The Triune Self

My name is Alex Simmons, but what does that really mean? Who am “I”? I am a Christian, a husband, the father of four lovely girls, a sociologist, a drummer, a UNLV graduate student, and a UNLV employee. These are roles and statuses, but is that all I am; the sum of roles and statuses? I was not always a UNLV graduate student, and I hopefully will not always be. As this status changes, will I cease to be me? Of course not. That’s silly.

Perhaps I am what you see. I am the physical body. Then again, what would happen if a part of me was removed? Our soldiers go overseas and wage war for us, but they often sacrifice their limbs. Does that mean that they return home and are no longer themselves? They may be damaged, but they are still them.

Perhaps I am not what you see on the outside, but I exist inside the body. The brain is the computer center of the central nervous system. It operates everything ranging to pain sensation to breathing regulation. However, there are times when the brain is physically damaged. Are football players who receive concussions no longer themselves? There are some of us that suffer from chemical imbalances in the brain. When an anti-depressant is prescribed, the patient becomes “the medicated self.” They need drugs to feel whole, but are they whole if they need a substance to make them that way? Moreover, the brain is made up of cells that are shed and leave the body when we sneeze. Does that mean that whenever I have a runny nose “I” leave the body? Absolutely not.

Rather than my roles and statuses or the physical self, I am the metaphysical mind? Closer, but no. Rene Descartes famously said, “Cogito ergo sum” – I think, therefore I am. Our thoughts manifest as ideas and memories and are expressed through creativity. However, cognitive impairments occur all the time. Mental illness takes part of our mind from us. Dementia also impairs cognitive function. If we are no longer able to recall memories, are we still our “self”?

Furthermore, the mind is not physical, but could “you” exist without a body? Photographs are representations of us, but they are not us. We put our souls on paper when we write. Our images and social media posts become “the digital self,” a term that postmodern researches use to describe a digital representation of the “self.” Yet our photographs, manuscripts, and social media posts can be deleted. If they are destroyed, or even hacked, do we also cease to exist? No.

Rather than roles, statuses, the physical or metaphysical representations of me, I believe that I am the triune self. I am comprised of a body, soul, and spirit – like the Holy Trinity (Father, Son, Holy Ghost). These three parts are all one, but I am not all in one. If a piece is cut off, I am still me. The digital self is still me. I can change roles and statuses and still be me. Before I was born into a physical body, I had no “self,” but the triune me exists now and forever. The triune self is eternal. My body dies, but soul and spirit live forever. The Bible shows us that we will get a new body in Heaven, thus reuniting the triune self.

Who am I? I am me. All of me, and I always will be.

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The Bias of Unbiased Science

It’s fun to think of the scientist as a person seeking empirical knowledge without bias.
 
The belief that science is the superior, or even only, means to gain knowledge IS biased; and flawed. How many of sciences findings have been replaced with updated research? The Earth was flat until it wasn’t. The sun revolved around the Earth until it didn’t. Newton’s laws of physics were the standard until Einstein. Einstein’s findings have been surpassed by quantum physics. Pluto was a planet until it wasn’t. The “Big Bang” was the catalyst for the existence of the universe, until it wasn’t. Brontosaurus was a type of dinosaur until it wasn’t. Piltdown man provided evidence of evolution until it didn’t. Fat is bad for you, now it’s good. Butter was bad until it wasn’t.
 
I could go on and on.
 
Yet scientists (and those who value science above all types of knowledge acquisition) would have you believe that this is superior to religious texts. In my study of The Bible (KJV ONLY, baby), I have found more verified scientific data than any evidence that has been “debunked” through scientific study.
 
The TRUTH is that there are so many phenomena that science has no answer to. The Bible is riddled with the supernatural that science either ends up verifying (germs, blood disorders, intelligent design, Earth revolving around the sun, a round Earth) or contains supernatural phenomena that science cannot disprove nor verify.
 
Most phenomena is supernatural until we come to understand it. Science, as it slowly progresses, verifies Biblical phenomena. It stands to reason, then, that The Bible may very well hold the answers to questions of the supernatural that are true, but have yet to be scientifically verified.
 
Of course, by no means does that mean that God’s Word is not empirically tested.
 
We test the teachings of Scripture every day, and we collect data through our experiences that we need only to apply a theory to (in this case, that THE BOOK is always true) in order to obtain knowledge.
 
Some of us put our faith into a dogma of scientism that is constantly challenged by more current science.
 
I put my Faith into The Bible that has never been debunked and has only been verified by empirical study.
 
But what do I know? I am just too biased.

Transreality.

A little girl born with girl parts grew up liking other little girls with girl parts. Now that little girl is a boy with girl parts who likes other boys with girl parts. Soon, that little girl will be a boy with boy parts who likes other boys with boy parts.
 
Yet we are told that gender is a “social construction.” That it is “fluid.” Why the need to change sex organs (which will not function, by the way) in order to violate biology, when a person could keep what they were born with an “identify” however they wish?
 
The fact that “society” (i.e. academia and Progressive lunatics) believes that this is just as normal a state of mind as being “cis-gendered” (which is when your “gender” and “sex” align), when over 90-95% of the American population is cis-gendered, serves to prove that academics and Progressives in society are mentally ill.
 
Our “trans” family and friends deserve our love. They deserve our attention. However, they do not need for us to endorse their delusions. I know people close to me who are in the midst of hormone therapy working toward sexual reassignment surgery at this very moment. I love them, therefore, I cannot support their decision.
 
4.6% of the American population overall has attempted suicide. That number climbs to around 15% for gays and lesbians. Transgender individuals attempt to kill themselves at an alarming rate of 41%, with the rate of suicide INCREASING post surgery.
 
90% of all suicides are due to (mostly untreated) mental illness. Trans people, I believe (and so does the head of John’s Hopkins), are suffering from a body dysmorphic disorder (being unhappy with one’s body due to “perceived flaws”) and body integrity identity disorder (which affects those who believe that they were born healthy, but are meant to be disabled and seek removal of limbs to make their dream a reality).
 
Transgender identity is a mental disorder. Like someone with depression or PTSD, we must treat them with love and kindness, but understand that they may not be well. The only difference is that “society” has told us to embrace this disorder. In fact, laws are being enacted for such an end.
 
Openly endorsing a mental disorder will not only have disastrous effects for individuals suffering with the affliction, but for society as a whole. God help us as we continue to abandon centuries of common knowledge for placating absurdity. Our ancestral beliefs are under attack, and this new “trans movement” will not be the end. Our constructs are in danger of being lost. We should do our best to keep that from happening.

I am a “Racist” and That’s Okay.

I was talking to person of color yesterday about the lack of a major church led peace rally in response to the Black Lives Matter riots, and the conversation ended with me essentially being called a racist.

How did we get there?

This person, a self-professed Christian who happens to be biracial, seemed like a person who might want to have one of those “difficult discussions” or race that supposedly never happen. I said I wanted to see church leaders hold an MLK style march on Washington where hundreds of thousands of Christians could unite with a message promoting peaceful protests.

I was then informed that there are apparently 1500 peaceful protests that I don’t hear about. I responded that I have no problem with those protests, or those who are just regular folk who believe that too many black people are being killed by police. My problem is with those at the top who pour millions of dollars into the “movement” and bus professional agitators to a location seeking to set the city on fire.

I was told that I was uninformed because I did not know about the 1500 protests. An interesting indictment, because this person 1) was unaware of the millions of dollars given to BLM by George Soros and other big money donors; 2) was unaware that unions are busing in paid agitators; 3) has watched none of the shooting videos; 4) knows very few of the names of the victims.

As I provided the statistics about how only 200-250 blacks are killed by police each year. How 70-80 of those cases are justified. Maybe 10-15% are questionable, and the remaining 10-15% are absolutely unjustified. These statistics are all available from government sites (FBI, CDC, etc.). This person actually told me that those statistics cannot be trusted.

I was even told that my opinions are based on videos, not what actually happened. Although they admitted to not watching any videos, this person believed that perhaps the evidence that I saw with my own eyes was possibly falsified. I suppose my eyes are deceiving me.

In arguing about justified shootings, I informed them that if one of my little ginger daughters pulled a gun on the police, I would expect her to be shot as well. It is NOT a racial issue.

“Have you ever lost someone close to you?” I was asked. Thankfully, I have not. However, according to this person, losing someone is extremely emotional and I cannot expect someone in pain like that to behave rationally.

I told them that if someone walked into my house and killed my family, I would more than likely be filled with rage, but I would not set fire to my innocent neighbor’s house. I understand the outrage. I get that the community may be hurting. I know that they seek justice. I do not believe that burning down a local CVS is proper exercise of the outrage and pain.

This person challenged my Christianity. They asked how a Christian could be okay with black people being killed. I told them that I am not okay with it, but there is no reasonable way to stop all of these shootings. No matter what training is implemented; no matter how many cameras are on the person and vehicles of police officers, perpetrators will still pull illegal firearms out and aim it at officers, thus, justifying shooting in self-defense.

This person told me that they have to be scared for their spouse and children because they are black, and might be shot during a routine traffic stop. I told them that out of a population of 350 million people, fewer than 100 are killed by police for “no reason.”

I also have to teach my daughters to not mouth off  and especially not pull out a weapon on a police officer. I told this person about being personally harassed by police several times in my life. I have been pulled over for no reason many times. I was sucker-punched by a black man during a basketball game and looked to the police for help as I was 17 at the time. The officer harassed me for 20 minutes, trying to get me to admit that I said the “n word,” which I did not. No witness said I did, but the officer could not believe that I was punched just for playing basketball despite a dozen or so eyewitnesses that backed up my story.

Having grown up as a pale, ginger boy in an all-black neighborhood, I got into fights. I was bullied and the victim of racism. I had to go to private school because it would have been worse for me had I gone to a public school.

This, apparently, is why I have “racism in my heart” now according to the person I was conversing with. I was a victim of racism, so now I must be racist. There is no evidence of this during my entire lifetime, yet I suppose I must be.

I mean, I also had some bad run-ins with white people. The only other white kids on my block broke into my house while we were at church and stole all of our video games and systems (and yes, there were many). In fact, I got into fistfights exclusively with white people in high school. Reflecting on this made me realize that I must also be racist toward white people. They were all men too, so I must now be a man-hating sexist. Makes sense, right?

No.

I was also told that my obvious outrage over being called a racist was more proof of my racism. The conversation ended when I asked if they had ever had a bad incident with a white person, and they simply said “not until now.”

“Wow.” I left the conversation with that one word response.

This is the never ending cycle of circular reasoning and straw man arguments that keeps people quiet about race in America today. Whenever the subject is broached, white people become racists. A conversation beginning with a call for unity and healing ended with charges of racism and personal attacks.

Unfortunately, I am too stubborn to run from the topic. I will still talk about race, and I will do so with some academic authority on the subject. I will do so with research, statistics, social theories, and actual data. I refuse to believe that one “must be black” to discuss black issues. With that logic, no blacks, Asians, Hispanics, Islanders, etc. should be able to discuss white issues, which, if you use the liberal academic talking points of the day, are all issues. The default of our society is white and male.

Women can talk about men. People of color can talk about whites. Yet the reverse is not allowed? Who is the racist? Who is ethnocentric now?

A “discussion” requires two people. If we are to solve any social problem, the “opposing” groups must engage in a dialogue. It is the basis for understanding one another. I look forward to being called “racist” more often, so long as I continue to press for conversations about tough issues. I can live with that, because I know that the Truth is on my side.

Let’s Talk About Rape

Rape culture. Have you heard of it? Are you aware that we allegedly live in one here in the US of A? Did you know that our college campuses have rates of sexual assault on par with the Rwandan genocide (23% if you take the highest possible estimations) where rape was used as a weapon.

I am sure that at least some of you are aware of the “1 in 5” statistic that claims that 20% (again, awfully close to Rwanda’s 23%) of our female college students are sexually assaulted (as well as 1.4% of men). I have looked at the study, and have several problems with it—the sample was large, but only taken from two universities, the definition of “sexual assault” was very broad, and sexual assault and rape (3.4% of victims are physically forced; 8.5% are incapacitated by a substance) are often conflated but are not the same thing.

If that is true, then it is safer to send your girls to Cancun for spring break than to class at Harvard.

It seems absurd on its face, doesn’t it? But, could it be legitimate?

I just watched a CNN documentary about this epidemic called “The Hunting Ground.” The film is full of statistics, including that 16% of college girls are sexually assaulted (lower than 20% though). It argues that 88% of these assaults go unreported, and those that are reported are ignored or outright covered up by the institution of higher learning.

They also gave statistics about the number of rape allegations vs. students expelled for rape that are truly problematic. For instance, at one school there were 203 sexual assaults reported, but only 3 students punished. Another school had 169 assaults and 0 expulsions.

Clearly, there is something untoward going on.

Then I did some quick math in my head. The 203 assaults were over a 12-year span. That’s less than 20 per year. But there are another 88% not reported, according to the statistic mentioned before. So let’s multiply by 10 to be generous. Now we are at 200 sexual assaults happening on a college campus each year. This is truly an atrocity! However, the university probably has 20-25,000 students, half of which are female. That means that 200 out of 10,000 women are sexually assaulted on this particular campus—and that’s with using higher than just 88% being unreported.

Does this sound like 16-20% to you? That’s because rather than 1 in 5, it’s more like 1 in 500.

How about the case of Melinda Manning, former Assistant Dean at the University of North Carolina? She claims that she spoke to about 100 young women about their victimization during her career (11 years, so an average of about 10 per year…again, not 20%). She claims that the university ordered her to under-report these assaults, and is an advocate for those perpetuating the 1 in 5 statistic.

However, she quit her job, and enrolled AT THE SAME UNIVERSITY in order to get another degree. This beacon of rapes where women are being assaulted in high numbers with a corrupt administration, and Dr. Manning ENROLLED THERE! Does this seem inconsistent to anyone else?

For the sake of argument, let’s just say that the 20% frequency and 88% unreported numbers are true. I will also cede that universities may very well be trying to underreport the number of sexual assaults. What are some of the ramifications?

First of all, I would love to see these universities fully investigated by outside law enforcement agency—like federal or another county. If there is a rampant cover up, then these schools should not only lose federal funding, but those involved in a cover up should be prosecuted harshly. They should never be allowed to jump from one university to another after being a part in hiding sexual assault from students and the public at large.

If the problem is ever to be corrected, victims do need to be more proactive with their reporting. I understand that there is fear, not wanting to relive the experience, and some PTSD involved. There is fear of being shamed or ignored, and these issues are absolutely justified in most cases. However, I do not understand why these young girls are calling campus security, rather than the police. As a parent, I will make sure to tell my daughters to call 9-11 for any actual emergency—which is exactly what sexual assault is. Whether afraid or not, such a huge influx of reported sexual assaults would most certainly be a method of forcing the public to look into the problem.

And since I have probably already angered some of you, I would point out that university faculty and students are overwhelmingly comprised of those who identify as politically left (Democrat/liberal/progressive). If our campuses really are bastions of sexual assault, the perpetrators are statistically more likely to be leftists. Ironically, those who seem to champion the 1 in 5 stat are predominantly leftist as well. So, the safest place to be if you are a young woman is surrounded by conservatives—but I digress.

This is a very sensitive topic, but we will never make any progress if we avoid an honest discussion about the veracity of statistics, how to prevent attacks, identifying tangible solutions to the problem, and stop shaming 1) victims of assault and 2) skeptics.

Whether 20% or 2% of our girls are raped, the numbers are too high. Ignoring the issue or making false claims in order to “raise awareness” are not helpful solutions. Would anyone treat murder with such tactics? Of course not.

I also do not believe that we live in a rape culture. Most of the men I have ever met would probably beat a rapist half to death if they ever bragged about their conquest. Moreover, the film also put out a stat that 8% of men are committing 90% of the assaults. If true, then a HUGE majority of men are not involved in sexual assault. That is not a culture of rape, but a larger-than-should-be number of bad apples.

Compare the 8% of men to the 8% of Muslims who support violent extremism. Would we say that Islam is a “terrorist culture”? Are we not told that we cannot hold all Muslims accountable for the actions of a few?

How about the 7% of Americans who are LGBT? Are we living in a “gay culture”? Of course not. In fact, we are told every day about how oppressed the LGBT community is. How they must live in the shadows in many cases for fear of reprisal for their behavior.

But rapists are so brazen that 8% of them can make the academic system a rape culture? It makes no sense.

Do your own research, and do not believe statistics (which are almost always manipulated to make a point—I know I just did it). If we really are sending our children to a hotbed for sexual assault, then we MUST take action against it. If there are legitimate findings that support the stats presented to us, then I want nothing more than for those involved to be punished in ways that would make the Inquisition seem like a Disney theme park. If not, though, then we must be big enough to realize that inciting a moral panic is the antithesis of progress.

The Cure for Legitimation Crisis

We are staring into the eyes of what Jurgen Habermas called a “legitimation crisis.” There is a fundamental mistrust of our government, churches, media, education, legal system, and other administrative agencies that are supposed to be in place to protect us from tyranny.

Regardless of our political or religious affiliations, we feel let down. This is the inescapable downfall of humanism. When we rely on human beings for anything, we will inevitably be disappointed.

Thomas Jefferson is a hero to American conservatives. He was one of the Founding Fathers who was a staunch advocate of a small centralized government and one of the authors of the Federalist Papers. He is one of the most oft-quoted Americans of all time and is one of the few Founders that has his face on not one, but two pieces of our currency.

Thomas Jefferson was also a slave owner who was notoriously promiscuous with his slaves. No matter how hard conservatives try to ignore this history, they cannot. Some of his behavior cannot be excused.

Karl Marx is a hero to American progressives. He is widely taught throughout our university system for his critiques of Capitalist greed and inequalities. His writings in the Communist Manifesto and Kapital influenced multiple nations to try their hand at Communism via Socialism. The U.S.S.R., China, Russia, Germany, North Korea, North Vietnam, Italy, France, Sweden, Denmark, Cuba, and other nations have all tried to invoke Marx’s ideas of eliminating private property and sharing in goods and services by way of government distribution. Most of these Communist states have collapsed entirely after massive genocides and totalitarian regime changes. Others are facing massive economic failures, and even peaceful Sweden has become the rape capital of the world due to their lax immigration laws.

American Marxists would simply blame these failures on the fact that these nations did not actually follow Marx’s principles. We cannot have Communism until global Capitalism collapses. Marx’s critiques of capitalism are valid. His theories of alienation, the fetishism of commodities, and the culture industry are all great and should be discussed.

Karl Marx was also extremely racist and misogynist. He was a poor husband and terrible father. By all indications, he was a rough, arrogant, and aggressive jerk who was infamously difficult to be around. He was a bum who could not keep a job and railed against capitalism while suckling from the teat of frequent collaborator Friedrich Engles, whose father was a wealthy industrialist. No matter how hard progressives try to ignore this history, they cannot.

Ronald Reagan defeated Communism, ended Carter’s recession, lowered taxes, shrank the size of government, and embodied the ideals of conservative Republicans. He is an icon whose name appears in every GOP debate.

Reagan also allowed amnesty and must be held accountable for the Iran-Contra affair.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt is considered to be one of the greatest Presidents of all time. He expanded social programs in America like never before with the New Deal.

FDR also interned the Japanese into camps and was famous for being racist. Many economists are coming to understand that his high taxation and heavy regulations on businesses actually extended the Great Depression rather than ended it.

Sure, politicians are almost always seen as being corrupt, but are church leaders any different? How many major ministers resign from their churches due to sex scandals? Catholic priests are notorious for unlawful carnal knowledge with altar boys. Jimmy Baker disappeared from public after his extra-marital affairs came to light. Mark Driscoll stepped away from his church when allegations of fraudulent book sales surfaced.

Many Christians cringe at news coverage of the Westboro Baptist Church protesting military funerals with “God Hates Fags” signs or when Pat Robertson blames 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina on homosexuality.

No media outlet is trusted—nor are any unbiased.

Our professors are ideologically opposed to the majority of Americans, but they are responsible for helping us transition from immature teenagers to responsible adults. All while coddling young twenty-somethings and keeping them “safe” from harmful subjects and reality checks.

If you are a black man in a courtroom, your fate is almost certainly sealed. We all know that the system is broken, but trying to address the problems will cost votes in an upcoming election. One cannot be elected while seeming soft on crime.

We fear the government. We fear the legal system. We are always let down by politicians and church leaders who only gain power through the cult of personality rather than through merit.

We are the fools who continually put our trust in flawed human beings. We are also flawed and want to hope that our leaders are able to withstand corruption, because we want to believe that we can do the same.

What we are left with is just more disappointment, devastation, and depression.

It has been my experience that standing behind principles is a stronger position than behind people.

My principles are predominantly Christian. I put my Faith in the only perfect being in all of the universe. I do not have to make excuses for ANY behavior exhibited by Jesus Christ. There is no literary “character arc” where Jesus went from a flawed person to a hero. He was and is God from birth to death to resurrection.

No other leader in history can make that claim. Even if you do not believe that The Bible is the literal Word of God or that it is just a collection of stories, you still must admit that there has never been so perfect a character in all of literature.

Peter, Paul, Thomas, King David, Abraham, Moses, and Noah all made a transition from flawed to Faithful. Christ never did.

Mohammed, Joseph Smith, L. Ron Hubbard, Marshall Applewhite, Jim Jones, and the entire line of Popes cannot claim to be as perfect of Christ. They were all flawed human beings that died flawed—and all remain dead.

Christian principles of loving everyone—including enemies—and treating others as you want to be treated, as well as not lying, killing, or stealing are practically universal. Can any other ideology claim the same?

We cannot judge or justify Christianity based on the actions of Christians—but we should base it on the actions of Jesus Christ. To be contrary to Christ is simply not Christian.

I am secure in believing that my worldview is based on universal perfection. That is a standard that will never let me down. I will never waver like a Marxist, a Jeffersonian, or a cult follower. I do not follow a person or god, but THE God.

I challenge you to look to your own worldview and hold it to a standard of perfection. Does it hold up? Should it hold up? If not, then why are you still clinging to a sinking ship with no life raft? There is plenty of room on our boat.

The Reality of Transgender Children

What would you do if your child was confused about their gender identity?

This was a question posed to a group of college students, and I found their responses to be quite interesting. Answers ranged from “I don’t know” to “I would love them no matter what,” which is quite refreshing. Some of the more compelling arguments were about the nature vs. nurture controversy that continues to rage in both biology and sociology.

The question becomes even more complex when the concept of “intersex” comes into the equation. For those who do not know, intersex is a hermaphroditic condition in which a baby is born with traces of both male and female genitalia and chromosomes.

In the past, doctors have taken it upon themselves to assign a sex to the baby through surgical procedures, but controversy has been brewing as many of these children grow up identifying with the opposite gender from what they were assigned. Most do not even know that they were intersex until later in life. A movement has been gaining traction that supports NOT going through with such a surgery and allowing the individual to make their own decisions later on in life—this is a position that I certainly find to be reasonable.

That being said, some non-intersex children have begun to show transgender patterns from a very early age. So the question, restated, is what would you do if your 8 year old boy decided to play with girl toys, grow their hair long, and wear dresses? We have fairly limited options.

  1. Would you ignore or steer them away from such behavior? For many people, this is a valid response. We take away Barbie and put GI Joe in their hands. We give them trucks and make them watch action movies. We buy them footballs and make sure they are wearing your team’s jersey. We believe it to be a phase, and something that we, as parents, can control. We have final say over the life of an 8 year old. If we can teach them math and science, then we can teach gender norms, right?

Except that there is a danger that our child will not pass out of the phase. In that case, we spent many of their formative years telling them that their interests are wrong. We tell them that we do not actually approve of, let alone appreciate who they are. We run the risk of creating a rift between us and our child that can have lasting repercussions.

  1. Would you totally buy into the lifestyle? This is another popular and valid response. We buy dresses, Barbies, and makeup for them. We let them watch My Little Pony and Tinkerbell. We tell them that we love them and give them free reign in their decisions. Some parents, and these are extreme cases, actually give their children hormones that will make their identities more permanent. We want our children to be happy, so we are fine with leaving them to their own devices, right?

Except that there is yet another danger that this actually IS a phase. For those parents who feed their kids hormones and prepare for gender reassignment surgery, there is the possibility that later in life those kids will regret the decisions they made as a child. There is also a risk that our children will be picked on, bullied, and shamed for going against the norm. Violence against trans teenagers, both external and self-inflicted, is an epidemic in the community. There is a real danger in embracing our differences.

This dilemma is even more complicated for Christian parents. We believe that God created us, yet we also believe that engaging in homosexual or transgender behavior is a sin. How could God create a boy who wants to be a girl? Did He make a mistake?

I would argue, and this is NOT going to be a popular view, that deviance such as this may be 1. An anomaly and/or 2. A mental disorder.

The percentage of transgendered Americans currently sits at about .3% of the population. When 99.7% of a population of ANYTHING conforms to a norm, then that minor population is, by definition, an anomaly. Trans is deviant.

Many mental problems happen by chromosomal imbalances in the womb, by some sort of trauma, or through socialization. Many of the LGBT people I know were sexually abused at some point in their lives.

Moreover, there are similar cases to that of transgender. Trans-able occurs when someone with a healthy body believes that they are handicapped. Some even go as far as to have their limbs severed in order to better fit with their own body image. Is that really any different than wanting to cut off a penis in order to conform to a gendered body identity?

If being transgender is a form of body dysmorphia, is it a form of child abuse to encourage it? Should we let it go untreated? We would step in if our child was anorexic, right?

I also find it interesting how similar the conversations about a transgender child are to conversations about a kid who is autistic or has Down’s Syndrome.

I am not comparing the two issues, only our responses to those issues.

I know several parents of special needs children. From the outside looking in, we ask ourselves what we would do if our child has special needs. We wonder if we could handle the difficulty of intensive special treatment and care of that child. Most special needs kids just want to be treated normally, but we know that other kids will not understand their condition. We know that other children can be mean and may even bully them.

However, if you ask ANY parent of a special needs child, they will tell you the same thing. They love their kids unconditionally, and often learn about themselves through dealing with their children.

So what would you do if your child was showing transgender traits?

If they were born intersex, they may only be trans based on the gender choices that YOU made for them at birth.

If they are just going through a phase, we must be cautious about the ramifications of our responses to their behavior. We may actually get in the way of a natural self-identification process that could lead to suicide.

If they are truly transgender, we may just have to love them unconditionally and hope for the best. However, our religious and traditional beliefs have been challenged and that creates massive cognitive dissonance.

What would you do?