As a Christian with same-sex attraction, Sam Allberry has thought deeply about Christianity and sexuality. I value his insights. (If you’d like to learn from him, start here with a fairly brief lecture.) In “What Christianity Alone Offers Transgender Persons,” he explains that we Christians can offer transgender people both unique understanding and unique hope:
While much of the thinking around transgender issues today is flawed, the pain experienced by those with gender dysphoria is all too real. We of all people should appreciate why, for we of all people understand the true depth of what’s wrong with this world. Our churches should be the places people feel most safe trying to articulate their own sense of not being right….
As well as offering a uniquely deep understanding, we can point people to a uniquely solid hope. We all experience the curse of the fall in bodily ways. But the answer to the problems in our body—along with the answer to any of our problems—is never going to be found in ourselves. Whatever we might do to our bodies to overcome perceived problems, we’ll never be able to fix what truly lies beneath our self-alienation. We can alter our appearance; we can correct much of what we think to be wrong. But we will never find the real freedom we so deeply crave. Nothing we can do to our bodies will help us to feel that we’re our true selves—at least not in a lasting way.
No, the only answer to our experience of brokenness in our bodies is found in the ultimate brokenness of Christ’s body. He experienced the ultimate affliction. His was the body most reviled by others. And the ultimate dysphoria ever experienced was when he “who had no sin” was “made sin for us” (2 Cor. 5:21). Talk about being in the wrong flesh. Yet he went through all of that for us. He experienced ultimate brokenness so that we would never have to.