One of the foremost Christian experts on gender and sexuality, Mark Yarhouse, will tell a conference on sexual identity this week that the response to people experiencing gender dysphoria should be one of compassion.

“I think for the church, whenever we talk about this topic, we think of the most extreme presentations, the most extreme interventions. And in social media, that’s really what’s presented to us. ‘Here’s what it means to be transgender.’ And that’s just actually not accurate.”

Yarhouse, from Regent University in Virginia in the United States, describes “gender dysphoria” as “a distress that [a person] experiences because their biological sex and gender identity don’t align.”

“If you think of it on a continuum, some people live in a way that’s in keeping with their biological sex and you would just never know [about their dysphoria]. Other people, on the other side of the spectrum, adopt a cross gender identity and they pursue the most invasive procedures of hormonal treatments and sex reassignment surgery.

“I think for the church, whenever we talk about this topic, we think of the most extreme presentations, the most extreme interventions. And in social media, that’s really what’s presented to us. ‘Here’s what it means to be transgender.’ And that’s just actually not accurate.”

Watch our interview with Yarhouse:

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Understanding Gender Dysphoria

Mark Yarhouse

Available from Koorong

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