Transphobic Christians seize Pope’s remarks

As a Christian myself, I am saddened that somewhat ambiguous remarks by the Pope have been reported as attacks on transsexualism.   For instance Christian Today says ‘In an attack on transsexuals, the Pope said, “It is not man who decides who is a man or woman but God.”’  Actually the Pontiff’s remarks are ambiguous and could be read as supportive of transsexualism because an MTF transsexual person doesn’t choose to be a woman: she was made [by God] as a woman and is obeying her destiny in choosing to live her life that way.  It is illustrative, however, that Christian Today has seized upon the remarks as an ‘attack’ on transsexuals and used them to justify their own transphobic stance.  Whether the Pope’s remarks were transphobic is clouded in doubt: it is certain that the reporting of those remarks by certain elements of the Christian press is transphobic.

However, although he does not specifically mention homosexuality, it is hard to read the address as anything other than homophobic.

I might add that this is a story for which press reporting seems exceptionally sensationalist (in both directions) and, so far as I can discern, a majority of articles repeat mis-quotes from other publications and fail to go back to quote the original text accurately.

I have now read a Google translation ( of the full address and cannot see anything obviously transphobic in the original text.  It also seems only indirectly homophobic.  Hopefully an authorised translation will appear on the Vatican site in the next few days.  Certainly this reinforces my view that this whole flap has been greatly exaggerated by the press editorialising to get across their own prejudices.



Filed under Equality, Homophobia, Transphobia

3 responses to “Transphobic Christians seize Pope’s remarks

  1. leece

    Dear Pope you know nothing about us.

    we are born this way as transsexual.

    this is not some sort of life style choice.

    why would we spend over $30,000 on surgery and hair removal if we did not have to.

    why would we be perpered to loose family ,freinds and have every body look apon us as freaks if this was a life style choice.

    yes you maybe able to screw up some of our minds for a time having us bellive we can be saved but in the end you will just make us depresed and suicidal.

    we never asked to be born this way but we know there is no cure so we make the best of what we have.

    i would like to see you spend time getting to know and understand us you may then change your mind.

    i am happy in my self now days in the past i was not.

    in the past i was living a lie.

  2. jess

    One of the more rational and thought out postings I’ve seen on this topic.

    In as much as the Pope may, or may not, have been using phobic terminology, criticism must be levelled for not being clearer and the Vatican’s recent record on such issues, eg their initial opposition to the UN Declaration on LGBT human rights, means that people will naturally see the worst.

  3. Sal

    Yes, the press have rather mis-interpreted or distorted the Pope’s piece for their own purposes, however, most people have.

    Anyone who was actually reading this piece, would realise it is attacking women (quelle suprise!) for not being subservient and acknowledging their supposed ‘role’ based on their gender as directed by patriarchal religion.

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