United Church of Christ

A World Beyond Gender

"Nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus." - Galatians 3:28b

In Genesis chapter 1, God created humankind—companions for God, and for each other, "male and female God created them." From the beginning, the Bible says, we were made different from each other. Vive la difference! goes the old French slogan.

But in Galatians, those differences, along with many others, have become obsolete, were they ever necessary to begin with. Paul is clear: starting now, we are all one in Christ Jesus.

It has taken culture and society a long time to catch up to Paul and Jesus. The walk toward "oneness" has been slow and stumbling, and sometimes it walks backward. On a Sunday morning last month, the Trump administration announced its intention to narrowly redefine transgender as "an immutable condition determined by genitalia at birth." My Facebook feed gave way to terror, as trans beloveds felt themselves being erased after a long, hard scrabble to be recognized.

I believe that trans folks have always existed, just as babies born intersex have. Perhaps we are misreading the line from Genesis, and God actually created every one of us both "male and female."

I believe that trans folks—especially but not only the few brave souls who are publicly out—are paving the way for the rest of us to live wholly and fully into a complex gender expression.

I believe that trans folks reflect the Biblical fulfillment of Paul's call that we may be One in Christ Jesus, and our embrace of a world in which gender is fluid can bring sexism, sexual assault, patriarchy and toxic masculinity to a crashing halt.

Prayer

God, no presidential memo can erase from the Book of Life the names you have written there: Bree Elle and Kim, Rowan and Talyn, Ash and Jane and Mya and Dane. May they teach us the power of being our whole and holiest selves, male and female, as You created each of us. Amen.

About the Author
Molly Baskette is Senior Minister of the First Church of Berkeley, California, and the author of the best-selling Real Good Church and Standing Naked Before God.

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