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#694 “What Should I Do about My Transgender Boyfriend?”

August 09, 2020

I am a girl, 18 years old and I am at a point in my life where I don't know what to do or what is right for me by my parents. I come from a family of 6 people. My parents, sister and 2 little sisters. We are muslim. I know that God and Allah is about the same, at least that has been taught to me. I would like an answer from a scholar. I am in a relationship. For 4.5 years now, but he is transgender. I already knew this in the beginning of my relationship. I didn't mind because I accept him.

Now 4.5 years later my sister told my parents and now they think I am sick. Sick because I have a relationship with a boy. They still see him as a girl and do not want to accept it. I've been taught to accept everyone and now they don't do it themselves. They have no respect. The only argument they use is "God made a boy and a girl" and they think trans people are sick. But these people feel like a boy / girl so what's wrong with that? I have read articles that this has to do with their brain building and that they are already born with, for example, a male brain and this is why they feel trapped. Didn't God make them that way? God is not going to punish them? Doesn't God love his people? He made them like this. I also read that it was all allowed in the past and that the prophet Mohammed took these people into his house and had nothing against them because they also believe in God.

But now the problem is just what should I do? I don't know anymore because my parents want me to leave him because they do not accept it. they want me to leave him and now they sit in between my studies. They say that if I don't leave him I can't study. This is bullshit. It is my life and they cannot determine this for me. I have my arguments and they cannot accept this. They see it differently than I see. I hope you can help me further. I am waiting for an answer from you. I know that many people have different opinions and I do not know how you feel on the subject, but you really cannot say that my arguments are wrong. I think god wants me to keep this relationship and let everyone understand that there is nothing wrong with this and that He loves these people too and that they are NOT sick. He made them too.

With kind regards,


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Dr. craig’s response


It seems pretty obvious that your mind is already made up, EC, and that you are just looking to me to validate your view against that of your parents. I have no interest in getting involved in a family dispute. But I am interested in the arguments for your respective positions which you and your parents give.

So let’s consider first your arguments.  It seems to me that you offer four arguments on behalf of your friend’s transgender lifestyle.

1. “These people feel like a boy / girl so what's wrong with that?” This is a really inadequate and even dangerous way of determining one’s ethical duties. Do you really want to base ethical norms on feelings, EC? Pedophiles feel like having sexual relations with children, but surely you would not say, “What’s wrong with that?” There is no reason to think that one’s feelings track accurately our moral duties, and to think that they do will sanction all sorts of moral monstrosities. 

2. “This has to do with their brain building and that they are already born with, for example, a male brain and this is why they feel trapped.” Never mind the biologically preposterous claim that someone may have a male brain in a female body. Let’s just take that as a metaphor for saying that a person’s transgender behavior has a biological base. The problem with this argument is not merely that there is no scientific evidence that transgenderism is biologically based, but more fundamentally that this is again a woefully inadequate and dangerous way of determining one’s moral duties. There is no reason at all to think that because a person is physically determined to some behavior, therefore that behavior is ethically acceptable. Many people have argued that evolutionary conditioning has disposed the male of our species to violence and rape. Never mind whether such claims are true; the important point is that even if these claims were true, that would go no distance toward proving that rape and violence against women is ethically permissible for those so predisposed.

3. “Didn't God make them that way?” This is a point which you reiterate. But I think it shows a very naïve view of God’s providence over the world. We should not think of God as tinkering in the womb in order to produce every congenital defect, disability, or disease. Rather God has established a universe operating according to natural laws, and when something goes wrong and someone is born with a birth defect, we should not think that God made them that way. Of course, this raises the old philosophical question of the problem of suffering and evil; but God’s allowing terrible evils in our world does not mean that He is responsible for them, only that He has morally sufficient reasons for allowing nature to take its course and for such things to happen. So when some behavior is shown to have a biological base, that does not imply that we should not try to change it. Take schizophrenia, for example. This mental illness has a biological aspect, since it can be treated and controlled by drugs. No one would say to the schizophrenic, “God made you that way!  Just accept the way you are!”

4. “Doesn't God love his people?” Certainly! And we should treat other people with respect, as persons made in the image of God and loved by God. Mohammad’s showing hospitality toward transgender people, if true, would be a good example of treating another person with respect, even though you disagree with that person’s behavior. Jan and I similarly had a contractor who was a lesbian do our bathroom renovations and so received her into our house, even though we disagreed with the morality of her sexual relationships. You say of your relationship with your transgender friend, “I didn't mind because I accept him,” whereas your parents want you to break off the relationship “because they do not accept it.” Do you see the difference? You’re confusing accepting a person with accepting that person’s behavior or lifestyle. You say that your parents taught you “to accept everyone and now they don't do it themselves.” That’s not clear, EC. Your parents may accept your friend as a person even though they disagree with your friend’s lifestyle. To bring it back to God again: yes, God loves the sinner, but He hates his sin.

So I find your arguments in support of your friend’s transgender lifestyle to be weak and even dangerous.  What, then, about your parents’ arguments? They seem to have two arguments:

1. “The only argument they use is ‘God made a boy and a girl’.” I take it that they mean that God determines what is right and wrong with regard to human sexual activity, not human feelings or cultural fashion. That seems to me the only sure foundation of ethics. So, as I have argued in my article, “A Christian Perspective on Homosexuality,” in the debate over whether homosexual activity is morally permissible, we cannot ignore what God says about it. As Muslims, your folks believe in the ethical teaching of the Bible, and, as I show in my article, the Bible clearly proscribes homosexual activity. Since you are the same sex, even if not the same gender, as your transgender friend, any sexual activity between you would be homosexual activity, which the Bible forbids. Your parents rightly want you to avoid this sin, not to mention the heartache it will bring you.

2. “They think trans people are sick.” Well, such persons do seem to have a very severe mental health problem. A person who thinks that he is man trapped in a female body or who feels like a woman trapped in a male body is not a well-integrated individual. He or she must be in constant anguish. This says nothing about the morality of their being transgender. The Bible condemns homosexual activity, not a person’s orientation.

So, EC, I find your parents’ arguments much stronger than your very weak arguments.

So what should you do? Biblically speaking, so long as you are under your parents’ authority as a minor, living under their roof and living off their income, you should be submissive to your parents and do as they request. You should break off your relationship, at least until you are out on your own. Since your own orientation seems to be heterosexual (you are attracted to boys), you should extract yourself from a relationship that is forbidden by God in hopes that the Lord would someday lead you into a godly marriage relationship.

- William Lane Craig