In this episode, Kurt speaks with Jocelyn Floyd, J.D. on the issues of law, science, and culture for the transgender debates in our society.
Kurt: Good day to you and thanks for joining us here on another episode of Veracity Hill where we are striving for truth on faith, politics, and society. Last week we had a really interesting episode. If you haven’t listened to it yet on whether or not voting for a third party candidate in any election, we were speaking generically, in any election, is a wasted vote, and so we talked about the issues there and came to some interesting conclusions that well perhaps there are wasted votes elsewhere too. Our Electoral College system is a bit different than a simple majority wins system so it creates for some interesting and fun, peculiar scenarios. One thing that we mentioned last week was whether you knew this or not, there were two times in American history when the House of Representatives has voted and elected the president of the United States so that’s very uncommon. Some people think if something isn’t possible, there’s no chance. Well, things happen. The improbable does happen from time to time.
Today we’re going to be talking about what I’ve called bathroom wars, the transgender debate and now we’re going to be talking about some instances in public high schools about where transgender students have requested to go into other locker rooms, for instance, to change with people of another gender. We’re going to be getting into all that. It can be very tricky and nuanced with all the fine points, but we’re also going to be going beyond just the bathroom scenarios. There are other issues here going on in our society and it’s a hot topic and so we’re this month on Veracity Hill, we’re talking about political issues because, well, guess what? It’s an election cycle and so each week over the next few weeks we’re keeping it little, but we’ll be sure to bring back some of the explicitly theological stuff after that in November. Joining me in studio, for the first time we’ve got a guest in studio today, I’m pleased to have her. Her name is Jocelyn Floyd, and she has some experience in these cases and some knowledge about local cases here in Chicagoland, in Illinois, and I want to welcome Jocelyn on the show today. Thanks for coming in.
Jocelyn: Thanks for having me.
Kurt: Tell us a little bit about your background and how you got interested in not only the transgender debate, you also are involved with some first amendment cases? Tell us about that.
Jocelyn: When I was in college people told me I should be a lawyer and I laughed in their face and I’m now a lawyer. I originally was going to do corporate law. I don’t want to go in the courtroom. I don’t like conflict. I’ll do the business transactions. And now I’m a litigator that goes into courtrooms, so God likes to laugh at my plans. When I was in law school I got really interested in the first amendment and in the appeals court process because instead of doing mock trial, I did loop court, which is a mock appeal an and so every topic I did through law school had to do with either first amendment rights or parental rights, then when I got out of law school I did corporate law and discovered I really don’t like the SCC. It’s boring. No offense to any attorneys who do SCC work. You’re very needed. I just am not one of those. So then I ended up with the Thomas More Society and they do a lot of free speech, religious liberty, and pro-life legal work, and through all of my growing up years I’ve known since I can remember how to discuss abortion without referencing the Biblical arguments, to convince the non-Christians that life matters, that the dignity of the human life begins at conception. But then I started encountering the issues of my generation, of homosexual marriage and transgender, etc. and I didn’t talk, I didn’t get into those fights, because I didn’t know what to say. That’s I think I part of why God brought me to the Thomas More society cause I got there and right away I was thrown into a lawsuit dealing with same-sex marriage and I got to learn so much of the science and the philosophical theory behind what marriage is and then now I’m involved in a case with the transgender issues suing a school district and the Department of Education over this bathroom and locker room policy that the school district has implemented so both of those got me interested in learning as much as I can about the issues, of how to talk about them as a Christian but using language that is accessible to everybody.
Kurt: You’ve got a web site that’s coming out. It’s called Forthehopewithin.com and that’s going to be sort of modeled after your methodology here where you’re drawing upon arguments from natural law, from natural theology, from the sciences in the attempt to reach out and appeal to the things that are common between Christians and non-Christians in order to win them over. Is that right?
Jocelyn: Exactly. My primary audience is going to be Christians. It’s to help Christians become equipped to get into these discussions because I think a lot of times we don’t speak up because we’re afraid of the immediate response that we’ve all gotten. “Oh. You’re just a bigot,” or “You’re just a fundamentalist religious person stuck hundreds of years ago,” and so if I can reach beyond that sphere, that would be awesome, but initially my goal is to equip Christians on how to talk about these issues so there’s going to be a lot of practical resources and pointing to some of the deeper academic, scientific, professional literature that’s out there, but bringing it down to the layperson’s level to make it accessible so people can understand the core of the issues and then I think all of it, like you’re saying about pointing back to truth, the science, the philosophy, the sociology, all of this points back to the truth of God and what He tells us through the Bible and so I’m tying in both of those.
Kurt: So we’re going to be getting into the discussion here about transgenderism and how Christians should understand the issues here. If you’d like to have your voice heard you’ve got a comment or a question for Jocelyn or for myself you can give us a call. The number is 505-2STRIVE. That’s 505-278-7483. So, Jocelyn, tell us about here in Chicagoland, we’ve had a couple of transgender focused issues in our public school system. I think there was one up in Hoffman estates if I’m not mistaken, but otherwise, statewide there’s been issues where there has been a typically, correct me if I’m wrong, but typically it’s a male who believes that he is a female and so then he has shown an interest in utilizing the women’s locker room or bathroom facilities, usually to change for gym class, something like that. Tell us a little bit about what’s going on here in these cases?
Jocelyn: Right. The biggest case in Illinois right now is the lawsuit that I’m working on so I’m speaking for myself right now. I’m not speaking as a representative of the parties, and the information I’m sharing is all public information. I’m not breaking any client confidentiality. I just want to get that out of the way. It’s the Palatine district 211. It’s the largest high school district in the state of Illinois and it might be one of the largest high school districts in the country I think and what happened there is several years ago there’s a male student who’s been dubbed student A. I do not know this student’s actual name. Student A is male and has been diagnosed with gender dysphoria and is in the process of transitioning to quote, unquote, be a female.
Kurt: Now quick question there. When you say the person has been diagnosed, has medically, clinically, been diagnosed with this disorder. Is that correct?
Jocelyn: Yes. So the DSM, the Diagnostic something…
Kurt: The handbook pretty much. Yeah.
Jocelyn: The Bible for all of these things is, it used to be known as Gender Identity Disorder. They didn’t like the term disorder. Makes it sound negative so they changed it to Gender Dysphoria. Well Dysphoria is…
Jocelyn: No. It’s actually a sense of intense unhappiness or dissatisfaction.
Kurt: Okay. Alright.
Jocelyn: So in the DSM there’s body dysphoria and body dysphoria is where you’re very unhappy with a particular part of your body and you tend to view that part of your body through a distorted lens so someone really wants a nose job. They don’t like their nose. Every time they see it in the mirror, they see a nose that is much, much, larger than anyone else sees because of the way their brain is lying to them about what the reality is.
Kurt: Or like Anorexia is
Jocelyn: Anorexia is a form of body dysphoria and an anorexic will look in the mirror and see a fat person regardless of what the reality is and so in every other type of body dysphoria the proper treatment is to bring the mind in line with what reality is. Nobody would tell someone with anorexia that “Alright. I’m going to help you on a diet plan. I’m going to help you with your exercise plan. We’re going to get you to lose some weight, even though I can count all your ribs from forty feet away.” That would be malpractice. That would be cruel, yet for gender dysphoria we say “Alright. We’re gonna help you take your body and essentially mutilate it to fit this image that your mind says is what should be real.” So this is an area that I’m super-excited about the science because the liberals, the ACLU goes into court and says to the judge on this “The science is settled. Appropriate treatment is settled. We help them transition to match their proper gender identity.” There’s a new report that has come out this summer that looks at about five hundred scientific studies and then reports on two hundred of them and shows the themes there and the conclusions of this report is that there’s no scientific evidence for born this way or born in the wrong body. There’s also no scientific evidence that transitioning is actually a helpful treatment for people who suffer from gender dysphoria.
Kurt: Yeah. Now your knowledge on this topic’s going to be much more vast than mine. I’ve read articles here and there and one of the articles I’ve read is from a former doctor at Johns Hopkins.
Jocelyn: Paul McHugh.
Kurt: Yes. Paul McHugh. That’s his name. Yeah. And Baltimore is where that hospital’s at and I think back in like the 70’s or something they used to do sex-reassignment surgery and they would follow up with their patients and they came to the conclusion, “Oh my gosh. These people need help,” because it’s a mental issue, it’s not a physical one. So they stopped doing the surgeries because of that.
Jocelyn: He was the lead clinical psychologist for Johns Hopkins at the time. He was in charge of the entire program and they discovered that the medical term was Comorbid disorder so when you have one disorder and you have another one at the same time so if you have depression and you have anxiety the two of them are co-morbid and sometimes they feed on each other. Sometimes they’re completely separate. You may have depression and diabetes. They have a little bit of intersection but not necessarily as much. When you have something like depression and anxiety, a lot of intersection overlap.
Kurt: Okay. So back to the Palatine case here.
Jocelyn: Well real quick with Paul McHugh. The comorbid disorders that these patients had, they saw no improvement in any of the others. In depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, alcoholism, all of those stayed the same even though they felt better about their body after the surgery and so that’s how they realized that the core of this issue is not the physical. The core of this is stemming from some other mental thing that is causing all of these comorbid issues.
Kurt: So the Palatine case.
Jocelyn: In Palatine we have a student who is male and wants to be female and his parents are helping him transition. He’s taking hormone therapy to repress his natural production of testosterone and produce estrogen and he’s changed to a female name. He wears girl clothes, and when he started in the high school he asked for access to the bathrooms and the locker rooms, the female bathrooms and locker rooms, and the school said we’ll let you in the bathrooms, but not the locker rooms. We’ll create a separate place for you to change. We won’t make you change in the boys’ bathrooms, but we’re not going to let you in the girls’.
Kurt: And was that good enough for the family?
Jocelyn: No. If it was, we wouldn’t be having a lawsuit right now.
Kurt: Okay. I wasn’t sure who was suing whom.
Jocelyn: So it took a couple of years. The student reported this to the Department of Education. They did an investigation. Is this sex discrimination and the Department of Education said “You have to let this student in the girls’ locker rooms. Otherwise we’re going to take away your funding, all of your federal funding.”
Kurt: It’s always attached to the money it seems.
Jocelyn: Yes. And so at that point the school district which had been protecting the privacy of its female students caved cause they didn’t want to lose their money even though no school district has ever lost its money for one of these things. You can go to court and appeal the process if you believe that the Department’s interpretation is wrong, which, by the way we do. So they caved, they gave this biological, physical, male access to the girls’ locker rooms and so we are representing a group of parents and students at that high school and the other four high schools in the district to sue for the privacy rights of these other students. The issue, they’re also a Freshman this year so this all came to a head last year and fall of 2015 is when the Department of Education came out with their decision and January 2016 is when student A was given access to the girls’ locker rooms and then in May of 2016 is when the lawsuit was filed and then in the fall of the 2016-2017 school year, we have a freshman at a different high school who is female and wants to be male. We believe that a student has asked for access to the bathrooms and locker rooms. We believe that access has been given, but we don’t know for certain at this point.
Kurt: Okay. Interesting. So for us, I mean, you might think “Oh, well these issues happen in Massachusetts. They happen in California. It’s not in my neck of the woods.” Well, believe it or not, it likely is. It’s becoming increasingly popular and what’s becoming increasingly popular is young people are willing to vocalize how they’re feeling and so then maybe parents take action and then also now, students just become more open, they explore their gender if you will. They think it’s fluid so they might do things and test the water so that also makes it more common so…
Jocelyn: It’s also more cool now.
Kurt: Yeah. Yeah. It’s the cool thing to do.
Jocelyn: Yet even though they talk about the ostracization and the stigma and the bullying and I’m not denying that that exists. There’s still plenty of that in all sorts of areas of our culture. They have seen there’s a scientific trend that I forgot the name of. If you have someone commit suicide then for a couple of degrees of circles out, like three, four, five, degrees away from that, you see suicide rates go up, so in the class that that student committed suicide in you’ll see more suicides. In the school you’ll see more, in the district you’ll see more, and…
Kurt: There’s a ripple effect.
Jocelyn: There is a ripple effect and they’re seeing the same thing happen with this transgender. We have seen cases where you have friends, a group of four girls who all decide, well we’re supposed to be boys, and when you think of this, if this really were a scientific medical thing….
Kurt: It wouldn’t be happening that way.
Jocelyn: What are the odds that you and your three best friends all happen to be born with this extremely rare medical issue.
Kurt: Yeah. Wow. That’s fascinating. So it is close to home and it’s growing because there is this ripple effect and that’s almost why it’s so important to really understand this issue because if you don’t, if you get it wrong, if we get it wrong as a community, as a state, as a nation, if we get it wrong, there’s going to be a huge effect and it’s going to influence everybody and so that’s why it’s really important that we’re talking about this issue. It’s not so much about “oh well you’re just a Christian and you just think that and you want to prohibit people’s rights.” I mean, we really want to get this issue correct. We want to understand what’s going on, what’s at stake, what is going on scientifically, how should our law reflect that, and then how we as Christians can be a winsome witness to our community, to these types of people, to transgendered people. Now one thing I wanted to point out here before we continue Jocelyn is this can be a tricky subject. There are people that are born with different genetic codes than the typical XX, XY chromosome make-up and so it can be very tricky because you’re dealing with biological abnormalities so I like using the abnormality because it shows a deviation from the norm and me as a Christian, I don’t think that’s the way God purposed it. I think abnormalities such as other chromosomal or genetic abnormalities are a consequence of the Fall, and interestingly enough, even in the Bible, there’s this concept of a eunuch and so a eunuch was someone that essentially served the king and what sometimes happened was these eunuchs were often male, but they were sexually mutilated and so then that way, there was a reason for that, because that way the eunuch wouldn’t shack up with the king’s harem and so that way the king knew that he had a pure virgin or that if the woman did get pregnant, it was with the king’s offspring and not the eunuch’s so those eunuchs served the kings in that and other capacities, but what makes this really interesting is that you have Jesus mentioning in Matthew 19 about a eunuch and so not all eunuchs though were mutilated after birth. So here’s what Jesus says. “For there are eunuchs who are born that way and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others”, and he continues “And there are others who choose to live like eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it.” So that’s very interesting. This is probably the only reference to the eunuch, but what I find interesting is he says that there are some born that way and so there are at least two types here of intersex or even transgender, I mean, they’re related. They’re distinct topics, but they are related because suppose someone is intersex and has the chromosomal abnormality. They might be going back and forth between their genders and they’re just not sure what they are or if it should be their own gender. Part of the debate today is, well it’s not just a binary. There’s a whole spectrum and it’s beyond the number of fingers on my hands how many different genders there are these days. So it is a tricky subject, but even in the Bible here we have this idea of a eunuch that’s born that way and which means that there’s an abnormality that has occurred so how then should we deal with this as Christians? And so we are faced, perhaps we haven’t talked about it and so now we’re faced with these scenarios in our society today and we’ve got to learn how to confront these issues because they’re happening, they’re happening in our public schools.
Okay. So if you want to give us a call, you’ve got a question about the transgender debate, you can call. The number is 505-2STRIVE. That’s 505-278-7483. Jocelyn. We’ve got a few minutes here before our break. We’ve got the issue in Palatine here and right now it’s in the court system. Is that right?
Kurt: It’s currently happening so some issues you can’t talk about exactly. I mean, I wish we could probably learn more about this. There’s a broader debate nationwide, right? We had the issue with the Charlotte ordinance in North Carolina and the federal, I don’t know which branch, it was the executive branch, but I’m not sure which administration it was, that sort of threatened….
Jocelyn: Department of Education and the Department of Justice.
Kurt: Okay. So they both threatened North Carolina to get rid of that state bill which was…
Jocelyn: Which is ironically the same as the policy in pretty much every state across the country. It was just…
Kurt: It was an opportunity
Kurt: Yeah. It was an opportunity.
Jocelyn: The only reason it was articulated was because Charlotte was all “We’re going to do things that we’re not allowed to do because the state has said cities don’t get to make these decisions, but we’re going to do it anyway,” and the state said “If you do, we’re going to stop you,” and so this was not something that the state initially was going to do. It’s not something that the state would have ever done if Charlotte had not broken the rules.
Kurt: It’s fascinating too for me. I mean, initially like this. Charlotte. This is generally speaking conservative territory. I mean, even Charlotte doesn’t strike me as like a San Francisco type of political viewpoints so maybe that was part of the opportunity as well. That a lot of it’s in a different neighborhood.
Jocelyn: I think a lot of it depends on who you have in these local governments so if you get a mayor or a city council person or something who’s just gung-ho about this issue, it’s going to happen in that area whether the people all agree with it or not. We saw that in Houston when they tried to pass this bill and it was the first lesbian mayor of Houston and this was her flag-waving, “We are doing this,” and the people said “We don’t want this,” and then she rammed it through City Council anyway and so then the people said “Alright. We have this method where we can put this to a vote and overturn you so put this on the ballot,” and they got over 50,000 signatures I think and they needed 17,000 signatures and any time you get petitions to put things in a ballot, they knock some signatures off because someone signed twice, someone doesn’t actually live there, someone signed a fake name like Mickey Mouse, so they throw some out. They managed to throw out about 33,000 to get it just under…
Jocelyn: What they needed to get it on the ballot so then, the people who are behind the initiative sued to try and get it on the ballot….
Kurt: Yeah. That’s absurd. To throw out that many signatures? Wow.
Jocelyn: Statistically, I think we’re past improbable and into impossible. So that’s when the mayor subpoenaed all of the sermons of any pastors who had been active in this…
Kurt: This made national news. Yeah.
Jocelyn: But it all started in the bathroom question.
Kurt: Yeah? Wow. Wow. That’s fascinating, the extent that people are willing to go to bring their case….Something I like to say. If an idea is so good, you shouldn’t have to force it upon people and when you go to certain lengths to nullify that many signatures? That’s insane. I’ve worked on campaigns before so I know you’re right. They do toss out what can typically, I don’t know the exact number, but it’s maybe 10-15% of the signatures. It’s not a lot, but 33? That’s over half. That’s like 60-something% or more of the signatures, so that’s wild.
Kurt: I did not know that. So it all starts here and so that’s why it’s really important for us to understand the issues at stake here because people are willing to go above and beyond and we need to, I don’t necessarily like using the saying, but we need to fight back figuratively speaking. We need to respond to these claims, to these ideas, to these arguments that we hear people saying, that we read about and so it’s really important for us as Christians to understand this stuff.
Jocelyn: And I think part of the using the term “fight back,” I get that it sounds very antagonistic and confrontational….
Kurt: Right. Right.
Jocelyn: And I’m a lawyer who doesn’t like confrontation, but I think understanding the dangers of where this is leading us, it makes it less of a fight back and more of a fight for. When we see where this is going and what this is going to cause in terms of danger, and I’m happy to go into more detail with that, but when we understand those dangers, we are fighting to protect our children.
Kurt: So we’ve got to take a short break here, but when we come back we’ll talk about perhaps some of those other examples of where this is leading so stick with us.
Kurt: Alright. Thanks for sticking with us through that short break and so today we are talking about the transgender debate and the issues at stake and I’m here with Jocelyn Floyd and before we get back to that though it’s time for a segment of the show that we like to call rapid questions, and this is a segment of the show where we ask short, light-hearted questions and we want fast responses so they’re hopefully not incriminating Jocelyn and I hope that you’re prepared for this. It’s one minute and this is really fun because we’ve got a guest in studio here so we’ll see how quickly she can get through these questions. Are you ready?
Kurt: Okay. Here we go. What’s your clothing store of choice?
Kurt: Taco Bell or KFC.
Kurt: What song is playing on your radio these days?
Jocelyn: Thy Will by Hillary Scott.
Kurt: Do you have a pet?
Jocelyn: I do.
Kurt: And what’s the pet’s favorite holiday?
Jocelyn: Crazy Cat O’clock.
Kurt: Okay. Favorite movie?
Jocelyn: Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.
Kurt: Left or right?
Kurt: Do you drink Dr. Pepper?
Kurt: Have you ever driven on the other side of the road?
Kurt: What’s your inner shake flavor? Milkshake.
Kurt: Which celebrity are you most like or do you look like either one?
Jocelyn: I look like the girl who plays Piper on Charmed.
Kurt: Hokey Pokey, electric slide, or the Macarena?
Jocelyn: The Macarena.
Kurt: If you were a baseball pitch, which one would you be?
Jocelyn: A slow one.
Kurt: A slow one, the Eephus Pitch. If you could live anywhere, where would you live?
Kurt: France. Alright. Well, thank you for playing rapid questions. Excellent. Well done. Well done. Sometimes when we have the more academic professors, I think they tend to be a bit slower because they think about these questions, you know.
Jocelyn: I don’t actually swear to any of those answers. I may give different answers if asked them again.
Kurt: Well thankfully we’re not in a court of law here where you’ve got to swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Okay. Back to the discussion here. Before we went to break, we sort of introduced the topic. We talked about an issue here in our backyard figuratively speaking, suburbs of Chicago and the district of Palatine where we had at least to start there was a male who believed that he was female and so that has led to certain social happenings where the school district was willing to let him use the bathroom but not the locker rooms and then the family pushed back and they got the school district to change, right? And then we’ve got a group of parents of the girls at the schools that have come together and are now suing the school district, do I have that right?
Jocelyn: Parents and students.
Kurt: Parents and students. Okay. That’s happening here. That’s the largest case in Illinois, but we see this nationwide. We see this not just at the school level, but at the local government levels in Charlotte and in Houston and obviously it’s becoming a national debate because the federal government’s getting involved and then we also talked a little bit about the science behind it, but we were teased a little bit by Jocelyn about how there’s an effect occurring here that, I don’t want to use the snowball effect, there is that fallacy, what’s called the slippery slope fallacy, but let me say that’s a fallacy of necessity and I think what we’re seeing here is something regarding contingency, which is to say that it’s true that something like a thruple or a group marriage doesn’t necessarily have to happen in the society, but lo and behold, we do find that it is happening so that’s what makes it contingent and so I don’t think the slippery slope fallacy applies here, but we are seeing a snowball effect. Am I mistaken?
Jocelyn: No. That is correct. There’s issues that come beyond just the bathroom and in the case of the locker room. The Obama administration is definitely weighing in on this issue. They’re no longer speaking softly and they are swinging their very big stick so the guidelines that the Department of Education has published is requiring that you allow any student based on the student’s statement of the student’s gender identity. You don’t involve the parents. In fact, if the student doesn’t want you to tell their parents, you’re not allowed to tell their parents.
*Sigh of exasperation from Kurt.*
Jocelyn: You do not need a medical confirmation that the student has been diagnosed with gender dysphoria. Then you have to let that student use the bathrooms that correspond to their gender identity, but now we’re recognizing that there’s not just transgender. Well, they are claiming, there’s just not transgender.
Kurt: Right. As we’ve mentioned there’s this big spectrum now.
Jocelyn: There’s a spectrum and there are people that they claim to be gender fluid which means their gender changes based on the day or based on the moment so you could have a guy who is gender fluid and only actually wants to go in the girls’ locker room and feel like a girl when it’s swimming day in P.E. and the girls are going to shower. That hasn’t happened yet, but the rules allow for it, and then you also have the fact that it goes beyond the bathrooms and the locker rooms to include sports teams and hotel accommodations so imagine going on a band trip and…
Kurt: Yeah. I watched a clip here
Jocelyn: Going to compete so you’re going and school district’s are always trying to do things cost effectively most of the time, so you go on a band trip and you stick four kids in a hotel room. There’s two double beds. You’re going to be sharing a bed. If a boy says I’m a girl, he gets to be housed in a hotel room with three girls. The girls get no say as to whether he can go in their room. Their parents are not allowed to know because that would violate the privacy of the transgender student and they are not interested in compromise. I can think of all sorts of compromises. One of the ones I’ve come up with is send out a permission slip to all the parents at the beginning of the year and you don’t even have to say we have a transgender student. You could say “If the situation should occur, do you allow your child to be housed with a transgender or gender fluid student? Yes or no?” And then that would give parents back some of their control, their right to know these things about their kid and to be able to make decisions on behalf of their child.
Kurt: I watched a clip, the clip I’ve mentioned here. It’s the superintendent I think giving an instruction to the teachers about how if this overnight case were to occur that the teachers were not to tell the parents of the students and I just thought “How absurd that the parents could not know that their daughter is forced to change in the same room as a boy.” I just thought “Wow. That is just wild.” And what’s also interesting too is this idea of gender fluidity. Are they born that way or is it fluid? It seems like for some…
Jocelyn: Depends who you talk to and what day of the week it is.
Kurt: Yeah. Because in some cases it seems like they’re arguing “Oh. Well this is sort of set in stone.” Bruce Jenner is definitely a female. Definitely. But then others say “Well it’s fluid. Gender is fluid.” So can Bruce Jenner, or Caitlyn, whatever you want to call him, and here on the show if I ever refer to him again it will still be as him because he hasn’t fully transitioned.
Jocelyn: And you know what? Even if he does fully transition and fully get that surgery….
Kurt: He’s still a him.
Jocelyn: He’s still a him!
Kurt: Yeah. That’s right.
Jocelyn: He becomes more and more of a feminized him, but genetically, he is and always will be a him. That’s another thing. No matter what you do with hormones, with surgery, you can’t change the core reality that we are genetically made male and female and you brought up a little earlier about the question with intersex, people who are born with either ambiguous genitalia or an extra chromosome. In those cases the North American Intersex Society states that they’re not on board with the transgender stuff and in the intersex situations, all of these various medical abnormalities that cause this ambiguity or extra genitalia, the child typically settles into one gender or the other at a very young age and stays that way so even there, even where there’s an abnormality and through this broken world and something gets messed up, there’s still the fact that we are naturally designed to be male or female and that child will be in that situation.
Kurt: Yeah. So there’s two points I want to make on that. Some parents these days have a tendency when their child is absolutely female or absolutely male, they still want to leave it up to the child what gender he or she wants to be and that I think is very mistaken. It’s only in these rare, very rare cases, where you have these abnormalities, where it’s advised to maybe allow the child to wait and see because you don’t want to be that parent that makes the choice early on and then you screw up your kid for their whole life…
Jocelyn: And that’s what they used to do. They used to if you have a child who was born with both sets of genitalia down there they would lop of the external one and raise it as a girl. Period. That was the default decision. A lot of these girls as they grew up felt very, very wrong as girls. They really felt like they were boys and were confused because their parents didn’t tell them that they did this at birth and then so I think that also gets, you have overlap and confusion in the transgender because we don’t know how many people who have had these transgender feelings were actually intersex and born that way and they can do genetic testing later, but they have found that in that default position was not a healthy beneficial position for the health of the child and so that’s where they wait and they don’t actually let the child choose per se. They watch and see what does the child do. How does the child behave? There are natural things that boys do versus girls and after while then, they do let the child have the choice as to whether to have surgery to correct it, to bring them fully in line with the gender that they identify with, but some of them actually keep the abnormality, whatever you want to call it, for the rest of their life. That’s just part of who they are and transgender is something where we’ve taken biological sex and then, sex is your biology and gender is a social construct, so gender is “What are the stereotypes and what does society expect of someone who is….
Kurt: Boys play with trucks. Girls play with dolls.
Jocelyn: Exactly, and when you switch them around the boys have wars with the dolls and the girls rock the trucks to sleep and put them in the cradles. They actually did a study on that once. So there are these innate traits, but there’s also things that society puts in these expectations. You look at questions of modesty and hairstyle and whether we wear make-up. There are things that society has said “This is male. This is female.” High heels are a female thing. They started with men in the court of Louis XIV. High heels used to be a male thing but then spread to females but then stayed with females and left the males. That one is not something that’s innate in someone’s male or femaleness. It’s something that society has said “This is masculine or feminine.”
Kurt: So when you say that one, that’s to say that there are some things that seem to be, I don’t want to use the term dictated or determined, but influenced by one’s gender and there are other things that are not. Is that right? So playing with the trucks, the trucks will be rocked to sleep. Right?
Kurt: But things like high heels and even you might say sports. Right? There’s no reason why girls can’t play baseball as opposed to softball. Right? There’s not something intrinsic to their gender or biological make-up why they couldn’t do that.
Jocelyn: So the question then becomes when you’re fighting gender stereotypes and this has been a main thing in the feminist movement, to some extent at all the stages. I’m not on board with the modern feminist movement, but the early 1920’s that said, “Hey. We are capable of things. Stop assuming we’re not. I’m on board with that.” I say as a 21st century female lawyer.
Kurt: Sure. Yeah.
Jocelyn: In the 1920’s I think there was maybe one or two who’d gotten the training, but you couldn’t practice law as a woman. At the same time, ever since I was four my career goal has been to be a stay at home mom. God has other plans for me right now, but that is something that if I had had my, I would have chosen that over going to law school. So there’s things that society changes and society enforces, but when you talk about pushing back against the negative stereotypes, saying women are incapable because of their sex, because they are not smart enough, because they’ll faint, because whatever the old-fashioned view is, we should be fighting back against those stereotypes. The thing is I think we have fought back against those for the most part successfully so then you have to look at the question of, when you bring it back down to a personal level, with your kids, with your family and your friends, we have to recognize that there are women who are tomboys. They are more masculine than the overall…
Kurt: And that doesn’t mean they should become males either.
Jocelyn: Exactly. So you can be a masculine woman in the spectrum of what it means to be a woman and you can an effeminate man in the spectrum of what it means to be a man, but just because you are towards, you are further on the spectrum closer to the other side doesn’t mean that, it’s not a solid spectrum that you can actually cross that middle. There is that chasm between the two. You have a female spectrum and you have a male spectrum. What the LGBT transgender, gender-fluid activists are saying is that these spectrums are one and so you can move from one side to the other and male and female meet in the middle.
Kurt: It seems that the science is not going to win out because genetically you have XX and you have XY and there is no post-birth crossover. Who knows what we’ll see sort of with genetic manipulation, but as it presently stands, after you’re born or even conceived there’s no crossover into the other DNA and so this has all just been external. Right?
Jocelyn: Right. And it’s because we’re focused on the feelings of the individual person rather than the reality of biology and genetics and when we start changing reality to cater to feelings, you’re going to have chaos and that’s true in the marriage debate and I think that’s still true in the question of marriage when we’ve made marriage all of the feelings of the adults and wanting people to affirm their feelings in their sexual relationships. That’s not the purpose of marriage, but fine, we’ll tweak the reality of what the purpose of marriage is to match your feelings.
Kurt: This idea that feelings have priority even over reality, over what actually has happened, because feelings are a part of our perception of any given state of affairs and so maybe our perception was off. Maybe we misunderstood something, but we shouldn’t then be embraced by our misperception. We need to understand that maybe we are mistaken. We should change our view to fit with reality.
Jocelyn: And to some extent this might be a battle on an individual level that is a lifelong battle, so I think that’s something that’s very important when Christians discuss this issue. I meet a lot of very strong Christians who are just firm. Boys are boys and girls are girls and just make them stay in their original locker room and I don’t care. I think that it’s great that we have people standing up on the issue, but we also have to remember that this is a mental illness so if you tell someone who has depression just suck it up and move on, snap out of it, and I say this as someone who deals with depression and anxiety, panic attacks. Oh my goodness. They’re fun. I literally forget to breathe. I will consciously realize that I am not breathing. Maybe I should do that. I’ve gone through both therapy and medical pharmaceutical treatment for it and we’re getting back on an even keel and I’m real excited about that, but if someone told me that, and I’ve had people say, you just need to pray more. You just need to trust God more and it’s like, that is an element of it that…..
Kurt: But that’s not the only thing.
Jocelyn: It has fed into the negative thinking patterns that I have that will spiral me down into that pit and I need to change those thinking patterns. That’s what the therapy is for. I also have chemicals misfiring in my brain and I’m going to use drugs for those.
Jocelyn: Legal, pharmaceutical ones with a prescription from my doctor, but I’m going to use them because they help me and so when you look at people who are suffering, whether it be mental illness or whether it just be the temptation that is their particular stumbling block in life, whether they’re a Christian or not a Christian, have empathy for that because it’s hard and it’s painful to deal with this lie that your brain is telling you, to deal with the temptation, it’s so hard not to give into, even if you know you shouldn’t, and for some people that desire, that feeling that they are in the wrong body even with therapy, even with prayer, even as a Christian, if you are growing up and becoming a mature Christian, that feeling may be the thorn in your side that God will not remove and you will struggle with that until the day you die and that stinks, but it’s also reality and as Christians I think we need to remember that empathy for this person who’s made in the image of God. What they are struggling with is because of our broken world and it does not undermine their dignity and their worth as a human being and just because we don’t struggle with it and we don’t understand that struggle and we think they should be able to just get over it doesn’t invalidate the actual pain and struggle that they’re going through.
Kurt: What you’ve said here, this is all great because for a lot of people, they don’t know how to handle the topic. It’s “Oh. You’re different from me? You stay over there. We don’t want you here.” That’s not the right Christian approach to this. Instead we need to recognize that we’re all fallen human beings, a lot of us have struggles that we’re dealing with and some of them are of the same category, say chemical imbalances in the brain, or rather imbalances in the brain, and so we all just need to in that sense have sympathy for people that are perhaps perceived as different from us even though in reality we’re all part of the same group called humanity and so in that sense, I think we can draw this nice distinction between the how we ought to live, how we ought to have our society, and how it ought to function with the laws and such, but also still reaching out to people. Right? Evangelizing. Befriending people, especially people who may be struggling with this, whether they view it as a struggle or they don’t. Maybe they’re just embracing the transgender lifestyle. These are still people we need to reach out to and try to share the Gospel with them. Maybe those people may not be interested. Scripture does talk about there’s a certain level of depravity that people reach where they do not care and so in that sense you’ve got to be discerning as a Christian whether it be through evangelism or apologetics or sort of friendship evangelism. You need to discern the person to whom you’re trying to reach because some people will not give you a fair hearing. They won’t give you the time of day. They may not even befriend you or especially if you’re on the internet like I am they may just be a troll and they are wasting your time. Maybe it’s still good to engage with trolls from time to time as I do for other people’s benefits because you know that there are what are called lurkers on the internet that are maybe reading those discussions. That’s great what you said Jocelyn and it’s really a good reminder that we need to continue loving really everyone because we all have these struggles and even people that are suffering with gender dysphoria, they’re also made in the image of God and we need to show them love in our own lives instead of just ostracizing them so if anything maybe that’s something good to look at, the issues in our society today. Sort of a bright spot is say fifty years ago these people would have remained secret and we wouldn’t know they were struggling with these issues so now here in our society we have this opportunity where they are coming out of the shadows if you will and we can more easily reach out to them so that might be a bright spot in the debate that we’re having. We’ve covered a lot on the show. We’ve got a few minutes here so we’ve got law issues, we’ve got society issues, we’ve got culture issues which are kind of all sort of wrapped up. Is there anything we’ve missed in our discussion?
Jocelyn: Religious liberty.
Kurt: Oh yes! Okay, good! We could do a show just on that.
Kurt: Let’s just have a little bit here on religious liberty. Yeah.
Jocelyn: So we’ve got two cases right now or two states who are going after churches. In Iowa and Massachusetts….
Kurt: Massachusetts was the one I heard about recently.
Jocelyn: Yeah. Not surprised about Massachusetts. A little surprised about all the stuff that comes out of Iowa, but both of them, their human rights commission, I don’t remember the title exactly, they’re interpreting the public accommodation law. So public accommodation laws say if you’re open to the public, you can’t discriminate on the basis of race, sex, ethnicity, etc. etc. etc. and so they’ve added gender identity to their protected classes and so they’re saying if you’re open to the public then you have to allow people to use whatever bathroom they want to use, you have to be careful about what pronouns you use. You can’t advertise in any way that might make someone feel unwelcome. So the definition, normally there’s an exemption for churches. Churches are not considered a public accommodation which we recognize because even though a church is open to the public they’re for their membership. They’re for a specific purpose and especially when you’re going to have members only events you need the ability to have it be only for the people who are in line with your teachings.
Kurt: I’m really looking to the church potluck that says members only.
Jocelyn: But yeah. That’s exactly the problem. Most of the stuff a church does is open to the public and so Iowa has basically said if it’s open to the public and it doesn’t have a religious enough purpose. Well who decides religious enough? Who decides all of these things? So they’re saying “Well if the church has a spaghetti dinner or if they have a Christian day-care that uses their building,” but you also get to the point of what about if a church does any type of advertising and they’re doing a sermon series on sexuality and sexual identity and the body and how God designed it. That would certainly, if you’re speaking these truths from the liberal point of view and they’re enforcing this law, be unwelcoming to a transgender person or a homosexual person and so there’s a huge question of how is this going to be implemented when it comes to churches and Alliance Defending Freedom, ADF, is suing in Iowa ever it. Massachusetts, they don’t believe there’s a lawsuit yet but they’ve just come out with an official guideline. Same thing. Public accommodation, if you’re open to the public doing anything that is, basically anything other than your Sunday morning service then you have to allow people to use the bathrooms they want to use and you can’t do anything mean that makes them feel sad. It’s essentially the legal guideline in these areas, which is a very frightening guideline when you think of what our founders meant when they said freedom of speech and freedom of religion. Free speech means people are going to feel bad. It’s one of the consequences of free speech. Freedom of religion means people are going to feel bad because people are of different religions and religions, even though they have the good news, especially as Christians we have the Gospel, it means the good news, there’s also parts that say take up your cross and Jesus is now your master and you’re….
Kurt: Or how about you’re a sinner.
Kurt: How dare you make me feel bad because I sin!
Jocelyn: Yeah. The thing is that that’s part one and part two is the good news and there’s hope, but nobody’s going to take the gift of salvation if they first don’t feel bad about the fact that they’re a sinner, so when you’re looking at free speech and freedom of religion you have to accept that this is going to hurt people’s feelings along the way and I think that something as our culture grows into caring all about feelings we are very much at losing those freedoms to protect the feelings of the hypersensitive.
Kurt: Yeah. And this association between a person’s feelings and then them supposedly having a right and you begin to…numerous examples especially here with the religious liberty, which includes but goes beyond the transgender issue is that you have one person’s supposed right to something versus a hundred other peoples’ right to something and so you begin pitting supposed rights against supposed rights and so then the government then has to pick the winners and the losers in that debate and that I think, my own personal views is I think that’s often left best to the states to do that if they’re doing it at all but then when you get the federal government involved, then it’s a lose/lose because the people in Texas may not want what the people in Massachusetts want and so then you’re going to get a lot of unhappy people and that also works vice-versa, then the people of Massachusetts because the people of Texas led the coalition at the national level for some issue so people end up unhappy that way and I like the concept of federalism because you don’t like it, you can move to another state. But even if you do that, then they are issues about crossing state lines and things like that, but those I think can be handled, but at any rate, wow, a lot of issues here. Jocelyn. Thanks for coming on the show today. Thanks for your insight into the legal issues at stake. You are working on these cases and so that makes you sort of a firsthand witness to what’s going on in this debate on the transgender debate, but also broader religious liberty issues and so it’s great to hear all about that so thanks so much.
Jocelyn: Thanks for having me.
Kurt: That does it for our show today. I’m grateful for the continued support of our patrons. If you’re not sure what a patron is it’s someone that just chips in a little bit every month to help cover the costs of the show. I’m also thankful for the partnerships of our sponsors Defenders Media, Consult Kevin, The Sky Floor, Rethinking Hell, The Illinois Family Institute, Evolution 2.0, and Fox Restoration. Thank you to the tech team today, both of whom have showed up here, Chris and Joel, and thanks to our guest Jocelyn Floyd. You can check out her web site starting next week. Forthehopewithin.com. And thank you for listening in and for striving for truth on faith, politics, and society.