Christ, cure, Fellowship of the Minds, Gender, Gender Identity, Jesus, maleness, Man in the Mirror, Pure Passion TV, salvation, Sex reassignment surgery, sex-change operation, Sy Rogers, Trans woman, Transgender, Transgendered Disorders, Transsexual, Transsexualism, Vimeo, Walt Heyer
I prayed about writing this post for a couple of weeks after my post regarding Walt Heyer. I had posted a response to one of the posts I found on another website (and referred to in my Walt Heyer post). As of the last time I checked, I received two thumbs down and no thumbs up to my post. There was also a person who followed up with a post after mine. Whether it was intended as a response to my post or not, I cannot tell, because people aren’t always careful about making that clear.
Ultimately, who was being responded to doesn’t matter. The subject of the response is another person heralded by some Christians as evidence that transsexuals can be cured. The name of that person is Sy Rogers.
One reason that Rogers’ case can be so compelling is that he has lived for a long time in his birth-assigned cisgender identity after his short season living as a woman. From what I have read and seen regarding him, I have no doubt that he made the correct decision and that he is now living in the right body and persona. But does this mean he was cured?
Having read his direct testimony (i.e., not filtered through the interpretation of someone else), I would call his season as a transwoman a flirtation with transgender. It was an experiment. He dabbled in it.
Rogers recognizes that homosexuality and transsexualism are different. He experimented and dealt with both in his younger years.
When Rogers talks about his early childhood, he indicates that he envied women. He does not say that he believed at that age that he was female. The testimony of a true transsexual gives an age and a circumstance where they knew. No matter what life throws us in the way of discouragement, and even our own attempts to “cure” ourselves, it never leaves.
Rogers does not claim to have considered changing sex until his adult years, after a stint in the military and some college. Here is a quote from Rogers’ book, Man in the Mirror. Note the indecisiveness.
“Following this crisis point in my life, I concluded that my only chance at finding love, acceptance, and an end to my inner pain would be to shed my failed male identity.
“’If I’m a failure as a man, maybe I can be successful as a woman. Maybe I was always meant to be a woman!’ I thought to myself. This logic seemed to explain everything. I finally confronted my parents and confirmed their worst fear: I was unhappy living as a male and I wanted a sex-change operation. Yes, that was my answer! Now I could hope for a new and better life.”
Here is another quote directly from Rogers: It’s not that I was convinced I was supposed to be born a girl, but I did feel I would never make it as a male. This quote is taken from his video posted on Vimeo approximately five years ago by “Pure Passion”. The title of the video is “Transgendered Disorders”. The comment appears at approximately the 13:30 mark of the video. Unfortunately, there does not seem to be a way to cut back to it if you miss it. When you try it (at least when I watched it), it goes back to the opening of the video. (Total video length is about 28 minutes and 30 seconds.)
Like Walt Heyer, Rogers was not claiming a female identity. He was running from a male identity. Those are two entirely different things. But if you run from maleness, what other choice is there? So Rogers went in this direction, not by choice, but by default. He may have prayed to God to be physically changed into a girl, just as I did, but from an entirely different perspective and motive.
In the parable of the sower, Jesus teaches that some people will initially appear to be saved when they hear and respond to the Gospel. But no real change has been made to their heart. It is all head knowledge and deep down they are really only giving Christianity a try. When something comes along that disappoints them or they see that saying the sinners’ prayer doesn’t result in “happily ever after” (for in this world, we will have troubles, Jesus tells us), they soon depart from the words of this life.
In similar manner, Rogers tried the path of a transsexual for 18 months. He eventually abandoned it when it didn’t feel right and he realized that it would not solve all of his problems, a very unhealthy and unrealistic frame of mind to start with.
Reading his life story, one can see a very confused person due to the circumstances of his early childhood. An only child being raised by an alcoholic mother, he was molested by a male “friend” of the family when he was three. His mother died in a car accident when he was four and he was sent to live with relatives in an all-female household while his father got his life back together. He testifies feeling abandoned by both parents. But all the anger was directed at his father, the only one he could strike back at.
Like Walt Heyer, we see a story of a child battered repeatedly by life circumstances no young child should be forced to face. Until he came to a saving knowledge of Christ, Rogers bounced from failed solution to failed solution. In addition to his experiment with living as a woman, he also thought for a time that he might be homosexual. Feeling abandoned, neglected and rejected; at first deprived of a male role model in his life and then lashing out in anger at the one (his father) who might have been a positive role model had Rogers been willing to receive him, Rogers’ early years are a sad tale of heartache, confusion and failure.
If a person honestly reads or hears his testimony, this is not someone who knew he was female and transsexual, and then was led away from that lifestyle by coming to Christ. Rogers’ story is about a person desperately searching for love he had never felt and healing of the tremendous pain deep inside. Praise the Lord that he found that love and healing in Jesus, who loves us unconditionally for our sakes, not His own, even when we might feel unlovable and in the depth of despair.
It is a marvelous story of salvation, as so many salvation testimonies are marvelous. But it is not the story of someone cured from being transsexual. Experimenting with living as a woman doesn’t make a person transsexual any more than doodling some pictures or coloring in a coloring book makes a person an artist. Rogers never claims that at some point in his life he knew he was female. He was merely hoping at one time in his life that this might be the answer he was searching for. It wasn’t the right answer because Rogers is not and never was transsexual. Therefore, it is improper to use him as an example of a cured transsexual. You cannot be delivered from something you never were in the first place.
The sower soweth the word. And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts. And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness; And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word’s sake, immediately they are offended. And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word, And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful. And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred. – Mark 4:14-20