This anonymous Christian dad proudly refuses to love his transgender daughter
The Gospel Coalition has once again published a piece that makes Christianity look heartless
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The Gospel Coalition, a right-wing evangelical website with a long history of publishing cringe-worthy pieces, has done it again.
This time, the anonymous author is a father with a transgender daughter. He loves his trans daughter, he writes, adding that he loves Jesus more. Which is a not-so-subtle way of saying he doesn’t actually love his trans daughter unconditionally.
The father explains how he’s a True Christian™ whose daughter accepted Jesus from an early age. Everything was textbook perfect until, on the verge of turning 18, she started questioning her gender identity and soon came out as trans.
The father insists he knows why it happened. (Because there must be a reason.)
First, an old friendship came back into our son’s life during COVID shutdowns and grew over time. This friend was moving through the spectrum of the LGBT+ community. My wife and I encouraged our son to be faithful to the Word, which included showing love and grace to his friend.
Second, a few other people who had meaningful relationships with my son expressed to him their belief that LGBT+ lifestyles can align with Christianity.
The problem, you see, is that he and his wife taught their kids to be kind to others and that Christianity was a religion of love… when they clearly should have been more nuanced. Christianity, he goes on to say, is not compatible with “LGBT+ lifestyles.” Everything would have been better if only they had told their daughter to stay away from LGBTQ people.
If he embraces this lifestyle, he doesn’t give evidence of genuine trust in and obedience to Jesus…
… we thought, How could we affirm an identity that ignores God’s goodness for him and ignores the goodness of the physical body? How can we ignore that our son is making himself central and not Jesus? And, God, why is this happening?
It’s such a hallmark of conservative Christians to insist that anyone who doesn’t accept the party line on every culture war issue is somehow a Bad Christian. Roughly “half of LGBTQ adults in the United States are religious,” according to a 2020 report, and they’re all lying to themselves, insists this dude who lacks the courage to tell us his name.
The father goes on to say he’s spent a lot of time studying “potential triggers” and “causes for why individuals can be drawn into LGBT+ identities”—never allowing himself to admit people simply are LGBTQ. He concludes that this is all in God’s hands… which is another way of saying he doesn’t plan to change anything about his own thoughts or actions.
The father even admits his daughter doesn’t have a strong relationship with him anymore and is, at best, “cordial” now. That’s more than this dad deserves, though, given the way he’s treated her.
Just consider how he won’t even acknowledge who she is. She’s misgendered throughout the piece. We’re told she “believed” she was trans (as if she succumbed to outside pressure). And there isn’t even a hint of sympathy when the daughter suggests taking her own life.
Seriously. Here’s how the author described that tragic situation:
During one conversation, when we said we couldn’t use his preferred name and pronouns, he said to us, “Then I can’t guarantee I won’t kill myself.” He eventually went to his room, wailing and weeping profusely. My wife and I were also crying, feeling helpless. Certainly, it’d be easier to simply call him by his preferred name and pronouns. Certainly, it’d be easier to celebrate the things he celebrates.
In these moments, it’s hard to remember that the change he’s asking for will harm him not only spiritually but also mentally and physically.
They can’t show their daughter any respect because it would be harmful. Even though there’s plenty of evidence showing the harm caused by refusing to affirm LGBTQ identities. It’s almost funny that he refers to mental harm faced by LGBTQ people, because that’s usually the result of being ostracized by guys like him. I assume the reference to physical harm suggests his daughter might want to undergo gender-affirming surgery one day, but not all trans people want that or have the ability to pay for such an operation.)
That outburst, however, wasn’t just a casual grenade thrown in the heat of the moment. There were actual harmful consequences for his daughter:
Last year, my son suffered severe depression and suicidal ideation, admitting himself to the ER during Christmas break. It was the bleakest Christmas my family had ever experienced, and those weeks led to months of wondering if I would find my child dead in his room. Our questions persisted: Why can’t we just hold him and make everything better? Does God care?
Leave it to a heartless Christian father to see his daughter in the emergency room—due at least in part to his own cruelty—and pretend he’s the victim in all this. What sort of parent would allow this to happen when he has the ability to prevent it?! A loving father would do anything to save his daughter’s life even if he’s ignorant about who she is and even if he disagrees with her decisions.
This guy, on the other hand, is so insistent that he’s right about his anti-LGBTQ interpretation of the Bible that his daughter is repeatedly treated like an afterthought.
“The reality is that my wife and I love our son,” he writes, without noticing the irony.
I feel like I need to point out that not all Christians feel this way. As one pastor wrote in response to the TGC article, “I would rather have a [transgender] son than not to have a son at all.”
Then, echoing language from 1 Corinthians 15, in which Paul talks about being persecuted (“I die daily”), the anonymous writer goes on to say he and his wife must stand by their convictions because Jesus, Jesus, and more Jesus.
She and I must die to ourselves for a few reasons:
1. Jesus is life and the only way to living life to the fullest.
2. Our words and actions can point our son to his need for Jesus.
3. We trust that dying to self leads to greater life and praise to God.
We know every parent has to die to self to truly love his or her child…
He has it completely backwards. The bully has no right pretending to be the victim. I’m hardly an expert in what Jesus said, but I feel like “Never use the correct pronouns” was nowhere on the list. Jesus isn’t the answer to anything; Jesus is merely the justification this guy’s using to defend his own inhumanity.
He thinks his abstract beliefs should take priority over his own family. That’s how cults operate. Any religion that teaches you to write off your kids because of your self-imposed ignorance is a theology that needs to be discarded.
I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised The Gospel Coalition published this. After all, this is the same site where a pastor once compared having sex with your wife to Jesus penetrating the church. And where one woman described her courageous journey in accepting her new Black son-in-law. And where readers learned they should never refer to a transgender colleague as “she,” And where the existence of bisexuals was blamed on “social contagion,” And where a man claimed he’s no longer gay because his “identity is… in Jesus.”
We also shouldn’t be surprised they published this the day before Thanksgiving.
But it’s telling that they were willing to publish this piece anonymously, presumably because they knew it would generate backlash. It’s not something The Gospel Coalition does often. When they did it previously, once in 2020 and once in 2019, it concerned sexual abuse allegations in churches. In 2015, a woman with no byline wrote about how she coped with her pastor-husband getting fired. In all those examples, there’s a justification for the anonymity.
There’s none in this case, though. It’s just a heartless father rationalizing why he’s throwing his trans daughter under the bus. His mentality is no different from countless evangelical pastors and leaders. He’s a coward who wants to believe he’s a hero but seems to know, deep down, he’s the villain. That’s why he doesn’t want people to know who he is. The fact that this site published the piece anyway is a reminder that the people who work for The Gospel Coalition are no better than he is.
I just hope the daughter is okay and realizes there’s nothing wrong with distancing yourself from your parents and embracing people who actually love you instead of making excuses for why they can’t.