Gender confusion is rampant in our culture. Gals think they’re guys, guys think they’re gals, and we’re supposed to happily affirm it all. I think there’s a better way, though—a way that would provide clarity for a great many people who are struggling. It’s a simple, three-step process, and it takes less than five minutes a day.
There is one caveat: this system is not meant to address the confusion of those who have a persistent sense, coming from somewhere inside themselves, that they really are the opposite of their physical gender. Such a severe conflict in a person’s identity is incredibly painful, and we are called to respond to these souls with truth and compassion in addition to medical and psychological help—to offer caring but honest support, encouraging them to return to the reality of their sex and discouraging them from mutilating their bodies. They carry an unspeakably painful cross.
There seems to be another widespread source of gender confusion, though, that this system (called the Natural Gender Acceptance Protocol) could be very effective against. It’s culture-induced gender confusion. A guy would rather match colors than shoot things? “Oh,” they tell him—“You’re actually a girl.” If enough people say it, he might just start to think it’s true. A young woman feels very drawn to things that are stereotypically masculine? “Well—maybe,” they say, “just maybe–you’re really a guy.” The result is total chaos. There’s good news, though. In regards to culture-induced gender confusion, the Natural Gender Acceptance Protocol can provide stunning clarity. Here it is, step-by-step:
See? We can do this.
Now, I understand that I’m really making light of something that can be a very sensitive subject to the gender-confused. But here’s the truth: we’re all confused about something. It’s just part of the human condition. We spend every single day trying to figure out the next step. The goal, though, is to find God’s path for us and work to align our lives (and hearts) to it. When we deny our natural gender, we jump off that path and over a cliff.
If your natural gender is male, but you’re not exactly the stereotypical picture of masculinity, it doesn’t mean you’re a woman. Not all men are created like Tarzan.
If your natural gender is female, but you aren’t all that feminine, it doesn’t mean you’re a man. Not all women are created like Audrey Hepburn.
It makes me think about Jo, one of the sisters in Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women. Jo was not your typical Civil War-era American girl. She despised feminine pursuits. She had a hot temper. She ran down hills with her male best friend and sent bobby pins flying everywhere. There was almost nothing “soft” or feminine about her, and she was very conscious of the fact that she “didn’t quite fit” with the other women of her day.
She was lucky, though, as was Alcott herself (after whom some say Jo was modeled). They were created in a time in which, although they might not have fit the “stereotypically feminine” mold of their day, they were always affirmed as women. Women today aren’t always so fortunate.
In the end, gender isn’t a choice we make; it’s something we’re given as a gift. When we deny it, what we’re really doing is denying an essential part of who we are. That’s what gender is: it’s more than a choice. It’s more than what we like, what we wear, or what we do. It’s the primary element of who we are. If we can be confused about something as innate, visible, and defining as gender, something that is the essence of each of us, then we can be confused about everything about ourselves.
Which person will be healthier and stronger—the one who says, “I’m a guy who doesn’t fit in,” or the one who says, “I don’t know who I am”?
The good news is that we can all take comfort: our Maker solved this problem for us before it even gained a foothold. The remedy for confusion is clarity, and, when it comes to gender, God has given each of us an unmistakable sign of His plan. It’s OK to be a less masculine man. It’s OK to be a less feminine woman. But don’t let our culture mislead you—when it comes to gender itself, there need be no confusion.