Gender Identity

Discussion of gender identity has grown in pop culture, politics, and academia and is amplified by a cooperative media.

“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”

- Genesis 1:27

Step 1: Watch the Video

This video covers the topic of gender identity from the perspectives of biology, social sciences, testimonials, unintended victims, and the Christian response.

Source Video Outline

Introduction
Can a 5’9, White Guy Be a 6’5, Chinese Woman?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&v=xfO1veFs6Ho
Family Policy Institute of Washington,
www.fpiw.org

Episode 1: Biology: What Does Science Say?
Sex, Gender and Identity
https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&v=teLOw10MCsM
CanaVox, www.canavox.com

Mary Hasson at Gender Ideology Conference
The Gender Revolution: Culture and Political Change
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jCeQZ8OJaUU
Person & Identity,
www.person andidentity.com

Episode 2: Social Sciences: What Do Studies Say?
Ryan Anderson
When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment
https://www.christendom.edu/2018/11/20/heritage-foundations-dr-ryan-anderson-discusses-t
ransgender-moment/

Ethics & Public Policy Center, www.eppc.org

Episode 3: Testimonials: What Does Experience Say?
Walt Heyer
He Used to Be Trans—Here’s What He Wants Everyone To Know
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qlRkLtKqSrY
The Heritage Foundation, www.heritage.org

Rene Jax at Gender Identity Forum
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lN0sT6bHjR8
Cornerstone Policy Research, www.nhcornerstone.org

Episode 4: Other Victims: What Does Experience Say?
Transgender Athletes Joined Her High School Track Team
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NIlq85dL0C4
Daily Signal, www.dailysignal.com

Episode 5: Love of Neighbor: What is the Christian Response?
Very Rev. Paul Scalia
Deus Carita Est: On The Theological Virtue of Charity
https://instituteofcatholicculture.org/events/deus-caritas-est-2
Institute of Catholic Culture, www.instituteofcatholicculture.org

Biographies of Featured Speakers

Mary Hasson

Mary Hasson, JD, is the Kate O’Beirne Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C. She is a co-founder and Director of the Person and Identity Project, and leads the Catholic Women’s Forum, a network of Catholic professional women and scholars amplifying the voices of women in support of Catholic teaching.


An attorney and policy expert, Mary regularly advises legislators and faith-based organizations, writes for various publications, and is a frequent media commentator and speaker, including speaking on behalf of the Holy See at the United Nations.


Ryan Anderson

Ryan Anderson, President of the Ethics and Public Policy Center and Founding Editor of the journal Public Discourse. He is the author of When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Movement, and Truth Overruled: The Future of Marriage and Religious Freedom.


A Princeton University graduate with a PhD in political philosophy from the University of Notre Dame, Dr. Anderson’s research has been cited by the United States Supreme Court. He has appeared on ABC, CNN, CNBC, MSNBC, and Fox News. His work has been published by the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, and Oxford University Press among other prestigious academic and mainstream news outlets.


Rene Jax

Rene Jax is the author of Don’t get on the plane: Why a sex change will ruin your life. A biological male who underwent surgery to transition to female in 1990, Rene Jax draws on a lifetime of experience to illustrate the fallacies and failures of the barbaric medical treatments that are often used to treat people suffering from gender confusion.


Walt Heyer

Walt Heyer is a formerly transgender woman who subsequently re-transitioned due to the regret he felt during gender change. A public speaker and author of the book, Trans Life Survivors, Mr. Heyer travels extensively to share his story at conferences, churches, and universities. Through his website, SexChangeRegret.com, and his blog, WaltHeyer.com, Heyer raises public awareness about those who regret gender change and the tragic consequences suffered as a result.


Fr. Paul Scalia

Fr. Paul Scalia was ordained as a Roman Catholic Priest in 1996, when he finished his master of arts degree at the Angelicum in Rome. He is now Episcopal Vicar for Clergy in the Diocese of Arlington and Pastor of Saint James Parish in Falls Church, Virginia. He founded the Arlington chapter of Courage, an apostolate that counsels men and women with same-sex attractions in living chaste lives in fellowship, truth and love. He served as its chaplain from 2004 to 2011 and served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Courage International, from 2010 to 2018. He remains a member of the Board.

Step 2: Review Important Principles

After watching the video, give teens a chance to comment or ask questions. Go over the following together.

  • Created Beings: God is our Creator and he made us male and female.

  • Health: Living in accord with one’s biological sex is vital for our physical, mental, and spiritual health.

  • Honesty: Words should be based on reality, and language cannot change reality. A person who asserts an identity at odds with his biological sex rejects the truth of his creation as male or female.

  • Charity: It is not compassionate to “affirm” a person’s false assertion about his gender. Doing so reinforces him in going down a path away from the truth of who he is.

“We are created by God in love, for love, and for eternity. Our identity is a created son or daughter of God.”

- Mary Hasson

Step 3: Practice the Role-Play

Scenario #1: Class President Confusion

At the beginning of the new school year, the senior class president, Jason, announces that he identifies as a girl, that his new name is “Spirit,” and that everyone should use feminine pronouns in referring to him. A classmate confronts you after she hears you refer to him as “Jason,” saying, “Why don’t you just call her Spirit? Is it so hard to just call her what she wants to be called? Obviously you just hate trans people.”

View this Script

Scenario #2: Drama in Drama Class

Amber shows up at school after summer break dressed like a boy and demanding that she be called River, and be referred to as “him.” You do your best to avoid calling her by name at all because you don’t want to encourage the false identity she has assumed, but you also don’t want to hurt her feelings by calling her “Amber.” However, one day in drama class she asks you, “Why don’t you call me River? Do you hate me because I’m trans?”

View this Script

Scenario #3: Sent to the Principal’s Office

At the beginning of the new school year, the senior class president, Jason, announces that he has become a girl, and that his new name is “Spirit,” and that everyone should use feminine pronouns in referring to him. After overhearing you refer to Jason as “he,” the assistant principal calls you to his office and tells you that it is very discriminatory to “misgender” “Spirit,” and that if you fail to use the “proper” pronouns, you’ll be disciplined.

View this Script

“To love means I want what is good for the other... The more we know the truth about God, reality, and the human person the more we know the good for the other.”

-Rev. Paul Scalia

Download the program materials and distribute to participants. The materials include the important principles and the complete role-play scenarios for participants to review and put into practice.

Best Practice:

Allow about two hours (one hour for video, one hour for role playing). One parent presents the video program to three or four teen friends with youth in the front of the room and their parents in the back of the room. After presenting the video, move to another room and act out the role playing scenarios. Give each teen a chance to read the “You” part of each script. Parents take the roles in the scripts opposite of “You.” The role playing was a primary motivation for developing the T2 : Tough Topics programs. Youth in the parish wanted not only to learn about a tough topic but also to get practice articulating the principles underlying the Christian response to the topic.

Sample Permission Slip for Youth Ministry

Recommended Age:

13+ years old, defer to parent’s judgement. A segment of the video program contains strong and explicit material unsuitable for pre-teens.

Prerequisite: Some sex ed covered by parents.

Helpful sex ed resources: PUREly YOU!, Theology of the Body for Teens, Sexual Wisdom for Catholic Adolescents

See other age appropriate recommendations in Raising Children of Light.

Additional Resources:

For up-to-date information: Society for Evidence Based Gender Medicine (SEGM) https://segm.org.

For the 5 part television series: The Transgender Movement--What Catholics Need to Know https://www.ewtn.com/tv/shows/transgender-movement-what-catholics-need-to-know.

For help communicating with school officials: Responding to the Transgender Issue: Parent Resource Guide www.GenderResourceGuide.com

For resources to assist those with same-sex attraction: Truth & Love, https://truthandlove.com

For support, formation, workshops, and pastoral guidance: Person and Identity Project  https://personandidentity.com/resources/lookingforsupport/

For young children 3-7 years old, Philo and Sophie: Philosophy for Children by Healing the Culture www.philoandsophie.org

For classic philosophical principles: Ten Universal Principles: A Basic Primer on Respect for Human Life, https://www.healingtheculture.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Ten_Principles_Flyer_Mar2016.pdf

Biblical Commentary on “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” (Gen 1:27)

“1:27: male and female: The sexual distinction between man and woman is willed by God, as is its purpose to reproduce the human race (1:28) The image of God is not only borne by individuals but is also expressed through man and woman as a couple. From the image of the natural family, then, we can infer that God, in the mystery of his inner life, is a community of persons united by a bond of love and shared life (cf. John Paul II, Mulieris dignitatem 7).”

Ignatius Catholic Study Bible: Genesis, With Introduction, Commentary, and Notes by Scott Hahn and Curtis Mitch, pg. 19.