Catholic transphobia

Catholics are taught to hate and fear trans folk. US Catholic bishops have signed a letter seeing us not as individuals but as some nebulous threat: The movement today to enforce the false idea—that a man can be or become a woman or vice versa—is deeply troubling. It compels people to either go against reason—that is, to agree with something that is not true—or face ridicule, marginalization, and other forms of retaliation.

Most of us just want to be left alone. We shun recognition because of hatred like this letter preaches. The letter casts the transphobes as victims, of unnamed “retaliation”, which justifies them in dehumanising and oppressing us.

I never asked anyone to “agree with something that is not true”. Instead, I ask them to recognise my humanity, and my right to pursue my desires, as long as I harm no-one else. That means treating me with courtesy. Some may think me a man, but I ask them not to make that obvious every time we meet: so they should use my name and correct pronouns. Why should these old men appoint themselves judges of what is “true”? Rigid consistent notions of truth leave no room for diversity or complexity, for the love and life which bishops should nurture. Society is in flux. Rather than clinging to their old ideas of Truth they should be open to how the Holy Spirit moves in humanity.

For they are deeply conservative, and any radical feminist should avoid saying anything which might encourage them. We come together to join our voices- pompous, portentous rubbish showing fear and anger- on a more fundamental precept of our shared existence, namely, that human beings are male or female and that the socio-cultural reality of gender cannot be separated from one’s sex as male or female. Gender cannot be separated from sex. God has ordained, according to these old fools, that women must be feminine, men masculine, according to their definitions not any sane psychology of humanity.

They use positive words, then weasel words which eat away all the love. They only fool themselves that they are loving. A person’s discomfort with his or her sex, or the desire to be identified as the other sex, is a complicated reality that needs to be addressed with sensitivity and truth. Each person deserves to be heard and treated with respect; it is our responsibility to respond to their concerns with compassion, mercy and honesty. “Truth”; “Honesty”- no, their ridiculous insistance that children conform to their ideas of gender. So there can be no sensitivity, no comprehension of complicated reality, no respect, compassion or mercy.

Their wicked ideas of gender must be enforced rigorously on children, they say. Children especially are harmed when they are told that they can “change” their sex or, further, given hormones. Whip the sissy out of that boy! It’s the only “loving” way! Note the scaremongering of “given hormones”- children getting puberty blockers is incredibly rare. There is a stupid and arrogant insistence that they know more about medicine than doctors: we urge our medical institutions to honor the basic medical principle of “first, do no harm”- as if the whole letter was not urging harm.

We desire the health and happiness of all men, women, and children. A lie, immediately contradicted. Therefore, we call for policies that uphold the truth of a person’s sexual identity as male or female, and the privacy and safety of all. No, not privacy and safety, but the enforcement of their idea of truth.

I hate their self-deluded claims to virtue. Desire health and happiness, forsooth, or “authentic support” of trans people to reject our God-given nature. It is a wonderful example of delusion, these ridiculous Catholics, joining with the tiny “Anglican Church of North America”, a splinter group claiming 134,000 members in the US and Canada but with an eejit styling himself “Archbishop and Primate”. Oh, here’s some fool calling himself “Melchizedek”, after the Eternal priest. He is Orthodox, and claims 90,000 members in the US. The “North American Lutheran Church” is another recent splinter group, claiming 141,000 members who cannot stay in communion with Lutherans in the US. There is a token Muslim who styles himself “imam” and has founded his own Islamic Society of the Washington Area. They are all pathetic and ridiculous, yet their malice is all the stronger for their claims to “Love”, and they have some influence on poor fools, who they would order to torture children in the name of “Truth”.

Lest we forget, they hate gay people too. They affirm our commitment to marriage as the union of one man and one woman and as the foundation of society. I fear for their victims; yet they are nervous and afraid. They would not bother with such bombastic drivel if they did not know that doctors and parents are accepting children as they really are, and trans people are treated with growing acceptance and respect.

Oh, google the original if you must.

10 thoughts on “Catholic transphobia

  1. I’d read about this the other day. Being the Cafeteria Catholic that I am, I decided to pass up this unappetizing offering. This group of bishops does not necessarily speak for the whole Church, and it seems they’ve cooked up something from a bad recipe. I would refer them to the 4000-year-old case of Galileo, and how wrong the Church was to conflate their stringent church law with actual science. Galileo was given a life sentence for telling the truth. I refuse to be imprisoned for my gender identity by anyone – including myself – anymore.


    • Indeed. There is a strong tradition of the laity ignoring the more fuckwitted pronouncements of the hierarchy. Most Catholics use birth control, for example. The trouble is that they ignore it when they would suffer personally from it, but not when others would. The bishops’ power to say “Do this” is weak, but their power to say “Despise and condemn those people” is stronger.


    • OOPs! I see I added an extra zero. Galileo lived 400 years ago. 4000 years would certainly turn Christianity on its ear. Oh well, so much for my thinking I was perfect yesterday. 🙂


  2. I know more than a little about this topuc Clare as I grew up under the church’s spell and now regard their theology on this subject as being permanently stuck in the 13th century. But the answer is so simple: a bunch of old men in robes with no clear understanding of what some supreme being thinks about this topic cannot possibly presume to be the last word on it. Religious people with no ability to think beyond the tip of their nose are no match for what must actually lie behind the curtain.


    • Quaker phraseology makes an improvement. Rather than talking of God’s Will, which sounds eternal and unchanging, we talk of “God’s loving purposes”, which are particular and contingent on the circumstances. Aristotle or Thomas Aquinas cannot be the last word on anything.


  3. Claire,
    The hierarchy of the Catholic Church is a group of older men who are unable to keep up with the current science and who are stuck in an age that is long gone. Closer to the people, the clergy are more in tune with Francis’ admonition to love all our brothers and sisters including those that are LGBT. Just this week at our Christmas Mass, our pastor spoke that the church must accept all of our brothers and sisters. James Martin, in America magazine, has argued that the church is not doing what it should for the LGBT community. I have spoken to two priest in confession about the problems my bi-gender nature presents me in life. Neither accepted my bi-gender nature as fact and did NOT tell me that it was a problem in and of itself. Christ accepted all of the human race if they were willing to come to him. It is up to us to practice what Jesus taught us even if the hierarchy is still centuries behind our science. I believe Galileo provides us with a meaningful precedence for what will eventually happen.


    • Welcome, Leann, and thank you for commenting. I found this on James Martin, whose book was published by Jesuits and who says he does not criticise the hierarchy’s teaching. Robert Sarah says the Church’s Message of Love is celibacy outside straight marriage in a Catholic church, and that Catholics have a duty to remind gays and lesbians that homosexual acts are sinful. What? Every time they see one of us? We would be driven out. Martin wants to bring us to celibacy and rejection of our gender identity, but slowly, like reeling a fish in. Robert Sarah would snap the line every time, perhaps intentionally; Martin might have a chance of landing some fish, keeping us in his church; but there is always the hook in the mouth, and both want to take the fish out of water. That is not what Jesus meant by “fishers of men”. Jesus wanted us alive.


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