Hey all, thank you all for all your answers. It is really nice to get so much input from so many people. Thanks a lot! In the following I will try to comment on all you said chronologically, so bear with my, this might be a bit long...
sparrowdown. As I said before, this is a big issue for me. I will definitely keep in mind what you wrote, thank you!
jwfacts. Thank you for the link. I've just read the beginning of it, since it's quite long I will read the rest later. As I'm not transgender myself this particular issue has not affected my personally. It was just a trigger that started a sh*tload of questions all bustling about in my head (excuse the language, but this is just exactly what it feels like). I'm just very confused right now...Thanks for your invitation to meet up. Unfortunately, I'm right on the other side of the globe and it does not look as if I'd make it to Australia very soon. Also, I'm very scared of spiders which might lead to never visit it at all :D ;) (though I've been told it's wonderful there)
LisaRose. Exactly that was also my impression after talking to the bethelite and after reading the posts here. I like your comparison to diabetes. As you said, it seems extremely cruel!
Giordano. First of all thank you for your encouragement.I was not aware of the child abuse issue. The numbers you gave are scary! I knew about the two witness rule but I wasn't aware of the fact that child abuse was also handled that way. I don't want to think about what those children had (or maybe even still have?!) to go through! This is really alarming...
Anders Andersen. well, truth be told I always had a slight problem with the old testament. Sure, I get most of it & I get most of the rules and why they had to obey them. But the ones you quoted are hard. You gave the interpretation (if I got that right) that either the God who created them is not a loving one or that they are not of divine but of human origin. I already asked myself the same question - honestly? I could not answer it. My faith is based on two premisses: That God is love and that the bible is his word. Considering the verses you gave, only one of the premisses can be true - and this brings me into a great dilemma... also a reason I'm here right now. It is of course a possibility that there is another explanation that we can't grasp yet. But this is a highly philosophical topic that would need some talking over while drinking a good glass of wine or a nice cup of tea :D talking this over in this thread would probably go a bit to far I think. But you sure got me thinking... Maybe we can come back to that later or via private messages, if you'd like.
Dunedain. Yes, I'm very much enjoying this discussion. And Im very thankful for everyone participating in it. Thank you also for your personal experience. I can imagine that hearing something like that can have a very imprinting effect. Though I can understand that someone might say that being homosexual is against God's laws I don't like the way people judge others. The thing is: If I PERSONALLY think that it is not the right thing to do than I PERSONALLY should not do it - I should not point on others but rather work on myself - we all have enough things to work on.
freddo. Though I'm not sure how serious your comment was meant by you I actually liked your idea. Who knows - I might actually do that. Thank you!
Half banana. Thanks for your input. I especially liked your last sentence, the one about seeing the other side of the coin before taking the leap. That's what I try to do... And I deeply hope that it will whelp to get rid of my confusion right now.
Vanderhoven7. Thanks for your words. I will try to read and understand the bible myself, though I'm not quite sure where or how to start that project.
Lieu. Well, that's how my problem started with this issue. I could not find scriptures that really support what that brother told me and because of that their regulations just seemed very "men-made" which was weird since they always try to support all of their rules with bible principles. Also about the insemination thing: I thought the same thing! Mary's pregnancy is basically artificial insemination - at least it is not natural... What was also surprising about this topic to me was that the JWs values families so high. Why deny a couple the wish for a family of their own if they cannot have it the natural way due to medical issues?!
LoveUniHateExams. well, the transgender issue was just a trigger that started a lot of thinking and confusion...
Vanderhoven7. Before I got in contact with the JWs I wasn't a member of a church. You said that it is possible to worship God on our own, without a group or church of any kind and I think you a right to some degree (John 4:23, 24). But how would you see or explain a verse like Hebrews 10: 24, 25 ("And let us consider one another so as to incite to love and fine works not forsaking our meeting together, as some have the costume, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the day drawing near"). I would be very interested in hearing your personal thoughts on this.
Heartsafire. As you said I already made my dedication to God and that's exactly why I want to dig deeper and really see if becoming a part of this org is what He wants me to do. Thanks also for giving me the YouTube channel. I will definitely check her out!
To all of you who participated (and who will participate) in this discussion: Thank you so much. When starting this topic I was afraid no one would answer or I would only get "leave them"-kind of answers but all of you have been very supportive and the variety of different ideas and perspective is really inspiring. I'm still very confused, though. Thanks for helping me and pointing things out that I was not aware of.