The rise of transgenderism has been undeniable in the last few years. Gender is now viewed as “non-binary” by many. If you wondered what the next progression is, there are now “Trans-age” activists, who argue that “age” is also merely a social construct, and those who identify as “trans-age” must be accepted into society.
You might wonder if these are just modern trends we must play along with. But if you dig into the history of philosophy a little, you will easily realize that this is not just a modern “fad”. It has been culminating for a long period of time. I would like to give a brief summary of crucial ideas that have developed over the last few centuries, which led to the rise of this movement.
In the 18th century, Philosopher Rousseau argued that all humans were born with good nature, but became untrue to themselves as they began to conform themselves to the social convention. He believed true meaning and happiness was found in discovering our true inner desire, not through conforming to the outer demands.
Then, in the 19th century, Karl Marx, who was influenced by Hegel’s “Dialectic” thinking, believed that human history is “political” in nature, a constant “power struggle” between the oppressor (dominant, traditional group who are majority) and the oppressed. He believed it is the job of the minority to take down the majority to bring about the better world.
In the 20th century, Sigmund Freud proposed that a human being is fundamentally a sexual being even from its infancy, and what makes a human being fully satisfied is sexual gratification in every development stage.
In summary, through Rousseau “identity” was psychologized, through Freud “psychology” was sexualized, and through Marx “sexuality” was politicized. That’s why sexuality is now a political issue today as it pertains to human identity.
The significance of this line of thinking cannot be understated: ”If a human being is fundamentally sexual, and he finds his authentic self and genuine happiness through expressing all his inner desires, then whoever objects their sexual expression (regardless of its legitimacy) is an oppressor and must be cancelled and taken down.” And this thinking is now dominating the cultural climate and social imaginary regarding the issue of transgenderism.
Based on this premise, those who push for gender diversity has made clear their intention to destroy two major hinderances of their agenda, which are family (as it is the main vehicle of traditional sex ethics which limit sexual expression in early childhood) and religion (predominantly Christianity, as Christianity believes in binary gender as the sacred order that cannot be altered). We have seen plenty of progress of moving sexual education responsibility away from family to school and labelling church as “transphobic” and “unloving”.
Now it behooves us to discern and rethink how we are to view such progression. As Christians, we should have compassion for transgenders as they are experiencing “gender dysphoria” (being discontented with their assigned gender at birth). But to view them naively as “sexual minority” as we are told and to support their agenda in the name of “loving the weak” is to unintentionally perpetuate the false narrative that human desire ultimately determines what the reality is. When anything can be true, nothing is true and chaos ensues.