How my Christian faith led me to love my daughter ‘ s transgender classmate

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I’m a politically conservative
Christian. Six years ago, God blessed
my husband and me with a beautiful
daughter. Like all parents, we want
to do everything we can to keep her
safe.
A few years ago, I found myself
caught up in an article on Facebook
about legislation to block

transgender people from using
bathrooms of their identified
gender. The article cited safety
concerns, arguing that pedophiles
would sneak into bathrooms, dressed
as the opposite sex, to hurt our
children. I bought this hook, line and
sinker. After all, I wanted to keep
my daughter safe.
Now, my daughter is in school, and
one of our favorite families has a
sweet girl (who was physically born
a boy). Our daughter is not
concerned that this little girl used to
be a little boy; she’s a girl, and they
both like to play dress-up. This
family has strong Catholic roots;
they do not fit the caricature of
experimental parents forcing a new
gender identity on their kid. Rather,
just like my husband and me, they
want to keep their child safe.
This is when the foundations of my
Methodist faith kicked in, and I
started using reason and research to
answer my questions. Here’s what I
learned:
1. Why does a family allow a child to be
transgender?
Parents aren’t forcing transition on
their kids; they’re helping save their
kids’ lives. Transgender children
have a significantly higher rate of
mental health issues and suicide
attempts than nontransgender
children, according to a study in the
Journal of Adolescent Health, because
of the stigma and bullying they
face. Kids who are allowed to
transition, however, have mental
health similar to their
nontransgender peers.
Parents meet with doctors and
counselors and go through extensive
sessions before their child begins to
transition, according to guidelines
from the University of California at
San Francisco. Young transgender
children like my daughter’s friend
do not have surgery to change their
physical anatomy.

2. Is my child really in danger of
transgender people in the bathroom?
This is where fearmongers love to
stir things up, and it’s what I
initially reacted to on Facebook. But
I’ve learned that the last
thing transgender people want is
conflict or recognition that their
physical anatomy does not match
their gender identity. Think about it:
We don’t know who around us is
transgender because transgender
folks don’t reveal their private parts
to us in public restrooms.
Further, it’s already illegal to peep,
molest or assault others. Regardless
of gender, the best way to keep all
children safe is to teach them about
body awareness, strangers and what
to do if they are in danger.
3. Why can’t transgender children just
use a special bathroom?
Special bathrooms remind me of the
not-so-distant past when we labeled
restrooms “White” and “Colored.”
Separate but equal is not equal.
When a transgender child is forced
to use a separate bathroom, it allows
others to discover that they are
transgender. If we want to keep all
of our children safe, then we need to
allow transgender children the
privacy of simply being a boy or
girl and not that transgender boy or
transgender girl.
So how do you handle locker rooms
where your kid changes in front of
others? I’ve learned that many
schools have private changing areas,
and many children (regardless of
gender) change in bathroom stalls.
There is not a universal answer to
this but, where resources allow, I
think all of our children would
prefer to change in privacy.
4. Should my concern for my child’s
safety override the safety concerns for
a transgender child?
If I am living by fear, then I am
always going to respond with “my
child is more important.” If I am
living by faith, then I realize that
God loves all of his children equally.
If I start applying reason, I see that
my fear has been fanned by people
who are focused on discrimination
and judgment and not on actual
facts.
5. What if I just don’t believe in this
transgender thing?
I don’t think you have to believe that
transgender is a real identity to
agree that all of our children deserve
to be safe. Please ask yourself: What
am I afraid of? Can I find data that
supports it? I don’t think you
can, because I’ve tried.
As a Christian, I look to the Bible for
guidance. One verse that strikes me
is from Luke 18:16: “Let the little
children come to me, and do not
hinder them, for the kingdom of God
belongs to such as these.” Note that
this doesn’t say, “Let only the
nontransgender children come to
me.”
Once I started applying my
Methodist reasoning, I had to face
the fact that I had been living in
fear and not in faith, reacting to
something I didn’t understand. God
has blessed me with friendship with
a family that is facing the challenges
of protecting a child simply because
she is transgender. As a fellow
Christian, how can I do less than
join them in protecting her and all
of our children?
Yvette LaCroix is a retired financial
industry executive in Dallas. She
wrote this column for
TexasGOPVote.com.
Email: Ylacroix3000@gmail.com
Credit: Dallas News
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