robinson, 22, high school graduate, college student, former Disney cast member, current waitress and Athletic Department attendant, attempting to balance adulthood, and looking forward to the adventure of her future life, has never made national news, and probably never will. While I am striving for a life in Christ and attempting to mirror his walk, I fail multiple times daily. I continually insist on altering my appearance, amplifying my personality, and forcing false humor to gain approval. The response to my life is ever-changing. There are days that I am more than affirmed, and there are weeks that I wonder if I am truly as invisible as I feel.

What do these three people have in common? How could these three sinners have anything in relation to one another? Or a better question, what is it that we are all desperately seeking?

Acceptance and approval. That’s what we crave. As human beings, it has been embedded within us to desire the comfort and pride accompanied by confirmation from others. While this can sometimes drive us to conquer challenges or battle difficulties, our need for these things can also lead us to take desperate measures rooted in sin. When watching the news or scrolling down feeds, it is clear that negativity has engulfed our world. It can be difficult to decipher where all of this darkness is rooted. And while some sin truly has no explanation, I really believe a lot of today’s failings can be traced back to a feeling of inadequacy. Why do we lie? Because we want others to think our life is more exciting than it truly is. Why do we covet? Because we long to have someone else’s life that may be accepted more than we are. Why do we gossip? Because having information first makes us valuable to others. Why do we participate in sexual transgressions? Because we desire to feel affirmed by the other person. All of these things that we seek to make us feel fulfilled just leave us as a well of empty.

God knew that. Our Lord in His infinite knowledge of our character and as our ever loving and always compassionate Father, knew that we would fall to our sinful nature. He knew the irrevocable inadequacy we would feel that was caused by the Fall. So He gave us an image- an identification to rest in since our human selves would never suffice. And that was Jesus. Our souls are empty, and our hearts are restless, and we will constantly be searching for something to define us until we choose to let that be Christ. The sin in Rachel Dolezal’s life, in Caitlyn Jenner’s life, in my life, in your life, is because at our core, we are desiring something better than ourselves. We know that we are not enough. And until we truly allow our identification to be solely in Christ, we will forever be lying and cheating and coveting and falsifying to be worthy of something that we can’t earn. While this sounds like a relatively basic concept, if we truly believed this, if we honestly adopted this into our lives, things would look radically different. Our perceptions of ourselves and the world around us would shift from that of depression and self-loathing to comfort and peace. We could be content in our skin color and our gender and our body type and our personality because we would know that God does not make mistakes, and resting in the image of His son would allow us freedom from the chains of insufficiency. He tells us in Colossians 2:9-10, “For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form,and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority.

Believe in the Lord’s specific and intricate plan for your life. Believe that mirroring your soul through imitation of Christ is enough. Believe that no part of you was a mistake, and no human striving can reconcile our need for acceptance. Believe that you have been brought to fullness through the love of the Lord.

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