Next he (Jesus) said to them (the Pharisees), ‘Is it lawful…to do good or to do harm, to save or to destroy a soul?’ (Mark 3:3-4)
Previously, I’ve written about the vast relief I’ve been able to experience since coming out as transgender, and taking steps to improve my health and well-being as a transgender person. Since a number of Christian faiths, Jehovah’s Witnesses among them, profess to believe that such steps are inherently wrong, and somehow offensive to God, I thought it might be beneficial to have a closer look at one of the most typical steps nearly every transgender person will sooner or later consider: hormone replacement therapy, or HRT.
To be perfectly clear, HRT is not a therapy unique to transgender persons. For example, it is often considered in treating certain problematic symptoms of estrogen loss, especially in menopausal women. While not as commonly referred to as “HRT”, hormone treatments are similarly sometimes recommended for men to combat the effects of lowered testosterone levels. In such cases, HRT comes with both potential benefits and risks, but frequently the benefits win out, since hormone loss in itself also poses the risk of sometimes serious negative effects.
It’s true that in the case of transgender persons, we are not usually combating hormone loss, but we are instead combating a major hormonal imbalance, which we were unfortunately saddled with from birth. And yet I’m sure some of you will immediately be inclined to say — with no legitimate basis in scripture, mind you — that what I am calling an imbalance is the hormonal balance God intended for me to have. Really? Then why, six months into HRT (finally, and I say, thank Jehovah), do I feel better than I have in at least ten years, if not perhaps, my entire life? Why have I only now, finally been able to stay completely off of antidepressants, which I’m sorry to say never had more than a limited benefit for me, and begin moving unflinchingly forward in my recovery from serious setbacks in my life, setbacks that I might add were entirely due to personal life traumas, and ensuing depression, anxiety and PTSD, that all occurred well before I ever decided to “come out” as transgender?
There can be no argument that poor hormonal balance can absolutely wreak havoc with both our mental and physical well-being. You might even be excused for having assumed that the right hormonal balance would be dictated solely by a person’s observable sex characteristics at birth, or to be more blunt, by their genitals. But all the actual evidence, not least of all, the actual experiences reported by so many transgender persons, including myself, plainly suggest that for transgender persons, that is just so very obviously not the case.
Would I have better weathered the storms that arose in my life, without suffering nearly as much or for so long, had I already had, what for me, is very clearly the proper female balance of hormones by the time all of those things occurred? I cannot, of course, go back and relive those days to prove the point for a certainty, but based on the clarity and vitality I feel now that I can plainly see in retrospect was absent then, I certainly believe that I would have.
More to the point, I know what I am experiencing now, and that this is unquestionably the right balance for me — for both my body and my whole being. There is a reason I consistently identified, not as a boy, but as a girl from the earliest age I can remember, and though I hid that fact from others for the greater portion of my life, whatever biological basis exists for that being my life experience, for that very same reason, so very far from being “wrong”, HRT is doing for me, and other transgender persons, exactly what it is medically meant to do — it is helping to correct a long-standing condition that had previously been causing a wealth of health problems, both mental and physical, in our lives.
If any of you can still believe that to be “wrong”, I suggest you seriously reconsider the context of the verses captioned at the outset, lest you risk being Pharisaical, rather than Christian, in your thinking.