In Houston, Texas, a controversial “equal rights ordinance” failed last Tuesday. The legislation sought to ban discrimination based on more than a dozen classes of people, including gender identity and sexual orientation. It was dubbed the “bathroom bill” because critics said it would to offer any person access to a public bathroom whether intended for men or women. At issue, according to supporters was protection for a particular kind of citizen: transgender people.
Christians–particularly those of the more conservative variety–often oppose accommodations like this for transgender persons. But these believers are having a very important conversation in the wrong direction. When trying to understand transgender issues, Christians should start with the personal, not political. When Christians begin by committing to political goals rather than educating themselves on the complicated, sensitive nuances of this matter, they often come off looking privileged, mean, or just flat out clueless.