Transparent Christianity

Reconciling my faith as the parent of a transgender

Jim Farina
7 min readJun 7, 2019


Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

As a faithful follower of Christ and His teachings, how does one reconcile a child who is transgender?

For me, it’s not so difficult. I’m well aware that there exists a large camp of self-proclaimed “Christians” who will be very quick to disagree with me — even judge, berate and condemn me for my acceptance and sanction of an alternative lifestyle.

Does that make them any more, or less of a Christian? Does it make me any more, or less a Christian for accepting my child, born male, now female? It took us 17 years to discover that his anxiety and depression stemmed from a gender identity trauma?

The suicide rate for untreated transgender teens is said to be somewhere in the neighborhood of 40 percent. The turmoil of living day-to-day, conflicted by going through life, trapped in a body that your mind and the very essence of your being has no connection.

I can’t really understand what that might feel like. Nobody can. How can you understand if you haven’t experienced gender dysphoria first hand?

It was the day after Christmas when my son, Daniel, was born, I was as proud as any new father could be. This birthing thing was not an entirely new experience, as my wife and I had taken the journey nearly 3 years earlier when my eldest daughter, Nicole, was born. How perfect! We wanted two children. A girl and a boy…

Daniel was as healthy and as typical a boy as a parent could hope for, that is for about the first 10 years. Sometime after that, he began having problems with anxiety and depression.

There was never any hints in the altering of his gender expression, at least none that we witnessed, and I guess I don’t really know what that would really look like. I imagine that there might be some hint of effeminate behavior, some evidence of cross-dressing or perhaps cosmetic usage. There was none of that.

What we did observe was a very withdrawn and shy boy, a child plagued with headaches, vomiting and frequent refusal to get out of bed to go to school.

Eventually, there came a very disturbing episode of self-medication involving vodka and Ativan with an overnight visit to the…



Jim Farina

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