Help needed: transgender people and other unclear topics

by TeaBiscuit 51 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • TeaBiscuit

    Hello all,

    first of all, I am not quite sure whether this is the right place to ask my questions. If this is not really appropriate, please tell me in advance, but I really did not know who to turn to, so I thought why not ask the Internet... Now, I know many of you are apostates and I'm not really looking for "leave it all behind you" answers, but really for experiences, thoughts and ideas... As well as maybe some verses if you can think of any.

    anyway, first things first. Since this is very anonymous and I'd like to keep it that way, I will not give you my name, but still, I think some background info might be helpful. I'm 22 years old, I was not raised in the truth and I am currently an unbaptised publisher. My first contact to JW was when I was 19 - that was also the time I started studying the bible with them. By now I've completed the bible teach book and the God's love book. None of my family members are in the truth or even interested in it. I personally decided that I want to get baptised some months ago and therefore started preparing the questions. I'm not finished with that, but I will be pretty soon. In my personal planning this summer was the time I wanted to finally get baptised.

    but it is an enormous step. I truly love Jehovah and I want to do what is right in his eyes (do you guys say that in English? It sounds a bit weird to me - I'm not a native speaker). In the last few weeks some questions came to my mind that I need answered before I get baptised. As I said: I think this is a big thing and I want to be 100% sure that this is what God wants me to (however, I do think baptism is something that God intended for us - I just want to be sure that this particular baptism is right)

    now for my question: a few weeks ago I started to ask myself how the organisation sees transgender people, and - more importantly - how Jehovah sees them. I tried to find out about it online in the watchtower online library but I did not have any luck. There was only one article and it wasn't possible to read it online. So much for that. Then, one week ago I went to bethel. As a lucky (?) coincident one brother who works there brought the topic up as an example. What he told me shocked me. He said that a transgender person - even if they already had the surgery - has to identify, dress and behave like a person of the gender he/she was born with. Although I don't know anyone who is transgender and I am not transgender myself this seemed extremely cruel to me. I am lucky that I was born in a body I can identify with. If someone was to tell me today that I would have to live like a man from now on I would be devastated, and I think that's what transgender people feel that come to the hall...

    my question for you guys is: have you any experience with transgender people in the congregation? Have you had to address them as Mr. if they were born a boy? Did someone oppose this instruction? How did it go? Generally, any experience would be interesting for me to read... I just could not force someone to dress/behave/act/be addressed as something different than she/he identifies with. As I said before, this seems cruel to me. On top of that I don't see any biblical nor logical evidence that this is what God intended... (On the contrary, in my opinion it is more important what you identify as than what your biological sex was when you were born)

    this topic has me thinking for weeks now... And since this particular handling of a situation seemed just plainly wrong to me I started asking myself if there might be other things that are not as they should be... (As I said before, please do not just say "leave this behind you, they're stupid" or something but give constructive input)

    well, my thoughts are a big blur right now and I hope I have written down anything that has been bothering me... Sorry for the very long post. I hope someone can help me. If you've made it this far in reading what I've written than let me thank you for bearing with me and for your patience.

    take care,


  • snowbird

    And since this particular handling of a situation seemed just plainly wrong to me I started asking myself if there might be other things that are not as they should be...

    Hi and welcome.

    With the above quote, you just answered your questions.

    Please trust your instincts.

    I left the JW's some time ago, so I know nothing of their stance on the transgendered.

    Neither do I know any transgendered person/s.

    However, I do know that they are not what they seem.

    If you truly want to know what you're getting yourself into, JWfacts can help you out a lot.



  • TeaBiscuit

    Thank you for your comment, Sylvia.

    Still, I would be very interested in hearing other people's advise and/or experience.

  • steve2

    Fundamentalist, patriarchal religious groups take a hardline on any sexual orientation other than heterosexuality. At best they are patronizing about transgendered individuals, at worst, disgustingly judgemental.

    You will search in vain for any enlightened and developmentally informed discussion from any such group on the topic of the varieties of sexuality. JWs are not alone in the ignorance they spout on the matter.

    You were understandably shocked by what the Bethelite told you. Welcome to the world of fundamentalist judgementalism.

    If you should still decide to get baptized into the organization, you cannot say you were not warned by your own wise instincts.

  • TeaBiscuit
    Well Steve, it is like that - I really do think that God wants us to be baptised. I do not want to give up my faith... And there are many thinks I particularly like about the JW - things I did not experience in other churches... I just want to make sure it is the right thing to do. It would be very interesting to hear if anyone has made experience in opposing the rule of living as the gender he/she was born with or if anyone has opposed the rule of addressing someone as male/female who identified as the other. If a woman would come into my hall and I would find out she was born a man, I would still see her as a woman and I don't think I could do differently...
  • cofty

    TeaBiscuit - Most of us here have lost all of our family and friends because of the JW religion. Some have lost their marriage and access to their children. Some have seen relatives die as a result of their insane blood policy. Many have suffered abuse by pedophiles that were known to the elders and protected from the authorities to protect the reputation of the organisation.

    Please don't come here and ask us to answer your question but not criticise your love for a mind-controlling dehumanising cult.

    Despite the current hysteria in university campuses, gender dysmorphia affects about 0.005% to 0.014% of males and 0.002% to 0.003% of females. If you get baptised their policy on the rights of transexuals will be the least of your problems.

  • Incognito

    Gender change is not something that is typically discussed within the organization.

    Any type of alteration to a person such as tattoos and piercings including ears, is not generally accepted as WT had years ago considered those things as a form of unnatural mutilation. I do not recall WT ever officially changing its position on that matter although I could be mistaken. Little maybe said if the person already had those things before becoming a JW but depending on the congregation elders, if a JW congregant obtained a tattoo or had their child's ears pierced, they could be taken aside to be counseled.

    Homosexuality is routinely degraded and is considered within the JW religion as an illness so acceptance as to a person's sexual orientation if not heterosexual, is not accepted.

    Females are not permitted to wear pants to the KH (and to some, not truly acceptable anywhere). Likewise, males are not to dress in female clothing, even if for a costume party or a part in a play.

    Although I haven't directly answered your question, I think you may appreciate that a gender modification would not be acceptable.

    TeaBiscuit said:

    that was also the time I started studying the bible with them.

    Did you actually study the bible or only WT books that referred to various bible scriptures that were chosen to appear to support the point the book was attempting to make?  Perhaps you may wish to go back to re-read those scriptures including the chapter before and after the chosen scripture, to verify what was referred to, is in context.

  • nonjwspouse

    as Icognito said

    Did you really study the bible or only WT books that referred to various scriptures that were chosen to appear to support the point the book was attempting to make?

    This is a crucial point. Your instinct is telling you to look farther in to this organization. Your goal of this summer is too soon. You have a lot of research to do when making such a life altering ( the control the organization has over your life, your family/friends/self, etc etc is enormous.) step such as baptism. When making a step as big as baptism into an organization that will from that point on enforce loyalty to that organization, then it is wise to learn as much as you can about that organization. You have barely only scratched the surface. So far you have listened to the "public" "pleasant" "love bombing" presentation of the organization. This does not include the knowladge of the deeper rules, regulations, exhausting stresses, and enforced group think.

  • TeaBiscuit

    Cofty. I do get your point and I did not want to upset or even hurt any of you. With my comment I just wanted to illustrate my concerns and feelings in order to show you what's currently on my mind and why I am here. Really, I am sorry if what I said was not appropriate or if it hurt someone, that was not my intention. With my comment I only wanted to show that my personal belief in God is important to me and that I don't want to give up spirituality. I hope this makes it a bit clearer, I did not want to insult anyone...

    also, I did not ask this question because I thought it might be important at some time in my life. As I tried to state before it was just the starting point of asking myself if this is the right thing for me and if this is what God wants from me.

    incognito. Thanks for your explanations. This is no big surprise to me given the things the bethelite told me. However, he did not support his statement with verses - mainly because it was a very non-formal convo and it was just an example for a completely different topic...

    To answer your question: I studied the bible by studying the What does the Bible really teach? book and the Keep Yourself in God's Love book. I also did some minor research on specific topics like Christmas and birthdays and such.

  • redvip2000

    Although I don't know anyone who is transgender and I am not transgender myself this seemed extremely cruel to me.

    And this doesn't get some gears in your brain turning and reflecting on this? Of course it's cruel, but more importantly, how is it that god allows this type of cruelty in an organization that supposedly represents a God of love? Also, how is it that this God of love creates humans that genetically can be born with the wrong sex, and then creates rules to ostracize them

    At some point, you will need to face the reality that these things simply don't make sense. And once you do, the path of logic and common sense will lead you to the same place where most of us are already.

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