Bill O’Reilly, Megyn Kelly Converse About “Transgenderism”
My parents recently told me about a conversation Bill O’Reillly had with Megyn Kelly about “transgenderism.” Since I don’t subscribe to a cable or satellite service, I didn’t see this conversation when it happened, but I tried to find it on Youtube after the fact. Unfortunately, I can’t seem to find it. But this was their brief account of the conversation. Keep in mind, this is now second-hand information:
-Megyn Kelly asserted that “transgender” people were not the same as those who experience “gender fluidity”
-Bill O’Reilly mainly agreed with her
My parents perceived O’Reilly to be “coming around” to understand some of the facts, whereas his previous opinions have been biased against “trangender” people. Their perception of the conversation was that Kelly was trying to explain that being “transgender” is a real thing, whereas others who “pretend” to be “transgender” are inadvertently hurting those who are actually “transgender.”
In this post, I’m going to break down the difference between “Transgenderism” (Which is really Intersex), “Gender Fluidity“, and Personality traits.
Gender Fluidity is a Social Movement; “Transgenderism” is a Medical Condition
I’ll probably get a lot of flack for saying this, and I’ve already said it in another post, but “Gender fluidity” is not the same thing as “transgenderism” (and I typically don’t call the condition “transgenderism”, but hear me out for a moment). I agree with Kelly’s point on this matter, and I think it speaks volumes that it is finally starting to get universal recognition. People are no longer just lumping everyone who is non-conforming into a category of “freaks” and moving on. Admittedly, this is exactly what I did before I understood my own disorder. I would never have considered myself “transgender” then. It’s good to see mainstream media people talking about the condition as an actual medical condition.
But as the disorder gets more universal recognition, and as I alluded to in my other post, there is a darker side of this “progress” we have made. There is a social movement that is pushing for “gender fluidity”, or the concept that you can change genders. That you can be “whatever you feel like”, *whenever* you feel like. That you might be something in between a boy and a girl.
There are several points to contend here. I’ll tackle them one at a time.
1) “Gender fluidity” argues you can be “whatever you feel like.”
FALSE. For most people, “whatever they feel like” *is* what they are supposed to be. For me, I felt like a man and I am a man (even if my body exhibited predominantly female characteristics before I received treatment). But my existence as a “transgender” man does not mean that all people who say they “feel like” some gender are supposed to be that gender. I can only imagine the pain and anguish that a person must go through to feel like they are supposed to be something they are *not* actually supposed to be. I’ve never had to deal with addiction, but I know plenty of people who have. If you “feel like” something that isn’t God’s plan for you, then living “however you feel” is fundamentally wrong.
At the same time, no one knows what gender you are supposed to be but you, and God. It is up to you and God to work this out. It takes prayer, and it takes a lot of patience and the willingness to live however God intended you to live. The rules of the world may say you can be whatever you feel like, but God created you to be *you*, and as Dr. Seuss put it, “no one is youer than you, and that is truer than true.” You may have to struggle through some feelings in order to live the life you were always meant to live. But living the life God designed you to live will make you *way happier* than living the life you thought would be easier, or you thought you “felt like”.
Finally, being “transgender” is not the same as “feeling like” you are supposed to be another gender. Being “transgender” is *knowing* that you are supposed to be another gender, and that your spirit is that other gender, and always will be.
2) “Gender fluidity” argues you can be a gender “whenever you feel like” it
FALSE. Gender does not change. It is not fluid. You cannot be a man one day and a woman the next. An eternal spirit inhabits your body. It will live forever. It has gender. Gender is an eternal characteristic, which you have had from the moment of creation. You are *you*. You will *always* be you!
I went to a youth group in the city when I was first starting my transition. It was for kids and adults 16-24. We would share information about our week during the first few minutes of the meeting, and then we would do an activity. Most, even if they were “questioning” their gender, were consistent. Week by week they would come in and say that they felt like they might be an (insert gender here), because of XYZ, and that they had known this for a long time (most since they were toddlers), but weren’t sure if they wanted to make the big jump and live as an (insert gender here). Then there was another person. I will call her S, and use female pronouns, because she asked for female pronouns more often than male pronouns. Confused? Let me explain.
S came in dressed in a beautiful red dress, high heels, long, wavy brown hair with highlights, make-up…*definitely* a stereotypical female. She asked for female pronouns during our opening exercises. She giggled, and used stereotypical feminine gestures, and acted like one would expect a “gender-conforming” girl to act. Then, before our activity began and after we had finished our pizza, she suddenly arose, walked out of the room, went to the bathroom with her backpack, and came out with a shaved head (her hair must have been a wig), a man’s t-shirt, gym shorts that went below the knee, men’s tennis shoes, and no make-up. Then she asked to be referred to as P, and to have male pronouns.
This, Megyn Kelly was trying to explain, is not “transgenderism.” This is gender fluidity in action. This is a person doing whatever she felt like. Is there anything wrong with that? Being a libertarian, I believe everyone has a right to do whatever they want, even if they’re making a mistake, as long as they’re not hurting anyone. Additionally, if this person was questioning her gender and was using this safe environment to find out what her true self was, then fine. But at the same time, I wouldn’t encourage this as a permanent way of life. Because as I already pointed out, the Lord has a plan. While you figure out what that plan is, experimentation is not a bad thing.
But calling experimentation, questioning, or “gender fluidity” the same thing as “transgenderism” is a bad thing, because it reinforces incorrect information about us and hinders others from understanding the medical condition. This was the point Megyn Kelly was trying to make. Those who are “questioning” and those who are “gender fluid” should not be labeled “transgender,” and vice versa.
3) Gender Fluidity Argues That You Might be Something In Between a Boy and a Girl
I don’t know. I don’t have proof that there is no third or fourth or twenty-ninth gender. But I do know that the Lord’s Word is that He created us man and woman. He certainly created our bodies “in between” sexes, in some cases. Otherwise, there would be no genetically “intersex” or mentally “intersex” (ie, “transgender). Being in between sexes, though, is not the same thing as being in between genders.
Being born “in between” genders would mean that you would be permanently, for all of eternity, as long as your spirit exists, in limbo (like S was in my youth group). God tells us that gender is eternal, and that it doesn’t change. So being born with a gender identity other than “male” or “female” means that you would eternally be that gender. That means that when your body is perfected during the Resurrection, it would have both male and female characteristics. I suppose it’s possible for such people to exist in Eternity. I doubt they would get to experience the Plan of Salvation as fully as those who are resurrected as either male or female, to follow the roles that the Lord has given us.
Roles Don’t Mean Inflexibility
Just because the Lord has given us roles to play–men becoming strong paternal figures and women becoming strong maternal figures–doesn’t mean that you can’t have a unique personality as a man or a woman. The Lord’s universe is so vast and diverse, filled with people on this planet and others, of all different cultures, races, intelligences, and shapes and sizes, that it is inconceivable to think that He would limit us to very strict personalities that society has dictated fit into these paternal/maternal roles. The best instructions He has given us are found in The Family: A Proclamation To The World. Other than those instructions, He’s pretty much left it up to us. Just follow the Commandments, and you can have any personality you want.
Personality, however, is not gender identity, nor is it gender fluidity. Wanting to exhibit certain feminine or masculine characteristics in your daily life because you feel it’s a good “fit” for you and your situation, and helps you be all that Heavenly Father wants you to be, is not the same thing as feeling that you *are* a certain gender. Nor is it the same thing as *knowing* you are a certain gender.
So in summary, we can come to the following conclusions:
1) “Transgenderism” is a term used to describe people who have a medical condition where their brain physically develops differently than their body, and they think and act like the gender opposite to their biological sex. “Transgender” is “I am a man. I may look like a woman on the outside, but my brain developed as a male brain does, and I think like a man, and I will always be a man.”
2) “Gender fluidity” is a social movement where individuals believe that gender is not constant, that gender can change based on feel, and that people can be whatever gender they feel like, at whatever time they feel like. “Gender fluid” is “I felt like a girl this morning, but now I feel like a boy. Tomorrow I might feel like a girl again.”
3) Personality is something everyone has, and personality characteristics can include stereotypically feminine or masculine traits without a person being “gender fluid” or “transgender.” Little girls can play with trucks and cars without their parents worrying that they are “transgender.” Little boys can shift between playing dress-up and playing video games without their parents worrying that they are experiencing “gender fluidity.” Just because society deems certain traits to be “feminine” or “masculine” doesn’t mean that a person is “gender fluid” or “transgender” if they happen to exhibit those traits. Like they do in osteopathic medicine, you have to look at the *whole person*.
So this is what I believe O’Reilly and Kelly were trying to talk about. This blog, I hope, makes it a little clearer what the lines are. Please check out my post about how “Transgender” = “Intersex”. And finally, I want to bear my testimony that it’s of vital importance that we love all people, even if we don’t agree with what they do, how they think, or what they believe. We are one enormous family, with one Eternal Father. We are going to return to Him and give an account of how we have treated our fellow man. Let’s make our Father proud of us, and let’s bring the Light of Christ into the world. I say these things in the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ, Amen.