Why do people who claim that they feel they are born in the wrong body insist that the answer to their feeling is to change that body to conform to their feelings? I have never really understood their argument. Is it because they feel their feelings are immutable? In other words they believe what they feel is who they really are. Now if that is their rationale it follows that their underlying assumption is that the true authentic part of us is that which is unchanging.
The problem is human beings by nature are mutable. There is nothing immutable about us. Only God is immutable. We are always changing. We grow and decay. Indeed that is the order of the universe according to Big Bang cosmology and evolutionary theory that these people old dear. So one cannot ground their identity in a some immutable characteristic they possess because such a characteristic does not exist. The logic that being true to self is confirming one’s feeling, as a ground of authenticity, is frankly not intellectually sustainable.
It seems to me that in order for our identity to have some form of stability it must have an external component. Any human identity that is anthropocentric is a shifting identity that provides no compelling basis for authenticity. If it is authenticity people are after, it is not found in changing the body to suit our present feelings because there is nothing immutable about such feelings in the grand scheme of things. Indeed even past or anticipated future feelings cannot provide such a grounding.
The other issue is around identity itself. If people change bodies to want to be authentic, surely the more authentic thing is that they should allow themselves to be in the unique position of being in a situation where their feelings do not conform to the body. It is not clear to me how changing one’s body makes them more authentic compared to the alternative. It seems to me that it can be argued that in fact it makes them less authentic.
What makes people authentic surely is being who they are. But being who you are in this instance could equally be living with the tension. Unless of course you believed that the tension within you is not how you were meant to live. But that requires now for you to work with an external standard of some sort, that defines what constitutes as authenticity, that is to say how you were designed or created to be.
The question then becomes - by what external standard should our identity be defined? Who is the designer we should turn to? The authority of such a standard of course becomes important. There are really only two external sources of standard for any individual - humanity (whether it is myself, friends, family or “the science”) or God our Creator. The choices is really between creation or the Creator.
The problem with looking to other human beings is that properly understood human beings are not really part of an external standard, since each human being is also confronted with the same search for an external standard. To look to another human being is simply looking to ourselves for answers.
The only external standard that can ground our identity is the true God who is not part of creation but is its author and yet he is somehow involved in it. We want the transcendent and personal God of the Bible. The true God of the Bible alone is our only reliable basis and source for our true identity. If we want to know who we are, we first need to know who He is. And to do that we must open our Bible and ask God to reveal Himself to us through its pages. We must seek to be guided by His truth and not by our feelings.