In case you missed it, the Super Bowl occurred last week. And let me tell you, my interest in the Super Bowl is about as high or as frequent as my interest in castration: only in extreme situations.
However, my wife is a fan of football. She does prefer college, but it just so happens one of the teams this Super Bowl had a guy who once played on her favorite college team; therefore, we sat down to watch the game together last week.
To be honest, I didn’t mind that much. It was an excuse to eat junk food, drink hard cider, watch funny commercials, and spend quality time with my wife — that last one is always a good reason to do something.
While the parade of culturally forced masculinity crossed our TV screen, I couldn’t help but notice the contradictory nature of the scene:
I, the man, checked my phone, ate snacks, played on my laptop, and only paused when a commercial I liked came on; meanwhile, my wife, the woman, commentated on the game, reacted strongly to every call, called the refs “idiots” and “morons,” and enveloped herself in all the details of the action of the game.
Culture would dictate that our gender roles should be switched. I should be the football maniac with beer cans on my head and paint on my exposed chest; my wife should be rolling her eyes at my cheers and jeers while she ignores each first down and field goal.
Since that’s not how we work, culture offers another “helpful” hint. Growing up, culture dictated who I should be based on my interests or lack thereof. It tried to do the same to my wife, but she flat-out refused to be influenced by anything other than her own stubbornness.
I, however, was more susceptible.
Because my interests were not in line with the epitome of masculinity as defined by my surrounding world, I was labeled gay, effeminate, and weak. I was told that I was a girl, that I should be treated as one — and that I should just accept I was one.
Honestly, I was swayed heavily by this voice and thought about gender reassignment. As a naive teen, I wasn’t sure it was possible. When the power of the Internet revealed it was, I strongly considered gender reassignment. I was overwhelmed by the voice of my culture that I just wanted to give in to make it all stop.
In a modern setting where transgender men and women are being trampled by every side of the argument, I want to make one thing clear: I don’t judge anyone’s decision to undergo gender reassignment.
As a man who strongly considered becoming a woman, I have a unique perspective that most Christians cannot fathom. And because of this perspective, I can promise you I do not judge anyone’s decision to embrace a different gender.
For me, though, I knew what I truly wanted: I wanted to be a man.
I knew that a man was what I was, and I knew a man was what God had called me to be. My desire to become a woman was based on what others thought of me, not on what God thought of me.
Ultimately, that is what I wanted — to embrace all that God had planned for me.
I probably could have changed my gender and still walked with God. I also could have stayed a man and not walked with God. In the end, what mattered was simply that I did what I felt God calling me to do based on my walk with Him.
No matter where you stand on the issue, shouldn’t we agree to let each person start there?
And also: I think we can all agree that Lady Gaga should sing the National Anthem at every Super Bowl from now on.
Have you ever been pulled in different directions by the voices of culture and God? Have you ever felt conflicted about your gender?
* Photo courtesy ashleyrosex, Creative Commons.